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XpoNorth provides support for Orkney’s cultural economy

XpoNorth provides support for Orkney’s cultural economy
24 February 2021

Orkney’s busy festival programme and visitor attractions draw many to the islands every year. With travel currently restricted, XpoNorth recognises the importance of providing support to Orkney’s cultural economy. In partnership with Orkney Islands Council, XpoNorth will host two seminars which will focus on keeping people connected with the islands during these challenging times.

The pandemic has meant that festivals and visitor attractions have had to change tack and come up with new ideas of how to attract an audience and engage with their customers. Understanding their audience and what the consumer experience needs to be is vital.

The first session on Wednesday 3 March will be delivered by XpoNorth Digital Sector Specialist, Tim Wright, who will discuss how consumers are looking for more immersive experiences, authenticity and greater engagement. Director and co-founder of leading crowdfunding consultancy twintangibles, Tim Wright helps organisations to create value and innovate through opportunities in the crowd economy, providing strategic advice and encouraging new ideas. He will explain how Orkney’s festivals and visitor attractions can work more effectively with their audiences.

An expert in remote participation and streaming events will deliver the second seminar to Orkney’s festivals and visitor attractions on Wednesday 10 March. Dougal Perman, who is also a Digital Sector Specialist at XpoNorth, will explain that location usually plays a great part in attracting visitors, however, with travel being restricted, he will demonstrate all of the tools that they will need to successfully stream online.

Dougal is the managing director of digital production company, Inner Ear where he has been responsible for supplying streaming solutions for some of Scotland’s most iconic cultural events. He will use his expertise to guide Orkney’s festivals and visitor attractions, providing them with vital information including what they need to think about when planning remote participation, the kind of equipment and platforms they will need, what audiences will expect and how to get a return on investment.

Emma Gee, Arts Officer, Orkney Islands Council, said: “Orkney Islands Council Arts Development and Economic Development are delighted to be working in partnership with HIE and XpoNorth to open up conversations with Festivals in Orkney, to explore sustainability and development in the sector. This offers up the opportunity to share knowledge and expertise and build on successes to ensure the future of a sector that is a significant part of the cultural economy of Orkney.”

Francesca Couperwhite, Head of Strengthening Communities, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said, “This has been a particularly difficult time for an important part of our economy which highlighted a need to think and do things differently. These two short sessions have been designed to help our festivals and visitor attractions to explore new approaches to audience participation and relationship building and to think about different ways to meet some of the current challenges.”

For more information on both events visit

Registration is now open via Eventbrite.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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