Fiona and I went to Vidcon Europe over the weekend of 8/9 April. It was at the RAI in Amsterdam, nice and close, so why not. We watched some panels, hung around in the lounge, and spent a lot of time queueing for the Meet & Greet sessions. We had four lines up, and Fiona got to have chats with Emma Blackery (who was really ill that day, but still put in a brave appearance), sWooZie (very chill), MatPat and Stephanie of the Game Theorists (hugely adored by their fans; a woman in line just ahead of us was in tears of excitement at meeting them.)
We got there early enough on the first day that there was no queue for the giant hamster ball inflatable thing, so we did that as well. Fiona made some new friends while drawing on the fan wall, and while we were waiting in lines. I enjoyed myself, but I was mostly there in my Con Dad persona (covering conferences now as well as concerts). It was interesting to watch lots of people wandering around vlogging themselves, talking into cameras, sometimes with a little entourage. Overall, though, the main impression I had was: where are all the people? The RAI is a huge venue, and the vast hangar-like space of the Europahal felt under-used and empty most of the time. Even for the headline sessions with big YouTube names, half of the seats in front of the main stage were unoccupied. My estimate is that there were maybe 2-3,000 attendees, which seems really low to be using a venue of that size. By contrast, the main Vidcon in LA pulled in around 25,000 people last year. I’ll be curious to see if they try again next year.