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Virtual Events

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The loss of event revenue as the world went under lockdown in early 2020 is epic. Of course, news media companies had been making good use of technology for quite some time to bring virtual events to audiences. But the pandemic in so many ways forced even more creative technological solutions. HLN in Belgium recently held a live virtual concert, reaching 2.2 million viewers. BILD brought Easter to its readers homes in 2020, and The Spokesman-Review held an advertiser-focused virtual chocolate festival around Valentine's Day in 2021. Worldwide, news media companies are finding their way toward revenue models created around virtual events of all kinds. The learning and revenue possibilities will continue as a mix of live and virtual events is the likely future of the industry.

Dawn McMullan

— Dawn McMullan, INMA

Exclusive INMA material on “Virtual Events”

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WSJ’s virtual summit for global partners lays foundation for collaborative community

The Wall Street Journal’s virtual partnership event facilitated conversations that helped all partners capitalise on the shared goal of acquiring, engaging, and retaining new customers while growing membership in a long-term, dynamic, and meaningful manner.

30 November 2020

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Advance Local: Virtual events, now and in the future

INMA Presentation File

07 April 2021

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Virtual events offer media companies non-linear, personalised opportunities post-pandemic

The pandemic has accelerated online events. News media companies that can realise their greatest strengths can harness their capabilities even once in-person events pick up again.

07 February 2021

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Three secrets of a successful event business today

INMA Presentation File

19 August 2020

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HLN reaches 2.2 million viewers with livestreamed concert

Exactly one year after the COVID-19 lockdown began, HLN streamed a 24-hour, non-stop music concert called 24 UUR LIVE. More than 100 local artists performed in an empty concert hall, but they reached more than 2 million viewers in their homes.

13 April 2021

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Kleine Zeitung launches Future Talks to capture younger audience

The Future Talks virtual series gives Kleine Zeitung a younger, fresher image, attracting Gen Y and Gen Z to the brand.

05 April 2021

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Chocolate festival exemplifies 5 must-haves for successful virtual events

The four-day Days of Decadence virtual event celebrated joy, self-care, local shopping, and Valentine’s Day.

14 February 2021

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The Women''''s Podcast and Virtual Event Series In Association With Green and Blacks

Part of our mission statement is to ensure that marginalised women, those often overlooked in media, are given a voice: for example, over the years, the podcast has heard from women in direct provision, sex workers, traveller women and working class women and girls. Across 2020, the over arching business ...

01 March 2021

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Streaming of Livesport – Increase Loyalty in Reader Revenue With Stunning Numbers

Bonnier News Local is a swedish media company with over 40 local newspapers around the country. We have almost 500,000 subscribers.Our reader revenue is based on subscriptions and loyal, paying customers. One of our biggest challenges is finding content that increase loyalty among digital subscribers.Now ...

01 March 2021

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How 4 news media companies are using Webinars to create audience habits

Incorporating Webinars into their content offerings is a great way for news media companies to diversify their businesses and help audiences form habits involving content. Here’s how De Standaard, The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Economist are doing that right now.

12 July 2020

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How BILD saved Easter

When BILD realised people wouldn’t be able to get out and celebrate Easter with their families and friends, it decided to deliver Easter to their homes.

07 July 2020

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Wall Street Journal’s online events bring more attendees in one quarter than all of 2019

The Wall Street Journal has perfected online events during the pandemic, welcoming more than double the attendees than all of 2019 while yielding lead generation and audience diversity, as well as maintaining standards for seniority level of vice president or higher.

17 August 2020

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B2B travel site Skift shares lessons learned about survival, revenue, engagement

Rafat Ali, founder of Skift, shares lessons learned as he rethought his B2B travel-related business during 2020. What can news media learn from his experience?

06 February 2023

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ChatGPT, hybrid work shake up content marketing

World events and media trends shaped content marketing strategies in 2022. In 2023, emerging issues around hybrid events, social media, and other topics will continue to impact content marketing strategies.

05 February 2023

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What can B2B travel site Skift teach media companies about survival, revenue, engagement?

Rafat Ali, founder of Skift, shares lessons learned as he rethought his B2B travel-related business during 2020. What can news media learn from his experience?

02 February 2023

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Manorama Online summit looks at post-pandemic digital education

Techspectations, Kerala’s biennial digital marketing summit organised by ManoramaOnline, brings together tech influencers, heads of top brands, storytellers, and start-ups. This year’s discussion centred on digital education in a post-pandemic world.

29 November 2022

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WSJ’s Future of Everything Festival engages new audiences as hybrid event

Musician and entrepreneur J Balvin, known as the Prince of Reggaeton, was among the high-profile names that helped draw more than 16,000 registrants to the 2022 Festival of Everything. Here is a look at how The Wall Street Journal team created a successful hybrid event two years after the pandemic.

