After a great deal of success in the US, Vidcon announced a few months prior that they would be making their way to Amsterdam in 2017. Naturally, we were all on board to dive in and be a part of their kick-off event as they expanded their efforts on a global scale in the EU.

Ricky Ray Butler (Chief Campaign Officer) and I were invited to chair two industry panels with some of Europe’s hottest digital influencers.

A huge show with thousands of attendees and a great mix of content creators, brands and other industry folk? We couldn’t be more excited to attend. We arrived in Amsterdam expecting a treat and were ready to rock and roll.

Vidcon is held in Amsterdam’s biggest exhibition venue the Rai Convention Centre, Friday was Industry Only and featured great talks from both industry veterans and new faces. My highlights? A talk from Jungle Creations CEO Jamie Bolding about using Facebook pages to drive viral views. Bolding also discussed the barter/quid pro quo system that huge Facebook influencers and pages use to help push their content, the first time I’ve heard anyone reference this in a public forum.

I also enjoyed a talk titled “Hacking the Facebook Algorithm” in which Gavin McGarry discussed tips and tricks that brands and users can follow to help get them extra reach and engagements on Facebook and Instagram. Ranging from better known tips such as always post pictures with two or more people in them to some slightly quirkier hints, for example, make sure pictures are taken at a slight angle, it was a refreshing look at the whole issue of Facebook reach.

Day Two, and time for our panel discussions. Ricky was alongside Minecraft Gamer Lizzie AKA LDShadowLady and analytics wizard MatPat. Their panel was “Multi Panel Wizardry” where they discussed the future of different social platforms, how they see them evolving and how to manage them. Lizzie explained that she only used different platforms when she felt she had a good use for them; MatPat explained how streams on YouTube differ to those on Twitch and how content creators use them incorrectly at their peril.

My session was with beauty and fitness vlogger Scola Dondo and was focused around brands and brand deals. Coincidentally, we gave Scola her very first brand deal with Turkish Airlines back in 2013, which was fun to recall. Scola said that she only takes on brand deals that she feels passionate about and when she feels that she has something exciting to share. I shared my vision of how best to work with brands to make it easy and rewarding for them.

Come Sunday, our final day was spent exploring the show and meeting some of BENs favorite influencers, from huge US Vlogger and talk show star Tyler Oakley to Facebook Prankster and YouTube Vlogger Julius Dein. Thus, ended a frenetic few days at the heart of the European influencer scene. I’ll leave you with a few tips for anyone looking to make the most of their time at one of the big influencer events:

1.) Try and stay in a happening hotel. As we were invited by Vidcon to speak, they hosted us in the hotel where all of the best content creators were staying in, the ideal venue for impromptu meet and greets and elevator chats.

2.) Check out the other industry speakers. The digital influencer ecosystem is constantly evolving and one of the best ways to stay on top is to listen to the experiences observed by everyone else in the industry.

3.) Talent will make time for their friends. Before you head out to Vidcon make sure you have reached out to the content creators or contacts you want to catch up with. Although most talent are super manic they will always try to fit time in with you for a quick coffee, and it’s well worth it for the future opportunities this can create.