Vidcon Europe 2017

If you follow my social media or subscribe to my YouTube channel (you totally should if you haven't already ;) then you're probably well acquainted with the fact that I went to Vidcon and possibly want me to shut up about! If that is the case, this probably isn't the post for you but for anyone who may not be as familiar with it and those that are interested in hearing about the weekend and all the highlights, here is a post for you (and one I'm sure I'll frequently return to)!

So first of all (unapologetic self plug), I vlogged the whole weekend, which you can see in three long, chatty videos below. I filmed a lot of footage from Q&As, panels and performances that I wanted to keep in to watch back but if you aren't interested in watching those bits, you can skip as you wish.

Jack Maynard Creator Chat

Talking to Jack for an hour, along with 11 other creators was such an incredible experience. It was great to talk to people from different backgrounds, with different size and types of channels, and of course to the man himself, Jack Maynard. He was as funny, relaxed and generally nice as in his videos, which was great to see, making the chat a lot more comfortable and enjoyable. Not only were we able to discuss his content and YouTube experience but he also took the time to find out about ours, allowing us to chat through all things YouTube! It was lovely to be able to hear from other smallish creators and I've since found a few of them to watch.

Meeting YouTubers: Saffron Barker, Anastasia (Floral Princess) and Evan Edinger

A noticeable thing about Vidcon and the YouTubers there was their down to earth, friendly attitude. From my experience seeing them on stage, in Q&As and in a smaller, more direct setting, there wasn't the feeling that they were on a higher pedestal than everybody else, we were all there to experience Vidcon together and learn from each other. As nerve-wracking as it would be going up to people you watch regularly, they would have a normal conversation with you, reminding you how human they are and that they've just done great things through hard work and dedication, which is great motivation for a small creator. On a more specific level, Saffron and Anastasia were so lovely and spoke to us for a lot longer than I expected (If you watched my second vlog (above), you'll have seen them feature), Saffron was so bubbly when talking to my vlog and was really supportive about it when I mentioned not having as much confidence, which was amazing to hear! They both also gave great hugs! I loved meeting them together as I actually found them both at the same time in a collab and have since loved their videos, watching every single one of Saffron's vlogs! The only frustrating thing was me not telling them any of that as I was concentrating so hard on not coming across as a fangirl that I just didn't mention their videos at all. They both looked amazing and I had a great time talking to them about Vidcon and what it had to offer. Evan was also really lovely to talk to although I felt more awkward as I didn't want to miss the opportunity to meet him so kind of stood awkwardly listening to him to talk to someone else so I could then just say hi, although after talking for a bit, he suddenly directed the conversation my way, catching me off guard so I had no real idea what to say and kind of stumbled over my words, although I did manage to get something audible out. After chatting for a bit, he then hugged us and left, leaving me annoyed by my awkwardness but happy that I'd actually gone over and wouldn't regret having not done it for ages afterwards.

Panels

Every panel we attended was not only incredibly informative and helpful (although a couple weren't necessarily relevant to our channels), but also entertaining and made for a great way to spend the hour. It was such a lovely way to hear from various big YouTubers, many of which I watch on a regular basis, to get their experience and have the opportunity to ask them questions. The small venue for each of these made it a lot more intimate and inviting rather than having a large Q&A among hundreds of people. Even the community events seemed smaller and more chilled than I expected or have seen in videos from the American conventions, which was really lovely and made things more enjoyable, particularly as it felt a lot easier and more comfortable for someone who doesn't cope well with large crowds!

Keynote

The keynote speeches and performance were brilliant! They made the perfect end to such a busy, informative, fun day and summed everything up nicely. Hearing in short from a number of creators as well as watching a few performances was great. My favourite moment being Jon Cozart's speech, which experienced technical difficulties but actually made the whole thing hilarious as he was able to be himself and make witty, dry comments that had me in stitches and unable to hold the camera still for long- if you haven't seen that yet, it's in my second vlog and is well worth a watch! Mamrie and Hannah Hart presented the event and were as funny and entertaining as in their videos- making me crack up between each speech. All in all, I had such a wonderful time and felt like I'd been to see a comedy show with added performances and information all relevant to me and my interests. We also got to hang out in the lounge and enjoy some food for a little while after, which was a nice wrap up for day one.

Vlogging Freely 

Being surrounded by people all with one common interest was such a wonderful feeling and helped make things so much more comfortable and exciting. I love vlogging and having those videos to look back on in the future but I'm not very confident in talking to a camera in front of other people, especially in a public setting where anybody could see but it was a much smaller concern in Amsterdam, and at Vidcon in particular, as so many other people were doing a similar thing. It normalised it and made it easy to just whip out the camera and chat freely. I loved that feeling and really hope it doesn't disappear altogether now I'm back!

Final Show

The final show on Sunday was everything I'd hoped it would be and more! We were able to watch YouTubers do the sorts of things we normally see in videos in a much closer, better setting. It had me laughing no end of times as well as just grinning away for the rest of it. A highlight from the show was Jon Cozart singing 'After Ever After' which I absolutely adore and frequently sing in place of the classic versions as well as his 'YouTube culture' song, which I'd not heard before but loved and found incredibly funny, with plenty of home truths regarding YouTube. The whole show made the perfect ending for Vidcon and had so many notable moments!

Booking

Not directly related to Vidcon but the whole weekend was booked individually ie. event tickets, plane tickets and airbnb all booked separately but it actually worked out! Having never been away without a parent or guardian before apart from when staying with my friend and therefore not needing to book accommodation or anything, it was not easy to book everything and make sure it all worked out but somehow it did. I'd also kept in touch with the airbnb host to make sure everything would be okay and find out as much as I needed to about our trip before hand, which helped make things easier. Although we got ripped off by the taxi, we made it to the bnb relatively problem free and I'm happy we did actually manage to get in a taxi and make it there quite quickly. It also taught me several lessons, including not identifying yourself as a new tourist in the area, as well as the fact that ubers are a better option (I'd never got an uber before and had no idea how it worked or where they had them so I never thought it would be an option for getting to our accommodation). Plus, I think I handled the taxi situation well as I made it clear I'd texted both my parents and the host to let them know we were on our way and I had my location in case anything happened (I think Cally also did) and although we should have got a different taxi, we had no idea where we needed to go and would have had the same thing happen in any taxi as soon as they knew we'd not been before. I had really wanted to challenge the price but didn't want an argument with a stranger so late at night when all our stuff was in the back of the car and he knew where we were staying- sometimes paying is just the best option. Nevertheless, we got there okay and ended up in a nice bnb close to the centre, even if it had a lot of narrow, steep stairs!

Kim and Cally

To have spent the weekend with two friends that I didn't know 6 months ago is so crazy to me. Looking at the start of uni to now... to have formed those friendships and to have shared the Vidcon experience with them is amazing and I hope we have more things like this in the future.

Thank you for reading this lengthy, chatty post, I hope you enjoyed hearing about my Vidcon weekend! Don't forget you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to see when I upload and to have a look at my Vidcon vlogs. After this post, the Vidcon mentions will stop (most probably) but I had such an incredible, motivational weekend that I wanted to put it all into written words, highlighting some of my favourite moments. If you enjoyed this post and want to see more from me, you can follow my social media links in the top right-hand corner to see when I next upload.

Love, Steph x

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