So, for starters, after spending far too long on planes and in shuttles and what not, I got to the hotel at about 4:00 on Saturday. At this point, it felt like the entirety of the Internet was standing in the hotel lobby. I had literally about 15 minutes of complete overload. My thought process was literally like "Oh, look! Dan Brown. And who's that coming up to hug me? Jessica! OMG hi! Wait, is that a Paige I see over there? Let's creep on her for a minute." And so on and so forth. That night was really spent doing a variety of those kinds of things--fangirling, greeting, hugging, etc.
After meeting up with Rohan (RoboFillet), we heard a rumor of preregistration, so we went downstairs to wait in line, and suddenly I found myself in the mix with YouTubers I never thought I'd get more than ten seconds and a picture with--Strawburry17, YourTikken, tyleroakley, etc. This was about the point that I got over the shock of meeting a bunch of people who had been on my screen and realized that they're even cooler to hang out with than they are to watch. We ended up just sitting in line and chatting, especially because the line for over-21 was literally not moving. I like to think that I made some friends there, but I guess only time will tell.
So Friday had a lot of the events that I was interested in. It was centered around the community and the technology of YouTube, and what people have done with it. There were lots of talks about commenting and getting active involvement. I especially liked Buck's talk about how hate comments and praise comments are generally equally free of substance.
As far as our free time went, I generally found myself in a group with Paige, Rohan, Adam, Karen, Robyn (when she wasn't writing her novel...), Tyler, and Kayley. It was definitely strange for me, basically having the lowest profile of any of them, but I nonetheless had a blast and honestly can't wait until I get to meet every one of them again. I think that was the best part about VidCon; I really got to solidify my URL relationships as IRL relationships.
I did have one incredibly awkward fangirlish moment, I must admit, with Julia Nunes. I was buying a shirt for a friend to have Julia sign--it was awkward enough not buying something for myself--and I got a picture with her. Her booth was pretty empty, so in a fit of strange confidence, I just told her straight-up that I had a huge friend crush on her and asked her if we could be friends. Her response was pretty obviously confused, and she tried to play it off by saying "Sure..." but I knew I had killed any chance that I had. Oh well; maybe some day I'll write a song that gets popular on YouTube and she might see it and give me a second chance.
Now Saturday was when things got pretty strange and surreal for me. The group I was with generally agreed that we weren't interested in much of the programming; John described it well when he said that Friday was more for the Nerdfighter crowd and Saturday was more for the "autograph" crowd. The programming consisted of the likes of Shane Dawson, iJustine, ShayCarl, and the like; it's not that I don't think they're worthy or anything, but they are in a very different community with a very different mission than I tend to have, so I simply wasn't interested.
So in attending few of the events on Saturday, I somehow ended up all sorts of places I never expected. Kristina Horner came to hang out with us, which in itself wasn't too surprising since Kayley was, but she wasn't really someone I expected to meet. It also turns out I never introduced myself, and when I did, she said she recognized my username (which was flattering) and said that I seemed cool and most of her friends seemed to like me, so she just went with it.
We somehow ended up in Alex Day's hotel room. He was very confused as to where all these people came from, but didn't kick us out. Ah, well. In any case, as it was around dinner time, so Johnny ordered pizza and it was around that time that I realized how incredibly lucky I was to be around all of these people. I also reconfirmed that I wasn't happy because I was "schmoozing with the stars" but because these were genuinely nice people that I related to in many ways--hence why I watch their videos.
The concerts at night were equally interesting in their dichotomy. Friday night's concert was a ukulele- and nerd-ridden night, opening with Molly Lewis and moving on through most of the Sons of Admirals, Hank Green, and All Caps. I'm sure I'm forgetting someone, but that's the basic crowd. The next night featured many of the more popular musicians on YouTube, such as DaveDays, David Choi, Julia Nunes, etc. There was a hip-hop group for which the crowd kind of gave a collective shrug. It was a beautifully awkward moment in which Twitter exploded with people remarking both how strange the performers were and how interestingly Hank could dance.
That night probably had one of the most consummate moments of my weekend. It was just a strange, jam-packed experience. I was hanging out in the lobby after the concert and ran into John Green (who is incredibly kind and treated me like a friend; I've never known whether he actually watches my videos after subscribing, and I guess he does!) John was exhausted (with good reason) and decided that he wanted to go to the bar. The only people over 21 there were me, Emily, and Rohan, so we jumped on the opportunity. Eventually Cody and Eric showed up, and I had a lot of fun talking to those guys. Hopefully one day we'll all get to meet up again. Anyway, since the bar was closing, we had to leave, and I hung out in the lobby a little more after that. When I left the lobby and returned to my room, I fully expected Rohan and Adam to be asleep, but they most definitely were not. It turned out they had been hanging out with Tessa in my room; I was a little disappointed, honestly, because she was one of the people that had many fans coming up to interrupt her experience (and I didn't want to) but I wanted to be her friend. I introduced myself and she said to send her a message, which I did, so we'll see what comes of it.
Anyway, Sunday was equally fun, watching the World Cup final with John's commentary. He actually had the mic off, but he sat near us, so I got to hear it anyway! The rest of the day kind of turned sad though, as people were leaving and stuff to do got more and more scarce.
All in all, I'd say VidCon was a wonderful experience, and I hope this wasn't too lengthy for you, but I figured that people who were interested would read anyway. I hope that VidCon can happen again sometime soon, though I hear it may be at least two years, as LeakyCon is next year. We'll see. No matter when it happens, you can bet I'll do my best to get there.