Is an event missing from this list? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @BeyondBylines about conferences and events for journalists, bloggers, freelancers, and other content creators. And make sure to follow our monthly event calendar posts.
Note: Due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, many events have been canceled, postponed, or changed to virtual-only formats. We will work to keep this page updated, but please make sure to check individual event websites for the latest changes.
Check out this webinar from the recent Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum. Corrine Podger, director of The Digital Skills Agency, breaks down the most important elements of creating a professional podcast. Topics cover how to choose your “thumb-stopping idea,” prep and research, hardware options, and of course, recording.
The Global Investigative Journalists Network (GIJN) hosted this webinar in December with globally-renowned data journalist, open-source reporting expert, and trainer Henk van Ess. The digital event covers several topics: Learn about the latest tools for doing research with images and video, facial recognition, and how to search using colors; and get tips on how to translate “visual” thinking into words, which helps to locate information hidden by Google’s search algorithm.
This webinar features Jeff Belzil, the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Director of Security, and Corinne Chin, staff journalist at the Seattle Times. In the session, they prepare journalists to cover civil unrest in the U.S. and discuss how to best report safely with police and political extremist presences.
This online course from Poynter is ideal for students looking to prove their proficiency in the fundamentals of language, math, fact-checking, and news literacy. The three-part course takes about 10-12 hours to complete and covers topics like common writing mistakes, sentence structure, writing about polling data, basic fact-checking, and more.
This hour-long webinar from First Draft is hosted by Maddy Webb and Laura Garcia. It teaches reporters “the fundamentals of searching and understanding the Facebook Ad Library. We will help you understand what information you have access to, how to interpret it, and how it can be used to enrich reporting.”
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).
Multiple Dates in Feb. and March: Covering the Statehouse
Reporters covering local politics should consider applying for this series of online workshops hosted by the National Press Foundation. It will include Friday training sessions in February and March, as well as a few summer sessions. Topics will include “localizing federal datasets; putting the impact of the federal government into context; covering Congress and the White House from afar; fact-checking, community engagement, and solutions journalism; and making the most of TV or Zoom appearances.” The deadline for applying is Jan. 25, 2021.
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.
Jan. 5: Solutions Journalism 101
This webinar, hosted by the Solutions Journalism Network, will “explore the ins and outs of solutions journalism, talk about why it’s important, explain key steps in reporting a solutions story, and share tips and resources for journalists interested in investigating how people are responding to social problems.” After that, make sure to check out other useful SJN courses covering topics like reporting on education, crime, and health care.
Jan. 11-14: CES
For the first time in its history, CES will go all-digital in 2021, allowing participants to join from anywhere in the world. “This new experience will feature more than 1,000 exhibitors from around the world, showcasing the latest trends and innovation in artificial intelligence, 5G, digital health, smart cities, vehicle tech, and beyond,” Gary Shapiro, CTA’s president and CEO, said in a press release. A live anchor desk will help attendees navigate the digital experience, hear the latest news, and view interviews. Media registrants are encouraged to complete registration by Jan. 8, 2021.
In 2021, the International Food Blogger Conference will include four virtual events in addition to the one big in-person conference in October. The first of the one-day virtual summits is focused on social media. The day will feature eight sessions and attendees can choose just one session or get an All-Access Pass to participate in all of them. Sessions include “How to Use Instagram Stories to Attract an Engaged Audience,” “Blog ‘Gram: Repurposing Blog Content to Instagram,” “How to Overcome Fear and Get Into YouTube Already!” and more.
Jan. 29: BlogHer Health
This free, virtual two-hour event will “fuel your mind and body with tips on how to create compelling content, ways to better navigate your health & inspiring stories.” Industry experts will discuss how to create competitive health & wellness content for your blog, social media platforms, podcast, and more. A focus will be on trending health topics that impact women around the world.
If you’re considering a move to business journalism, this hour-long event is for you. Attendees will hear from New York Times economics reporter Ben Casselman, The Economist globalization editor Soumaya Keynes, NPR Planet Money Indicator host Cardiff de Alejo Garcia, and Slate senior business correspondent Jordan Weissmann. The panel will discuss their career paths, what their day-to-day looks like, salaries, and more, in addition to answering audience questions. It will be hosted by The Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW).
Feb. 3-5: Southern C Retreat
In 2021, the Southern C Summit will feature options for a 3-day retreat in Sea Island, Georgia, and a virtual event. The in-person event is limited to 150 people and sessions and breakout events will be available to virtual attendees. The event is geared toward entrepreneurs, creatives, and business owners in a range of industries, including blogging, food, art, beauty, interior design, and more. It’s where #connectcollaboratecreate meets #relaxrechargereignite.
ProPublica, partnering with The Pudding, a visual essays online publication, is accepting applications from students for its sixth annual scholarship program. The program will sponsor 25 students to “attend an eligible journalism conference in 2021 and/or to contribute toward journalism-related expenses such as subscriptions to news publications, software, FOIA fees, or equipment (think cameras, recorders, etc.).” Students from underrepresented groups in journalism are especially encouraged to apply.
This is a four-week online course from the Knight Center. In it, “students will learn the fundamental skills required to launch and maintain a newsletter through a standard product life cycle and how a newsletter can fit into their work product and serve their audience.”
Feb. 25-26: Social Media Strategies Summit
Having a strong social media strategy is key to promoting your blog content, building an audience, and driving traffic to your site. This virtual summit will teach attendees how to utilize their connections, tools, and skills to see social media success. Some of the planned sessions include “How to Grow and Maintain a Social Media Following” and “How to Choose and Optimize the Right Social Platform for your Brand.” Ticketholders will also have access to live Q&A sessions, downloadable presentation slides, 1:1 meetings, and more.
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 1-2: Design Influencers Connect
This year, the Design Influencers Conference is offering three virtual events that act as the “intersection of interior design and the world of new media including blogging, social media, e-commerce, digital branding, book publishing, line promotion, and more.” Registration is free for all three Connect events. The end of both days of the event will feature a Speed Networking session, in which attendees are randomly paired for 5-minute face-to-face chats before being paired with someone else.
March 3-5: NICAR 2021
The annual data journalism conference from Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) will be taking place completely online this year. Whether attendees have beginner, intermediate, or advanced data journalism skills, NICAR will have something for everyone. Pre-recorded videos and lessons will cover spreadsheets, SQL, programming, data visualization, and more. Note: Attendees must be current IRE members.
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 8-11: Writing Workshop for Journalists of Color
Hosted by Poynter, this four-day virtual seminar will feature expert instructors helping journalists of color develop their confidence and skills to share their unique perspectives in their opinion pieces and personal essays. The instructors will include Tom Huang, Aisha Sultan, Eric Deggans, and Fernanda Santos. “This seminar will foster the diversity of voices necessary in the profession and train the next generation of opinion writers from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.” Apply soon, because this program will be competitive with only 15 available spots. Applications are accepted until Feb. 7, 2021.
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 19-21: 2021 Collaborative Journalism Summit
Registration for this year’s Collaborative Journalism Summit will open in early February. The virtual conference will feature informative panels and exciting lightning talks. Attendees can also pitch ideas for topics they’d like to see covered in panels or workshops. You can fill out this form with your ideas.
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.