XpoNorth 2021 Conference | Spotlight On: Creative Economy

We all know it, but it’s worth a reminder, the economy is a very dynamic thing. Whilst there are some ever-present fundamentals to how we create value and earn a living from our activities, the range of ways in which we can do that, and how we could possibly get better at it does change quite a bit. Sometimes things just evolve organically and we want to keep up with those new ideas. Sometimes unexpected events, like the recent COVID crisis, force us to reconsider quite dramatically how we go about doing what we do.

At XpoNorth we try to keep everyone up to date with what they might want to consider as they evolve, or how they can change and pivot when what has gone before no longer works so well.

At the 2021 event, which was itself markedly different to what had gone before as we switched to a largely virtual event, and through our seminars which continue through the year, we have had a range of panels that explore new thinking and new opportunities and throw light and understanding on our dynamic economy.

In Working the Crowd we jumped into the opportunities that emerge from what is referred to as the “crowdeconomy” essentially where we look outside of our organisation for value creation, be that crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and co-creation.

In our B2B podcasting session with Sam Delaney we explored how the often overlooked B2B application of the evergreen activity of podcasting can deliver brand engagement and fuel business growth.

We lifted the lid on the Global trends in A&R, looked at the importance of place, sustainability and the environment in driving culture.

And as for retail, it has evolved enormously in the past year and it has an increasingly significant part to play in extending the experience of those visiting heritage centres. We managed to cover both the now and the future of retail with panellists and speakers with extraordinary experience and insight to share.

Panels on the enduring investable opportunity of Arts, and a dive into the nature of innovation are just some of the content we have curated and continue to bring to you throughout the year. Through our ongoing coverage of that ever-changing economy, we aim to help the creative and cultural sectors of the Highlands and Islands continue to thrive and grow.

Crowdsourcing is transforming the creative and heritage sectors by tapping into the power of the crowd and harnessing collective intelligence and insight. Hosted by Epi Ludvik, founder and CEO of Crowdsourcing Week, this panel session provides valuable lessons on the way to utilise the crowd to create value and solve challenges.

From internationally recognised design and drama, to wellbeing and the environment, Scandinavia has done particularly well at creating an image and understanding of itself that has sold globally. This fascinating session will discuss how geography shapes and defines culture and how this creates meaning and value for communities and businesses.

This session brings together a fantastic group of speakers each with a particular relationship with a geographic area. The panel will offer a sharp insight into the range of new opportunities technology and innovation bring and how creative thinking can drive sensitive and stable progress.

Raising money is an essential part of the creative industries but is the Achilles heel for most artists. The topic of fundraising is often shrouded in mystery...until now.

This session, with Sam Delaney, CEO of podcast production company, 11-29 Media, will explore how B2B podcasting can deliver brand engagement and fuel business growth.

Join Marian Wolf (VP Global Writer Services & China, BMG) and Kenny "Tick” Salcido (SVP/Head of A&R Red Bull Records) as Monte Malone (Sr. VP A&R Worldwide) chairs this panel.

These leading globally minded executives from across the music and media landscape weighed in on where the global market is at and what’s on the horizon.

Jo Prosser, Director of Audience and Experience at the Royal Academy of the Arts, Martin Hughes, Operations & Estate Manager at Inverewe Gardens and Corrieshalloch Gorge and Alison Acampora, Commercial Content lead at the Royal Academy of the Arts, discuss how we can ensure that the museum experience continues through the gift shop.

This insightful session will see leading figures in digital technology discuss the ‘new’ customer, how their expectations of products and services are changing, look at new consumption trends and how businesses are adapting to ensure they can meet these demands.

The past year has had a dramatic impact on the retail landscape. This engaging panel will explore the future of retail considering online vs bricks and mortar, how small retailers can compete in a competitive space, provenance and addressing the consumer experience.

Tim Wright is XpoNorth's Digital Sector Specialist.

Our free 'Sector Support Programme' is for creative and cultural businesses based in the Highlands and Islands. It provides direct access to the Highlands and Islands network and works to support and connect practitioners across the creative industry in the region.

Find out more and apply here.


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