YouTube has come a long way since the day I first stumbled upon it. My first favourited video when YouTube launched in 2005 was of a pair of Korean girls that appeared on a Korean game show for laughs (aptly titled korean madness). Back then I had to sit at the desktop while lo-res YouTube videos slowly—and I mean slowly—loaded on our 33.6kbps dial-up modem connection. I know…we were behind. It slowly became a central hub for all the viral email chain videos going around (do these still exist?) and channels began to emerge for content-creators to get their message out there.
Today, we stream HD content across multiple devices within a single household or even on the go. There are now millions of channels that we can subscribe to for content on any particular topic or genre. Artists and comedians have been able to use avenues like YouTube to amass a huge following, catapulting them into Internet stardom. Businesses have discovered that avenues like YouTube can raise brand awareness.
YouTube sensations from across the globe and digital marketing experts were gathered for one day of madness on 18 August 2013: Boom Video presents VIDinc.
Queues for the Boom Video-sponsored YouTube festival formed early in the morning—with the line snaking out of the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre and around Darling Quarter by 10am. The event ran a little behind schedule with what seemed an understaffed event, but the enthusiasm of the crowd was not tarnished.
I admit I felt a little out-of-place in a sea of screaming teenagers. I didn’t really know who these YouTube celebrities were, but I skipped the queue and wandered over to the VIDinc PRO workshops. The workshops kicked off slowly, largely due to the workshop being strangely placed in an open area (curtains are not considered an enclosed space with noise pollution) within the VIDinc festival. Overall, once the workshops were relocated, the content was quite interesting. We heard insights on how an online presence could translate into the offline world, such as sales conversions. These workshops were more tailored to local business owners who are new to digital marketing, rather than those who want to take their existing digital marketing expertise a step further. It was strange to see many industry people attending, who I’m sure would have sat through similar industry workshops and presentations.
On the flip side, the YouTube festival was a hit with the crowds and it was great to see YouTube sensations making the effort to interact with their fans. There was some backlash to the poor organisation of the event, such as the program running behind schedule (due to overselling of meet & greet tickets) or acts held at the wrong time.
VIDinc would be well worth your money if you were a YouTube fanatic or a local business owner looking to monetise on the digital market. Pocket the cash if you’re not that into it or already in-the-know for digital marketing. VIDinc could have built it up a lot more with better organisation, but it was also their first attempt at getting a majority foreign market of YouTubers to Australia.
VIDinc and VIDinc PRO workshop entry tickets were provided courtesy of Boom Video.