#VIDCON2017 – Opening Night

 

#VIDCON2017 opened up at the Anaheim Convention center for a four day run.  An exciting four days at the premiere Online Video convention.  I was on my way to the Hilton Lanai Deck for a two hour gathering.

First to registration.  The lines are divided into three areas:  Community, Creator and Industry.  My emailed QR code would not download at either home or on my so-called smartphone.  So we looked up my name and I got my badge.

 

INNOVATION – MEET AND GREET

In addition, this year they had a new innovation.  Meet and Greets in a Random Lottery to meet some major Online Video and YT stars in the Meet and Greet Hall.    For the Meet and Greet Hall, I added three bands onto my wrist with the day and time for the Meet and Greet.  Waterproof so showers permissible.

#VIDCON2017 takes up the entire convention center but this was just opening night so a little light – which still means 10,000 attendees.  Though my friend, Heather, was in line for her badge and couldn’t make phone calls with the screaming girls in line for 45 minutes.  You would be correct.  It’s not the more sedate  DGA and PGA (not golf) conferences.

Those conferences are more traditional whereas I found NATPE, Streaming and VIDCON much more innovative and energetic.

Hilton MiXeR TIME

We went to the Hilton Lanai Deck.  My friend, Adrian Colon, a very funny guy and quite a producer/performer is attending the conference with me.  The Hilton deck area was on the 5th floor of the Hilton, adjacent to the Anaheim Convention Center.  The place was busy.  Reminded me of an “In and Out” Burger – so busy that it was like printing money.

We met a number of people at the Hilton Mixer – tech wizards, real estate moguls, marketing influencers and more.  A number of innovators all catering to Online Video.  Some unusual ones.  This is not the network upfronts.  This is the Individual Upfronts.  One was a doctor who deal with medical videos and teenage issues of blackheads and pimples.  He said that another doctor, Dr. Pimple Popper, has 3 million followers.  Talk about a niche.  Another was a lawyer, Shannon, who deals with funny and unusual legal cases in her videos – while in her bikini.  At least she would have the jury’s attention.

Unusual, niche, different, yes.  Profitable, quite possibly.  The other element which presents itself in the Online Video world is a sense of Freedom, self-reliance, independent direction.  A much closer alliance between a creative vision – whatever it is –  and an audience.  The networks are “Broad-casting” while many online video entrepreneurs are ‘Narrow-casting’.

FUN TIME IN THE COURTYARD

The outside courtyard areas were packed with food trucks, ferris wheel and a few stages from Awesomeness TV.

Its founder, Brian Robins,  just started up at Paramount establishing Paramount Players.  This is a take-off on the original Paramount founding group Famous Lasky Players;  know your Hollywood history folks – even if you don’t want to be part of Hollywood.  The courtyard also held a stage for musicians and a few other areas where young Millenials – a critical fan base of Online Video – could gather.  They brokeout in singing groups – nothing organized, completely organic – with some YT stars.  Fun.  I can’t imagine that happening with the other Hollywood conferences.

 

In essence, the conference is asking questions in a great new territory which continues to grow and shift with its audience.  Binge-watching was a term coined after “House of Cards” released on Netflix (renegade online video at some point) change audience behavior.

One Question asked is: “What Makes You Awesome?” really has multiple questions.   The Online Video world is different than the contrived Hollywood world in some ways – not all.  Authenticity is key.  Whereas Hollywood is the factory of making dreams by remaking people into Stars with their publicity and image building machines, Online Video is reach to the audience with your unique ideas, dreams, insights and more.  Personality drives a great deal of it with an immediate feedback connection loop.

Networks and cable wait for feedback after a season.  Online video only waits until after a video plays.  Invention and reinvention and reaction and reiteration.  

This is the place of Permanent Beta.   If you’re not sure what that means, look it up.  You not only need to know it.  You need to become it.

Now to plan tomorrow.