XpoNorth is a year around support programme for Highlands and Islands based businesses, which helps grow the region’s creative economy. It delivers an annual conference, sector specialist support, two funded programmes (heritage and digital) and a range of other activities including training and industry introductions. It is Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s mechanism for creative economy sector support, with additional programme specific funding from City-Region Deal (Cumhnant Baile-Roinne) through The Northern Innovation Hub, Museums Galleries Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and Creative Scotland. XpoNorth currently employees 10 people.

Inverness Chamber spoke to James Roberts, Head of Creative, Brand & Digital at XpoNorth.

“Since the start of the pandemic my role has primarily been focussed on the shift from re-imagining live physical events as digital events. I now oversee the delivery of our digital year-round programme of webinars and our annual creative industries conference, which is now delivered online through an app based format. This has resulted in XpoNorth delivering further digital events on behalf of other organisations such as The Scottish Mountain Bike Gathering and more recently, NTS’s Battle of Culloden 275 Anniversary. Further to this I have been responsible for digitally upskilling our workforce to deliver these events as well as XpoNorth’s ongoing web presence.”

Inverness Chamber asked us why we want to be member of the week:

“We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the work that we do on behalf of the Highlands and Islands area and we would welcome as many individuals and businesses to sign up as we can to attend the XpoNorth Creative Industries conference on 16th and 17th June.”

XpoNorth Creative Industries Conference on 16th and 17th June. Last year’s inaugural online edition saw over 6,000 delegates connect with a host of leading regional, national and international voices to discuss the key themes impacting and shaping the creative, digital and heritage sectors.

From unique regional perspectives to cutting-edge global trends, XpoNorth 2021 will offer our attendees a raft of exciting digital experiences and the opportunity to join the conversation in more ways than ever.

Some of the exciting panels this year include:

– History on Screen

– Talking Derry Girls – Live!

– Designer, Patrick Grant on Provenance, Making Skills and the Highlands

– Confessions of a Female Tour Manager: In Conversation with Kim Hawes

– Expert on Expert: Why Investors Care About the Arts

– Writing on Nature

– Live Q&A w/Comedian and CONAN Writer Levi MacDougall

– Exit Through The Gift Shop: Continuing the Museum Experience

– Future of Retail

– Digital Shared Experience

+ so much more!


Register for free:

XpoNorth has managed to find a real footing over the course of 2020 in that we have harnessed the potential of online delivery. Traditional physical space webinars and workshops have been delivered digitally allowing us to increase our audience size and geographic reach. Further to this, XpoNorth has been busy diversifying its offering to the region across 2020 and into 2021 with new projects such as LevelUp! in association with UHI, the newly launch XpoCreates Social Media Film Festival and digital delivery support to wide range of organisations such as HIE, NTS and St Andrews University. Lastly, we have recently launched the Creative Digital Initiative website which is a partnership of HIE, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Creative Scotland, South of Scotland Enterprise and Scottish Government and has been established to provide support to creative and cultural businesses to help them develop their digital capabilities in response to the limitations imposed by Covid-19.

Over the next 12 months we plan to increase our range and quality of webinars and workshops, planning for 2022’s conference and continue to deliver our year-round sector support to the Creative, Digital and Heritage sectors.

We are proud that our LevelUp! partnership with University of the Highlands and Islands has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Business Engagement in Universities award at the 2021 Herald Higher Education Awards

ICC asked us what we value most our membership: “Inverness Chamber of Commerce provides a fantastic opportunity to network with other businesses and organisations.”

Our top-tip to other members to make the most of their membership would be: “Make sure to take advantage of the events and opportunities available, such as this member of the week slot!”




XpoNorth 2021 conference programme: Programme:

Registration link for XpoNorth 2021:

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