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Coronavirus SXSW Advertising Week

The Drum pulls pub events in favour of digital festival in response to coronavirus


By The Drum, Editorial

March 5, 2020 | 3 min read

The Drum has taken the decision not to go ahead with its pubs at Advertising Week and SXSW this month due to the developing coronavirus situation.

Drum Arms

The Drum Pubs will not open in London and Austin this month

But a packed programme of high-profile interviews, keynotes and panels will still be taking place – in a dynamic new format – as plays host to a new global online festival beginning March 16.

The Digital Transformation Festival will ensure The Drum’s audiences across the globe do not miss out on the inspiring talks and feisty debates scheduled to take place. Live and interactive, it will give remote attendees a chance to engage, ask questions and contribute insights in the safest manner possible.

More details about the Digital Transformation Festival schedule will be released in the coming days and you can register your interest now at the dedicated website.

Gordon Young, editor-in-chief of The Drum, said: “It is naturally disappointing that we are cancelling The Drum’s pubs in London and Austin, which are always a barnstorming highlight of the year. But the health of our customers, partners and staff is paramount and we felt it would not be responsible to go ahead as usual.

“Rather than let our brilliant event agendas go to waste, we now have an opportunity to introduce an innovative new festival format. This is an opportune moment to focus minds around digital transformation, and we can’t wait to welcome our readers and partners around the world to the first Digital Transformation Festival later this month.”

During the festival, will play host to an array of live-streamed panel sessions, talks and roundtables. A Digital Transformation Festival takeover will also see The Drum publish a wealth of content dedicated to the topic.

The Drum will continue to review its live event plans for the first half of the year. Decisions around awards judgings and event ceremonies will be taken to ensure we best deliver these responsibly.

The Agency Acceleration Day conference, scheduled to be held on 25 March in London, will now take place later in 2020.

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