XpoNorth 2021 Conference | Spotlight On: Heritage

We're thrilled to share the sessions curated as part of XpoNorth 2021's heritage strand.

This year's XpoNorth conference explored how we can identify different stories and the different ways we can tell those stories in order to drive our business forward, particularly for the heritage sector. Whether you are looking to get your stories out from your collection via new technologies or onto the screen or whether you are interested in looking at how connecting to and telling the story of 'your place' can help to drive your business forward, then there was a session for you.

From hearing from the National Gallery of Scotland, Smartify and Playdead on how to collaborate with confidence and use immersive tech to bring a story to life for new audiences in the Museums Immersive Network session, to exploring how a 'story-first' approach to developing your shop offer can help to drive sales in the Exit Through the Gift Shop session, the conference explored many different avenues to help us understand 'our place', connect with it and its stories in a meaningful way and to be confident in using new technologies and working with others to build our audiences. Alongside in-depth sessions on place (like Shared Perspectives: Driving Culture Through Place) there are interviews with Highland Museums on how they adapted and changed their working practices in order to ensure they continued to connect with their existing communities while also building on the opportunity to reach global audiences over the last pandemic year.

This panel promises a lively and entertaining discussion on what audiences are looking for and the kind of content being commissioned and created to meet demand.

Chaired by Sir Tony Robinson.

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.

In this session we explore partnerships between museums, tech companies and universities to look at the challenges and opportunities and how to ensure you can collaborate with confidence.

Nicola Henderson, XpoNorth Heritage Sector Specialist, introduces a visual journey showing how Highland Museums pivoted their work during the pandemic to keep their communities - local and international - engaged with Highland heritage and culture.

Publishing Scotland’s Marion Sinclair will be joined by leading author, historian and broadcaster, Kate Williams, for an insightful discussion on the joys and challenges of writing historical fact and fiction.

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.

Nicola Henderson is XpoNorth's Heritage 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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