Has VidCon lost its magic to Cannes Lions?

Plus: Nvidia’s eye contact effect changes the game for video content creators

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Has VidCon lost its magic to Cannes Lions?

VidCon 2024 in Anaheim felt like it was missing some of its usual magic this year. For many creators, the vibe was notably different, and the question on everyone's mind was whether Cannes Lions had outshined this beloved creator conference.

Credit: United Talent Agency

Where did the buzz go?

This year’s VidCon felt surprisingly low-key. Major players like Instagram and YouTube skipped their usual flashy parties, and the convention floor, usually buzzing with excitement, felt sparse and more like a playground for kids and tweens. TikTok and Instagram had lounges, but they were far from the extravagant setups of the past.

Cannes Lions: The new hotspot?

Cannes Lions, held just a week before VidCon in the South of France, seems to have stolen the show. For the first time, Cannes featured official panels for creators and offered cheaper tickets, which drew a lot of attention. Amazon, for instance, rolled out the red carpet for top creators like TikTok's Alix Earle and influencer Marianna Hewitt at Cannes. In stark contrast, Amazon didn’t even show up at VidCon this year. Just two years ago, their VidCon party with The Chainsmokers was the talk of the event.

Insights and Networking at Cannes

Creators at Cannes Lions found it to be a goldmine for networking and learning about their role in the ad industry. Serena Kerrigan, a creator who attended, emphasized the power of personal connections. “What’s really going to make [a brand] think of me versus someone else is probably going to be the personal relationships,” she said. Victoria Paris echoed this, noting the value of meeting other creators and escaping the isolation of solo content creation.

Tips for Cannes success

For creators looking to make the most of Cannes next year, planning is key. “Print out your schedule ahead of time, make dinner reservations, and focus on getting to know the people who are paying you,” advised Kerrigan. Jamie Ray from Buttermilk suggested partnering with brands or agencies to avoid being overwhelmed. Neil Waller from Whalar Group encouraged creators to explore beyond the Palais to uncover more networking opportunities.

VidCon highlights

Despite its more subdued vibe, VidCon had its moments. The White House made headlines with an announcement about an invite-only creator economy conference in August. Top creators like the D’Amelio family and VidCon founders Hank and John Green made appearances, keeping the event lively. Attendance was steady at 55,000, similar to last year. There are also rumors that Paramount Global, VidCon's owner, is considering selling the conference.

Family-friendly fun

VidCon maintained a strong family-friendly focus. Creators like Cash & Nico, known for their Minecraft content, had booths selling merch. Disney promoted its new movie “Descendants: The Rise of Red,” and YouTube collaborated with Minecraft for a smaller-scale pop-up, a far cry from the massive MrBeast event two years ago.

The creator community

VidCon still offered valuable networking opportunities. Attendees mingled at rooftop parties hosted by companies like Mythical, founded by YouTubers Rhett and Link, and Lunar X, an investment firm for YouTube channels. Yet, the atmosphere was undeniably more subdued compared to the glory days of VidCon.

While VidCon holds its place in the creator calendar, Cannes Lions has clearly made its mark. The future of creator conferences looks set to be a blend of the best from both worlds. Adapt, network, and thrive—wherever you choose to be.

Creator Poll: VidCon vs. Cannes Lions

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Nvidia’s eye contact effect changes the game for video content creators

For content creators seeking better video engagement, we highly recommend Nvidia's Eye Contact Effect. Available through the free Nvidia Broadcast app for Nvidia GPU users, this AI feature ensures you maintain direct eye contact, enhancing professionalism and audience connection without expensive gear. The app also offers virtual backgrounds and noise suppression, making it essential for delivering polished, professional streams from any location. If you're serious about your content, Nvidia Broadcast is a must-have.

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