Top Virtual Events for Journalists, Bloggers to Attend in 2021
Welcome to Blogger Events, a monthly column of what’s happening in the blog world. If you have an event you’d like featured, reach out to the Beyond Bylines team via Twitter at @BeyondBylines.
As we start to think ahead to a new year (and cross our fingers for a good one), our team has compiled a few events to plan for. These learning opportunities will be a great way to help you meet your resolutions, learn a new skill, or just switch up your day-to-day WFH routine.
There are bound to be plenty more events as 2021 takes shape, but these are a few events that are already making plans.
Keep in mind that dates are subject to change due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and we will work to keep this list up-to-date. Make sure to check individual event pages and follow our monthly event calendars for the latest info.
Oct. 22-Dec. 21: Google News Initiative (GNI) Live
The Google News Initiative will be hosting a series of trainings on YouTube Live. The December sessions will include Data Journalism and Machine Learning (Dec. 7) and Verification (Dec. 21).
Dec. 8-9: Search Marketing Expo
If you’re looking to boost your SEO and SEM skills for 2021, check out the virtual Search Marketing Expo. With four tracks (organic, paid, technical, solutions), 45+ sessions, keynotes, and networking, this event will help attendees gain “actionable tactics and strategies that drive more traffic, conversions, and ROI.”
This webinar will focus on Covering Climate Equitably: A Guide for Journalists, a new guide published by The Solutions Project and endorsed by Solutions Journalism Network. According to the announcement, “The guide offers helpful information and practical tips for journalists working in any medium who want to produce climate and clean energy stories that accurately and appropriately feature the views, experiences, and leadership of people of color and low-income communities working on climate change solutions.” The webinar will be moderated by Errin Haines, co-founder and editor at large at The 19th and an MSNBC contributor, and the panel will include TIME senior correspondent Justin Worland and freelance journalist Katie Pyzyk, who wrote one of the stories featured in the guide.
Multiple Dates/Events in 2021: International Food Blogger Conference
Food bloggers, food writers, and digital media influencers will have several opportunities to boost their skills in 2021 with events from the International Food Blogger Conference. The main conference will take place in October in El Paso, Texas. But throughout the year, free virtual events will be available and will cover a range of food content creation topics. The virtual events will include Social Media (Jan. 15), Website & SEO (March 18), Working with Brands (May 12), and Productivity (July 13).
January 2021: Yoga for Journalists
2020 was A YEAR and many journalists are experiencing burnout, anxiety, sleep loss, and elevated stress levels. This course from Leslie, the News Yogi, will teach reporters which yoga and meditation practices work best for them and how to use them to address trauma and stress due to their work.
Feb. 28-March 3: Alt Summit
The Alt Summit brings together creative entrepreneurs and influencers to “find a business bestie (or two),” learn from each other and help each other. The event caters to a wide mix of creatives, including artists, photographers, pinners, vloggers, content creators, designers, and bloggers. Before it was canceled due to COVID, the 2020 summit planned to cover topics like writing, social media, podcasting, crafts, and brand relationships. At the time of writing, the event is still being planned as an in-person conference in Palm Springs, Calif.
March (TBD): NICAR21
Originally scheduled as an in-person event in Baltimore, the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) virtual data journalism conference is going virtual due to the pandemic. Panels, demos, and networking sessions will be planned. Hands-on data skills will be taught via sessions for all levels – beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Session topics, speakers, and dates for the conference have not been finalized.
March 16-20: SXSW Online
While an in-person event hasn’t been finalized yet, South By is adding an online component to the 2021 offerings. Keynotes and sessions, screenings, showcases, networking, and exhibitions will be available. Some of the 2021 themes include A New Urgency (how to make progress on issues like racial injustice, poverty, and the climate crisis), The Rebirth of Business (examining capitalism as we rebuild the economy), and Cultural Resilience in the Arts (how an explosion of creativity will impact our culture).
April 23-25: Women in Travel Summit
The Women in Travel Summit is a place for travel experts to “discuss future innovations, build dynamic collaborations, and change travel worldwide, all while supporting and empowering a dynamic community of women and gender diverse people.” Bloggers and content creators will have access to the sessions and keynotes, networking events, happy hours, and tours. A Beginner Bootcamp is also available as an add-on for those new to blogging and content creation. WITS North America will take place in Kansas City, Missouri, at the Marriott Downtown.
April 16-18: TravelCon
This three-day event will bring together travel industry leaders, influencers, and writers. It will feature keynotes, small group writing and photography workshops, networking events, and industry panels. The four main areas of focus will be video, photography, writing, and blogging. So far, TravelCon is being planned as an in-person event in New Orleans, La. More planning info will be available before the end of the year.
May (TBD): #WeAllGrow Summit
The #WeAllGrow Summit hosts Latina creators, entrepreneurs, influencers, and media that are “aligned with investing in our collective power.” After the 2020 event was canceled due to the pandemic, there are plans to reschedule it for May 2021.
June 11-14: Craft + Commerce
The Craft + Commerce conference is designed to help online creators – bloggers, vloggers, freelancers, podcasters, etc. – be inspired by stories from their peers and educated by experts to help grow their business. The event will feature short talks with creators, small group workshops, and more. It will be held at Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (JUMP) in Boise, Idaho.
Fall (TBD): Bloggy Conference
2021 will mark the 10th anniversary of the Bloggy Conference. As of now, the plan is to hold the event in Sandusky, Ohio, at Cedar Point. The final agenda and speakers are TBD.
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Rocky Parker is the manager of Audience Relations at PR Newswire. Check out her previous posts for Beyond Bylines and connect on LinkedIn. When she’s not working, Rocky typically can be found cooking, binge-watching a new show, or playing with her puppy, Hudson.