What Is VidCon, And How Can Creators Get The Most Out Of It?

what is vidcon - the vidcon logo over waves
AnzhelikaP/Shutterstock Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock Remix by Caterina Cox

Whether VidCon is beneficial to creators or simply a fan event can be confusing at first glance. That’s understandable. While the conference has exploded since its humble roots in 2010, its growth means Vidcon can be harder to navigate for creators. However, if you’re interested, buried under all the content is a world of education for creators. 

What is Vidcon?

VidCon is an annual convention for video creators, which started as a small gathering for creators to talk about their industry. Only around 1,400 people attended. Today, it’s exploded into a massive multi-convention event spanning three cities. The owners expect over 30,000 attendees at the Anaheim event this year alone. 

The convention was started by Hank and John Green, aka the VlogBrothers, to connect with other YouTube creators. You may know John Green as the best-selling author of the YA classic The Fault In Our Stars. It has grown to encompass creators from every major social media platform. 

This year’s VidCon Anaheim will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center

VidCon offers three tracks for attendees. 

  • Community Track: For fans of video creators 
  • Creator Track: For creators looking to learn more about their skills and industry 
  • Industry Track: For people who work with creators, from sponsors to brands to agencies. 

We’ll focus on the Creator Track for our audience. However, if you have the money to throw at the Industry track, some advantages exist for creators who want to consider splurging. 

When and Where is VidCon?

VidCon has three locations this year. VidCon Anaheim takes place June 26-29, 2024. VidCon Mexico takes place August 9-11, 2024. Finally, VidCon Baltimore is held from September 26-29, 2024. This article focuses on VidCon Anaheim but will be updated with information about Baltimore and Mexico as it becomes available. 

what is vidcon - a crowd shot from vidcon of screaming fans with their phones up in the air recording

How Long Has Vidcon Been Running? 

VidCon was launched in 2010, only five years after YouTube launched. Its first event was July 9-11, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. It managed to sell out with over 1400 attendees. Notable attendees included iJustine and Shane Dawson

Who owns Vidcon? 

VidCon was launched by the VlogBrothers in 2010, but Viacom bought the convention in 2018. Today, it is under the Paramount Global umbrella. That is important to note because while VidCon started as a scrappy DIY convention for creators, it is now part of a massive media company. 

On the bright side, that means there’s more money for parties, venue space, and bringing in speakers. VidCon feels and looks like a major event now. On the downside, corporate cash tends to make events more expensive for small creators. VidCon is not cheap. But if you go in with a game plan, it can provide a valuable mix of education and networking. 

How Much Is Vidcon? 

VidCon ticket costs depend on which track you’re taking. 

The Community Track comes with the least amount of access. This is for fans who want to see their favorite creators speak, go to meet-and-greets, and see performances. Community Track tickets are $145 for a four-day pass. 

VidCon’s Creator Track includes everything the Community Track offers and adds special Creator Track-only classes. Creators are also eligible for the Creator Certification Program by attending select Creator Track Sessions during the con. Creator Track tickets are $195 for a four-day pass. 

Finally, the Industry Track offers the most access for networking and meeting industry professionals. In addition to the Creator Track classes, there are exclusive Industry Track classes, exclusive keynotes, case studies, and panels. Industry Track attendees are eligible for the Creator Certification Program with the required classes. 

Does Vidcon Offer A Streaming Option? 

Yes! Streaming VidCon gives you some advantages over attending. First, there’s no risk of COVID-19 while mingling through a crowd. More importantly, you get access to the Anaheim and Baltimore Creator Track streams for the cost of attending just one of the conferences. 

A VidCon OnDemand subscription costs just $199 annually, allowing you to stream classes quickly. Courses from last year that you can explore now with a subscription include “Taking The Long View On Short Form,” “Staying Out of Trouble: Policy and Regulation In The Creator Economy,” and “A Fireside Chat With Taylor Lorenz.”

VidCon's ondemand streaming classes

What Classes Should I Take At VidCon? 

VidCon is expensive, so make sure if you go you think about which classes will help you most in advance. Here are our picks for what you don’t want to miss out on at this year’s VidCon 2024. 

Deciphering Legalese: Contracts & Negotiation Essentials

Getting good advice from a lawyer isn’t cheap, so take advantage of the experts when they’re available. This class is taught by Tyler Chou, aka The Creators’ Attorney, and walks you through the basics of contract negotiation. Learn what legal terms to look out for and how to protect yourself when making a brand deal. Most importantly, this class can help you understand what your lawyer is telling you when the time comes to hire one. Don’t miss it. 

