BEYOND is an annual conference for thinkers, makers, investors and researchers across the creative industries, exploring the relationship between creative research and business innovation.
A unique gathering of current and future innovators focused on Research and Development across the Creative Industries, the conference brings together business leaders, creatives, researchers, policy makers, journalists and funders, providing an opportunity for delegates to CONNECT with future collaborators, EXPLORE pioneering R&D projects and ENGAGE with the global conversation on innovation, creativity & opportunity.
In its 6th year, BEYOND 2023 took place in London, with another carefully curated programme of R&D creative innovation, expert speakers, ground-breaking projects and lots more, including programming from BEYOND partners.
The 2023 conference theme shone a spotlight on the huge role UK creatives are playing in building some extraordinary ground-breaking projects as part of international teams. Showcasing this phenomenal work, BEYOND 2023 asked if these projects are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential of building new global partnerships for the creative industries.
The 2022 conference was hosted in Cardiff, 2021 came from Belfast, and in 2020 we went fully virtual due to the pandemic. Before that, delegates visited Edinburgh in 2019 and London in 2018 for the inaugural BEYOND conference.
Each year, BEYOND is attended by organisations from across the creative industries (gaming, film & tv, music, fashion, theatre, visual arts & more), including Aaardman, ASOS, BBC, Sony, Punchdrunk, the Royal Shakespeare Company & many more pioneering names.
Attendees can expect lively Q&As and discussions across breakout sessions, workshops, seminars, special events, networking, showcases, demos and more.
BEYOND 2023 was supported by its Founding Partner UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council, together with Programme Partners, the British Council.
Check out the 2022 conference highlights…
WHERE CREATIVITY MEETS R&D
- CONNECT with future collaborators, researchers and funders
- EXPLORE pioneering R&D projects across the UK’s Creative Industries
- ENGAGE with the global conversation on innovation, creativity and opportunity
Academia & Business
BEYOND provides a chance for academics, businesses and organisations working in the creative industries to explore the future of the sector. The BEYOND community has grown to include many companies and research organisations operating at the leading-edge of their creative sectors. far beyond the original group that met at the inaugural 2018 conference who were supported by over £110m of UK government funding as part of the Industrial Strategy including the Creative Clusters and Audience of the Future programmes.
Discover the benefits of attending a BEYOND Conference and why you should bring your colleagues from creative industry academics, researchers through to creative industry businesses and sector organisations.
Government & Stakeholders
Every year, BEYOND attracts central and local government stakeholders including the DCMS, BEIS, Treasury, DIT, LEPs and Cabinet Office, along with creative industry research councils including Arts Council England and British Council.
In addition to a strong UK attendance, BEYOND also showcases UK research and development expertise to overseas delegates, representing significant investment opportunities.
Media & More
National and trade media journalists, as well as students, startups and freelancers working within the sector also find the event valuable for the learning and networking opportunities.
In 2023, BEYOND conference headed to the prestigious Royal Institution in London and brought, as ever, a compelling, thought-provoking programme to an international audience of world-leading researchers, innovators, investors, business leaders, and thinkers.
BEYOND 2023, developed in partnership with the British Council, focused on a single core theme – the global creative economy. At a time when the creative industries are among the most dynamic sectors in the world economy, we brought together representatives from over 38 different countries to discuss the opportunities and challenges presented.
The programme explored the global landscape of these creative economies and the new forms they are taking. We took a closer look at big transformations led from the centre, and at grassroots movements gaining recognition for both their social and economic potential.
Featuring a host of expert speakers, short talks, panels and audience Q&As, BEYOND 2023 brought together many different viewpoints and industry expertise, plus our partner events, a showcase of pioneering R&D projects, and plenty of networking opportunities.
BEYOND 2023 featured an internationally-diverse speaker line-up from across the global creative industries.
It was a pleasure to welcome Emmy and Grammy award-winning producer of ABBA Voyage, Svana Gisla; Daniar Amanaliev (Co-founder, ololo group); members of the new CoSTAR network, which launched at BEYOND, including Christopher Smith (Arts and Humanities Research Council Executive Chair) and Laura Partridge (CoSTAR Strategic Lead, AHRC); and a wealth of other fantastic speakers.
BEYOND 2022 headed to Cardiff, taking place right in the heart of the Welsh capital. Delegates enjoyed showcases, dinners and networking at the iconic Cardiff City Hall and National Museum Cardiff over a 3-day programme.
