Wow. But not for Wow’s sake

We’ve been having some interesting conversations this week with organisations that see the appeal of an interactive exhibition and which are far from being the traditional museum or visitor centre.

The common thread that we’ve observed is about bringing a “wow” factor to locations where you perhaps wouldn’t expect it and in ways that address particular challenges the organisations face.

One natural attraction has a fascinating tour but the logistics inherent in a visit to the site tend to cause, at one stage, a little bit of a slump in the visitor experience. It’s the ideal point at which to create a “wow” factor that enhances the visit, brings consistency throughout what is otherwise an experience that has plenty to boast about, and complements the human interaction with the guides.

We’ve also been talking to people at a church who are considering how best to use an interactive installation to appeal not only to their existing congregation but to also help inform, educate and engage different types of visitors.

Church interactive installation

School groups will be an important focus and the exhibit will explain the activities and services at the church, its artefacts, and its social history in ways that support the curriculum. The “wow” factor will certainly be an essential part in ensuring that they are successful in reaching out beyond their established audience.

Revive your computer for just 50p

When you invest in hardware for your interactive exhibits it makes good sense to maintain it properly to get the best possible use from it.

One little-known thing is that your computer contains a small battery to remember the date and time. It’s seems like a small thing but, if the battery dies, your computer doesn’t work. It’s worth checking whether this is the cause of a non-functioning computer because the battery costs around a mere 50p – it looks like this…

computer date battery

I you don’t fancy tinkering inside your computer yourself it can be easily fitted by your local IT repair specialist. That’s much more efficient and cost effective than sending your computer back to be repaired or replaced, not to mention saving the considerable hassle of re-commissioning it.

This battery usually lasts for 4-5 years so, if your hardware goes on the blink after this time period, it’s well worth checking to see if a new battery will help.

Thinking of our friends at Hengistbury Head

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.

Growing the team at Wide Sky Design

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.”

Wide Sky Design – always part of the team

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.

Funding for new centre

We are delighted that the The University of Huddersfield’s Archives and Special Collections has received a grant of £1,585,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Wide Sky Design provided technical and creative support during the development of the Stage 2 bid and we look forward to visiting the collections when the new visitor experience opens.

More details about this exciting new project can be found here.

2012 BHF Winter Hike

British Heart Foundation bannerFollowing the success of ‘Team Skylark’ in last year’s British Heart Foundation High Peak Winter Hike we’ll be doing it again this year.

Please support us and the British Heart Foundation by donating on our Just Giving page

If you would like to join us on the hike please email Phil at, there are more details here.

Conwy Castle – The King's Head

‘The King’s Head’ created by Gideon Petersen

‘The King’s Head’ created by Gideon Petersen

While we were checking out our work on ‘Rekindled’ by Jessica Lloyd-Jones at Conwy Castle we came across this installation called ‘The King’s Head’ – created by north Wales based Gideon Petersen. He describes it as ‘A drawing in space to capture the ghostly presence of Edward I’

You can see more of the installations at Conwy here

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