MCM Expo Group, the company behind the largest string of pop culture and Comic Con events across the UK, has just announced a new addition to their event family – they have acquired Summer In The City, the UK’s biggest annual YouTube event.
As a part of their “MCM Central” brand, SitC joins MCM as an already established and successful event, where fans of YouTube can meet and engage with fellow creators – as well as some of their favourite YouTubers – all within a wide range of meet & greets, panels, stage performances and expo events. 2016 will be Summer in the City’s eighth year of running.
“We’re delighted that Summer in the City has joined the MCM family,” says MCM’s managing director Bryan Cooney. “The show fits perfectly into our market position as the UK’s leading popular culture events company and we look forward to working with co-founders/directors Dave Bullas and Tom Burns, building on their already incredible event to take Summer In The City to even greater heights.”
SitC has grown organically from a park gathering in 2009, to a convention-sized event entering its second year at London’s ExCeL centre in 2016. This has all been under the organisation and creative direction of YouTubers Tom Burns and Dave Bullas, whom we spoke to to find out what MCM’s involvement will mean for the future of the event:
What can we expect MCM to bring to the table for Summer in the City?
“MCM have extensive experience when it comes to running shows and I feel like that is going to add to the overall quality of SitC over time,” says Tom. “We’re going to benefit from MCM’s in-house teams, who will assist in areas such as marketing and bringing new exhibitors to the event.”
“MCM also helped us set up and manage the new ticket system that we introduced this year, which was been running great so far!”
When it comes to running the event, how much pressure is this going to take off you guys from now on?
“MCM are going to take the weight off us by handling a lot of the less exciting, behind the scenes work that has to be done to run a company,” explains Dave. “This will free us up to focus on the more creative elements of our job – we’ll be able to spend more time on the actual event, making SitC as good as it can be.”
“I really feel that this is going to make the day-to-day running of SitC a lot easier for us,” admits Tom. ” We were kind of thrown in to the deep end, as we have had to constantly adapt to its rapid growth.
“That being said, I’m really proud of everything we have achieved so far and look forward to future achievements alongside MCM.”
Given that SitC has grown from the ground up under your guidance and planning, does this feel like a big step?
“SitC is like a child to me, so it was definitely a big step!” confesses Tom. “I feel like it’s one of those “for the best of the event” situations, which will really benefit the event moving forward. I also view it as a new chapter for the event in a similar (but way bigger) way to our moving to London ExCeL.”
“The other great thing is that Dave and I will remain key parts of the event’s organisation. This means that we get to work closely with MCM to grow the event and hopefully bring any future visions we had for SitC to life!”
What does MCM’s acquisition mean for the more “community”-focused feeling of SitC, in comparison to other major YouTube events like VidCon or Playlist Live?
“In all honesty, I don’t think it will change all that much”, assures Tom. “If anything, I think it will add to it, as we’re joining a team that has grown an amazing pop culture community around their own events. Dave and I will also continue our work as organisers of the event, so the heart and soul of Summer in the City should remain firmly in place.”
“I think that Summer in the City has always done a great job to encourage both a wider community and micro-communities within the event. Every year friendships are made, people hold meet ups of likeminded fans and creators network over their common interests. This will only continue, as the event remains very much the same – just with additional guidance and support from the MCM team .”