Following in the footsteps of YouTube-focused conventions like VidCon and PlayList Live, London-based gathering Summer In The City has announced, via its Facebook page, that it will lead off the convention with an “industry day” designed for online video professionals and businesses. Slated for August 8, the day carries a higher ticket price but also promises a more relaxed, professional environment than the community-focused part of the convention.
While similar conventions in the US have long embraced the industry side of the online video community with a dedicated day for networking and professional seminars, Summer In The City has largely stayed true to its roots as a fan gathering. However, the explosion of YouTube fan culture in recent years has necessitated changes to the format of such events. Designated times for signings and meet and greets with creators have become commonplace, as has the need for security to prevent popular creators from being mobbed overzealous fans.
As YouTube gatherings increasingly take on the character of concert tours, industry-focused days have become more prevalent. A posting on the event’s ticket sales page warns attendees that “anyone who is seen to be asking for autographs, photographs or in any way acting in a non-professional manner will be asked to leave.”
In an environment where fans vastly outnumber creators it is difficult to create a space where those creators can network with industry professionals and share information. Increased ticket prices, as well as code of conduct like the one proposed by Summer In The City organizers, can help to create a temporarily fan-free zone.