It was a pleasure to welcome BAFTA-nominated Jason Mohammad as the conference MC. He was joined by a speaker line up featuring Sophie Howe (Future Generations Commissioner for Wales), actor Michael Sheen and futurist world-builder Alex McDowell addressing questions crucial to our future creative industries, with themes focused on understanding what part the creative industries should play in designing a zero-carbon future.
BEYOND 2021 was held in the vibrant city of Belfast at Titanic Belfast from 19 – 22 October 2021. The conference took the theme of place to look at how the Creative Industries are forming the heart of new vibrant cultural and creative economies, exploring the role of creativity and creative tech in forming and navigating new places.
As Professor Paul Moore, Director, Future Screens Northern Ireland, reflected, Belfast in Northern Ireland was the perfect location to explore how imagined spaces as much as real ones shape our place in the world.
The 4th BEYOND conference offered a lively two day programme with 60+ expert speakers, keynotes, panel discussions, think pieces and provocations, Q&As and a showcase of leading projects and research.
Live & On Demand
Delegates accessed live and catch-up sessions online and in-person (see BEYOND 2021 On Demand), with those in Belfast enjoying a bespoke programme of activities, including location-based immersive experiences, networking, receptions and more.
Showcase & Demos
The Immersive Futures Lab gave delegates the chance to experience cutting-edge creative projects, together with a Poster Exhibition unveiling cutting-edge research from Doctoral Candidates and Early Career Researchers.
A variety of exclusive activities included two tours showcasing HBO’s incredible Game of Thrones! Plus a number of events for delegates to familiarise themselves in Belfast and learn about the city’s rich history, including the ‘Hidden Heritage of James Connolly’ tour, a guided tour of Belfast’s street art and preview of the world premiere of Department Story by Big Telly Theatre Company.
The all virtual BEYOND 2020 conference took place on 30 November to 3 December 2020. In a year of absolute disruption due to the pandemic, BEYOND considered the adoption of new and emerging technologies, the impact on audiences and the creative industries, to focus on Embracing Change – what can we learn from the chaos and, New Opportunities – how do we build back better, but different.
Spanning four days, the programme featured over 80 sessions including keynotes, roundtables, showcases, demos & more, with 175 speakers, attracting delegates from over 20 countries.
Showcase & Demos
The conference also featured the Immersive Futures Lounge and Poster Exhibition, for delegates to experience industry-leading projects and research. Plus sessions in which attendees could ‘meet the makers’.
A Creative China track within the conference featured UK-China creative projects, insights and opportunities in China. It also included a showcase of the work being led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, to support the research-industry partnerships between the UK and China.
BEYOND 2020 On Demand
All the sessions from BEYOND 2020 including Creative China can be viewed on-demand.
This interdisciplinary R&D conference brought together researchers from the creative industries and showcased developments in the creative arts and industries. Attendees discovered groundbreaking ideas, experienced pioneering work and gained valuable insights on the impact of the latest technology innovations on the future creative industries.
Building on the success of the first year, BEYOND 2019 spanned two days to feature a single-track conference with keynote sessions, short-talks and panel discussions, expert speakers and an innovation showcase and an early career researchers poster exhibition.
BEYOND 2019 explored the intersection between Artificial Intelligence and creativity. Featuring insights from the cutting-edge of creative research and industrial application, conference contributors examined the realms of Informatics, to explore the current and future impact of machine learning, AI and data on the creative industries.
Showcase & Demos
Delegates also tried and tested the latest innovations from across the creative industries first hand, with demos of new technology experiences using immersive experience, virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality and more in the Innovation Showcase and Poster Exhibition.
Plenty of chances to network gave delegates the opportunity to make lots of great connections, including a BEYOND AI Primer event (pub quiz style) to kick things off and test everyone’s AI knowledge the night before day one.
BEYOND 2019 On Demand
All the sessions from BEYOND 2019 are available to watch on demand.
For it’s first year, the conference brought together business leaders, creatives, researchers, policy makers, journalists, funders and anyone with an interest in the future creative industries. It showcased the Creative Industries Clusters Programme and the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling, launched in 2018 as part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy.
The one day event was attended by over 300 delegates, including a broad mix of creative industry academia, organisations and businesses including ASOS, BBC, British Fashion Council, British Film Institute, Philharmonia Orchestra, Sony Interactive Entertainment and many leading universities. Plus key government stakeholders and many of the UK’s most innovative creative content producers.
An inspirational line up of leading thinkers and practitioners featured Professor Alex McDowell, Design Futurist at the World Building Institute (USC School of Cinematic Arts) and many other renowned speakers from across the creative industries.
BEYOND 2018 sessions are all available to watch on demand.