The ultimate idea of creating a blog or uploading a video (heck, even developing the internet) is to make connections with other people. If you really want to immerse yourself in the culture of these online communities, social media fan conventions and events have been popping up everywhere in the past few years. Think selfies galore with performances, skits, impromptu meet ups, buying merch with your favourite blogger’s face shamelessly slapped across it, panel discussions and VIP meet and greets.
Not all social media conventions have been successful. VidInc, one of the first Sydney conventions launched in 2013, hasn’t moved beyond its first event (as you can see from the site) due to overpriced tickets and poor organisation. However, don’t let that deter you because there are plenty of other options.
So whether you are new to the scene or you’ve been there since the beginning, here are a few social media events where you could rub shoulders with your favourite blogger or vlogger:
This event was hosted in Sydney just two weeks ago on Friday, 11 September at the Qantas Credit Union Area. The FanFest has gone from strength to strength, with the attendance at this year’s event at a record high. Popular attendees included Bethany Mota, Connor Franta, ||Superwoman|| (aka Lilly Singh), Jayesslee, Jenna Mourey, Kurt Scheider, Lauren Curtis, Mike Tompkins, SketchShe, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Troye Sivan and pop group Walk The Moon. Hopefully this will become an annual thing!
Click here to watch a catch-up playlist of everything that went down this year in Sydney. Also keep an eye out for the livestreams of YouTube FanFest in Indonesia on October 23 and Japan on November 18.
If you ever find yourself in Anaheim, California from anywhere between the end of June to the beginning of August, you might just be able to check out VidCon, one of the original conventions for fans of online videos. Conceived by Vlogbrothers Hank and John Green (yes, the New York Times bestselling author of ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ and ‘Paper Towns’), VidCon has been running for six years now and is the largest convention of its kind.
Perhaps what is most interesting about VidCon is that it offers something for the fans as well as media and tech companies who are interested in the power of online content. It just goes to show that times really are a-changing. Read here for a great write-up from the Huffpost.
The Streamy Awards are a great example of #TeamInternet finding themselves out in the real world and entertaining the interest of mainstream media. Streamed online exclusively for its first four years, this year the Streamys were aired on U.S. national TV for the first time on VH1. Hosted by Grace Helbig and Tyler Oakley, the event was like any other Hollywood awards show, complete with red carpet, adoring fans and glammed-up stars, albeit this time of the online variety.
Check out streamys.org to catch up on all the madness that happened and find the list of winners.
Teen Choice Awards
Ok, ok, so this isn’t technically specific to online personalities, but it’s just another example of how #TeamInternet is becoming an accepted form of entertainment media by the general public. New categories include Choice Web Star: Female, Choice Web Star: Male, Choice Web Star: Comedy, Choice Web Star: Fashion/Beauty, Choice Social Media King, Choice Social Media Queen, Choice Twit, Choice Viner, Choice Instagrammer and Choice YouTuber.
Check out the full list of 2015 winners here.
Honourable mentions: Summer In The City, BeautyCon, Playlist Live, ItaTube (Vivia Italia!), CraicCon.
What are your thoughts on fan conventions for social media personalities?