The last year has seen Twitch emerge as a huge player in the online video scene. Streamers have been making huge gains with their broadcasts and transforming the gaming landscape and digital media landscape. In fact, Twitch is such a big deal that e-commerce and media giant Amazon dropped nearly $1 billion to make it their own. The one thing that’s been missing for Twitch’s massive online community is a place to gather. Conventions like VidCon and PlayList Live were built around YouTubers, and though they have grown to embrace creators from a variety of online video platforms, the streaming community is still not well represented. You’re more likely to find your favorite Twitch streamer roaming the halls of gaming conventions like PAX than in the Annaheim Convention Center during VidCon weekend. Now Twitch is aiming to change that by giving the streaming community a gathering all its own.
Twitch announced its first ever convention via a blog post on Friday evening. The aptly titled TwitchCon is scheduled for September 25-26th in Twitch’s home city of San Francisco. Like many online video conventions the event will be part social, providing Twitch broadcasters and fans to meet and internet in person, and part professional development event with seminars and panels on upping your Twitch game.
Since this is Twitch’s first time at the convention rodeo, and we thought it might be helpful to provide a few helpful tips, so here are our five recommendations for TwitchCon.
- Control the Fan Mobs – Screaming fans have become a hallmark of most YouTuber gatherings but they’re also a hazard to your health. It seems that everyone has a story about being nearly trampled to death by a stampeding herd of Tyler Oakley fans. Either find a way to keep the fans from swarming or issue helmets and pads at the door.
- FOOD! – Whether it’s overpriced food trucks or an understocked Starbucks, food has been an issue at every convention I’ve ever attended. The areas surrounding convention halls and hotels tend to be a little desolate when it comes to affordable but still vaguely nourishing food options. Twitch should take advantage of San Francisco’s famous foodie culture and pack Moscone Center with local venders wielding affordable treats.
- Think of the Moms! – A convention like this is bound to attract a younger audience and that means a healthy number of parents will be attending. As much as I love the sad moms of PlaylistLive, keeping the parents penned up in a folding chair holding already isn’t going to make them want to come back. Consider creating a lounge where parents can learn a bit more about streaming and gaming at their own pace. After all, video games are for everyone these days, you could hook a whole new demographic.
- Keep Your Panel Game Tight – Let’s be honest, conventions are mostly about socializing, networking, star gazing, and of course drinking (if you are over 21 and don’t even think about it otherwise mister!), but believe it or not some people really are there to learn. Panels have become an afterthought at some conventions with lineups that makes zero sense and panelists who aren’t even sure what they’re there to talk about. As popular as it is, streaming is still a mystery to some and a bunch of smart well curated panels could help to change that.
- Have A Baller Ball Pit – If the infamous Dashcon taught us anything it’s that a ballpit might be the only thing standing between your convention and disaster, so don’t cut corners! Hell, fill the entire San Francisco Bay with plastic balls if that’s what it takes. You’ve got to use all that Amazon cash for something!