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Creative sector gears up for XpoNorth

Published: 21/05/2021

People across the Highlands and Islands who are involved in any of the creative industries are being encouraged to register for this year’s XpoNorth conference, which takes place on 16 and 17 June.

Jeni Oliver, senior business development manager

As Scotland’s leading creative industries conference, the XpoNorth event will once again be a free interactive online programme of activity, making it accessible to a much wider audience. Last year, more than 6,000 people were able to take part.

It will be delivered through the XpoNorth app, and offer specialist advice sessions, dedicated training spaces, networking opportunities and digital trade stands.

Headlining the two-day event will be historian, author, broadcaster and award-winning professor of history, Suzannah Lipscomb.  She has written and presented 18 critically acclaimed television history documentary series, is the author of five history books and 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.

This year’s programme also includes sessions with Kim Hawes, a rock band tour manager who worked with the likes of Black Sabbath and Motörhead. 

Delivered by Ironworks Venue, XpoNorth provides year-round support for creative industries. It is funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) as part of the agency’s wider support for the sector.

Jeni Oliver, senior business development manager with HIE’s creative industries team, said:

“Scotland’s creative industries is extremely wide and diverse, with operators ranging from large companies to one-person outfits. It has been among the hardest hit sectors over the past year and a half, with many challenges ahead relating to economic recovery and Brexit implications. 

“This means the type of support available through the XpoNorth programme and conference is even more important than ever. The event offers something for everyone and consistently stimulates innovation, networking and collaboration projects that help strengthen creative businesses across the country.

“It’s great to see such an inspiring and international line-up again this year. This will build on the tremendous success of last year’s event, which was our first as an online digital conference.”

Alex Smith, Ironworks Venue project manager for XpoNorth, said:

“With all the restrictions in place last year, it’s very likely that XpoNorth was the one of the largest conferences of the year in Scotland, for any sector. With the amazing calibre of speakers and sessions lined up for this year, coupled with much improved interactivity, we are again anticipating record attendance. 

“Delegates will be able to learn from industry experts, network with peers and collaborate on new projects and ways of working. In these times of accelerated change and drive for economic recovery, XpoNorth is something not to be missed, whether you’re a long-standing veteran or just starting out in the industry.” 

People can find out more, and register for the XpoNorth annual conference at xponorth.co.uk

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