As we emerge from the pandemic, events are back and creators are eager to take advantage of in-person networking opportunities. But not all events are created equal—different types of conferences and summits offer unique benefits to creators to help them build their content career in new and unexpected ways.
Whether you’re interested in making connections with fellow creators or networking with brand marketers and exploring sponsorship opportunities, there’s much to learn and do. And of course, in-person events are the perfect place to mingle with the people who consume content—the fans.
But making the most of each event requires more than just showing up. Depending on your goals (i.e. growing your audience vs. securing brand partnerships) as well as the event’s agenda and theme, there are specific strategies to consider as you navigate expos, keynotes, and networking sessions:
Learn from Fellow Creators
Some events are designed exclusively for creators—no brands; no fans. And no creator is too big or too small to attend. As you rub elbows with some of the biggest names in social media, learn about the different trajectories of established creators. Hear about what they wish they did, or didn’t do, in the early stages of their career.
There is always so much to learn from others: Maybe a new way to edit could save you time or a content calendar template will help keep you organized. Even if you’re not quite a beginner, take notes and absorb everything the experts have to offer.
To take full advantage of talent in front of you, set a goal for yourself to chat with at least five new people and pick their brain for advice you can implement on your own channel.
VidSummit is around the corner, and it’s the perfect opportunity to dip your toes into creator networking.
Gain Business Savvy
In addition to interacting with creators, some events enable creators to connect with brands and gain insight into their marketing mindsets.
While creator-only events might feel more casual and fun, conferences that welcome brands typically take a more serious tone, so be professional. Attend sessions where brands discuss past successes in creator partnerships and ask questions. Listen to what they seek in a creator partner. Learn about the technology they use to identify and vet potential partners.
In short, as you connect with experts on the other side of the industry, try to understand marketers’ goals and challenges. By gaining insight into what motivates them, you can become a more informed and suitable campaign partner with content that speaks to their strategic needs. And you never know: they might be looking for a creator just like you for their next campaign.
Plus, brand marketers bring an outside perspective that can help you spice up your organic content, too.
At events like Influencer Marketing World, some of the world’s biggest brands come together. Flex your networking muscles by connecting with these marketers, many of whom are already open to a new relationship with an influencer—or are well on their way there.
Meet — and Hear From — Fans
Often known for attracting screaming teenagers and cosplay fans, the third type of event for creators to consider is the fan conference.
There’s nothing more valuable to creators than their audience. Chatting with fans and learning what they love to watch most—or what turns them away—can help you tailor your content and engage viewers on a more consistent, deeper level. Your fans will probably have tons of questions for you, but don’t forget to ask them questions as well. Listen carefully to uncover why they enjoy your content, so you can adapt and keep them coming back for more.
These events even bring together fans of different creators and topics. Don’t be afraid to branch out from your core audience. Connect with other communities to get your content in front of a new audience—you might even find unexpected viewers.
For fans and creators alike, VidCon is an industry staple. Since it was founded in 2010 by the iconic Vlogbrothers duo, Hank and John Green, VidCon has evolved into the biggest event of the year in the creator community. Creators across industries—gaming, fashion, beauty, and more—come together to learn about industry trends, build and strengthen their community, and grow their platforms. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at such a momentous conference, but stay collected so you can get the most out of the experience.
Ready to take your creator status to the next level? Sign up for the next event that appeals to you. Maybe a fresh perspective is all you need to explode your content and following. Perhaps a brand deal and a healthy revenue stream are just around the corner. Or maybe you simply want to enjoy the company of your fans. Whatever you’re looking for, get out there and find it.