To celebrate the hottest YouTubers, 18,000 fans went to Vidcon 2014 in Anaheim, California, this weekend that felt like Comic-Con for teens. To take you there, we captured photo and video moments with Dan and Phil, Chelsea Briggs (Hollywire) interview with Lia Marie Johnson (star in Nickelodeon movie “Terry the Tomboy”), Shira Lazar (What’s Trending) interview with Colleen Ballinger (PsychoSoprano), plus some random fun in and outside the convention hall.
We found out that the Dan and Phil (DanIsNotOnFire) signing (which was really take a selfie with these YouTube stars) line had started at 2:00am, and was cut off at a certain point. When we interviewed a 14-yr-old fan named Katie next to the line, she told us, “I’m waiting for 3 hours for Mitchell Davis (YouTube LiveLavaLive), and fantasizing looking at Dan and Phil because I couldn’t make it and I’m going to take a selfie with them before they leave I hope.”
When asked about the overall event, Katie added, “Vidcon is one of the most greatest things that happened to me this year. I never thought this was actually going to happen. I met a couple of YouTubers and a Viner and it was amazing, I cried.”
During an onstage interview, Hollywire Host Chelsea Briggs asked YouTube star Lia Marie Johnson what it felt like to be in the new movie, “Terri Tomboy” that just premiered on Nickelodeon. With a big smile, Lia shared, “It was awesome, just so many people told me they were going to watch it before it came out…When it was finally airing and I was live tweeting, it was a really weird feeling that you knew so many people around the world were watching it and you were watching yourself on TV, and I was alone in my bedroom.”
Our next stop was the packed What’s Trending Samsung Studio, where there were live interviews. When What’s Trending Host Shira Lazar asked YouTube star Colleen Ballinger about her type, she said, “I love attractive boys on YouTube. I love when they have a sense of fashion, when they can help you go shopping, when they can do my hair…they have to be famous, they have to be attractive because we have to be on the same level.”
When Shira asked if she was seeing anyone, Colleen confessed, “Ricky Dillon is my boyfriend,….I actually just today decided Lohanthony and I are dating,… I have lots of different boyfriends. Tyler Oakley is a really good boyfriend.” When Shira Lazar commented with a smile, “You get around”, Colleen replied, “Yes, I do. I’m very popular these days.”
In both interviews, there were also quick poll questions for the YouTube stars. When Shira asked Colleen, “What is something you regret in the past month?”, Colleen replied, “I’d say not coming to Vidcon earlier so I could hang out with more people. When asked, “Do you believe in love at first sight,” Colleen added, “Yes, of course…100% love at first sight is real.”
If you’re thinking about going to Vidcon next year, here’s some great advice from 14-yr-old Katie, “If you actually go to Vidcon, get there early. Like, wake up really early, make sure you get a lot of sleep. Like go to bed at like 7:00pm. Like be your grandma and like go to bed at 6 or 7…. And eat food because you’re going to be hungry all day, and drink water, and bring your charger because they have outlets because if you’re phone dies you’re going to be like why did my phone die, why didn’t I bring my charger, I can’t take selfies with people, no selfies for me. That’s my advice.”
Inbetween panels, there were tons of photo and video opportunities, including an Instagram booth with graffiti, a Vidcon record a video booth with your favorite, AwesomenessTV chalkboard, Jimmy Fallon wrap booth, food trucks, live stage and more. If you’re promoting a product, the biggest take-away was you’d better get a video strategy because this video generation is more passionate about YouTube stars than any other media.
© Liz H Kelly @LizHKelly, National Digital Entertainment Columnist