Oct 13, 2020 - Economy

Bloomberg's New Economy Forum looks to take on Davos


Bloomberg's New Economy Forum, going virtual this year for the first time, is on track to challenge the likes of the World Economic Forum, The Aspen Ideas Festival and others.

Why it matters: The forum will be the first major global convening of business and political leaders in the wake of the U.S. election. The World Economic Forum has been pushed until next summer.

Driving the news: The agenda for the four-day, live-streamed event, happening from November 16-19th, will focus on five core topic areas: finance, trade, climate, health and cities.

  • Its preliminary speaker line-up features participants like Michael Bloomberg, forum Honorary Chair Dr. Henry Kissinger, and Co-Chair Henry Paulson, Jr, as well as Christine Lagarde, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and many others.
  • To make the forum possible, Bloomberg Media is partnering with several global think-tanks, including the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Europe, and the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) to bring the event live.
  • It will co-host the four-day forum with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) who it hosted the event with in-person in 2019.

Between the lines: The New Economic Forum is different from other large-scale global events in that it was created during a globalized internet era, and after the Great Recession.

  • The global gathering is designed to create a community of business and government leaders across the East and West to address the global crises of the new economy.
  • The agenda is driven by issues and trends identified by Bloomberg Media's global newsroom of over 2,700 journalists.
  • China's ascendancy to a major world economic power is a major theme.

Be smart: The event is unprecedented both in size and scope for a media publisher.

  • Most large-scale events, like the World Economic Forum, are funded primarily through membership fees from the world's largest companies.
  • The NEF is funded through commercial partners and to-date it's been a commercial success.

Sources tell Axios that Bloomberg Media brought in over $30 million last year on the event and that NEF makes up for more than half of the company's total live events business.

  • While most U.S. publishers focus on U.S. events, Bloomberg Media has pushed to invest in the global events space.
  • Last year, the company’s global live event business had expanded to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, with nearly half (45%) of its virtual event attendees come from regions outside the Americas.

The big picture: Bloomberg Media's strategy year-to-date has been to diversify its revenue into three main pillars: subscriptions, streaming and live events

  • The company says it has grown 13% in total revenue in the third quarter of this year.
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