It’s over! Next week there is no Dataharvest Digital. Last night the final session said goodbye and see you – somewhere, somehow – in 2021!

It is almost sad for us at Arena – but at the same time we are happy and proud. We have had what Arena chairman Nils Hanson called “probably the longest investigative journalism conference ever”. 13 weeks of lectures, panels, presentations, demonstrations – a total of 149 sessions. And as opposed to a ‘normal’ Dataharvest conference, none of them were parallel – those who wanted to, could follow every single session of the conference.

The final number of participants was 593 – a record number, though we are hesitant to compare the online conference with the physical one. They were of 55 nationalities and lived in 53 different countries. And in spite of time zone differences we had participants from China and Kyrgyzstan as well as from the US and Latin America.

186 speakers volunteered their time to speak and discuss – thank you very much for that! Without that contribution, there would be no conference!

So what is ahead in 2021? We cannot say but will decide in January whether it is safe to have a physical conference in Mechelen or if we will be online again in 2021. In any case, we have learned a lot about meeting online, so we promise that there will be pop-up meetings and presentations online throughout the year 2021.

Online or IRL, we hope to present the best investigations, new and old data tools, tips and tricks to make your investigations better and your data skills more refined. Do you have ideas for the conference? Do you know a tool that you would like to present for others? Are there super-interesting investigations in your country that should be known to a wider public? Write your ideas in our call for proposals, and we will get back to you!