Playlist Live is a three-day annual convention for tons of content creators and fans to gather. It was originally started in Orlando, FL by AKT Enterprises. A few years ago, Playlist almost solely featured YouTube creators but now, platforms such as Vine and are starting to represent themselves more. The first day is always business day, a day to discuss creation, networking, branding, and finding careers in the digital world. Only people who purchase the extra business day pass are allowed to attend. The next two days are complete mayhem with the general admission crowd. This year at Playlist Live Orlando 2016, over 12,000 people attended. The general admission days were filled with musical performances, Q&A panels, games, meet and greets, interactive experiences, shopping, and even delicious food trucks. During these general admission days, there were panels exclusively for people with the business day pass. These panels focused around specific topics or issues creators encounter in the media world.

  • Body Confidence and Self-Image Panel

  • Creators involved: Kati Morton, Meghan Tonjes, Shaylee Meurer, Kenzie Elizabeth, Jeanine Amapola

    • In the YouTube world, there’s obviously many beautiful women who make content. Spending hours of looking at your own face while filming and editing videos can be tough, but YouTube can really help with developing a tougher skin. Often creators find many young girls commenting on videos expressing they want to make content but are afraid of bullies. Many negative comments on the internet do focus on someone’s body or face. Plenty of women on YouTube are creating content to show young women they shouldn’t worry about what other people say and should follow their dreams. The women of this panel said having a positive support system, whether that be an online community or in-person friends, can help battle the bullies. Just remember, your self-worth does not depend on negative comments or lack of likes. Find a path to self-love and follow it. It’ll be totally worth it!

  • Finding Your Niche

  • Creators involved: Zach Lawhead, Josh Elkin, Chris Thompson, Laububble, DangMattSmith, Jonathan Carlin, Sarah Lynn (SoCraftastic)

    • Finding what you love in life can be one of the most rewarding experiences! Showcasing what you love on a digital platform can also be extremely rewarding. When finding your niche, you should try tons of different things. Eventually, something will click and that is when you know you found what you want to do. When creating content about your niche, whether it be cooking or crafts, be consistent and work hard. YouTube is constantly growing, and you have to grow with it. Even though sticking to one main niche, try varying things a bit to spice things up. Create on a bigger scale, a smaller scale, a more detailed scale, etc. Also, know your facts on your niche and be true about it. Viewers can easily detect when a creator is faking interest, and this will hurt your ratings. And don’t worry about not having the newest camera or lighting equipment. Everyone has to start somewhere. When you grow, your technology will grow with you. Content is ultimately more important than video quality.

  • #NoFilterNeeded: The Travel Panel

  • Creators involved: Jess Lizama, Louis Cole, Doug Armstrong, Marko and Alex Ayling (Vagabrothers), Alli Speed

    • So many channels featuring travel content are taking off! These channels showcase some of the most beautiful and inspiring videos and encourage fans every day to go out and chase dreams. There are so many ways of viewing travel. You can view it through the history, the food, the adrenaline rushes, your loved ones, and the music. Sitting in front of a computer 24/7 is not advised, even for a content creator. Don’t be afraid to explore and say “Yes,” to new opportunities. Exploring doesn’t have to mean purchasing a plane ticket. It can be taking a trip across town and seeing everything through the eyes of a tourist. When making a travel video, overthinking can kill the video, but you should do some basic research about your location. Allow room for surprise and adventure because genuine reactions to experiences really draw in viewers. While traveling, show honest interest in the culture. Even if you don’t know the language, locals enjoy helping those who have a thirst for knowledge. In the end, traveling really opens your eyes to issues outside of your own world. It makes you compassionate and tears down the walls you have built between yourself and other cultures.

 Photos and Words by Elizabeth Stafford
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