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What to Watch for at VidCon VideoWatch heads West to Web video conference

VideoWatch is headed West! Next stop is VidCon, the annual confab of online video creators, fans, networks and more, which kicks off in Anaheim, Calif., this week. In anticipation of the big event, Adweek called up Hank Green, a co-organizer of VidCon, to see what he's looking forward to. So with some of his insight, here are a few things to watch for.

More interaction between YouTube and video creators.
YouTube is an official sponsor of VidCon, and Green predicted that scores of employees from the company will be on hand. Video creators will be able to hash out issues with YouTubers at the conference, Green said, which will ultimately benefit both parties. He admitted that the video creator community feels some discontent when it comes to YouTube, for reasons that include issues over advertising and control of how their content is presented.

YouTube isn't always great at communicating its strategies and approach, Green added, but VidCon is a good venue for it to do so. "This is an excellent opportunity for [YouTube employees] to just be people," Green said of the company's presence at VidCon. "If they asked for my advice, that's what I would say. Tell people why you make the decisions you make. Be transparent about it."

A bunch of Web video execs all in one place.
A number of industry bigwigs will be speaking at the conference, including Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos and Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback. Green said he is looking forward to having industry leaders together in one place. While the companies are fiercely competitive, he explained, "when you get them in a room together, they're all buds."

A lot more people than in years past.
According to Green, more than 10,000 tickets have been sold. That's quite a jump from the conference's first-year attendance of 1,200 people in 2010.

More established YouTube performers will get a chance to meet their fans, while up-and-comers can learn how to grow their audiences, Green said. The fans, meanwhile, get a chance to "learn and see and listen and party and interact with people who are into the same things they're into," he added.

Seeing Smosh (and other video personalities) in the flesh!
The popular Web video duo Smosh will be performing at VidCon. How will fans react to seeing the group's founders, Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, in person? Will there be a Bieber-esque boom in the arena? The group has 11.5 million YouTube subscribers and about 2.5 billion video views. Perhaps earplugs should be at arm's length just in case.

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In just a couple short years, Web video has matured from a burgeoning category to a dynamic new business distinct from TV. As a result, the biggest producers, executives and talent in the business are getting onboard, and the Web is nurturing its own breed of stars and storytelling genres. VideoWatch is dedicated to chronicling the players and developments in this exciting new industry. 

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