Since our first year in 2010, VidCon has had two separate tracks, community and industry. This stems from my desire (this is Hank typing) to have the conference serve two separate and important needs:
- John and I had done a lot of community gatherings and wanted to take that to a new (and much bigger) level. Though we didn’t anticipate how big it would get, we knew that this was extremely valuable for us as creators. Getting to interact IRL with our audience (although, unfortunately, just a portion of it) helped us create better content, was extremely inspiring, and was also quite a lot of fun for them.
- Online video is an industry, and the people who do it need an opportunity to get together to discuss how they do it and how to do it better. We figured, since everyone would be getting together for VidCon anyway, we should also make it an opportunity to have these conversations. Whether we’re talking about social media strategy, video editing software, how to handle copyright claims, what fair use is, or whether we’re doing our taxes properly…there’s a lot we can learn from each other.
Because these are two fairly different things, we figured we should divide them up into tracks. There’s also the added advantage of being able to charge the industry people more money (because they’re getting more value) to help keep the cost down for everyone else. So, that’s what’s up with the two tracks. I hope that makes sense.
Of course, we’re aware that online video isn’t like traditional media, and the line between creator and consumer is fuzzy…even nonexistant sometimes.. And so much of the “community” content is focused on creators. Whether it’s sessions on coming up with good video ideas, how to edit a jump cut, or putting together a home studio for cheap, that stuff (and tons more) will be available to all attendees.
The industry track focuses on how the landscape of online video is changing, how different creators are successfully turning their endeavors into businesses, and what the future holds for this industry. How to raise money from angel investors, how to distribute your content to mobile and iTV devices, what role networks play in online video, and innovative new ways to grow your audience are topics that fall into the industry track.
Of course, the line will always be blurry, but we try to err on the side of making content available to all when we aren’t sure.
This year, the industry track will have it’s own day on Thursday, August 1st, and then continue throughout the conference. The community track will be occur on the 2nd and 3rd.