As previously noted by VidCon co-founder Hank Green, this year’s event will have increased security in the wake of the tragic killing of musician Christina Grimmie at a meet-and-greet with fans last Friday in Orlando, Fla.
A Tumblr post from the VidCon team outlines key differences between this year’s event and past gatherings — including enhanced uniformed officers, undercover police patrolling the entire event, and at least three security guards at every panel. “The event as a whole will have over 450 security officers in attendance,” according to VidCon. “This is nearly twice as many as last year.” The team also plans to “fence the entire perimeter of official VidCon spaces,” where only registered attendees will be allowed to enter.
In addition to the convention center, security and law enforcement will be staged throughout the Hilton hotel, where attendees cannot enter without being credentialed and loitering will be prohibited.
VidCon also announced several new security procedures when it comes to how fans will be able to interact with creators. At the Twitter Meet And Tweet Hall, where meet-and-greets are taking place, “every attendee will need to pass through a metal detector and all bags will be checked” before entering, the team says. As in years’ past, every signing line will also have a dedicated security officer. Officers will also be performing random bag checks throughout the event.
And while in the past, fans were able to approach creators after panels with letters or gifts, “this will no longer be a thing,” VidCon said. “This sucks; obviously, we don’t want to build a wall between creators and their communities, but it is unfortunately necessary.” VidCon clarified that attendees can still present creators with gifts at signings as long as they are unwrapped.
Several creators applauded the new precautions. “Thank you,” Tyler Oakley responded to VidCon on Twitter, adding: “Fellow YouTubers: take care of yourself. If you’re not comfortable with any part of conventions, you are NEVER obligated.” Added Louise Pentland: “It’s so sad that VidCon has to do these things but so cool that they are taking safety so seriously.”