One of Scotland’s largest and most ambitious creative industries events will boast the broadest range of creative activity in its history when it’s held in Inverness next month.
goNORTH is supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Creative Scotland and this year offers dozens of high quality workshops, conferences and live showcases completely free of charge.
The two-day festival which will run from 5-6 June brings together specialists and artists from across the world to share creative and business ideas.
HIE’s Head of Creative Industries, Iain Hamilton said: “We are expecting more than 800 people to attend goNORTH in this its thirteenth year. HIE recognises the important contribution that this industry brings to the economy and cultural life of the community. The sector is diverse and fast-growing and this is a fantastic opportunity to bring together local national and international experts to share ideas on developing their skills and growing their businesses.”
The event, which when it started focused on screen and broadcast industries, now includes fashion, crafts, digital media and publishing.
A popular feature with the public and the attendees alike is the live music showcase which takes place across Inverness on both evenings. It features over 70 bands including a diverse selection of wider UK and international acts.
As well as being the main supporter of the event, HIE is this year funding two panel sessions at the Mercure Hotel: ‘Digital’ which is specifically aimed at technology and digital media and the ‘Small Brands Product Placement’ which focuses on helping small to medium size businesses develop their individual brand.
The panellists for this ‘Digital’ session on the Wednesday 5 June will include big international names such as Bjorn Sandberg, founder of Scotland’s fastest growing social media platform, KILTR; Kate Wilson, Managing Director of Nosy Crow which publishes quality children’s books as well as make interactive apps for touch screen devices; Daniel Savage former manager of Madonna’s Maverick Records and now President of USA analytic company Music Metrics; and Neil Cartwright Managing Director of Million Media – a digital marketing company specialising in helping retailers and publishers build their audience and increase sales.
Adam Beeley from HIE’s digital and broadband team, said: “As digital connectivity is essential to today’s business and social activity, these HIE funded sessions offer many opportunities for people to hear from professionals involved in the industry about their success and how they have benefited from the use of online marketing and social media to take their businesses forward.
“Over the next few years businesses in the Highlands and Islands will see a transformation in broadband capability – as HIE leads on a £146m project to bring faster, more reliable services across the region. We want to help people make the most of it.”
On Thursday 6 June at the ‘Small Brands Product Placement’ session, key speakers include Inverness based designer Sandra Murray who once commissioned a dress for the Queen; Helen Chambers, festival co-ordinator for the Wickerman Festival which is one of Scotland’s most successful festivals; Mary McGowne, Managing Director of one of Scotland’s top PR and event management companies, Vine PR; and Paul Sims, Head of Music for the world’s largest crowd sourced agency MOFILM.
Other conference programmes at goNORTH will focus on music and publishing and top highlights include a series of textile and trend workshops and one to one consultations which are free of charge to companies in the Highlands and Islands.
The live music showcase will take place across Inverness during both evenings, connecting attendees with the most exciting new and emerging artists in Scotland. GoNorth will also welcome a diverse selection of wider UK and international acts at this year’s event. Over 70 bands will be showcasing to a broad range of music industry delegates and a large public audience.
Some of the most influential names in the music business will be sharing secrets from the industry in a bid to boost the careers of up-and-coming Scottish musicians.