Vidcon is a fairly new convention/expo that is currently held in the Anaheim Convention Center once a year in August. Vidcon is basically a ‘fan event’ geared towards allowing fans of all ages the chance to meet and greet high profiled YouTube content creators. All weekend long at Vidcon there is an autograph area, panels, performances, vendor booths and after parties.
Vidcon launched in 2010 and has rapidly grown each year estimating over 10,000 in attendance in 2013. Something interesting to witness is the merge between vendors who ‘get it’ and those who don’t. Most of the fans attending Vidcon are young teenage girls and boys (mostly girls) – so if you are a company sponsoring a booth you should cater to that side of things. A good example of vendors at Vidcon this year who understood how to present at the expo were Chill who are launching a feature film on their video-on-demand website called Camp Takota which stars famous YouTubers Grace Helbig & Hannah Hart. The Chill booth was sort of like a pre-gorilla marketing campaign in which fans could check out props from the upcoming movie, sign up for the mailing list and take photos with the stars involved in the project.
The Discovery Channel probably made the largest splash (get it) at Vidcon with their giant SHARK to help celebrate #SharkWeek. We witness some random fun when popular YouTube star Philip DeFranco was joined by Tech Feed host Scott Bromley to feed objects into the mechanical shark to be devoured while fans cheered on the action. Another booth who understood the reason for Vidcon was Thirst Project – a charity for bringing clean water to countries in need. At the Thirst Project booth we had a chance to chat with the founder Seth Maxwell who was excited about their old fashion ‘dunk tank’ where popular YouTubers were at the mercy of fans who had good throwing arms.
The vibe at Vidcon is generally fun and a celebration – people waiting in line for autographs generally talk and make friends with others around them. The Anaheim Convention Center is a great venue for Vidcon because the hotel is nearby and there is both an expo area and large stage/performance area for concerts. We’re hoping that 2014 brings a bit more organization as for the announcements printed in the book and website for signings and panels and hope to see the people involved encourage vendors in the hall to ‘think outside the box’ and come to Vidcon with a fun and interactive purpose rather then trying to sell product.
More info about Vidcon can be found here: http://vidcon.com