One of the best parts about attending conventions is meeting your favorite content creator. Large-scale events like PAX, E3, and, of course, VidCon bring tons of talented human beings into one place — ones from whom you can learn and with whom you can interact.
As Julia and Justine were writing up their VidCon prep guide back in 2016, they thought it would be a great idea to focus on meet and greets and meetups, as those are two vital components that make VidCon one of the top YouTube conventions running today. They discussed about how they would conduct ourselves during meet and greets, but wanted to get the opinions of actual content creators. So they asked the Boss Bomb herself, Maude, and a few of her former SourceFed hosts a few questions and what their dos and don’ts for meetups are:
What’s your favourite thing about meetups?
What meetup encounter was your most memorable?
What do you do to prepare yourself for a meetup?
What is something that you think fans should keep in mind going into a meetup?
1) Getting to meet the fans and hear how I’ve somehow affected their lives in one way or another. It’s so rewarding to hear that I’ve been able to brighten someone’s day.
2) My first ever, when I was working as a host on Nickelodeon back in 2007. We put on these huge events all around Australia like pop-up outdoor fairs where thousands of kids would come. Having a positive influence on impressionable kids is so rewarding.
3) Stock up on the vitamins! Con crud is a REAL thing — lots of people means increased chance of getting sick!
4) If there’s a lot of other people waiting to meet also, be kind with our time. We’re there to meet as many people as possible, so if someone asks long-winded questions and keeps talking for a while, it means it’s less time someone else gets.
Maude’s Meetup Dos
- Say hi! And let me know if you’re wanting to have a chat or get a photo. I won’t mind which one, and will be happy to oblige! Some people feel like they have to work up to asking for a pic — you don’t. If you want to snap and go, that’s absolutely fine!
- Expect a hug. I’m a hugger.
- Ask me to do a fun video message for a friend who’s missed out! It’s nice to extend the meeting to those who can’t make it.
- Be patient. There can be a lot of people in a small space for a short time. We do our best to get to everyone! Also wait until I’m finishing up with the person I’m talking with! It’s not only good manners, but if you don’t, if you barge in for a pic or question, it looks like your time and presence is more worthy and entitled than another’s.
- Tell me what I’m doing that you’re LOVING! Even not so into. I take your feedback on because you’re the ones that I’m doing this for!
Maude’s Meetup Don’ts
- Don’t challenge me to remember your name, when it was, what we last spoke about. I meet a LOT of people at conventions and in quick succession. Most of the time if you remind me, I remember! But talking me through it sure does help.
- Say something rude or suggestive. I have great followers because I do not tolerate bad behaviour and weed out the trolls.
- Presents are SO lovely, but if you give us something that can melt, be stolen, is large, etc., it can be tough for us to look after it properly!
- NOT get permission. Just ask, and ask nicely! IF you ask, I’d be more than happy to help. If you’re sneakily shooting or bombard me without permission, I get cranky.
- Ask me out on a date. Just call me Heart-Breaker Garrett, but it’s a knee-jerk reaction to keep me safe!
1) My favorite thing about meetups is pretty literal — actually meeting up! We know you’re out there watching our work and supporting us, but we are always looking at a lens or talking to you through a digital medium. It’s like entering a new world when we physically see you and get to chat. It’s a touching experience for me.
2) My most memorable encounter: At the YTSLA Live Show last year, I met a girl (unnamed) who works for one of my favorite figure companies. She brought me figures of characters I specifically talked about in previous episodes of Anime Club AND brought me a figure that I actually had stolen from me the previous year, which left me devastated. Her kind gesture still warms my heart. Another memorable encounter I had was with a young Asian girl who told me she hated being Asian until she started watching me and that it now gives her a sense of pride. It’s funny because I hated being Asian growing up, too! I hated the stereotypes, the offensive and easy-to-make-fun-of accents, etc. I ended up simply growing out of hating it, but I was moved when I learned that I was able to help someone feel more secure about proud of their race.
