Supporting Festivals and Visitor Attractions in Orkney to Explore New Approaches

XpoNorth will host two digital seminars supporting the festival and visitor attraction sector which will focus on keeping people connected with Orkney. Two free talks are being presented in partnership with Orkney Islands Council (OIC).

XpoNorth is Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s (HIE) specialist year-round support mechanism for creative industry businesses based across the Highlands and Islands

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.”

The pandemic has meant that festivals and visitor attractions have had to adapt and come up with new ideas of how to attract an audience and engage with their customers. 

Wednesday March 3rd 1.30 – 2.30pm: Getting more from my customers – the quick and dirty guide to the crowd economy

XpoNorth Digital Sector Specialist, Tim Wright, 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.

Wednesday March 10th 1.30 – 2.30pm Remote participation – a guide to streaming events for Orkney’s festivals and visitor attractions

Dougal Perman, is a Digital Sector Specialist at XpoNorth. He 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.

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

Orkney Folk Festival in 2017 photo Nick Morrison

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