About Beyond

About Beyond

BEYOND is an annual conference for thinkers, makers, investors and researchers across the creative industries come together to explore the relationship between creative research and business innovation.

A unique, annual gathering of current and future innovators focused on Research and Development across the Creative Industries.

In its third year and due to the pandemic BEYOND 2020 became a fully virtual programme, successfully bringing together business leaders, creatives, researchers, policy makers, journalists and funders providing a unique forum to share learnings, explore opportunities and connect with leading experts in the UK and internationally.

The virtual conference in 2020 offered its global community provocations and insights from expert speakers from the worlds of theatre, music, gaming, TV and film, and visitor attractions; expect lively Q&As and discussions across breakout sessions, workshops and seminars. A showcase of industry leading projects will provide access to research talent through a poster exhibition – before, during and after the conference.

Held at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms, BEYOND 2019 focused on the intersection between Artificial Intelligence and creativity, with themes addressing the opportunities, challenges and controversies these innovations present. The inaugural conference BEYOND in 2018 was held at London’s Barbican, showcasing the Creative Industries Clusters Programme and the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling, launched in 2018 as part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy.

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Beyond 2019

Beyond 2019

The 2019 conference was held at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh – 20-21 November 2019 – funded by UK Research and Innovation as part of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy and produced by the Creative Economy Programme.

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, 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 2018

Beyond 2018

The inaugural BEYOND Conference, developed by the Arts & Humanities Research Council’s Creative Economy Programme was held at London’s Barbican on the 19 November 2018.

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. For the full speaker list, agenda and videos of sessions from last year, head over to the BEYOND 2018 summary.

The Audience

The Audience

BEYOND – where creativity meets R&D: A conference where thinkers, makers, investors and researchers across the creative industries come together to explore the relationship between creative research and business innovation.

In a year of absolute disruption, BEYOND in 2020 considers what we’ve learnt about the adoption of new and emerging technologies and audiences across the creative industries, and how it’s influencing future developments around the globe.


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 2019 provided a chance for academics, businesses and organisations working in the creative industries to explore the future of the sector. This included companies and research organisations supported by over £110m of UK government funding as part of the Industrial Strategy including the Creative Clusters, Audience of the Future and Immersive Experiences programmes.

Why Attend?

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.


Creative Industry





More details about this year’s programme, tickets, showcasing and speaking opportunities coming in September - sign up for updates below and be the first to find out.