3) I prep for a meetup by applying extra deodorant, throat spray, and Emergen-C.
4) Anyone who attends a meetup should keep in mind that we are totally normal people and that we don’t bite. In fact, we hug!
Reina’s Meetup Dos
- Do ASK for pictures and hugs! It’ll catch us off guard if we don’t even know your name and we start touching tummies!
- Please be polite and kind to others.
- Please be mindful that this is an exhausting event for everyone! If we need a second, we need a second.
Reina’s (Please) Don’ts
- You are more than welcome to ask us questions, but no full-on interviews.
- Please don’t ask us for employment; we have nothing to do with that!
- Please don’t pick me up and twirl me around.
1) My favorite thing about meetups is, as Reina said, the meeting up! It’s wonderful to interact in person with people who appreciate what I do.
2) My most memorable meetup encounter was at my Lieberfriends Brunch last year. The whole event was really awesome, as the Lieberfriends are all really kind and sweet, both to me and to each other — but there was a shy, quiet girl there who I’d never met before who had come without knowing anyone there. I got to chat with her for a while and push her to meet other Lieberfriends, who then struck up conversations with her after I had to leave. It meant the world to me.
4) I think that fans should keep in mind that we’re all just people — and if we’re at VidCon, we’re at work, many of us on very little sleep with places we need to get to. If we have to leave, we’re not being rude, we swear! Just busy busy busy!
Matt’s Meetup Dos
- Do ask for hugs and pictures!
- Do let us know why you like what we do — it means a lot!
- Do tell me your name! I will try my best to remember!
- Do send me / tag me in your pictures you took with me if you post them! I’ll share them!
Matt’s Meetup Don’ts
- Don’t approach me in a bathroom. If you’re bummed that I left before you could say something, tweet me! I’ll let you know where I’ll be later in the convention.
- Don’t ask me for a job. I have no power in hiring at SourceFed, and it’s not a professional venue to ask for employment.
- Don’t badmouth my coworkers to me. Telling me that you love me but hate my friend isn’t going to make me like you.
- Don’t film me without asking. It’s not nice at all.
Bree’s Meetup Dos
- Do ask for a picture or autograph. It’s why we’re all here.
Bree’s Meetup Dont’s
- Don’t follow creators around/to their hotel rooms.
- Don’t try to get into Creator Only areas — it’s the one place where we can take a minute and chill out to recharge.
- Don’t overstay your welcome after you get your picture or autograph.
1) Meeting new people and hearing all the inside jokes that I’ve forgotten about.
2) Last VidCon, a young viewer hand-stitched a Flash doll and gave it to me. I teared up when I went back to my hotel room because it’s probably the sweetest gift I’ve ever received.
3) Twenty gallons of Red Bull and push-ups.
4) That we appreciate the crap out of every single one of you. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. That we’re all normal people and we can sometimes get overwhelmed. Be gentle, we’re fragile.
Sam’s Meetup Dos
- Talk to us. Don’t be afraid. I don’t bite anymore.
- We like hugs.
- We like jokes.
- If you have any pet ferrets you want to give us, don’t be afraid to fork them over.
- Please invent secret handshakes with us.
- (BONUS) The Flash is the best.
Sam’s Meetup Don’ts
- Following us after meetups can be a bit awkward. We need time to decompress. Again, we are fragile.
- Sneaking up and grabbing us ain’t fun for no one. Surprise hugs usually freak us out.
- Don’t touch people’s privates. An easy one, but some people need a stern reminder.
- I refuse to donate blood during a meetup. You kids don’t look certified and I’m afraid.
- Don’t say the Flash isn’t the best. That would be a lie, and you would be labeled a liar by everyone. Is that what you want?!
Now that you have some insight from some of our favourite content creators, please be mindful of their words and advice. They want you to have the best time as well as having the best time themselves! Conventions bring you both together, so be respectful of each other. Go forth and be awesome.