Year in Review: Dean Graham – 2019 – A game of two halves

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2018 was a big year for me, the decision to separate and launch CityX was a calculated one but a big risk all the same.

However, since its launch in August we’ve continued to grow in size and strength and assert ourselves as the go-to business publication for the news and content that matters.

We take a different view to our competition in that there’s more to a publication than having to fulfil a quota of daily page impressions as the key metric of success; we just concentrate on building our reputation and that has seen a 3 fold increase in subscribers to our products.

The fruits of that success are evident in a near sold-out business expo (January 16, 2019) even though it’s twice the size as 2018 with nearly 150 exhibitors from across the county participating in what has become the must-attend business event of the year.

Our growth has also created a number of headaches, where the desire to strive forward needs tempering with the uncertain future that 2019 looks to hold. Everywhere we look, across all industries, we see the same nervousness around investment for fear that 2019 could be a hard year for the economy and therefore a hard year for business too.

I see 2019 as a game of two halves for us all, the first half will be a build up of fear and dread of whatever Brexit might look like, the button actually being pushed and at least a few months of everything settling down to a norm, but then the second half of the year I believe some positivity will return and the appetite to drive forward will once again be prevalent.

That’s not to say there won’t be casualties; I think at this point its fair to ponder of what will be left of the traditional high street in every city; as the cost of owning and running bricks and mortar retail property becomes ever more difficult due to the clear advantages of online e-commerce.

The tech bubble is also set for an adjustment, with incredible growth over the past 5 years, the valuation of loss making tech start-ups have reached unprecedented and truly unsustainable levels. An environment that seems scarily similar to the dot com bubble of the late 90s. History seems adamant on repeating itself where money is concerned.

For CityX 2019 will be a huge year, the building of LincolnX our brand new business membership club, the much anticipated return of the Director’s Conference, a further concentration on audio and video content and the launch of a brand new event will all stretch the team to its limit.

But our aim is to be a stand-out business publication for the modern professional and that won’t happen whilst sitting still.