VidCon, a decade-old, fan-centric convention for online video creators, plans to hold an in-person edition of its annual event in Anaheim, CA, in the summer of 2021.
For the first time, VidCon will offer digital ticketing options, offering live streaming of fan-focused sessions and on-demand access to industry and creator workshops, panels and keynotes. California, of course, has some distance to travel in terms of COVID-19 in order for large gatherings to be held safely and legally. In 2019, the 10th annual edition at the Anaheim Convention Center was attended by 75,000 people and featured 120 exhibitors.
Along with the Southern California news, the ViacomCBS-owned VidCon introduced a rebrand and also said its virtual platform, VidCon Now, will become a year-round part of the company’s offerings.
VidCon was founded by YouTube creators John and Hank Green (known online as the Vlogbrothers) and was acquired by Viacom in 2018. In addition to his online video work, John Green has written several popular novels adapted into films, including The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns.
Like numerous other industry happenings, VidCon’s 2020 events were forced online by COVID-19. The 2020 Southern California event became a weekly virtual gathering and the company said it drew nearly one million unique attendees watching live and on demand. VidCon Now will return next week with an international lineup of speakers.
Speaking of the global outlook, the company said it is planning to hold 2021 events in Mexico City, Abu Dhabi, and Singapore, adding to existing ones in Australia and London.
“We started VidCon more than a decade ago to help strengthen and promote the explosion of creativity that was happening online. We did that by bringing together the entire ecosystem: the creators who make amazing things, the fans who love them, and the industry that supports them,” Hank Green said. “That ecosystem continues to grow and evolve beyond what we ever imagined, as has VidCon, and we’re excited to extend the magic of this event to the community no matter where they are accessing it from.”
Jim Louderback, GM of VidCon, said the appetite for VidCon Now demonstrates “the power and influence of the online creator community and the desire to connect – even when IRL isn’t an option.”
Half of the VidCon Now audience is outside of the U.S., he noted. “Our new hybrid digital and IRL model will extend VidCon’s global reach with more new ways to be informed, entertained, and inspired than ever before,” he said.
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