VIDinc was sponsored byBoom Video, an Australian based YouTube network that I am part of. They had a separate booth at VIDinc and besides featuring some local talent, they had MysteryGuitarMan rock up at the booth around early afternoon to do his meet & greet there.
A queue quickly formed in front of the Boom both and at first I assumed that you needed a special (upgraded $$$) ticket to say hello, but I saw lots of people line up and no-one seemed to check any special ticket privileges so I took a shot and lined up as well.
And what do you know, it took a little while to get to the front of the line, but no-one checked my ticket and I got a photo with MysteryGuitarMan himself. Joe Penna was very energetic and friendly in person and by far the biggest YouTube personally I have met so far. I am not much of a star-struck person, but it was cool meeting him in person and saying hello.
Next on my list:freddiew, Andrew Kramer and Ryan Connolly!
After I met MysteryGuitarMan I felt I had run out of things to do. I had seen the handful of booths they had at VIDinc, ran into a few local YouTubers I recognised and seen a few performances at the main stage. Also, given how much empty space there was in the exhibition hall, lots and lots of people kept swarming in and at times it was a bit of a shoulder-to-shoulder push to get from A to B.
One performer I thought was terrific live wasPaint! I hadn't heard of him before then (did I mention I am not much of a star-struck person), but he was a great singer, musician and all around just hilarious on stage. I ended up checking out some more of his funny videos once I got back home - he is worth checking out
Going back to the empty entrance hall I noticed that large queues were forming in front of a makeshift black draped wall. The queues were hundreds of people long and were zig-zagging through the entire hall!
I didn't bother to line up, but just walked along the side of the queue just to find out who the huge line was for. Turned out it wasRyan Higa. I found out later that apparently another queue lead behind the black curtains where Jenna Marbles was doing her meet & greet, but I didn't even get to see her from any of the publicly accessible areas.
Overall, VIDinc wasn't a bad event, I just think that unless you were going to mainly see YouTube celebrities or meet your online idol, there was surprisingly little to do. A handful of booths (Boom, a frozen yoghurt place, some comic merchandise, T-shirts, one film school and one dance school) and the main stage and that was it. The main stage had some decent performances, but I felt spending more than an hour or two at VIDinc was probably a bit too much time - again, unless you were there to just hang out with mates or meet the stars.
It was nice though to see that Australia could actually attract such big names in the YouTube world and I am curious to see how VIDinc will shape up next year. Given it was the first of its kind in Autralia I hope to see a bigger and better organised event and will surely keep an eye out for the dates in 2014! Whether it'll be worth the trip from Melbourne to Sydney again remains to be seen.