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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal / Marcela Kunova - November 2020

Let's talk about publishers and (virtual) events in 2021 and forward

Note: This article is a collaboration between Marcela Kunova, editor of and organizer of the Newsrewired conference, and me (Thomas Baekdal). Over the past months, we have had several discussions about the challenges for event organizers, and this article serves as a summary of this.

2020 has been a really strange year. So many things in the media have changed, in both good and bad ways. One of the really big changes has been around events.

Before the pandemic, physical events were seen by publishers as a new and exciting area of growth. But then came 2020, and everything changed. Now, the trend around virtual events has been absolutely booming, and this is both good and bad.

Most of all though, 2020 has been a tremendous learning experience. We have seen how the trend of virtual events has evolved, and now we have a much better idea about what is to come and what people expect in the future.

So, let's talk about the many challenges, but also the opportunities that lie ahead.

Two major changes we need to be aware of

Before we get to some of the details, there are two major things that either have, or will, change the future of events.

The first thing is that people have become much more aware of the potential of virtual events. It's no longer just a weird thing that people would never really do. It has become its own form of event.

This is important for us to recognize because it doesn't just change the way people think about virtual events, it also changes the way people think about physical events.

Think about this the same way as we think about webshops and physical shops. Back when ecommerce started to take off, all the physical shops suddenly found that it was becoming much harder to run a shop. Why would people take the time to go down to buy something in a physical shop when you could just order it from your couch at home?

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Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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