Bigger. That’s the only word I could use to describe VidCon 2014 right now. The first thing that will catch your eye is the huge banner on the convention center; that is definitely new. And this year the population has grown from 14,000 to over 18,000 attendees. They have literally surpassed my hometown of Maumee, OH in size. This is just mind boggling.
The first year I came to VidCon was 2012 and I didn’t arrive until Thursday. Just a couple short years ago, Wednesday was the super secret day you arrived if you wanted to have a quiet, personal evening with some of the stars as they arrived. Well, the secret is out. The crowds today weren’t wall to wall, but it wasn’t a non-event day either. Especially with AwesomenessTV kicking things off with the only non-registration event, a festival from 6-9pm outside with live music and some amazing food trucks.
Registration was open and smoother today than I’ve ever seen it. VidCon did a great job of spreading out the lines for passes, using QR codes to speed up the process and there was little to no wait for everyone. What a stark comparison to last year when the main lobby of the convention center was the only place for everyone and jam packed with VidConners all in line for a pass.
The program is definitely bigger this year, both in physical size and in scope. VidCon has added a ton more Q&As and signings to get in touch with your favorite stars. They’ve also added a movie night, courtesy of Fullscreen, which is a great opportunity to see 'The Fault in Our Stars', the movie based on VidCon co-founder John Green’s book by the same name. The Expo hall looks to be as jam packed as ever with booths, brought to you by the more than 41 sponsors at this year’s event. There even appears to be Quidditch and of course the annual game of record breaking Ninja, run by Philip DeFranco.
Although the cost associated with going to VidCon is a little bigger this year as well, which has prevented a lot of familiar faces from coming, it hasn’t slowed the growth of this massive online video conference. My in-depth coverage of the event starts off tomorrow with the first of two industry days that look to shed some light on where we’ve been as an industry, where we’re going and how we can work together to shape the industry into more than just an entertainment platform.