The Dirty Truth About VidCon 2018 – A Review

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this is only the experience that one person had from the event, a professional digital marketer and entrepreneur in case you’re curious ;).

It’s my unique viewpoint and you might have attended VidCon before and had a different experience. If so, feel free to leave a comment down below and give my audience some tips on what would make your experience different.

I would sum up this year’s VidCon 2018 as like a second-rate ComicCon event.

This review comes from someone that has attended VidCon under the Creator’s Track.

Regardless and to build my opinion about the conference, I’ve talked to people that attended the event under the Community as well as Industry Track.

The main question would probably be:

Will I be back?

Not very likely.

The conference had the feel of a celebrity showcase.

Throughout the 3-day event, my team and I ran into hordes of children with their parents, teenagers as well as beginning Youtubers.

Their main motivation was to meet their favorite ‘stars’ while learning a bit about the industry and video marketing.

For 95% of sessions that my team and I attended, we not only had to wait in line for them but there was no guarantee at times that we would get in unless we appeared more than 30-40 minutes before a session started.

There was no guarantee, no head count or anything like that that guaranteed that we would get in to the more popular sessions we really wanted to attend like, for example, the one with Casey Neistat.

And yes, we had paid for our tickets ourselves and were not sponsored by anyone.

Furthermore, the sessions that we did attend from the Community & Creator’s Track were so basic that we’ve found ourselves leaving early about 70% of the time.

If you know the basics about video content production, video editing softwares and video editing in general, how to use YouTube, how to market your videos, etc. the Creators Track was pretty pointless.

My team and I have gained almost no new information.

The new information and key takeaways we did gain, came during the Question and Answer sessions after each presentation/workshop thanks to the smart questions that some of the audience members asked.

Well, if you are new to creating videos or are still in the beginning phases, than attending VidCon under the Creators Track would have been helpful.

Otherwise, the Industry Track from everything my team and I have heard would have been the way to go.

In retrospect though, you would be better off skipping pretty much almost all the sessions and network with people.

VidCon advertised itself as the biggest online video conference in the world.

It did not feel like a professional event.

It felt more of a community-driven, party event that consisted of different cliques of influencers, professionals and creators taking the chance to meet up with each other.

My team and I had high expectation for the biggest online video conference in the world that were definitely not met.

The quality content and insider tips we expected to take away from the sessions and workshops was not delivered.

I’m positive that this was not the responsibility of the presenters themselves.

The difficulty we noticed that the presenters had to deal with was the vast difference in experience that the audience often times showed which became clear during the Question & Answer sessions.

The presenters we did see worked hard on the sessions but there was no real focus in what audience they spoke to.

Was there some guidance lacking by the event organization committee of this year’s VidCon?

All in all, the entire event felt unfocused.

You never knew who you ran into.

I started up a lot of conversations with adults lounging around the conference area.

A majority of them were accompanying their children or teenagers and had no interest in video marketing themselves.

There were people from all walks of life.

It seems like the only track that was focused was the Industry Track. Just as a note in case you’re thinking of attending next year.

VidCon as a whole displayed an utter lack of understanding its true target audience.

They tried to accommodate anybody and everybody that was remotely interested in Youtube and making videos.

If the conference would split itself up into different events throughout the year, with a more narrow focus of what each conference was about and who should attend and would speak, the general experience of VidCon would be better.

In conclusion, I’ve never been so confused before while and after attending a conference.

It’s a shame because there’s so much more potential VidCon has and could utilize, especially when thinking back to John and Hank Green’s original intentions with this conference.

Most people I’ve talked to that have been attending VidCon for years, admitted that since VidCon was acquired by ViaCom this year the conference has a commercial feeling to it that wasn’t there before.

Final reminder: If you are a digital marketer and digital content creator like me, the Industry Track would have been the way to go.

Would it have been worth the price?

I’m not sure.

I’ll let you know in case any of my team members or myself decide to go next year.

Will we? As of now, it’s very unlikely.

For the investment and for the set up that VidCon displayed this year, there are better global conferences you could attend around video marketing.

Did you attend VidCon?

If so, how was your experience and which track did you attend under? Leave a comment down below.

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