Creative Manchester co-sponsors pro-manchester’s Creative Conference 2023

Industry experts, academics and pro-manchester members came together to acknowledge the strength of the creative sector in Greater Manchester and learn about opportunities and challenges facing the industry in 2023 and beyond.

Creative Manchester were delighted to be a premium sponsor of the Creative Conference 2023, organised by business development organisation pro-manchester.

Taking place in the heart of Media City at the Innovation Hub HOST Salford on 22 September, the conference provided a day of informative key notes and panels discussing the environment in which creative businesses operate, challenges such as a lack of diversity in the workforce as well as opportunities brought on by the advance of generative AI and data-driven analytics and marketing.

Newly appointed University of Manchester Professor of Creative and Cultural Industries Dave O’Brien contributed to the panel ’Skills Issues & Challenges within the Creative, Digital & Media Sector’ drawing from his research into the prevalent challenges of inequality within the creative sector and highlighted the urgency of transforming hiring practices and organizational cultures to foster diversity and inclusion.

Speaking about the relevance of pro-manchester’s Creative Conference and his involvement on the panel, Professor O’Brien says that:

A crucial problem for the creative industries is how to attract and retain more diverse talent. As it stands, it’s posh white men, who are dominating leadership and other key roles. Even when we have recent examples of individual women, people of colour, and those from working class backgrounds making it to the top, these represent a break from the usual pattern of career success. This starting point - of high levels of inequality, evidenced by high quality labour market data - gives creative businesses the chance to be much more effective as they approach ’what works’ to change their hiring, commissioning, and organisational cultures.

We’d like to thank pro-manchester for organising a thought-provoking and informative event as well as the other conference sponsors In4 Group , connective3 , and Mediaworks for their contributions.