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VidCon 2016: Hank Green comments on heightened security

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Mike Pont/WireImage

VidCon may call Anaheim, California, home, but the annual convention for digital creators will soon be going global.

VidCon Europe will take April 8-9, 2017, in Amsterdam, followed by VidCon Australia on Sept. 9-10, 2017, in Melbourne. Both are expected to host about 7,500 fans and creators. (The Anaheim event currently welcomes 25,000.) 

Co-founder and CEO Hank Green spoke with a small group of journalists on Thursday about the expansion strategy. 

“In terms of picking which markets to go to first, Europe and Australia are places where we have some familiarity — we know a lot of European and Australian creators,” he said. “We really want to focus on the creators that are local to this area… Who are really doing things inside of their culture so that their audiences have something that represents them.”

Despite their familiarity with the global creator scene, Green and organizers are doing their homework and working with industry insiders to curate the talent list. (And they’ve already got a head start: The VidCon 2016 lineup boasts an Australia creator panel.)

As for his involvement, Green said it will largely mirror his role with the Anaheim event. 

“As a CEO, I focus a lot on content, making sure that the stuff we’re talking about is the interesting stuff and we’re getting at the root of the things that are happening in the industry and creation of the moment — and also defining the character of the event. And then as a creator, I’ll also be there, which is what I mostly do on-site at VidCon.”  

Those currently on-site in Anaheim have surely noticed the heightened security implemented in the wake of The Voice alum Christina Grimmie being shot and killed at a fan event in Orlando, Florida earlier this month. Increased measures at VidCon include bag checks and metal detector screenings for all face-to-face interactions with creators. Green said efforts have “been great” so far. “Creators have said to me several times, ‘Thanks for taking it seriously.'”

VidCon also marks the debut of Time Inc.’s new video platform, Instant, covering the lives and projects of all of your favorite digital artists. Check back for updates and the official URL!

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