Elevating Your Content While Embracing Your Career

Unless you come from money, most creators start creating while they have a day job. But how do you balance a healthy career and your dreams of growing as a creator? Led by Timm Chiusano, a corporate success story whose business tips have brought him over a million followers, this is a great class for figuring out work-life balance. Learn from Chiusano how to focus your time while creating content that reflects your true voice. 

How to Build a Post-Production Team the Right Way

The secret behind how your favorite YouTuber is superhuman regarding their productivity is probably that they have a full team working behind them. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and even the biggest YouTubers use an outside production team to help their workflow. Gavin Keen, head of post-production for BucketSquad leads this class about how to build your own post-production team. 

Pick Me: Becoming a Must-Have Creator for Global Brands

While the creator economy is worth billions, you’re still fighting for every dollar in a never-ending ocean of other creators. How are you ever supposed to stand out? That’s the question Eddie Gold, CEO of The Gold Studios, tackles in “Pick Me.” With a global audience of 200 million and 4 billion in annual video views, Gold Studios is one of the leading agencies for social media comedians. Learn from the best about what brands are looking for and how to stand out. 

From Raw Footage to Masterpiece: The Power of Editing

Take every editing class you can find in person. While you can learn a ton from YouTube videos, there’s a lack of feedback and Q&A in those sessions. This class will teach you the importance of editing, enhancing video with music, and how to blend the two to create masterful stories.

Starting from Scratch: Life, Layoff, & Layovers in Your Creative Career

Even if you work outside of the media, layoffs eventually impact every creator. Goldie Chan, founder of Warm Robots, leads this class about how to get back on your feet when the world knocks you down. Using her experience rebuilding her brand after taking ten months off to fight breast cancer, Chan mixes storytelling and business foundations to show how starting over isn’t an impossible undertaking. 

How Can I Prepare For Vidcon As A Creator?  

Before you head out to the big game, here are a few quick pointers to help you get the most out of your session. These are just basic life protips that you might not consider if you’ve never been to a conference before. 

Bring Water and Mints

Hydration is essential to staying focused in a class when you’ve been walking around all day. Less critical, but just as valuable sometimes, is a breath mint. Beyond helping you put your best foot forward, there are medical benefits when you meet a creator you like. Studies have shown that peppermint can help with alertness and ADHD. 

Make a Business Card That Has a QR Code

Business cards are helpful, so don’t let anyone tell you they’re cheesy and useless. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your card better than the rest. Before you head out, get a QR business card. It’s the best of the old and new school that gives you all the perks of a traditional business card while killing fewer trees.

You might not be able to get someone to take your business card, but if you have a QR code, they might be willing to scan it. QR code business cards are a simple way to be professional and prepared. You can get 500 business cards for $25.99 from Vistaprint. There are no excuses for skipping this step. 

Pack a Mask

Before anyone gets on us about the politics of masking, take a moment and breathe. While you should consider masking at events like this for your safety, this is purely capitalist advice. Whether you take Covid seriously or not, other creators do. 

You want to respect people’s personal and medical boundaries. Many creators are immunocompromised. More importantly, this is just good business advice in the modern world. Going forward, you will always meet people who mask. You don’t want to miss a business opportunity because you weren’t prepared to take precautions.   

Respect People’s Boundaries, But Say Hello

What is Vidcon if not a chance to meet people you want to work with? Just be cool. One of the most important parts of networking is knowing when to say hello and walk away. Never be afraid of saying hello to a creator you respect, but be aware of their time. 

Give them a business card, say “hi,” and let them determine how long you talk. Making a positive first impression is more important than getting half way through a pitch and someone walking away. 

Where To Stay?

Repeat after me: Anaheim is not Los Angeles. Although the cities are only about 26 to 30 miles apart, it’s an hour each way when you factor in traffic. You can find incredible deals in Anaheim if you buy in advance. Your best bet is Airbnb, which combines hotels and home-sharing options.

We found a four-night hotel room a few miles from the convention center for just $447 after fees. The important thing is to make sure you find something close enough to the convention center to ride share. Parking is expensive and annoying near the convention center. 

What Transportation Options Are Available?

Anaheim offers many public transportation options. There are buses, Metrolink trains, cycling, ridesharing, and more. However, parking near the convention center can be a massive pain. Accordingly, we highly recommend ride share. If you’re flying to the event, you’ll want to look for flights to the John Wayne Airport in Orange County. 

The good news is, flying into John Wayne Airport is much less hectic than navigating the hellscape that is the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

If you’d like to know more about important events for creators or just the latest hot stories from Passionfruit, take a minute and sign up for our newsletter below. 

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