At Wide Sky Design head office in Nottingham, it’s certainly been a soggy winter but we’re lucky to have escaped the battering that the south coast has suffered. We’re particularly thinking of our friends at Hengistbury Head Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
We’ve been working on an animation and touchscreen exhibit to interpret the way that coastal erosion has shaped the area; it’s been fascinating to see how this has changed over the years. The headland sees around one million visitors every year which also takes its toll on the environment so we hope that the exhibition will help people understand how precious this protected area is.
2014 will be an exciting year for Wide Sky Design as we expand our team to keep up with demand from our growing client base. First to come on board, though, is our new marketing specialist, Francine Pickering who will be helping us to keep in touch with our clients and contacts and making sure that you all know about the exciting projects we’re working on – while we focus on working on them.
Francine said, “It’s great to be working with Wide Sky Design. The variety of projects they work on is fascinating and I’m looking forward to helping them shout about it.”
Interpretation project teams can take many forms and we find ourselves working closely with many different professionals from designers to fit-out companies, architects to electrical contractors, and content creators to academic specialists, as well as the client, of course.
Whatever the team make-up, we find our structured approach to project management goes down well. We understand the critical path of a project which supports the fit-out company and minimises any chance of delays.
It helps us all when we can be involved from the start, demystifying the technology we’ll be using so that hardware can be specified to suit the software that will be running on it and so that any exhibitions structures can be designed and built to accommodate the interactive elements without problems. Something as simple as laying out cables can run smoothly or cause last minute snags and delays and an upfront understanding of what is required makes sure it’s the former – certainly our preference.
Generating secondary spend is an on-going concern for most visitor attractions. It is, after all, an essential part of ensuring your attraction is a sustainable one.
We enjoyed developing a photo system for The World of Beatrix Potter at Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District. A visit to Mr McGregor’s Potting Shed gives visitors the chance for a photo opportunity. They can choose for their photo to be incorporated into a selection of cute-as-a-button scenes with Mrs Tiggywinkle, Peter Rabbit or Jemima Puddleduck and have their personalised photo printed on their choice of souvenir items. It’s a great way to provide a richer family memory of the visit and to create some of that valuable secondary spend.
We worked closely with the electrical, fit-out and theming teams to make sure everything fitted together and worked smoothly. The components are easy to remove and replace to ensure ease of operation and maintenance – and minimum downtime for this revenue-generating system.
It’s the nature of many heritage attractions to be off the beaten track, celebrating our natural world and the industrial heritage that grew from it. That’s all part of their appeal. But when technical disaster strikes, a remote location needs support that can operate remotely to get them back up and running as soon as possible.
Copper Kingdom, based on Anglesey, takes good care of its technology, decommissioning it over the winter months to keep it safe but even the best of care can’t stop the occasional problem cropping up. So, when one of their computers developed a fault, it could have brought their eight interactive exhibits to a halt.
Just as well, then, that we had talked to them about a support package that meant they had a spare computer on site which we were able to configure from our office, 130 miles away. They were up and running again in no time and could send the broken computer back to us to be repaired. All part of the service.
Read our case study on The Copper Kingdom…