The End of Business as UsualBy Jeroen Posma | Tue, 11/10/2020 - 15:51
How many times have we heard the word “change” in the past 10 months? What many thought impossible last year has suddenly become inevitable this year, and change is no longer a choice. To rephrase the old adage about academics and publishing: change or die.
Never has that been truer in the business world as it has been this year. As January 2020 rolled around, we all still thought we’d have the luxury of time when it came to change. We didn’t, and it turns out that wasn’t such a bad thing.
Our “change” started in late January 2020 as we launched mexicobusiness.news, our first digital B2B content platform. Joining us were 400 business and political leaders shaping the future of Mexico’s main industries. After almost a decade of building a business based on print media, physical B2B conferences and networking events, we were closing the circle by finally going digital. In that moment, we did not believe that print was dead, we actually saw a bright future for print media.
No one was talking about a new normal then but looking back, that’s exactly where we were headed: toward our new normal as an integrated B2B media business. 2019 was tumultuous, the culmination of a global shift that started a few years earlier with President Trump’s right-wing populism in the US and more recently, Mexico’s sharp move to the left under Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Mexico also experienced its first economic contraction in a decade. We believed that 2020 could only be better.
There is no doubt that this year has taken us by surprise. It has opened our eyes and pushed us down a path of unprecedented change. The print media, business conferences and networking events sectors – for years, our bread and butter – are among the most adversely affected sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The digital transformation that started in January as a gradual re-shaping of our business model quickly became central to our survival. Change or die.
Today, none of the products and services that we presented at the launch party in January exist in the same shape or form. Our print media business is on standby as distribution to business and political leaders is practically impossible with everyone working from home. It’s the same for networking over a glass of wine or our physical B2B conferences.
But has 2020 been bad for us? In fact, this has been a period of unprecedented transformation that ignited the creation of new opportunities. Already, momentum is building as new products and services are gaining traction. The relentless focus of our entire team on mexicobusiness.news has transformed the platform into the most visited English-language business information platform in Mexico. Not only do we expect our fast-growing, high-level audience to reach 50,000 unique visitors this month, our marketing solutions have caught the interest of many of the biggest names across Mexico’s main industries.
Our conference business was reborn in late October, when we organized the 7th edition of Mexico Oil & Gas Summit as a virtual event, offering 465 participants the best of both worlds: an exceptional content program and innovative, AI-based matchmaking opportunities. The anticipated success of the eight virtual conferences on our agenda in the first half of next year is destined to transform the world of B2B conferences in Mexico before we kick-off our hybrid conference concept with Mexico Oil & Gas Summit 2021 next summer.
Some companies will survive this crisis and others will die. We don’t like either option. We are determined to thrive at this time of change. We are rebuilding this business to be better than ever. Entrepreneurs are often natural born optimists. For us, the end of business as usual is the beginning of something great.
Everard van Zoelen, President of ISAOSA, Lia Bijnsdorp, Managing Director of United Producers of Mexico and Jeroen Posma, Founder & CEO of Mexico Business have been nominated for the title of “Entrepreneur of the Year 2020” by Holland House Mexico. You can cast your vote here.