Creative Bedfordshire ‘Grow Your Creative Business’ Conference



On Friday 4th March 2016, 80 creative people and businesses gathered at the University of Bedfordshire, Bedford Campus for the 2016 instalment of our annual creative business conference. There was networking, local inspiration and advice around the subject of Growth.


Dawn Giles from Bedford Creative Arts kicked off the conference with a provocation on Price, Cost & Value. Guest speakers Addison Accounts, Stanmore IP, Keeping it Social, and Pavilion at the Park covered introductions to key business topics across Finance, Intellectual Property, Briefing Social Media, Pitching a Business Collaboration. Arabel Lebrusan, Bespoke and Limited Edition Jewels, Nila Holden, Artisan Cakes and Cookies and Velocity Business Adviser, Aruna Bhagwan took part in an afternoon Q&A panel focused on sharing individual founders’ stories, practical growth advice and local business growth support. Songwriter, Kristine Wilkinson Hughes wrapped up the afternoon with personal words on the growth of a creative career and project, and entertained us with an inspired Song About Growth. Throughout the day Darren Rose and Martin Steers worked together to capture images and audio of the insight and atmosphere from the creative people in the room.

Sole traders, freelancers and imaginative independent businesses of all kinds were encouraged to attend.

* 16 creative professionals from across Bedfordshire were involved in the production of the Creative Bedfordshire conference across host, speaker, design, photography, audio recording, social media, song writing and production support.

* The Conference took place for a second year at the University of Bedfordshire, Polhill, Bedford, with thanks to the support of Roisin Kendall, Access Partnership Manager on the Centre for Academic Partnerships Team

* Aruna Bhagwan, a Velocity business support advisor, attended the entire event and spoke as part of the afternoon Growth panel discussion and as a result is now delivering further Growth support to a number of attendees.

* As with our conference in 2015, in 2016 many new relationships were born of the day. The conference expands the profile of Bedfordshire as a creative place to live and work. There is evidence of people from outside the area and moving to the area noticing and using the conference as a source of information and integration.



Host: Bedford Creative Arts Venue Sponsor: University of Bedfordshire

Photography: Darren Rose at WinterRose Photography

Creative Bedfordshire is a network with the aims of supporting enterprise, employment, skills development, safeguarding and growing the number of jobs in the creative sector and supporting collaboration in the area. If you work in the arts, run a creative business, are a freelance artist, actor, producer, maker or musician (or commission them), or are just curious, this network is for you. Creative Bedfordshire is free of charge to attend thanks to the support of Central Bedfordshire Council, Bedford Borough Council and Bedford Creative Arts