Well SitC’s done for another year, and we’re just getting the energy back from running the weekend to be able to put fingers to keys for some sort of recap!
This was definitely a year of a lot of firsts. The first time we had an indoor daytime venue, the first time we had direct involvement from YouTube, and the first time the Facebook attendance rate actually almost reflected the real thing…! It was a transitional event for us, and it was always going to have a few hiccups/teething problems. We hadn’t expected the event to get so big when we were first looking at places for SitC. When we settled on The Brewery, the event page had just hit 1,000 people attending! We had no way of knowing that number would skyrocket over the following months. So of course it was extremely disheartening for us when we realised we would have to turn people away. Though we have heard that some who couldn’t get in went to Jubilee Gardens and had a more old-school gathering, which is excellent.
The choice to move the gathering indoors in the first place was always going to spark controversy, but due to the steadily increasing size of the event, as well as the Royal Parks’ refusal to accommodate us, made us realise that this is no longer a practical option. Aside from the unexpected capacity issues (which would have been a problem even if we were out in a park), the Brewery was a brilliant home for us this year and we are extremely grateful to all the staff for their patience and help over the weekend.
Many have voiced concerns that the changes in this year’s SitC signals the death of the YouTube community. While it’s easy to be nostalgic and fearful, we believe that the community is still very much alive; it has grown up, into a huge diverse world of collaborators and creators, something we believe deserves to be celebrated rather than suppressed for the sake of old times.
The community is also constantly growing, and it’s a LOT bigger now than the days where a successful gathering was 30 or so people meeting in Leicester Square. This isn’t something that can just be ignored in the hope of holding onto the past. Though we can now officially say we run the biggest annual gathering in the UK, it’s still not ours or anyone else’s place to say who can and can’t be a part of our community. Be you content creator, shameless promoter or rabid fangirl, we won’t police the community - we’ll just do everything we can to accommodate it. We feel we managed that in the best way possible this year and though we have a lot to learn, we hope that we can make this event even better if not bigger next year!
So from the four of us, thank you for coming. Thank you to our amazing team of volunteers for giving up your time to help us. Thank you to Save The Children, Future Publishing, Sergi and the livestream team, ChannelFlip, Sopio, and YouTube. And thank you to all of you who appreciate the unpaid time and effort we put into this event year after year. We look forward to seeing you at SitC ‘13!
-Tom, Dave, Jazza and Liam
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