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XpoNorth 2021 line-up announced

Published: 11/02/2021

An internationally acclaimed historian and Hollywood producer will be among the high-profile talent speaking at XpoNorth’s annual conference in June.

Iain Hamilton of HIE (picture credit: Gillian Frampton). Banner image by Tim Witherspoon.

XpoNorth is Scotland's leading creative industries conference, funded by HIE and delivered by IronWorks Venue.

Following on from the success of last year, it will return as an interactive digital conference. It will see dynamic regional, national and international speakers from the creative, digital and heritage sectors come together to discuss the key themes of this year’s conference, new ways of working and storytelling.

Headlining the two-day event will be historian, author, broadcaster and award-winning Professor of history, Suzannah Lipscomb.  Suzannah has written and presented 18 critically acclaimed television history documentary series and is the author of five history books. She was also chair of Judges of the Costa Book of the Year Award in 2020. Suzannah will participate in a panel discussion hosted by BAFTA award winning writer, actor and TV presenter, Sir Tony Robinson.

Conference delegates with an interest in film will be excited to hear from executive producer Jason Lust, whose credits include films such as Peter Rabbit and the soon-to-be released Pinocchio.

The team from Buccaneer Media behind the Emmy-winning drama Marcella, Richard Tulk-Hart and Tony Wood, also join this year’s broadcast and screen line-up as well Lola Bubbosh who returns to the conference from the BBC.

Embracing the truly global spirit of the conference, also presenting will be internationally renowned voices including Alexander Knetig, head of digital distribution at ARTE, and Einar Hansen Tómasson from the Icelandic Film Commission as well as speakers from the BBC and the Cairngorm National Park.

Talking about the latest trends in audio will be Jaymeson Catsouphes, an award-winning director from new worker-owned audio production cooperative, Mumble Media.  Elena Corchero, who envisions the future of media, publishing, broadcasting and hybrid events as Director of Emerging Technology at NewsCorp, will explore digital consumers. 

Also taking part this year is Nicole Vanderbilt, UK Managing Director for Bookshop.org, who has over 25 years of experience in the consumer internet industry.

The international narrative of the Highlands and Islands creative economy, this year’s XpoNorth digital conference will open with inspiring landscape scenes from across the region. This is to evoke a sense of place for attendees and to bring a little bit of the area to speakers and delegates who would normally make the annual trip to Inverness to experience all that the city and beyond has to offer in person.

Delivered via the XpoNorth app, the conference will offer dedicated training spaces, networking opportunities, specialist advice sessions and a focus on wellbeing and mindfulness. New for this year will be the addition of digital trade stands and applications are now open for companies looking to take a virtual space at the conference.

XpoNorth is the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) specialist year-round support mechanism for creative industry businesses based in the region. Iain Hamilton, head of creative industries at HIE, said:

“It’s wonderful to be able to announce such an inspiring, international line-up for our second digital edition of the XpoNorth conference. When we hurriedly had to re-imagine our usual format in a matter of weeks almost a year ago, we could never have predicted the seismic shift in the way we would all be living and working.

"Last year’s conference was an opportunity to unite our creative economy looking to survive, but one year on it’s a chance to share new ways of working and look forward to life post-pandemic and post-Brexit.

“The past year has probably been the toughest our creative network has ever had to face and that's why this year we’re introducing sessions on mindfulness and wellbeing as well as providing practical business support sessions covering finance and funding models. Over 6,000 delegates attended last year’s conference and with this year’s stellar line up and improved interactive experiences for participants I look forward to seeing even more of our creatives benefit from the wealth of talent we’ve curated.”

The full line up and further details will be announced in the coming weeks and months. To register interest in attending the conference, find out about trade stand applications, be kept up to date with the latest news from XpoNorth and to discover hundreds of engaging pieces of content please visit www.xponorth.co.uk