2020: What A Year

December 26, 2020

What to say about 2020, that has not been already said on social media with a meme, zoom prank call or a crafty TikTok video?
For us, at P World, it has been life-changing

The event industry is one of the hardest-hit industries by the restriction imposed worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most countries have banned & strictly regulated live events, hotels are working on a bare minimum, and flying somewhere for a meeting or conference is universally frowned upon.

At P World, we started the year in January, full of optimism and a team-building session in Budapest, to coordinate the start of what was to be the biggest year for the company. 

We had a schedule of 31 live events & trainings in 19 different countries & cities around the world, planned from the beginning of February to June, already marking a 100% growth of the events we held in 2019. The team was growing, we were pumped and ready to start the year right and conquer the world!
2020 was supposed to be the year we enter new markets on new continents and establish our events on a global level. 

And the beginning was indeed wonderful and promising. Our events were performing exceedingly well, sales were on the rise, we were coordinating marketing campaigns, hand-picking the right 5-star venues that are a trademark for our events, negotiating with sponsors and partners, taking care of logistics and making sure every event was on track. 

We were already present in 45+ countries around the world, have worked with 50,000+ industry professionals in the fields of PR, Marketing, HR and Healthcare and on track to double those numbers by 2023. 

What Could Go Possibly Go Wrong? Apparently, Everything That Could, Will.

By the beginning of February, the whole office was hooked on the John Hopkins Corona Index Map and news feeds from the markets we had events in. Watching history unfold in front of our eyes, we were in disbelief that a virus can cause a global pandemic that will paralyze the world as we know it, and stall the course of humankind at least for now.   

By the end of February, it was clear to all of us, that our carefully planned business strategy was not going to happen. Out of the 31 planned events, we managed to hold only 3, our two HR certification programs in Vancouver and our marketing conference in Malta.

In March we started postponing the events to virtual ones and watched countries closing borders, airports, hotels and its citizens to their homes, attempting to curb the spread of the disease that has by December 2020, killed 1.7 million globally. We closed our office and started working from home, learning shamefully for the first time, that there was a thing called ZOOM and that we could actually hold great events using their platform. 

We held our first virtual event Digital Transformation: The LEGO Journey on the 31st of March, followed by Media Relations in the Age of Coronavirus on the 3rd of April, both aimed at the North American Market.

Our first CET Virtual events were the Strategic Workforce Planning Certification Program on 7-8 of April, the Virtual Leadership Skills in the Age of Coronavirus webinar on the 7th of April, followed by the How to Successfully Manage Virtual Teams During The COVID-19 Pandemic on the 21st of April.

In May, when we all realized that the pandemic is here to stay, we organized both Employee Engagement In The Time Of COVID-19 and Healthcare Communications in the Age of COVID-19: Lessons Learned from Mayo Clinic on the 6th, Virtual Crisis Communications Boot Camp on the 7th and the Virtual HR Trends Summit on the 14th.

In June we kept busy with the Virtual PR Trends Boot Camp 4-5, Crisis Communications Boot Camp (Virtual Edition) 11-12, Virtual HR Trends Summit 2 on the 16-17 of June, Strategic Workforce Planning Certification Program 17-18 and Virtual Education Communicators Boot Camp on the 18-19 and in July we organized the first Virtual Crisis Communications Workshop with Donald Steel.

After a long COVID-19 infused summer, we at least for a couple of months, went back to the office and started our September line-up of virtual events with (Virtual) PR Measurement Boot Camp 3 on the 11th, followed by the Virtual Strategic Workforce Planning Certification Program on the 17-18, the Municipal Crisis Communications Boot Camp on the 17th and the New Rules Of Working on the 30th.

October was one of our busiest months with Effective Leadership In Times Of Crisis on the 13th, Virtual CX Excellence Summit on the 14-16, Crisis Communications Boot Camp 12 on the 15-16, Virtual Global Healthcare Communications Summit 3 on the 21-22, Team Management In Times Of Covid-19 on the 28th.

We started November with the last edition of Strategic Workforce Planning Certification Program from the 2-5, the weekly Practical Crisis Communications Training Course, the Employee Engagement In Times Of Crisis on the 11th, the Global PR Summit Canada 5 on the 19-20, the Crisis Simulation Workshop: Keeping Control of Your Narrative on the 25th and the Workforce Analytics on the 25th.

We held the two last virtual events in December, Managing a Cyber Crisis: Readiness, Response, and Recovery on the 9th and Virtual Education Communicators Boot Camp 2 on the 10th marking the end a turbulent year.

Looking back, 2020 will be a year of many lessons learned, forever marked as the year that changed the way we live, work, travel and took away all the liberties in life we took for granted.

This year Sanja Popovska Petrov became our new CEO. Sanja is an event veteran and co-founder of the company, formerly the Chief Events Officer for our HR and Training Brands. She is hoping to live up to the brand and continue the 10-year tradition of creating innovative events, bringing people together(virtually) and sharing global knowledge on a global scale.

What 2020 has thought us as a company was to think out of the box, even more than before, and not take things for granted. 

In these difficult times for everyone, we have received so much kindness from our devoted delegates, who have given up their precious time to join us at our zoom events, our global industry partners that have been checking in and supporting us, and our cherished speakers who have selflessly devoted their time into developing new topics and workshops that are current and can be executed virtually. Thank you for your support!

We would like to think that 2020 has thought us be more understanding of each other and our limitations, has forced us, rather cruelly to rethink of our priorities and selfish ways, and has shown us how important our actions are, and how even in our 1 to 7,8 billion ratios, the magnitude of each of our actions is multiplied and each and every one of our individual decisions has a global impact. 

We hope that in 2021 we will apply the lessons learned, we will never again take things for granted, we will be kinder and cherish the opportunity to see each other again virtually and soon hopefully, in person.

Everyone, Please Stay Safe & Healthy!

Virtually Yours,
The P World Team