COMMUNITY support will be more important than ever as businesses look to organise events again.

That is the view of Poole-based marketer Mark Masters, whose Daily Echo-backed You Are the Media conference is being turned into a month of online learning that will cover everything from content strategy to LinkedIn training.

Mr Masters – who founded the You Are the Media business community and the marketing consultancy We Are the Media – had to cancel his 2020 conference when the Covid crisis struck.

“Similar to many businesses, everything stopped overnight with no contingency plan. The live events had been in place since 2016 and 90 per cent of output had been offline, so it meant that everything came to an abrupt halt,” he said.

He decided to cancel the 2021 in-person conference but run the first You Are the Media Month of Learning, which will take place online throughout April.

It will feature leading marketers and authors including Mark Schaefer from the US and Trevor Young form Australia.

Mr Masters said: “Many businesses who are picking up the pieces have to realise they can’t do everything themselves. We all need the support of others and understand that in business, having a rapport and attachment is so important. The pandemic has been isolating for many of us. We need others around us.”

Bournemouth-based law firm Steele Raymond has supported the Month Of Learning by funding places for young entrepreneurs. Bournemouth University has agreed to support the initiative’s wider learning and Dorset Growth Hub has helped with technical and delivery support.

Lee Taylor, business development director at Steele Raymond echoes, said: “Dorset is, and always has been, a county of genuine community. The last 12 months have shown the positive impact that a vibrant business community can have by working together and supporting each other.

“The You Are the Media events have had the community at its heart since day one, and throughout lockdown, so I’m delighted that Steele Raymond continues to support the conference, allowing young entrepreneurs to hear from globally renowned speakers.”

Ian Jones, head of external engagement at Bournemouth University, said: “I am delighted that BU continues to support projects such as this. Those taking part will acquire new learning that will boost personal confidence and unveil new innovative solutions to ongoing challenges.”

The You Are The Media Month Of Learning runs from April 1-30. Details at