First Summer in the City experience | SitC 2015
This was my first year going to Summer in the City, a YouTube convention that takes place in London. You might also know I was at VidCon in LA about two weeks ago, so the comparisons came naturally. SitC is a much smaller event due to its more recent creation, smaller audience, and smaller management team, I would guess. This is not necesarily a bad thing. I bought a ticket for the Creator Day on Friday, as well as Saturday and Sunday, which are just normal days and anyone, creator or viewer, can attend.
It was really good to have a creator day where you can walk around without crowds, people screaming, and you can see bigger youtubers around. The panels were also aimed for creators and, in some way, offered some helpful tips. Now, comparing to VidCon, the panels weren't that good and I felt like the tips and advice were quite basic. They also weren't that inspiring, which is something I found amazing about VidCon panels, and I wanted to get out of this experience as well (my favorite panel was about diversity and ethnicity, on Saturday).
The way the schedule is set up is panel after panel, you barely have 5 minutes to spare if you want to make the most out of it and are interested in multiple ones. This made it feel like the day was really long and, personally, very tiring as well.
The main area, or expo hall, was big in dimension but didn't have much to do. There were only a few stands from the brands sponsoring the event and nothing much to do. We were impressed and excited by a sort of theme park ride inside the venue, and it looked really fun; we later found out we had to pay to go on it, which seemed a bit silly since we had already paid to be at the event.
Saturday was crazy. All the fans came around and the place was so crowded it was hard to walk freely (maybe we were just a big group) and we had to line up for panels, sometimes even 40 minutes in advance. As someone who doesn't feel comfortable with crowds and noise, it was painful to be there. I left early that day due to migraines from the whole experience, which wasn't what I wanted to get out of the event.
Some of the panels were good, like the diversity one (as I mentioned, my favorite of the bunch) or the travel one, but others made me feel like I was wasting my time. Big youtubers might bring people to the event but I don't think having a lot of subscribers makes someone good for a panel, and it showed. Some people were great, though.
I decided not to go on Sunday. I don't have that much free time anymore and I value it. I don't think Summer in the City on Saturday was worth my time, so I didn't want to do it all over again. If the only thing I'm getting out of it is hanging out with friends, I'm sure we can do that elsewhere.
Overall, Friday was good and I'll most likely go to the Creator Day next year. The rest of the weekend? I don't think I'd do it again.
It is an event thought for the fans, where they can listen to their favorite creators and meet them at the meet and greets (which I didn't think was worth my time either, plus they have a complicated ballot system and I just didn't like many of the creator there, really. I was very happy getting to see and talk to Meghan Camerena, my favorite creator there, on the Friday, just outside one of the panel rooms). It's good to have a Creator Day for smaller creators, but that's the only day that's worth it, from my point of view. When it came to mixing both, it didn't work out right. It would be good to see it grow to something similar to VidCon, with different areas aimed for people with a Creator ticket, and panels tailored for them.
On a side note, I walked around all day on Saturday with a jacket on and there was no way anyone from security could see my wristband, it was completely hidden. I walked in and out of the convention area about 5 times, alone and with people, and was never asked to show it. Why did I even buy a ticket?