How was my YouTube interest sparked?
My smart, sweet, sassy niece Kate Audrey invited me to VidCon last year. Since she was a highschool graduate, I decided I had to go! How many more chances would I have to be her embarrassing aunt? I was pretty happy that her parents kicked in some air miles, because my original plan was to cash in some RRSPs and rely on Kate to care for me in my retirement. It’s always good to take a little pressure off of her. The topic of money is always tough for college kids. She’s pretty good with money and works on top of studying, so I am pretty sure that when I move in with her someday, she can handle it.
What is VidCon?
VidCon is a conference about creating online content put on by YouTube for Community, Creators, or Industry! I registered as a Creator for two reasons. 1) I make online content for a living, which includes creating online videos. 2) I registered so late that I couldn’t afford the late registration fees for Industry.
- Community is for YouTube fans. Fangirls and fanboys that make up most of the demographic. They run after YouTube stars, outstretch their hands dramatically, and squeal. Many scream.
From VidCon site: For people interested in online video, its creators, and its culture. Q&As, discussions, concerts, interviews, Expo Hall, parties, VidCon Prom, movie nights, meet-ups, and more.
- Creators create videos.
From VidCon site: Perfect for anyone looking to make better content, grow their channel, enter the industry, and meet fellow creators. Includes extra access to a ton of panels, networking, and workshops as well as all Community activities except the Meet & Greet Hall.
- Industry is the next step.
From VidCon site: For attendees working in the online video industry beyond content creation, including anyone who is part of a production company, network, channel, or who works in talent management, software development, venture investment, etc. This track allows access to all Industry, Creator and Community track content.
Was it Work or Fun?
When I told my manager I wanted time off to go to the conference, she told me it was training, not vacation. The best part of that was it meant I still had days left to use as vacation time after the conference. But it also meant that I had to do at least one presentation about how to improve our online videos at work (Spoiler: My presentation went well).
My expectation for the conference was that it would be a lot of fun and I was not disappointed. I am someone who loves to learn and try new things. I got to meet and learn from a few stars including Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks. I loved talking politics and discussing the differences between the parties at the provincial (state) and federal level. People ask what he’s like and I reply, “As expected.” You already know what you think of him and that likely wouldn’t change in person. He’s authentic. As far as learning about online videos, I learned the most from the industry professionals. Between the sessions, there were meet and greets, cool hangout rooms, and entertainment. And, of course, I can’t forget to mention swag. There were a lot of freebies throughout the event.
The best part is that I met some great people and expect we’ll remain friends for life (at least online). The Kate Audrey (YouTube) and I shared a room with YouTubers Get Messy and Frequently Falling. I hung out with another chaperone Kevin Williams, who was there with his daughter Awkward Amanda.
I couldn’t believe how much fun it was and want to go again in 2017. Now to figure out the money part…
Videos out of VidCon 2016
AJ Arseneau: Eat at In-N-Out restaurant for the first time
AJ Arseneau: Last Day in California
Our last day in California shopping in Downtown Disney, visiting Hollywood, and finally flying home. We missed our connection and flew standby, so we were sleepless.
AJ Arseneau: VidCon Tips
The Kate Audrey: VidCon 2016
Kate’s video about our trip.