As sad as we are to say goodbye to VidCon LDN for this year we had an amazing time learning new things through Industry and Creator talks and panels, meeting new people as passionate about online content as us, and making videos with some very exciting creators (keep an eye on our brand new baby YouTube channel for those!). Now that VidCon madness is all but a happy memory, it’s time for us to sit down and reflect on this wild experience. Here are a few takeaways our Papercup team walked away from VidCon with:

1. The Expo Hall is your best friend - both as a fan and a creator

If you weren’t lucky enough in the lottery to have a meet and greet with your favourite creator, head to the Expo Hall. Even those featured creators with planned meet and greets held impromptu sessions at their booths and there were some big names like TheOdd1sOut, TheAMaazing, KickThePJ and Tana Mongeau just casually walking around. If you’re a creator, you may think that the Creator Track area is the best place for you to spend most of your time at VidCon but the Expo Hall has some great resources too. Margarita and I explored the YouTube stall and we got to make a channel trailer, slow-motion dance video and take a cute picture (see below!) all for free! Also, you can have your own fan moment if you bump into another creator.

Margarita and I taking full advantage of the YouTube stall in the Expo Hall!

2. It’s all about courage!

While roaming around the Creator and Industry tracks we met so many people who were super friendly and willing to not only chat about their life as creators, or the YouTube algorithm but also about what their favourite ice cream flavours were and what they thought about Parasite (Disclaimer: if you haven’t seen it, go watch it. It’s worth it!). Yet none of these conversations would have happened without the courage to go up and talk to random strangers. The great thing about VidCon is that everyone is there to meet people, network and share their experience so it’s a safe and comfortable environment to step outside of your comfort zone a little and connect with interesting people.

3. YouTube is not the only way to share online video (and make money) anymore

Here’s a takeaway from our CEO who also had the opportunity to be a part of a panel this year at VidCon:

“The pressure to build an outsized audience on YouTube is dwindling. It used to be the case that Adsense was virtually the only method of monetisation, though that has changed thanks to sponsorships, influencer marketing, merchandising and membership services like Patreon. More interesting to note is because there are alternative methods for generating revenue, creators can focus on more niche audiences that are highly engaged (and then monetise) rather than relying on reaching millions in order to generate meaningful revenue via Adsense.”

4. Reaching younger generations is hard, but not impossible

I was lucky enough to go to the Industry talks on Friday where I gained some valuable insights into content creation and social media marketing. My personal favourite was ‘The Hype is Over! How to Successfully Target and Reach Gen Z’ which was a panel featuring renowned experts in marketing and social media content. Timothy Armoo, CEO of Fanbytes, shared some of the companies he gets inspiration from, such as Glossier and SKII, and he explained ways in which you can pull inspiration from outside your target market. So if you plan on attending VidCon next year through the Industry and Creator tracks, make sure to pop into a session or two. We’re sure you’ll be able to learn a bunch from it.

5. If you’re a company hosting a giveaway - don’t give away a drone!

This one is kind of a joke but this year there were 3 companies giving away a DJI Mavic Mini (one of which was us!). Congrats to our winner Ndubuisi from Word On The Curb 🎉If you are a small startup and you’re trying to get noticed or start a conversation, it’s probably worth spending a little more time thinking outside of the box for what you choose to be your giveaway prize.