VidCon 2015: ZEFR’s Guide for Brands

VidCon is the largest conference and convention devoted to online video. Hosted each year at the Anaheim Convention Center, it was originally conceived as an event to bring online video creators together with the fans that devour their content. Seeing swarms of young fans descend upon their favorite YouTubers is an expected sight at VidCon. Eventually, demand grew for an “industry day” devoted to topics specifically catered to the professional creators and companies involved in the quickly expanding business of digital video. To accommodate this growing demand for the business side of things, the 2015 installment of VidCon will now feature a two day Industry Track on July 23rd and 24th.

There are 14 keynote conversations with executives, 15 panels on topics ranging from case studies of brand/influencer integration campaigns to making data-driven decisions, to building campaigns across multiple platforms. VidCon will feature 14 seminars dropping best practices on subjects like content strategy, optimization of paid media, and exploring platforms other than YouTube. There is also a track of demos showcasing 30 companies and everything from analytics to live broadcast tools.

Why Should Brands Attend?

Last year the brands that attended or participated  got a firsthand look at just why the online digital video space is no longer something they could afford to ignore. At VidCon, there are a lot of fans. So many fans that some brands compared what they saw to Beatlemania. If you aren’t convinced of YouTube’s ability to drive purchasing, or generate loyal audiences,  just spend some time hanging out on the first floor of the event hall and witness what it means to be a fan of YouTubers.

This year there is a separate Creator Track for aspiring and up-and-coming creators looking to their idols for advice about making content. There is also the Community Track which really looks like the San Diego ComicCon of online video, complete with a multi-thousand seat panel room, expo floor, and activities.

Close to 20,000 people fill the venue with youthful energy and enthusiasm and know-how about producing and consuming content, branded or otherwise.

Come see ZEFR at VidCon 2015

Along with ZEFR staff in attendance, three events will feature ZEFR panelists. Click the screenshots below for full details.

    1. Featuring Rich Raddon, Co-CEO and Co-Founder at ZEFR:Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 2.13.55 PM
      Where’s the white space over the next few years? What are the best opportunities to build the next $100 million business? We’re at the beginning of the online revolution, what’s next? This session takes a concrete look at where the online video industry is going, with real quantifiable predictions – which we’ll revisit over the next few years to see how accurate they really were. If you want to skate to where the puck is going, this panel is for you.


    1. Featuring Meredith Levine, Fanthropologist at ZEFRScreen Shot 2015-07-16 at 2.14.30 PM
      Everyone wants to know what the value of a fan is. In an age of changing success metrics, and cult media, why are fandoms and communities better than audiences and impressions, not just for culture, but for business? This session explores the value and techniques of effective social listening, using earned media to inform your paid and owned strategies, dealing with trolls and community blowback, and measuring success.


  1. Featuring Paul Boruta, Head of Ad Products at ZEFR:
    Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 2.15.16 PM
    Using a series of case studies, this talk will detail which YouTube ad formats work best for branding, conversions, views, and other KPIs. You will leave with an understanding of contextual and audience targeting strategies, and the role of creative and messaging relevance, and optimization strategies across all formats, including mobile and tablet.


A Suggested Schedule

VidCon can be overwhelming. Having a great convention experience comes down to a blend of networking, meetings, and going to interesting talks and panels. Here is a sample schedule we recommend for brands looking to get the most out of their trip to VidCon.

Wednesday July 22nd

5:00-7:00pm: Pick up badges and go to the Industry Track welcome reception.

Thursday July 23rd

7:00-8:30: Take breakfast meetings
9:00am: Noon Keynote speeches and conversations
12:30- 1:30pm: Anatomy of a Brand Campaign – Secret Deodorant
2:00-3:00pm: From Branded Content to Inhouse Agencies – Building a Content Brand
3:30-4:30pm: Building Brand Campaigns Across Multiple Services
4:45-5:30pm: Closing Keynote with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki
5:30-7:30pm: Industry Reception
7:30pm+: Parties, meetings and receptions

Friday July 24th

9:00-10:45am: Keynote sessions
11:00am+: Come see ZEFR’s panels, listed above.

If you are more of a day-to-day or hands-on person, be sure to check out the relevant workshops that are held after the panels. Don’t forget to take some time on Friday to check out some of the Creator panels and Community panels. If you want to work with Creators there are panels on the Creator Track to help creators get brand ready. ZEFR recommends “So You Want to Work with Brands” from 2:00-3:00pm.

Saturday July 25th

If you are in Anaheim for the entire weekend, Saturday features some programming about Creator and Community tracks. It can be a meaningful experience for brands to see even more elements that comprise the online video community, beyond just industry concerns.

Further Reading

If you are new to conventions, or VidCon in general, check out our post from last year and more tips on surviving a fan convention. We look forward to seeing you there!


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