VidCon is a multi-genre online video tech conference, held annually in Southern California since 2010 and currently organized by ViacomCBS. Originally conceived by Hank and John Green of the Vlogbrothers YouTube channel, the convention is the largest of its kind in the world, gathering thousands of online video viewers, creators, and industry representatives worldwide. In February 2018, Viacom acquired VidCon; however the conference remains a standalone subsidiary. Its offices remain in Missoula, Montana, sharing a building with Complexly.
"For People who Love Online Video"
|Venue||Hyatt Regency Century Plaza (2010–11)|
Anaheim Convention Center (2012–present)
|Location(s)||Los Angeles, California (2010–11)|
Anaheim, California (2012–present)
|Inaugurated||July 9, 2010|
|Most recent||July 10-13 2019|
2010 (inaugural VidCon)
The first VidCon was held in July 9–11, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles and sold out in advance with over 1,400 people attending. The first day featured industry panels and presentations by industry leaders and video creators. The second and third day featured main stage presentations by YouTube's content creators, breakout sessions and concerts featuring musicians who achieved success primarily by presenting their music via online videos.
2011 (2nd annual VidCon)
VidCon 2011 was held in July 29–30, 2011, with an industry conference day on July 28, again at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles. The event sold out sixty days prior to its opening, with 2,500 people in attendance.
2012 (3rd annual VidCon)
VidCon 2012, the third annual conference, was held in June 28–30, 2012 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The new venue offered a much larger capacity with room for future expansion, with 7,000 people in attendance.
2013 (4th annual VidCon)
VidCon 2013 was held in August 1–3, 2013 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The conference sold out a month in advance with attendance reaching 12,000 people. YouTube signed a deal in 2013 to become the principal sponsor of VidCon for two years.
2014 (5th annual VidCon)
The industry track featured talks given by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos, as well as VidCon cofounder John Green. Troye Sivan also announced his EP, TRXYE.
2015 (6th annual VidCon)
VidCon 2015 took place on July 23–25, 2015, at the Anaheim Convention Center. The number of people attending was limited, so there would only be slightly more people than in 2014. However, the space was enlarged, with the convention taking up the entire Convention Center. There were over 300 YouTube creators who performed, exhibited and connected with the attendees. Troye Sivan announced his new EP, WILD.
2016 (7th annual VidCon)
VidCon 2016 was held from June 23–25 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The convention announced plans to tighten security at its events in the wake of singer Christina Grimmie's shooting and the Orlando nightclub massacre. Security measures included the addition of metal detectors, enhancing the number of security officers and banning informal meet-and-greets between community members and YouTubers after panels.
2017 (8th annual VidCon US, addition of other VidCons)
2018 (9th annual VidCon US, 2nd annual VidCon Europe/Australia)
VidCon Europe was held from March 22–24, 2018, at the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam. Unlike 2017, VidCon Europe 2018 did away with the Community badge, only selling Creator and Industry badges. This was the result of "evaluated feedback" of Community Track attendees from 2017. VidCon sought to "leverage [its] success with the creator and industry communities and continue to build an independent gathering to expand the cross-cultural YouTube and online video movement across Europe."
Acquisition by Viacom
In February 2018, Viacom (owner of the Viacom Media Networks and film studio Paramount Pictures) announced that they were acquiring VidCon, as part of its efforts to expand its live-events business, and to expand from TV programming to next-generation entertainment platforms. Jim Louderback will remain as the CEO of the convention, and co-founder Hank Green will continue be involved and work closely with the team. Its offices will also remain in Missoula, Montana. Internet reception to this acquisition was mixed, with some noting the irony of Viacom acquiring VidCon a decade after their lawsuit against Google and YouTube for copyright infringement. Hank Green reassured fans that Viacom's acquisition will allow the convention to flourish.
2019 (10th annual VidCon US, 3rd annual VidCon Europe/Australia, addition of VidCon Asia)
VidCon Europe was held from February 14–17, 2019 at the ExCel London.
VidCon US was held from July 10–13, 2019, at the Anaheim Convention Center.
VidCon Australia was held from September 19–22, 2019, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Types of passes
VidCon attendees may purchase one of three types of passes, also called badges or tracks, a system rolled out during the 2015 VidCon. At the lowest price, the Community track allows access to the main floor of the Anaheim Convention Center, several stages, the signing and photo hall, the Expo Hall, and more. The second type is the Creator track, which is geared more toward members of the online video community who either produce content themselves or have an interest in doing so. This pass gives access to the main and second floor of the venue and creator lounges, which feature panels, workshops, and keynotes that focus on the specifics of creating and editing online video. The third and most expensive type is the Industry track, which gives attendees the chance to attend all VidCon events and enjoy the industry lounge. This badge is mainly designed for those in the online video business, with access to keynote conversations, round-table discussions, hands-on training and platform and product demonstrations. Vidcon provided the industry members with a private zone to relax away from the attendees.
VidCon has a list of featured creators who are invited to the convention and who participate in panels, concerts, and more. These online content creators have access to all events at VidCon as well as the industry lounge, similarly to the Industry track.
|2010||Hyatt Regency Century Plaza||1,400|
|2012||Anaheim Convention Center||7,000|
Tana Mongeau feud
After being reportedly snubbed and restricted at past VidCon events, YouTube star Tana Mongeau decided to create her own convention, TanaCon (deemed by some to be the Anti-VidCon). While this move was initially applauded by fans and fellow YouTubers (who had also taken issue with VidCon's past handling of creators), TanaCon 2018 was ultimately deemed a failure. The event took place at the Anaheim Marriott Suites, a hotel situated in the Anaheim Convention Center complex during the same weekend as VidCon 2018. Reportedly, 4,000 to 5,000 fans showed up for a venue that only held 1,150 (an oversight exacerbated by the pre-sale of 5,000 tickets). The event was shut down by police, with many receiving first-degree and second-degree sunburns from standing outside waiting in LA's June heat. At least one attendee had to be hospitalized, following an injury that occurred during a door rush in the overcrowded hotel. Starting in July, fans began to receive refunds for pre-sale tickets; however, some were still considering filing a class-action lawsuit against GoodTimes Entertainment, the financial backer for TanaCon, in order to recoup losses from travel and accommodation for the event.
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