This Friday I met Beth at the ExCel centre to visit the largest YouTube convention in the UK, Summer in the City. We bought tickets for the Creator Day, where workshops and panels were designed specifically for those who create YouTube videos of any genre and have a channel big or small.
We had booked onto five talks throughout the day starting with a self shooting workshop where we learnt basic camera skills including aperture, ISO and white balance. It was very informative however more suited to those who create stationary videos. I did however learn some great tips such as putting things that relate to your video in the background.
Our next talk was a presentation by a communications manager from YouTube, discussing how to manage the media and PR opportunities. It was extremely useful and discussed appropriate ways to contact journalists and how to develop a media profile. This includes your ability to comment on current news and hot topics that make you more significant in the media. For example, approaching a journalist to comment on Summer In the City is a perfect opportunity to intersect with a relevant event that you have a reputable opinion on.
It was also pointed out that it is best to break it down and compare with examples they will understand. Such as comparing your active subscribers to the number of views a popular TV programmes receives.
We were also encouraged to over emphasise our professionalism. As bloggers or Youtube creators, it can be hard to be taken seriously with the media. However we have to remember that we are a brand and are creating a business for ourselves by choosing to publish our work.
We quickly grabbed some lunch from the food hall before joining a session called ‘How to Vlog’. It was a great session and there were some great points that were very reassuring. You don’t have to be consistent with your videos overnight, it is much better to experiment and find yourself rather than following a trend. Remember to sit naturally and talk like you would to a friend but do be animated, apparently the camera subtracts 20% of your enthusiasm! He also gave advice such as avoiding introductions. Start off with why your video is awesome and get to the point.
Next up we went to a panel on networks where various YouTubers including Evan Edinger, Jamie Jo and Niki Albon. Discussed the pros and cons of getting a network or agency. This was something I hadn’t put much thought into for upcoming videos and so it was very helpful although slightly daunting to hear successful YouTubers’ stories and advice. It seemed that networks are relevant for those who either don’t have the time to approach and negotiate with brands or who aren’t particularly bothered by the amount of money they are earning through YouTube. Coming away from the session I felt that an agency had better prospects but the best way to gain partnership deals is to contact a brand yourself and avoid commissions.
Our last session of the day was called ‘How to win fans and influence people’. We went into the room excited to find out the best ways of gaining views and subscribers however the session ended up being more about how to keep and interact with the fans you already have. Many people in the audience picked up on this so it was slightly disappointing. I picked up on a few key points such as the idea of using fan submitted content in your videos and remembering to consider the shareability of your content however it wasn’t the best session.
The rest of the event was set in a large exhibition space that contained a few fairground rides and stalls. It wasn’t as big or impressive as Beth or I had imagined but we wondered around looking at various merchandise. I suspect it would have been much more of an atmosphere during the weekend event where over 10,000 visitors came along.
It was a useful day with a variety of workshops however as a beginner to YouTube, I felt that the day was mostly aimed at creators with a large following whose style is to vlog in the same spot such as beauty tutorials and gaming. I would go again next year but would avoid the creator day and instead would go to network with other YouTubers and attend more appropriate sessions.