I’m back in San Francisco and still recovering from last week’s VidCon. (Coffee, Emma Chamberlain-branded or not, sounds extremely compelling right about now.)
By the numbers, VidCon was a success. Yesterday, VidCon announced that 55,000 people attended this year’s conference, up 10% from 2022 but still lower than pre-pandemic records. Overwhelmingly, though, attendees told me that VidCon this year felt more subdued than in previous years. The Cannes Lions advertising festival, happening early in the week in France, poached some of the creator economy’s biggest names, including Chamberlain herself. Splashy creator-led exhibits, such as last year’s Feastables gumball machine from YouTuber MrBeast, were missing this year, and many of the industry track panels in the Anaheim Convention Center were half-empty.
The exception: the Hyatt Regency around a mile away from the convention center, better known as “the creator hotel.” For those with a way in, the Hyatt felt like VidCon’s gravitational center.