I’ve seen a lot of posts and videos about people’s thoughts on VidCon this year and after thinking about my experience for a few days I feel ready to write about it. [Everything I am posting is based on PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and is just my opinion, nothing else.]
As most of you know, I attended VidCon last year, and it was a very different experience. I pushed myself physically to a point where I wasn’t eating and hardly sleeping because I thought I had to be in a line for a signing or I just personally felt like I didn’t have time to do those things. I spent most of the convention waiting in signing lines, and wandering about the expo hall. I did not attend any panels or Q&A’s. In a way I’m glad I did my first year of VidCon the way I did because I sort of got the fangirling over with.
This year was a far more “professional” or “adult” year for me because I went in with the mindset of really only wanting to meet one person. This was partially because over the corse of the past few months with everything that had happened in the YouTube community, I no longer felt the draw to it. This year I let myself rest, I wasn’t getting up at crazy hours to wait in lines, and I made sure my day ended around 3 so I could go back to my hotel to eat and take a nap. I attended panels, some because I was interested in the topic, and others as time fillers. The ‘time filler’ panels actually turned out to be some of my favourites and its just really lovely to learn something new rather than wait in a line, cranky and such. After attending panels, and having brief but meaningful conversations with creators I felt far more inspired to start creating myself.
I feel like I cannot technically compare the two years based on my experience because they were so different, but these are the things i can compare.
- The number of people was insane, I thought last year was big but this just felt like too much.
- The lines were uncontrollable and confusing as well. I couldn’t tell which line I was getting into if it was for the expo hall or the arena and if you asked different people, they’d say different things
- The mobbing. This was what made VidCon an unenjoyable experience for me. I was multiple times caught in the rush of people running to see a content creator and I ended up having multiple panic attacks over the corse of the weekend. Last year there was mobbing, but it was nothing like this. One of the most popular clips I keep seeing is of Tyler Oakley on the escalator and people running up the downside to get to him. This made me highly nervous because I have a family friend who was paralyzed by doing just that.
- The playing of “Blurred Lines” at Vidcon Prom. Sure it’s a smaller thing, but a) it’s an awful song promoting rape culture and b) after everything that the YouTube community has been through, it really was not appropriate.
Now those things did make my trip far more stressful, but aside from those things, it was a very pleasurable experience. Everyone I talked to, from people in lines with me to content creators they were all very kind and really interesting to have a conversion with, regardless of how brief. I have to admit that I am a little scared to possibly attend next year, but I do know that because people are voicing their thoughts on this year, maybe next year will be better.