14 November 2022

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Graham Media Group engages audience through comments and community

Graham Media Group changed the traditional approach of broadcast television and began listening to its audience to nurture a one-on-one relationship. Now, it is engaging users and enjoying more growth and participation.

19 October 2022

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Today reaches youths with live Webinars on Instagram and TikTok

Today held four live Webinars toward the end of 2021. Panelists and journalists discussed findings from the Today Youth Survey on racism, attitudes on LGBTQ issues, COVID-19 and mental health, and redefining success and priorities.

10 October 2022

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SCMP navigates complexities, opportunities in Hong Kong as in-person events return

In-person events may be returning, but hybrid options yield unique benefits for both attendees and sponsors.

03 October 2022

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Kleine Zeitung Next works closely with Gen Z to deliver content young readers want

Research has shown that in these times of war and COVID-19, younger generations are actively looking for trustworthy news in their feeds. Kleine Zeitung Next hopes to fill that gap.

30 August 2022

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Winnipeg Free Press brings community together with virtual movie night

When COVID-19 lockdowns prevented in-person events, Winnipeg Free Press responded by creating the WFP Movie Night, which brought viewers together online. The successful initiative continues.

30 June 2022

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SCMP succeeds with virtual events paired with in-person elements

The South China Morning Post held its first in-person event in the United States in 2019 but quickly made adjustments to future events in the country during the pandemic by relying on trusted partners.

11 April 2022

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COVID has changed newsrooms forever

The changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic require media companies to consider permanent, long-term approaches to content creation and delivery. Events are one content area that must be reconsidered.

27 February 2022

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Newsday creates cultural brand using live and virtual events

Since March 2020, Newsday has brought more than 600,000 attendees to 225 virtual live events, generating an average Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 70. Here is how they did it.

02 February 2022

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Free virtual events let Winnipeg Free Press engage with new audiences

The Winnipeg Free Press is not monetising its free book club and movie screenings, but these virtual events are important to the company’s engagement journey.

31 January 2022

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ABP creates new revenue stream with education during lockdowns

When in-person learning went away early in the pandemic, ABP stepped up by introducing new virtual opportunities for education, bringing in new revenue after a creative marketing campaign.

06 January 2022

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South China Morning Post pivots to hybrid events

Unexpected problems occur with hybrid events, but the success of sponsorship, speakers, and attendance make them worth pursuing for the South China Morning Post.

20 December 2021

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How Wall Street Journal pivoted to a hybrid live/virtual event strategy

The Wall Street Journal shares its journey pivoting from live to virtual events, including lessons learned and how its strategy is pivoting for the future of hybrid events.

06 October 2021

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USA Today Ventures successfully moved two profitable events into a virtual space

The High School Sports Awards honours athletes throughout the United States while the American Influencer Awards celebrates social media influencers. They are two of USA Today Network Ventures’ highest-profile events. Here’s how they looked virtually.

23 August 2021

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News UK shifts to digital events during pandemic, increases engagement 60%

Pivoting to a virtual format allowed News UK to continue presenting big-ticket sponsored events during the pandemic. Revenue and engagement are up significantly from its in-person-only events pre-pandemic.

05 July 2021

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WSJ shares 5 takeaways from its hybrid Future of Everything Festival

The Future of Everything Festival attracted nearly 50,000 registrants from 115 countries — the largest numbers behind any event its organised.

21 June 2021

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Times of India app allowed audience to safely celebrate Bappa and Santa

When the pandemic forced shutdowns and canceled holiday plans, The Times of India created ways to celebrate virtually, including a Secret Santa promotion.

16 June 2021

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NBC streams holiday shopping event from pandemic-safe sets

“Peacock Presents: Holiday Steals & Deals with Jill Martin” brought Today’s “Steals & Deals” shoppable segments to a streaming environment for the first time during the pandemic.

07 June 2021

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WSJ’s Jobs Summit guides job seekers during the pandemic

The Wall Street Journal's complimentary full-day virtual events — in September 2020 and March 2021 — targeted 5,000-plus job seekers in varying stages of their careers, offering practical and service-oriented guidance from pioneering business leaders across industries.

24 May 2021

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Slobodna Dalmacija keeps celebration of patron saint alive with virtual event

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Saint Dominus celebration had to be canceled, but Slobodna Dalmacija kept it alive digitally while also sharing it with younger generations.

22 April 2021

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Wearable mobile tech = revenue diversification opportunities for media

Developments in 3D, Augmented Reality, mobile video, and 5G are coming together to create new revenue opportunities for media companies.

20 April 2021

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WSJ’s virtual Student Editor Summit increases engagement with college students

The Wall Street Journal’s virtual Student Editor Summit attracted more than 1,300 college students to its first two events, many of whom said they were likely to interact with the WSJ after the event.

19 April 2021

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Advance Local shares 6 lessons learned about virtual events

Advance Local shifted its in-person events to virtual events during COVID-19, learning some lessons along the way and creating a hybrid live/online event strategy for the future.

