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Keynote speaker at virtual XpoNorth in June is Scot behind HBO’s hit True Detective

By Margaret Chrystall

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WHILE the set-up of XpoNorth has changed to adapt to the lockdown experience, the event – which returns as a virtual experience on Wednesday and Thursday, June 24 and 25 –maintains the high calibre of speakers has not.

The first three names from different sectors of the creative industries are announced as the event enters its sixth year under the name XpoNorth, now branding itself as Scotland’s leading creative industries conference and support network.

This year it has been reimagined as an immersive digital edition, But, over the years, the conference has attracted global talent including speakers from Paramount, Universal, Sony, NASA, The Louvre, The International Olympic Committee and Google and this year is no different as over 60 speakers will take to the digital stage to discuss the key themes emerging across the creative industries, heritage and digital sectors.

Keynote speaker Richard Brown.
Keynote speaker Richard Brown.

Headlining the programme will be Edinburgh-born producer, Richard Brown.

Brown, who was the driving force behind HBO’s globally successful anthology series, True Detective, and has served as executive producer on all three seasons of the critically-acclaimed, multiple award-winning show, will be giving the keynote speech on Thursday, June 25.

Also from the world of film and television, delegates will have the opportunity to hear from American film producer, Diana Phillips, whose credits include Death At A Funeral, Wild Child, Smoke and Alfie.

Offering unparalleled experiences for delegates to join the conversation more directly, the digital programme also includes renowned voices in the music industry including the senior vice president of A&R at Concord Music Publishing, Jeremy Yohai.

Top music executive Jeremy Yohai will speak from US.
Top music executive Jeremy Yohai will speak from US.

Jeremy will be joining the conference live from the United States where his role involves overseeing the label’s pop talent including artists and songwriters such as Mark Ronson, Jacob Collier, Denzel Curry, Noah Goldstein and Justin Parker.

This year, a particular focus for the conference is the heritage sector.

And the XpoNorth Heritage programme will support museums and heritage organisations through a curated programme of workshops, seminars and specialist creative advisors to help develop new ideas and find innovative solutions to challenges facing the industry. Delegates will have a chance to engage more on this through XpoNorth’s partnership with Cornwall Museums Partnership, which is being led by their innovation manager Amy Shakespeare.

A focus for the conference is the heritage sector.
A focus for the conference is the heritage sector.

XpoNorth – which usually sees over 1,500 delegates from around the world descend on Inverness for the two-day event – has responded quickly to the current pandemic to reimagine the conference as a digital edition.

And in addition to the speaker programme, the virtual delegate experience will include dedicated training spaces, networking opportunities, specialist advice sessions, showcasing hubs and social spaces.

Talking about XpoNorth 2020, Iain Hamilton, head of creative industries, Highland and Islands Enterprise said: “Now more than ever it’s imperative that our creative industries unite to discuss how, together, we can overcome the challenging times ahead so I am delighted that the hard work of the XpoNorth team has allowed the conference to go ahead virtually.

“The digital delivery has not hampered the outstanding quality of speakers on the bill and, in fact, has allowed us access to some international names who otherwise would have been unable to attend Inverness in person.

Meet-ups and networking will happen virtually this year.
Meet-ups and networking will happen virtually this year.

“This new digital platform will still offer participants the chance to connect with leading industry figures, something they have come to expect from attending XpoNorthand it will provide vital insights to help shape the future of the creative sector.”

XpoNorth 2020 Digital Edition takes place on Wednesday and Thursday, June 24 and 25. Delegates can register to attend for free here: https://bit.ly/XpoNorth2020

For more information and to view the full event programme please visit www.xponorth.co.uk

XpoNorth works year-round to support, connect and advise practitioners within the creative industry. It offers direct access to the Highlands and Islands network as well as the global marketplace to ensure that all creatives can connect with industry professionals.

XpoNorth is funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and is delivered by Ironworks Venue.

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