I was lucky to be able to catch 2 YouTube Creator days, one in Boston and one in D.C. Creator Days are events facilitated by YouTube to connect and educate creators in places around the world that don't have a YouTube spaces. Both days I attended were held on a Friday from around 9am-5pm. The timing surprised me because I'd suppose that most people who are on YouTube aren't doing it full time, meaning they probably have a job to work during those hours, but people still made it out. Both Creator Days were held in the local Google offices, and were free to attend.
The Facility & Attendance
The Boston office was huge. Throughout the day I saw themed hallways, decorated elevator doors, and even an aquarium. I also liked that the layout and naming was inspired by the T (Boston's metro), the main meeting space where the event was held met was colored for the green line and named "Boston Common". Although it was a huge space, it only filled to about one fourth of its capacity. Throughout the whole day I'd say only about 60 or so people came through.
The DC Office was smaller, or we got to see much less of it. Everything was held in one central room, and there weren't breakout sessions. However, this Creator Day was PACKED. The room was almost filled to capacity, and the YouTube staff said that this was the largest turnout they had for any creator day they've held. I believe they said 130 people were in attendance.
I preferred the Boston program because it gave an option for breakout sessions, and I actually learned some new things because they went into the business side. The Boston breakout sessions gave you the option to stay in the main room to do "Growing Your Channel", or go to another room for "Building Your Business". Since I had already watched the 10 Fundamentals & new the basics, I went to Building Your Business. There we had more back & forth discussion about revenue streams & business strategies, as well as talking CPMs and Social Bluebook (a great tool that I didn't know about prior). I think this workshop was critical in empowering creators, and I wish they had done it in DC as well.
I also liked the analytics workshop, which was given the same way at both events. It went a few layers in depth, and showed areas for comparison across metrics that I hadn't realized. At the DC creator day they had a session on collaborations, which was mostly review for me. DC also had a panel of 3 creators who all had hundreds of thousands of subscribers and were all from the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area. It was interesting to hear from locals who were particularly successful, but I didn't have as many takeaways. Again, I think the Business panel should be a main offering. You can find the agendas for both events at the end of this article.
Of course, a big draw of having a local Creator Day is to meet other creators near you. The Boston creator day had lots of people who weren't based in Massachusetts at all. There were people from New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and other places up and down the coast. The other Bostonians there who I'd be interested in working with were people I already knew (Jackie Rose and YesReneau). There were quite a few gamers in Boston, and they formed a little group pretty quickly. There were a couple people who I'd want to follow up with, but for the most part it seemed I already knew my potential Boston collaborators.
At the D.C. creator day, most everyone was local and based in the DMV. I ran into a few folks that I'd only met online, and caught up with some of my DC YouTube friends (Check out Paul & Jenny). Not to mention that there were plenty of black folks in DC while Boston was mostly white (not surprising). There were quite a few black lady bloggers who I definitely want to link up with, and there were also people there who worked with online video in media and news organizations. I had a really nice time circulating and was pleasantly surprised at how many DC vloggers there are.
The food at the Boston Creator Day was great. We were able to have lunch in the Google cafeteria, so there were plenty of options: salad bar, cooked meats, sandwiches, sides, guac & chips, and deserts, quite nice. During the "happy hour" portion they had sliders, chips, and plenty of beer & wine. In DC the lunch options were more limited (as was the happy hour booze), probably because there were more people. For lunch they had salad, pasta salad, various varieties of sandwiches, and cookies. Either way it's a free tasty lunch, so no complaints. At the DC happy hour they had some really cute cupcakes.
I would highly recommend attending one of these if you can, and I hope that YouTube continues to hold them in the future. YouTube didn't publicize it much, but I found out about it via an invitation link. Check out my recap of the Boston Creator Day in the video below. I had a lot of fun, and will certainly try to attend them in the future.