I’ve been to two conventions in August, Craic Con and Summer In The City (SitC). Were they worth the time, money and effort? Let’s talk pros & cons
Networking. They are a fantastic place to network, now we’re not talking formal exchange of business cards here. When I was going to CraicCon, I was already part of the Irish YouTuber group and I was already chatting quite a few people. I knew who was going to be there and I made a mental note to get chatting the people that had the same interests as myself and I thought I would get on with. So do your research and get to know who you want to chat to. You want to make friends, chat about what you’re experiencing, general sort of stuff. It’s all about the shared experience and learning from each other. It was great to finally meet the people I’ve been chatting to online! So get to know each other on twitter, commenting on blogs and videos, or even a bit of snapchat!
Learning. Both were great learning experiences. CraicCon was on for a day, so in there was a panel with a few of the better known YouTubers and then a workshop on how to collab with other YouTubers. SitC was a better on this front, it had a Creators day, which I found so useful, I now understand google analytics much better, which in turn has helped me understand my blog analytics. It has also helped me understand my audience and how to give you more of what you want, which still enjoying what I’m doing! I also attended workshops on the technical side of things, so lighting etc and another one on vlogging, so I’ve a better idea on that!
Inspiration. I have come away so inspired, both from the people I’ve met and the panels and workshops I attended. As I’ve learnt so much from it, I have a better idea of what I want to do and how I intend to do it! I heard the great Lead With Awesome line for the first time, it pops in my head every time I go to record now!
Confidence. My confidence in what I’m doing has been given a bit of a boost. I know I’m on the right path and that my content is good, it just needs a bit of tweaking to improve the quality.
Crowds. At SitC in particular, there were huge amounts of people on the Saturday and Sunday. The Creators day on the Friday was quite quiet by comparison and great for strolling about and attending the panels you wanted to attend. Saturday there were just so many subscribers there and parents with some of the younger subscribers, it all got a bit overwhelming and I was thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day! I wasn’t even doing a meet & greet, I’d say they would be seriously tiring.
Couldn’t Attend All The Panels. This is tied to the crowds. I was only there on Friday and Saturday at SitC. On Friday I had no issues attending the panels I wanted to – unless they were scheduled at the same time. On Saturday as there were lots of subscribers there, wanting to attend the panels of their favourite YouTubers, so there were huge queues at some of the panels I really wanted to attend. Sadly as I was attending other panels, I couldn’t queue for an hour to attend the next panel. So I missed out on some really useful panels because of the huge crowds of subscribers. I think maybe SitC should maybe consider having another creators day for some of these panels maybe? I thought it was great that the subscribers got to go and learn lots and maybe be inspired to start their own channels.
Cost. It can get expensive attending these things. We flew home to attend CraicCon, so that’s flights, accommodation and food for the weekend. The tickets for CraicCon was only €5, so a bit of a bargain. For SitC we had trains for both of us for two days, food and the tickets were more expensive, so £133.50 for two weekend tickets. So be aware, it’s not cheap and I’d recommend saving!
Not Enough Networking. At SitC it was quite hard to meet new people and other YouTubers. The space was pretty huge so on Creators day everyone was spread out and going to lots of panels. So there was no real space to get together and meet other YouTubers that may be in a similar field to you or any time to actually do that either. Which was a massive shame as one of the best things about CraicCon was the chats! We all mingled and there was plenty of cross over between channel types and we all hung out and got to know each other. I know it’s hard when there’s lots going on, but it would’ve been nice to have somewhere to do that.
So those are my pros and cons, overall I definitely think they were both worth it! I will be attending both again next year and cannot wait! I would love to get to VidCon next year, I have it as a goal, so you never know 😉