A while ago I went to VIDinc, Australia’s first official, large scale YouTube event. Some of the most prominent YouTube stars were coming down from the US to attend the event in Sydney like Jenna Marbles, Nigahiga, Tobuscus and MysteryGuitarMan. I decided to fly up from Melbourne to check it out and discover for myself what VIDinc had to offer.
VIDinc 2013 YouTube Convention – Meeting MysteryGuitarMan
When I arrived at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition centre, there was a huge line outside the entrance to the exhibition hall where VIDinc was held, reaching out along Darling Harbour for hundreds of metres. I walked past most of them on the inside of the building and no-one seemed to complain when I joined the unorganised queue shortly before the main entrance. Once I was through the main doors, I found myself in a large and very empty hall.
A few people were sitting around and a constant stream of new visitors flowed in through the main doors, but other than that, it was pretty much empty.
I soon noticed that this hall connected to the actual exhibition hall for VIDinc via a large passageway and once I passed through, I ended up right in front of the main stage for VIDinc. A large number of chairs had been set up in front of the stage and projector, but only 30% of them were taken. They were enclosed in a guarded barrier and I assume you probably had to pay extra to get ‘that’ close to the stage and be allowed to sit down. Not many people seemed to care though, most of them were simply standing around and watching the large projector screen that could be seen from anywhere.
The main hall for VIDinc soon filled with visitors. However, in terms of booths and actual things to do, I found myself doing a full circle in about 5 minutes and then I had seen everything there was to see. VIDinc mainly centred around the international YouTube stars though and for most of the time I was there, large armies of screaming fans (mostly under 20) were crowding around to the big name celebrities.
Everywhere they had set up little ‘meet & greet’ points, small tables for the YouTube stars to sit, sign autographs and meet the VIDinc visitors. Hefty prices of $25-$50 on top of your ticket price allowed you to shake your idol’s hand or get a close-up photo. I didn’t feel it was worth it, so I just walked around and took photos of the action.
It was approaching afternoon and I was keen to meet the YouTube superstar that I could most closely relate to in terms of my own YouTube channel: MysteryGuitarMan!