The media crowd loves to get together. But industry events are not just a chance to let your hair down and (let’s be honest) gossip with old friends.
Conferences are places where ideas are born, agreements on new projects are struck and partnerships formed. This year is full of distinctive media forums worth attending — most of which can finally be found on OSF’s calendar of media events.
It was difficult to pick, but here’s the top five events located in Europe (and one bonus mention further afield) that you just can’t miss!
When: 1 – 5 April 2020
Where: Perugia, Italy
Fee: free entry for all attendees
Language: English & Italian
Focus: All things media
The International Journalism Festival in Perugia is the biggest open annual media event in Europe. The festival takes place every April in the picturesque capital of Umbria.
The program envelopes the whole city over the course of the 5-day program. This year’s event will host over 500 speakers at dozens of different sessions.
Speakers from The Guardian, Zetland, The Correspondent, Daily Maverick and many other leading media from all over the world will share their experience on how to build a successful reader revenue strategies, keep audiences engaged and create strong communities. Other big areas of focus this year include investigative and solutions journalism, new forms of media, media literacy and freedom of press.
When: 14-17 May,2020
Where: Mechelen, Belgium
Fee: €225-260 (€125 for students)
Focus: Investigative and Data Journalism
Data harvest (a.ka. European Investigative Journalism Conference), will hold its tenth-anniversary conference this year. It’s a full four-day gathering with pre-event masterclasses that will take place in Mechelen, Belgium (not too far from Brussels). Data Harvest is a perfect place for networking as well as getting some practical experience and learnings in during Hack Day and pre-event masterclasses.
This year, ARENA for Journalism in Europe, the organizers of the Conference, have brought a truly impressive program to the table.
The conference’s attendees will exchange experience with top investigative journalists, learn about new investigative methods, and talk about freedom of information and security for journalists.
As every year the organizers will choose a “hot topic” to focus on – this year’s is climate change and energy issues and how to investigate this field, which is heating all of us up.
When: 5 – 7 June 202
Where: Mezhyhirya residence, Kyiv Oblast, Ukraine
Language: English & Ukrainian
Focus: Investigative Journalism, Digital Tools and Operating Modells
One of the most unique locations for a conference – the former private residence of Ukrainian authoritarian president Viktor Yanukovych – will welcome crowds to talk investigative journalism, digital tools, civic tech and media management.
The 140 hectare estate includes a golf field, helipad, antique and modern car collection, zoo and pirate ship, among others, all testament to the impact of corruption. Mezhyhirya Fest 2019 gathered more than 700 people from over 25 countries.
In the three days of panel discussions, workshops and presentations festival participants debate approaches to content creation and administration in media, discuss the hottest revelations and come together to launch new projects.
Every festival has a central topic the discussions are focused around. This year the community will talk about the “Rise of the Machines” and how new technologies influence – both good and bad – impact the work of journalists and the shape the new media reality.
The second day of the festival always ends with an open-air concert and party by the edge of the so-called “Kyiv sea”.
When: 16 – 18 October, 2020
Where: Bucharest, Romania
“Stories connect, inspire, lead, create, change, and heal” is the slogan of arguably the most impactful narrative conference – The Power of Storytelling.
The conference has gathered an inspiring medley of journalists, representatives from creative industries, civil society, and businesses passionate about stories that create change in Romania since 2011.
The theme of the PoS’s 9th edition was Heal. The organizers believe in the power of great stories to heal the soul, cover our wounds, bring solace and inspire positive changes.
The Power of Storytelling brings to the stage a bunch of great speakers to share both their inspirational experience and practical tips and tricks about how to deliver the deeper meaning beyond the stories we share.
Besides sharing positive vibes and inspiring stories, PoS is the perfect place to master the art of storytelling.
When: 25-26 November 2020
Where: Riga, Latvia
Reinventing Media Business is a two-day boutique event hosted by Stockholm School of Economics in the heart of Riga. The forum is defined as the first of its kind in the region.
This boutique event has a limited number of attendees (a bit under 200) to provide the opportunity to meet in person with media leaders who shape the industry, and enjoy the cozy Riga atmosphere together.
The first Reinventing Media Forum was held in 2019. It’s agenda covered subscription and monetization models, AI in the newsroom, audience engagement strategies, and new revenue streams with the main focus on the business side of the media.
Speakers from The Washington Post, The Guardian, Financial Times and Axios, and many other leaders from the industry, sought to identify the trends that will shape the future of media business and find solutions to emerging challenges.
When: 22-24 September 2020
Where: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Fee: sales start in March (ticket price in 2019 – $300)
Splice beta is Asia’s leading festival celebrating and supporting prominent and forward-looking media startups. It serves as a stage for learning, discovering and highlighting innovations and transformations in the media industry. The festival is focused on the latest trends in journalism, design, and product development.
Splice beta brings together media employees, startups’ founders, investors, donors, and business representatives to create a community of people standing for a true transformation in media.
This year’s program consists of discussion on how to create gender-balanced newsrooms; how to attract new talent and create viable business plans.
When: 18 – 21 June 2020
Where: National Harbor, Maryland
Fee: $315 – $415 ($100 for students)
Focus: Investigative journalism
Investigative Reporters & Editors is the largest investigative journalist gathering in the world. Every year the conference takes place in a different US city. This year the event will be held in National Harbor, Maryland.
The slogan of the IRE’s conference is – “Learn. Share. Connect.”
Participants will share their experiences and connect with the world’s largest network of investigative journalists. During this year’s gathering, the community of investigative journalists will celebrate the best investigative reporting at the IRE Awards lunch.
Every year the conference organization committee chooses an acclaimed journalist to deliver a keynote address during the opening. In 2020 the keynote speech will be delivered by Ronan Farrow, author of the best-selling book “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators”, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist.
When: 27th June 2020
Where: Żyrardów, Poland
A newcomer on the media event stage – Outriders Festival will be held for the first time on June 27th, 2020, in Żyrardów outside Warsaw, in what the organizers call a beta version. The goal is to turn it into an annual, unique gathering of journalists, storytellers, representatives from arts and technology.
The slogan of the festival is “Best stories. Best storytellers. World explained.”
The Outriders team wants it to be a festival that looks beyond the media sector [which The Fix strongly supports, as media tend to look inwards too much – Ed.]. Everyone who is passionate about stories (in any format) can join the event.
All attendees will get a chance to connect with great storytellers, take part in storytelling workshops and discuss how good stories can create positive impact.