VidCon promises to be a hectic few of days, especially if you’re in the industry. It can be hard to pick and choose from the convention’s compelling panels and successful YouTubers appearing left and right, not to mention the concerts and screenings. To help you sort through the mix of activities at VidCon (and provide hopefully a bit of direction), here are some of our don’t-miss picks for 2014:
“How My Business Works”: Don’t miss Burnie Burns, CEO and founder of Rooster Teeth, speak about the method behind the gaming madness that is his independent and YouTube-fueled platform. For some key insight into a company that hardly gets the buzz its billion views per month deserve, come listen to the guy finally spill at 9:30am in the ballroom.
Hank Green & Jeffrey Katzenberg: Stick around after Burns to see VidCon founder and DreamWorks Animation honcho talk it out about online video and YouTube.
“Starting Your Own Studio”: We listen to their weekly podcast, “Ear Biscuits,” in which Rhett & Link interview YouTube stars on their rise to success on the video platform. Now, you can watch as the tables turn and these creative partners sit in the hot seat, answering questions along with Benny & Rafi Fine (better known as the Fine Brothers) and Henry Reich of Minute Physics on building up independent studios and starting a business. Hank Green, VidCon organizer and Vlogbrother, will moderate this panel in room 304 from 11:15am to 12pm.
“Platform Overload”: VideoInk’s own Jocelyn Johnson will talk “Platform Overload” with the higher-ups at platforms like Yahoo, Facebook, Rooster Teeth, Vine and Vimeo (oh, and iJustine on behalf of herself). These platform masters should definitely provide a unique (and privileged) look at how to handle reaching audiences through Vine, Facebook, YouTube, Google, Tumblr, etc., etc…from 3pm to 3:45pm in room 304.
Susan Wojcicki Keynote: Make your way over to the ballroom at 4pm to watch the CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, make her debut appearance at VidCon. You can’t miss the woman behind the ‘Tube unveiling new products and initiatives geared towards helping creators master the video platform.
“The End of Net Neutrality”: Or is it? This hot-button issue has made a splash at the FCC and come up in passive-aggressive tactics used in a feud between Netflix and Verizon. Now you can see what those truly effected by the “end of net neutrality” have to say during an hour-long panel beginning at 11am in room 208, moderated by VideoInk’s Sahil Patel.
“Intentional Virality”: Can someone truly plan for their digital video to go viral? Moderated by Kevin Winston, CEO and founder of Digital LA, the panel entitled “Intentional Virality” asks this question of the powers that be at Mental Floss, Inc. and Corridor Digital along with a few creators who’ve managed to attain the viral video. Check out the conversation at 12:30pm in room 209.
The Green Brothers: In the wake of “The Fault in Our Stars” big screen debut, take advantage of John Green’s appearance (with his Vlogbrother, Hank) in the ballroom at 5pm for a Q&A session. Maybe something he or Hank says will reveal the key to enchanting teens everywhere. And, if you have yet to actually catch the major flick, Fullscreen’s VidCon movie nights will host a screening Saturday at 7:30pm on the third floor ballroom.
AwesomenessTV Festival: At 6:30pm on Friday, the Grand Plaza hosts more performers than it would be efficient to list, thanks to Awesomeness TV. Some standouts include Jennxpenn and the wildly popular Cimorelli sisters.
The Kia Mainstage: From 9pm to midnight, venture over to the mainstage to see a variety show-type performance featuring the musical stylings of Voxel, The Gregory Brothers, and We the Kings, to name a few. The idea that these musical YouTube sensations can represent such an impressive array of genres in a mere three hours should be enough to draw you in.
“Diversity on YouTube”: At 12:30pm, find out what Glozell Green, Lilly Singh (Superwoman), Jimmy Wong, Joe Penna (MysterGuitarMan), Jessica Flakes (MalfoyIsOurKing), Andre Meadows (Black Nerd Comedy), and HartBeat all have in common in room 202. For some context, check out what Flakes had to say about last year’s VidCon and race representation (wait just under two minutes in for her to deliver the hard-hitting point).
“The Fault in Our Stars”: Then there’s that 7:30pm “The Fault in Our Stars” screening mentioned earlier, which takes place on the third floor ballroom, if you feel like you haven’t gotten a chance to experience what all the hype is about.
Finally, wrap your VidCon up with the official prom celebration. Perhaps you missed your prom and this is your last shot to live up the famous right of passage. Or maybe you’ll just need a chance to unwind after the past few days’ festivities while getting in your goodbyes to everyone you met (or met again) at this year’s VidCon.