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Event Industry during the Pandemic Time: A Challenge to Write New Game Rules from Scratch

jean pierre fumey



Natalie Gavrilenko Aroundb

We talked to Natalie Gavrilenko, CEO at Aroundb on how they do events, marketing, and PR for Fintech projects and here is what he said about it.

First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times? 

Natalie Gavrilenko: We’re doing fine, thank you. It’s not an easy period for all of us, but I can say that retired people are the most vulnerable nowadays. So I care a lot about my parents as it might be challenging for them to overcome this situation.

Tell us about yourself, your career, and how you founded Aroundb.

Natalie Gavrilenko: I started my event management career in 2012, and in 2016 my partner and I founded AroundB agency to organize events in the Blockchain sphere and provide PR and marketing services for crypto projects.

How does Aroundb innovate? 

Natalie Gavrilenko: We have innovated a lot. We launched a new direction and took projects that we’ve never worked with before. We learn from our competitors and create new rules at the same time. It’s not easy to learn so many things simultaneously. Unfortunately, we have no choice: innovate or die.

How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you coping with it?

Natalie Gavrilenko: In March 2020, we held The Conference.Exchanges in Amsterdam, just a few days before Europe had to close its borders and announce a lockdown. We knew that this story would last not only for spring 2020 but probably for the rest of the year. It was not an easy decision for us to be locked in the country without doing events all over the world, as we used to. So we had to change our strategy and focus mainly on PR and marketing services. Plus, we extended our services and added the e-commerce direction. We launched a new series of small local events dedicated to e-commerce, knowing that it’s the only business that will bloom during the global pandemic. 

COVID-19 may close our borders, but it cannot stop people from communicating. So in March 2021, we’re going to organize our annual The Conference.Exchanges as an online-only event.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what lessons you’ve learned?

Natalie Gavrilenko: Yes, we had to make a hard decision: to accept the fact that we will have to network differently than we used to do it. We had to search for alternatives, find the strength to put on hold some successful projects, and wait for the situation to be clearer. We struggle to do so, but its life and there is nothing we can do. 

How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Aroundb in the future?

Natalie Gavrilenko: Things that I learned is that to be stuck in one idea is a bad decision for business and life in general. To be flexible and creative are the most important things these days. If you cannot do events, do something similar or do events differently, creating new network possibilities.

Stress and anxiety are the worst enemies that we can create in our life. It is a challenge to focus on good things and see the light in the nearest future.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game? 

Natalie Gavrilenko: Our competitors are surviving just like us. They had to create something new and act like never before. Knowing how hard it is for all the event industry to survive, we are trying to help each other, create common zoom meetings, and share ideas on transforming our industry into something new and prospective.

Your final thoughts?

Natalie Gavrilenko: Our world will never be the same, just like we are. So it’s a bad time for all of us to panic and do nothing. We need to learn how to step into a world full of unknown elements. We need to consider this time as a game, as the right time to turn on our imagination 100% and get out of our boxes. We miss the great things we had, but creating new ones can be as interesting as building new game rules will change our life for the better.

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Jean-Pierre is a polyglot communication specialist, freelance journalist, and writer for with over two decades of experience in media and public relations. He creates engaging content, manages communication campaigns, and attends conferences to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. He brings his wealth of experience and expertise to provide insightful analysis and engaging content for's audience.

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