Tana Mongeau is better known to those outside the inner circle of YouTube creators as “the girl who tried to throw her own convention and failed miserably.” Only one year after throwing “TanaCon,” a hastily thrown together convention born out of retaliation and vengeance, Mongeau is headed back to VidCon, this time as a “Featured Creator.”
The decision to partner for this year’s convention “was made by VidCon after the two parties met with the same goal — to provide the best experience for all involved including VidCon, Tana and most importantly, the fans,” according to a press release by VidCon. Mongeau agreed in her own statement, adding that her fans have always been a number one priority. She also spoke to being able to meet with fans “in a safe and comfortable environment — both for them and myself,” alluding to the absolute chaos of last year’s fiasco.
VidCon is the go-to convention for YouTubers and Instagram influencers, and attending as “Featured Creator” is the highest honor. Being a Featured Creator comes with certain privileges, chief among them hired security guards that escort the most recognizable YouTubers to and from the convention center. In 2017, Mongeau went on a tirade about VidCon refusing to give her a Featured Creators badge, confessing that she felt disrespected and unsafe because of the organization’s lack of recognition.
Mongeau, frustrated with VidCon’s status quo, decided to throw her own convention and TanaCon was born. The event attracted thousands of fans to a venue space in Anaheim, just a couple of blocks down from where VidCon was taking place and nearly opposite Disneyland. The venue realistically couldn’t hold more than a couple hundred people at most, and naturally disaster followed. Teens nearly rioted in the parking lot of the Marriott Hotel, where the convention was being held.
The misfire resulted in worldwide coverage from several news outlets, a mini documentary series from fellow YouTube creator Shane Dawson, and week-long conversations about the future of massive conventions between online personalities and their fans. Even VidCon founder Hank Green confessed he “100 percent screwed up,” adding that “not making her a featured creator was a bad call.”
Mongeau’s TanaCon happened just one year after controversial YouTuber Logan Paul was shamed by the creator community for causing a stampede to break out at VidCon. Since then, many prominent personalities have asked whether VidCon is still necessary or relevant to an industry that has ballooned in size and influence around the world. Groups like the “Vlog Squad,” a ragtag team of vloggers, are organizing their own tours to connect with their greater community, and countless YouTube and Twitch creators now hold their own meet and greets and other events designed to offer fans direct access on the creators’ terms.
Now, inviting Mongeau as a Featured Creator to VidCon not only ensures that a second TanaCon won’t happen, but proves that VidCon’s organizers are listening to fans about who they want to see. In an industry where irrelevance is death, VidCon has found a way to leverage Mongeau’s fame for the better.