Corona Decision Process and Virtual Events

Coronavirus is disrupting the media world.


Health and safety come first, no question. If running events, do your risk assessments professionally and communicate honestly. If not: make the decision early, give your clients time to rebook and make some new friends by being proactive.

And then it’s time to turn risk mitigation into a chance to focus on customer value, core products and integrated digital / live solutions.

Below are some resources that may help you, whether you’re an organiser looking to consolidate and/or pivot into digital, or a publisher thinking through how you can work with clients to meet their 2020 objectives online and in small face to face group formats.

Good luck out there. We’re going through this with you.

1. Hive Mind Recommendations from the Media Entrepreneur Meetup


We co-host a Meetup group of over 140 Founders and CEOs of events, publishing and subscription businesses. They put their minds together to come up with immediate responses to COVID-19 – so start here if you are still in phase 1.


2. Decision Process and Virtual Events Guidance

With help from industry mavens Ashley Friedlein, Adam Parry and Ros Oxley, we put together a decision process for event organisers considering postponement, and a first round of thoughts on virtual events vs distributed events. More to come – let me know if you want updates.


3. Join CREO: Corona Response for Event Organisers

Ashley at Guild has very kindly offered to support organisers of cancelled events with a free community group for 6 months. That’s helpful – and he’s also set up CREO to help organisers of all kinds coordinate response. We’ll be contributing, and sharing outcomes. You can join the group here.


4. The Lifeboat Plan – for Event Organisers

This is harsh, and I know lots of Founders and CEOs who just don’t want to think about it. But we have to assume that there will be significant economic effects. Those of us who went through the September 11 / telecoms crash in 2000/2001 will know what impact travel bans have on the events industry, but also on economic growth.

Our advice is, if you have too many marginal products and 7/10 people, to plan to cut back now and focus on your core.

  • Make a list of your people who are 8, 9 or 10 out of 10
  • Make another list of your products which are 8/10 or higher.
  • Don’t think, just write them down.
  • Put those two lists into your “Lifeboat”. Assume that nothing and nobody else makes the cut.
  • Make a sketch of your next year’s P&L and talk to your co-founders and finance director.
  • Decide what to do.

You’re 99% of the way there. Cash burn is the enemy now.

We aren’t being dramatic. This is just what works. Sorry. We are always around for a cup of tea if you need a sounding board.

Hope you and your teams are well, and that you come out of this stronger.
All the best, Piers and Team Collingwood

Piers Bearne
Founder & CEO
Collingwood Advisory