A live interview with an AI influencer and a virtual gathering of top internet personalities from around the world kicked off the inaugural edition of VidCon Now Asia on Thursday.

Presented as one of the new additions to the Singapore Media Festival, VidCon Asia is the local, online version of the popular event for digital creators and influencers. Originally planned as a summit, the event had to be switched online due to the pandemic, lockdowns and travel restrictions.

The virtual launch in Asia brought together some of the best known digital creators who have a huge following online, including Patrick Starr, one of the biggest beauty content creators; YouTube personality Mr Kate who specializes in design and decoration with more than 4 million subscribers; Wengie, who has more than 14.2 million followers on YouTube; and TikTok influencer Jeff Yuman. Executives from China’s iQIYI and TikTok also spoke at the virtual conference.

“Global borders come down whilst people can’t travel. We have delivered a program with creators, platform leaders and also our first live interview with synthetic human, Kuki. This clearly wouldn’t be able to happen if it was a live event on stage,” said Jasper Donat, CEO of Branded, VidCon’s Asian event partners.

Organizers announced that the virtual VidCon will take place every month as VidCon Now Asia through 2021. Things may culminate with a hybrid live and online version of the festival in Singapore in the fourth quarter next year, but that will depend on the situation of COVID-19 and relevant health and safety regulations, Donat said.