XpoNorth team successfully deliver digital event during Covid-19

XpoNorth concluded last night as the first digital version of Scotland’s leading creative industries conference. The physical event was cancelled on 24th March, the digital edition was announced on 5th May and the event was delivered on 24th and 25th of June.

The team at live music venue The Ironworks in Inverness deliver the event. While many of the Ironworks team were furloughed, Ironwork’s Box Office Manager was able to be retained to support the delivery of the conference.

The Production Manager, Oliver Long, was originally meant to be working at Glastonbury, but when that was cancelled he was able to find a new role supporting XpoNorth. There were also six stage managers helping to deliver the project who of course rely on the live sector, so this has provided them work during this time.

It is also hoped the content of the conference will help businesses in the creative and heritage sectors to consider innovative new ways to bounce back.

Please find below a quote from Iain Hamilton, XpoNorth co-founder on the success of this year’s event given the difficult circumstances.

“This was the first virtual XpoNorth, so it was always going to be a lot of work for the XpoNorth team. The conference was really well attended and I was absolutely blown away by the quality of the speakers and the breadth of seminars on offer. To be able to access absolutely world class speakers from our home, ask questions and through the Socio App, be able to talk to other attendees was a great experience, and I hope has shown what is possible. It was also pleasing to see so many international attendees, so again XpoNorth just helps raise the profile of regional businesses and the Highlands and Islands.

I was particularly pleased to see the sessions focussing on heritage included again this year with people like Anna Lowe of Smartify, but it is really difficult to pick standout sessions from a programme like this. I found sessions such as ‘Akutagawa: Dismantling Collaboration’ with Kevin MacNeil, Willie Campbell and Colin MacLeod which looked at Gaelic and contemporary songs and poetry, or the ‘Design for Kids or It’s Child’s Play!’ seminar that brought together people with such diverse backgrounds to look at development of products for children or the incredible ‘Changing the Game? The Heritage Sector and 5G’ really inspiring. We’re all just looking forward to 2021’s conference now!”

Iain Hamilton, Head of Creative Industries, Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Anyone who missed the live conference can now access and replay the sessions via the Social app here by searching for XpoNorth at: bit.ly/XpoNorth2020SocioEventApp