Vidcon wrap: Even if you know none of these creators, you can learn from them [For businesses]

Estimated read time: 5 minutes

Video will take over the Internet, or maybe it has already. Judging by 75,000 estimated people attending Vidcon at the Anaheim Convention Center in 2019 we may already be there.

Vidcon, in its 10th year, is a video content creator conference and its by far the most unique conference I have attended.

Related podcast: How we arrived early despite being delAAYed

People show off their personalities, share stories live and I saw nobody in suite and tie! I wore shorts and a polo ? myself.

One kid went as an apology video.

Do you know so and so?

One thing is clear that there are YouTube stars I know and then there’s a bunch I’ve never heard of. And then the video community is way more than YouTube.

I was sitting in the hot tub at the Four Points by Sheraton – our hotel – when the lady sitting near me talked about some creator I’ve never heard of had such a profound impact on her son.

We reminisced how it didn’t use to be a thing that the person you talked to didn’t know all the big names out there.

Today, it’s almost impossible to know everyone creating content and impacting:

  • YouTube stars
  • TikTokers

  • Bloggers
  • Experts (aka thought leaders)
  • Regular TV personalities
  • Other celebrities
  • Social media influencers
  • Other categories I’m not currently thinking about

When I grew up 4 of those 7-plus groups didn’t even exist. And sure there’s bleed over in those groups. A thought leader can also be a blogger, for example.

Some of the takeaways from the conference and how brand and business storytellers can use them


Without a doubt, there was a lot of personality.

Some wore what other conferences would call costumes. Others were live-streaming along the way. Others were shooting their next show and looked like they were on the hunt for the next perfectly framed shot.

Some wore winter stocking hats in the 90-degree Southern California heat. But that’s their brand! Roll with it.

People could be themselves – or at least the persona they portray online.

Business takeaway:

Business storytellers can really learn from this.

  • Don’t be so stiff.
  • Have fun.
  • Some content is just entertainment. (Much of the content I saw produced was really just that)

Of course, some business storytellers will tell us that they aren’t here to entertain. True. We are here to help our audiences solve problems.

Solving problems publicly will get us search traffic and gets people to read. But show me the rule that says we can’t make it fun – at least at times.

For example, why can’t we sometimes livestream a fun dance-off – which we saw at Vidcon between two kids – maybe age 10?

Here’s really what fun content does! It drives viewership. It gives people an escape.

Of course, in this model, brands will then partner with the creators – called influencer marketing – to hawk their products to their now large audiences.

Reminder: they got those audiences because they shared fun content and were authentic – at least in regards to their persona.

Brands can do that. Share better stories. Pick some personalities within your brand and go.

Sure there are silo, politics and other process issues to work through. But it’s possible. One reason some solo influencers can and have done it is because they didn’t have to worry about all those corporate issues.

Cut the internal barriers and you can do it. Reinvest the money in some storytelling from the internal teams and syndicate appropriately.

Expo Design

I’ve been to more conferences this year than I want to admit. West Coast United States all the way to Western Europe.

And Vidcon had the funnest booths. Why not have slides and other fun booths? There were plenty of brands that had fun and interactive booths.

It seemed to work into the brand story.

Trying new networks

TikTok – short videos – seemed to be a huge network for many at Vidcon. Same with Twitch – for live streaming.

Twitch, too, and made a bang at Content Marketing World last year, too. It’s really a live-streaming service to watch video games.

TikTok is short videos. Similar to Vine, which shut down a while ago.

I’m signing up for both and am planning on trying some things.

TikTok seems to be mostly silly videos. So if your brand hops on don’t be so stiff! 🙂

Creating – just do it!

I still heard a lot of requirements needed before people can start creating.

Will this camera work?

I can’t do this without my tripod

I need my lights

Omg. Just record it. Take your iPhone and hold it in front of your face and go.

Sure, we want higher production value, but it means nothing when your content is crap.

Just start.

My 11-year-old recorded a show in her swimsuit at the hotel.

Why do we need to overthink it? Just go. That’s how you learn and grow audience.

Tools and mobile content creation

One of my favorite sessions was about iPhone video and editing.

The presenter shot video right there and then edited live for us.

I downloaded Adobe Premiere Rush after this session. It allows me to edit on my phone and appears to be super easy.

You get 3 free exports of projects and after that it’s $9.99/month, which isn’t bad at all if you use it all the time to edit.

One thing I love about it is that you can just do a quick edit on your phone.

Most recently, I would shoot footage and then dump it back to a video editor using Basecamp or Google Drive. Sometimes those uploads took a while.

I wonder if just editing myself might be more efficient. I’ll give it a try. On a first test project it seemed easy enough.

You can also import still pictures and use them in your video edit.

Music and transitions seemed easy to add.


My first Vidcon was interesting and a good learning experience.

It was also a good reminder that it’s hard to learn new things or report on things when never leaving the office. I would have not been able to file this sitting by the pool in Iowa watching the Twitter feed!

Here’s to everyone moving our brand storytelling forward in a fun and personal way.