It’s hard to believe that this year was only the 7th time that VidCon was held in the United States since it’s 2010 birth. With over 26,000 people in attendance and more than 100 top creators to meet, VidCon can seem daunting. But the conference was organized in an extremely sophisticated fashion and there was so much useful information at one’s fingertips. It’s also THE place to catch a sneak peek about what’s coming down the pike for digital video. Here are my three takeaways from VidCon 2017.
1. There’s No Time Like the Present
Not only was it clear about who was in attendance, but from the panels, discussions and the recent ADpocalypse, it’s clear that long-form video on YouTube is no longer the only main platform in town. In fact, live stream is taking over. Thanks to Live.Me for sponsoring that amazing ball pit!
Creators are connecting with their fans in the most engaging way possible by hosting live streams on YouTube directly, Facebook, Instagram, YouNow, Live.Me, Livel.ly and the list goes on. Audiences see these live streams as events and authentic ways to connect with their favorite creators. Because what’s more exciting for the instant gratification generation than a push notification that says “[Your Favorite Creator] is Live Now.”
2. Brands, Brands Everywhere
Big brands were present at VidCon and they were just where they needed to be: in the private creator lounges, bold in the expo hall and front and center with consumers.
Brands like Calvin Klein and Hollister offered exclusive creator-only goods in the invite-only creator lounges. Klein gave away denim jackets and undergarments with cute emoji patches on them and creators were Instagramming this, no brand deals necessary, this was instant click-bait. But not only that, Klein already had established brand deals with a few top creators and the fashion brand offered them an in-person experience by being at the conference.
3. Everyone Does Good
I was so proud to see the amount of social good that made appearances at VidCon. Studio71 was giving out samples of its charity lipstick line, which they are launching to benefit Planned Parenthood. There were also several panels focusing on doing good, including our own Internet Activism with The Ad Council.
Our panel featured Akilah Hughes, Milana Vayntrub, Markiplier, Ad Council’s very own Ellyn Fisher, and Nabela Noor, and each creator provided a different perspective on speaking up and creating movements using their platform. The audience was very receptive; with a packed room, there were tears and hugs in the house and the true power of creators came out of the screen. Their ability to connect with their audiences through digital video and then translate that to these in person meet-ups was extraordinary.
If you’re a brand trying to build your clout in the digital creator community, VidCon is a good place to lay your groundwork for partnerships. If you’re a digital media company who’s part of creators’ everyday life: VidCon is where you NEED to be and in a big way.
See you next year!