07 April 2021

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Advance Media connects students and colleges with virtual fair

When the pandemic made in-person college visits difficult, Advance Media New York created the Northeast Virtual College Fair, resulting in US$20,000 in new business and 2,600 Web site users.

28 March 2021

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High School Sports Awards, American Influencer Awards

Ventures Events has effectivley leveraged our event creation platforms by using video production to bring live awards and experiences to the public virtually, enhance promotions to generate revenue, engage audiences and gain new advertisers.  For the purpose of thie submission, we will highlight our ...

01 March 2021

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Globe Up Close: A Subscriber Event Series to Reduce Churn

Add value to a subscription: We’ve learned that showing value is critical to retaining our customers, particularly within the first year of subscribing. Enter Member Benefits, a hub that houses all of the added ‘benefits’ to being a subscriber. Special benefits include curated guides, financial tools, ...

01 March 2021

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The Echo Virtual Women''s Mini Marathon

2020 was the 39th year of The Echo Women’s Mini Marathon which typically takes place in late September, it is known as one of Munster’s premier road races and is one of the biggest sporting participation events outside of Dublin.  In 2019,  the race attracted up to 6,000 participants, many of whom fundraised ...

01 March 2021

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The Wall Street Journal’s Job Summit 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic shook the job market and upended the economy. The nation struggled to adapt as roughly a quarter of all U.S. jobs were disrupted, hiring practices shifted, and joblessness and quarantining took a toll on people’s mental health.  Recognizing the need to provide the public with ...

01 March 2021

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Irish Times initiative boosts advertising partnerships during pandemic

A Webinar for INMA members looked at the “Sparks of Joy” initiative from The Irish Times, which allowed the company to pivot during the pandemic for higher audience engagement and to provide opportunities like virtual events for advertising partners.

10 February 2021

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Dow Jones CEO shares his vision of what the post-COVID future of news media requires

Dow Jones CEO Almar Latour spoke to INMA members in a live Webinar about the post-COVID future of titles like The Wall Street Journal.

06 January 2021

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Bergens Tidende keeps holiday tradition alive with digital event

Even during a pandemic, Bergens Tidende knew its annual Festival of Lights was a tradition that needed to continue.

08 December 2020

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Virtual Beerfest is a refreshing live event experiment for Singapore Press Holdings

Thanks to a digital environment, the annual Beerfest Asia was able to continue in 2020, offering live music, beer, and much-needed revenue.

29 September 2020

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Digital wine tastings generate new business for Aftenposten’s loyalty programme

Launching digital wine tastings attracted an unknown audience for Aftenposten after its wine tasting event business tanked during the COVID lockdown. Here are some lessons learned that likely will keep the digital and in-person tastings co-existing in the future.

27 September 2020

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24sata increases event revenue during COVID-19

When COVID-19 brought 24sata’s event business to a standstill, the company transformed its model and saw more success — and revenue — than ever before.

19 August 2020

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How SPH conducted livestream reporting during recent election

The newsrooms under Singapore Press Holdings have been enhancing their capabilities to produce livestreamed programming, and they delivered during the recent general election.

28 July 2020

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Wall Street Journal’s pivot to virtual events reveals new audiences, rich data

Though the global pandemic disrupted The Wall Street Journal’s live event schedule, the company found virtual events were a good opportunity to collect data and foster a sense of community.

06 July 2020

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COVID-19 shutdown can’t stop coverage of annual Swedish celebration

Valborg in Uppsala in 2019 compared to 2020 shows a totally different city. Upsala Nya Tidning found a way to bring the annual event to life via video.

22 June 2020

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Digital events, subscriber-only podcasts should enhance premium subscriptions

Premium subscriptions are a great way for media companies to generate revenue, but the value proposition needs to serve the audience. Here are four ways to do just that.

16 June 2020

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Events expert shares (virtual) planning tips for media companies

The future of events is virtual, and media companies need to bring in expert help to execute flawlessly.

09 June 2020

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Adaptable formats, trust offer key to virtual media events

As media companies move their events online, one-on-one networking remains difficult but seasonality disappears.

07 June 2020

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How publishers are innovating with content, experiences during the pandemic

INMA Researcher-in-Residence Grzegorz Piechota shares COVID case studies from The New York Times, VG, and Gazeta Wyborcza.

30 April 2020

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HLN livestreams 6-hour helicopter flyover of pandemic well wishes and unity

On Sunday, April 5, HLN flew a helicopter over the Flanders region of Belgium while doing a livestream video of the view below — a view that included people from all walks of Belgian life sending up messages of love and hope. From the Monday idea to do “The Tour Against Corona” to the Thursday marketing push to the Sunday launch, here’s how it all came together perfectly after 21,000 responded to the call.

06 April 2020

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Top Web resources on “Virtual Events”