I was so excited from VidCon that immediately afterwards I signed up for the next video convention that I could. That convention was Playlist Live D.C. It was only a month after VidCon so I was still riding that high when I arrived in D.C. Playlist D.C. made me realize that the Green brothers over at VidCon do a wicked good job. Like really outstanding.
Not to say that Playlist D.C. was definitively worse, it just catered to a different audience. And that audience was white girls 5 to 10 years younger than myself. Fangirls were everywhere. Rarely did I see anyone who looked my age; therefore I didn't have many people to engage with. I missed the VidCon creator floor. Luckily I went with a couple of D.C. YouTube friends, so I had folks to hang with and it was really nice being able to catch up with them.
The panels were a mixed bag. I really enjoyed the "Community Unite" panel, where people with smaller YouTube channels talked about their experience. I thought the panel was well chosen and well facilitated; my friend Jenny (link) was one of the panelists! I had heard complaints of VidCon's past that there had been people queuing for panels for a star creator rather than the subject matter, or to get in the room early, and there was a lot of that at Playlist. There were some panels I didn't connect with because the panelists were high schoolers I had never heard of, or discussed things on the superficial side. The questions from the audience reflected this. One girl's question to Ricky Dillon was "why aren't you following [her username] on twitter?" He followed her. She freaked out. I had barely heard of this guy.
I did really enjoy the sessions that were "workshops", and this is an area where Playlist had a solid win over VidCon. VidCon's workshops were really just panels for the most part. At Playlist, workshops were discussions. The leaders of the discussions would throw up the channels from people in the audience and discuss, pros, cons, and what they could improve as it related to the workshop topic. There were break out groups of manageable sizes.
Playlist was fairly small. I think they wanted to sell 5,000 tickets but didn't, which is why they moved to the Marriott from the convention center (which wound up having book fair that was poppin). That was fine with me, because it meant there was plenty of space in the venue, which meant no claustrophobia and more of a chance to see the people I was interested in. Since most of the attendees were distracted by younger stars and cute boys, I got to see and chat with my faves in nearly empty mezzanines and stand right next to their concert stages. I was very excited to see Megan Tonjes, Tessa Violet, and Hartbeat. I caught up with Nathan Zed as he was casually chilling near an escalator. I couldn't believe these people weren't being swarmed - kids these days must be into other things. At 22, I'm not used to feeling old, but there I definitely felt it.
I had fun at Playlist D.C. and I'm glad I went, especially since its in my hometown. Rolling with my D.C. YouTube crew was great and I got to meet some of their friends & connect with creators that way. But overall, it's not my style. It caters to a different demographic so there aren't as many other creators for me to connect with, or people there for the same reasons I am. Playlist Orlando may have a different feel, especially since there is more "Community Unite" programming and it seems to attract a larger demographic, but until I can save up the cash to spring for 2 conventions in a year, I'll see you in Anaheim.