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Call for creative Highlanders to sign up for free conference

By Calum MacLeod

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XpoNorth returns in online form for two days next month.
XpoNorth returns in online form for two days next month.

Scotland’s leading creative sector conference, XpoNorth, has unveiled its full programme with a call for anyone in the Highlands involved in any of the creative industries to register to attend.

Taking place on June 16 and 17, XpoNorth event will once again be a free and interactive online event, making it accessible to a much wider audience. Last year, more than 6000 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.

Participants this year will include historians and broadcasters Suzannah Lipscomb and Kate Williams, rock band tour manager Kim Hawes, who has worked with the likes of Black Sabbath and Motörhead, poet Kathleen Jamie, authors Merryn Glover and Amy Liptrot, designer and The Great British Sewing Bee judge Patrick Grant, and Blackadder and Time Team star Sir Tony Robinson.

Funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), XpoNorth provides year-round support for creative industries.

Jeni Oliver of HIE's creative industries team.
Jeni Oliver of HIE's creative industries team.

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.”

XpoNorth is delivered by Inverness's Ironworks Venue.

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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