VidCon 2019 promised to be the best one yet with their lineup of Influencers, sponsoring brands and interactive hall of games and merchandise. The annual social media influencing convention taking place at the Anaheim, California Convention Center did just that. Attending the show was like walking into the movie ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet.’ You become immersed in a library of familiar brands with their connecting amusements, and of course, the reason why everyone comes – their favorite Influencers.
Google defines an Influencer as “an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience.” However, they are so much more than that. Yes, they partner the social media content with sponsors to bring brand awareness to their audience. On the other side of the coin, they are a beacon for followers to build a community together. An online community becomes a place for followers of all ages to find solace and escapism through entertainment by an Influencer who speaks directly to them. The Influencers are just the face of their entire audience from all around the world that reminds you that you are not alone and that there are people just like you.
With too many featured content creators to mention, we’ll focus on one particular session that stood out from the rest. The Saturday session called “Finding Your People” featured Kati Morton moderating for content creators, Thomas Sanders, Jessie Paege, Rebecca Zamolo and Teala Dunn. This lineup reaches across the spectrum of followers with audiences who focus on comedic content, psychological self-help, beauty through lifestyle wellness and fashion. Upon entering the session room, you would have thought it was a concert for the generation’s biggest pop stars. Everyone looked excited to see the person they connect to through their media platforms for the first and for a returning time. At one point, Zamolo even recognized one of the audience members as a follower from her early career. The Q & A answered how each of their channels began and the connections to their audience. For example, Sanders gave credit to his followers for giving his team ideas for new content. The highlight of the session was Paege’s quote that an Influencer’s audience is like the kids that they will sit with during school at lunchtime. Dunn finished the meeting stating that as an Influencer, there are many privileges but a lot of responsibilities that come with it.
VidCon was like walking onto the Las Vegas strip where every table game is free, and they give you samples, souvenirs and a photo of the fun. The large hall held activities for everyone with every kind of interest. On one side, there was online Fortnite games and a real-life Nerf gun war. In the middle, Lemonade had a ball pit with samples of their best flavors. On the far side, Nike had organized basketball games for anyone able to play. The overall aesthetic was flooding with hours of activities to do and brands leaving their impression with fun giveaways like sunglasses, clothes and candy. Outside of the building, it was even more fun with a full carnival slide, monkey bars course appropriately for the new “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” feature film and every Instagrammers dream of photo backdrops. If those sound overwhelming, it was also every food lovers heaven with food truck options for every taste. The Skyline team split up to complete opposite sides of the diet field; Some went to the BBQ, and dessert trucks and the other went to the Mediterranean bowls and Hummus options. If VidCon 2019 did one thing well, it had something for everybody who attended.
Celebrating their 10th anniversary, VidCon 2019 came and went but left a lasting impression on the attendees. The convention is a reminder of the power of Influencers through branding and unique story-telling personalities. The audience follows the content like Gatsby and the green light. It acts as an inspiration for all their hopes and dreams for the future. The brands continue to follow the lead by bringing the fun for everyone who wants to take a photo to remember their experience or want something sweet for the moment. The fun convention is welcomed back for the lasting impact it leaves on every attendee.