Back in early January 2017, I decided to take Youtube a little bit more seriously. So, I began researching events across the UK. Originally, I was priced out of going to VidCon in both Amsterdam and Anaheim – although I did end up going to VidCon Europe in Amsterdam in the end. You can read more about this here.
So I opted for the smaller UK based event, Summer in the City. Labelled as the biggest Youtuber event in the UK I figured I couldn’t go wrong. So, I decided to book a ticket for the creator day only, Friday the 4th August. Here’s what happened…
- Location - 90%90%
- Speakers - 40%40%
- Atmosphere - 10%10%
- Value for Money - %%
Three panel rooms available, but only two for those with creator passes. The panels were dark, much larger than they needed to be for the number of people attending and the content and speakers was seriously lacking originality and excitement.
The event was hosted at the Excel in London. The premier event space in London, this place is easily accessible by public transport or by car. I chose to drive to London that day, however I was highly disappointed by the £20 standard parking charge. While this covers you for 24 hours, I only stayed for around 4.
The Excel in London is also fantastic for the number of surrounding hotels available to suit most budgets (from basic to luxury) all within walking distance. This was perfect for those who were looking to attend the event over the entire weekend.
Now for a couple of negatives; The venue offered free WIFI, although I found it to be rather spotty at times. However, my main cause for concern came from the lack of lighting, especially in the panel sessions. These sessions are at least on creator days supposed to be educational and informative. However, the size of the building and lack of lighting made it both hard to see and hard to hear. Compare this to the RAI in Amsterdam for VidCon where the panels were in a more office / classroom environment with fantastic facilities, lighting and services it just didn’t compare.
The fast majority of speakers we’re non-prolific. Even for the UK Youtuber market. In fact, there were only a hand-full I’d heard of and wanted to see speak in a creator panel.
Unfortunatly the content didn’t make up for this. With repetitive and highly similar content (example Gaming Stage at 12:00 and 12:00 and 13:00 in Panel Room A all seemed to cover pretty much the same thing) and a serious lack of hands-on / interactive experiences and tutorials.
I don’t think anything can sum up the atmosphere of the Summer in the City Creator Day quite like the moment I pulled into the carpark of the Excel and wondering if I had the right location because the whole place was empty.
In fact, even in the main haul, I still had that same concern. I appreciate that the size of the event is catering to the main SITC event over the weekend. However the whole place was VERY bare with 100 times less people inside of it.
I think a lot of Youtube based events are all about the community feel and atmosphere and that just wasn’t there here.
In my opinion, the SITC team need to either move the creator day to a separate venue more catered to this style of event or put it inside of the main event like VidCon to really create that atmosphere.
Value For Money
The ticket for the Summer in the City creator day along was £30. I’m not going to talk in reference to the £20 parking charge or the cost of petrol, food etc. as it’s really going to be different for everyone.
Instead, the value for money for the £30 ticket alone… and in my opinion. It just wasn’t worth it. Not even close. I honestly don’t see what you got for that £30.