Jim Louderback on the evolution of VidCon

Aside from the most obvious difference from last year's event (more delegates), the 2016 conference will focus more attention on education.
June 22, 2016

On the eve of the largest online video conference, it’s hard for Jim Louderback to describe the energy inside the Anaheim Convention Center — but he tries anyway.

“It’s like this bustling, crazy Mecca of talent, plus business, plus education. It’s everything,” the VidCon editorial director told StreamDaily.

It’s natural that Louderback is feeling a little overwhelmed. The seventh annual VidCon — a three-day conference (June 23-25) devoted to all-things online video — is about to open its doors to some 25,000 delegates for an extended weekend of networking, panels and meetings and selfies with the mega-stars of YouTube.

Of those guests, some 3,000 will be from the “industry” side of online video (buyers, brands, tech companies); 5,000 will be creators and the remaining 17,000 are fans, all of them clamoring to get the attention of online favorites like Lilly Singh, Cassey Ho and Thomas Sanders.

Aside from the most obvious difference from last year’s event — more delegates — Louderback said the conference this year will focus more on education than it has in the past.

“We’ve always had a lot of opportunities for education – master classes (and)workshops – but we’ve wanted to include even more of that this year. Not just for creators, but (also) for the brands and the businesses, too.”

Among the workshops are comedy writing, special effects and technical lessons, like lighting. On the business side, Louderback said there will be more than 20 seminars on matters ranging from monetization to marketing.

Louderback said many of the sessions will also focus on stripping down the elements that go into online videos. He used a panel with YouTube comedian Lilly Singh as an example:

“People see Lilly, but they don’t see all the crew and all the effort that goes into her videos. So the panel will feature all the other people on Lilly’s team — who help with writing, tech stuff, directing, art. The idea is bringing all of these people together so that fans, as well as aspiring creators, can understand what the process is like.”

On top of the sessions, there will be several new areas on the conference floor to reflect the most popular online verticals.

Some of the new “tracks” — VidCon’s word for concentrated sections of the conference dedicated to a particular vertical or subject — include two contrasting, but equally exciting genres: gaming and beauty.

“We’ve seen a lot of growth in gaming this year, through live-streams, platforms like Twitch, and a bunch of new creators,” said Louderback. “We base our tracks around what creators have managed to build online communities around, because this is really all about community.”

StreamDaily’s editorial team will be on the ground delivering live updates and daily news from VidCon. To arrange a meeting with Darah or Bree, please do so through email. You can follow StreamDaily on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates.

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