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Museums and Heritage

April 29, 2015 at 8:50 pm / by

This humble blog isn’t usually quite this cultured, although you have an undertaking from me that  I won’t morph into a head-spinning cocktail of Melvyn Bragg, Simon Schama and Suzannah Lipscomb. Having had an adequate fill of both museums and heritage in the excellent West Olympia based show that took in both these refined and potentially austere areas, a reflection on this pleasingly sized event is in order.

Pleasing as opposed to vast, sprawling, epic and insurmountable, all of which usually apply to exhibitions and shows held within the cavernous halls of W14. Registration was swift, affable and concluded in a goodie bag which was shiny like the promises in magazines. The show wasn’t about to disappoint. Lavish exhibitor stands serving prestigious and noteworthy museums delivered on their claims of audience engagement and content that “comes to life”. I was particularly impressed with Branches by bronze who are Shropshire based (proving that innovation and creativity are not the sole preserve of London). Always the sign of an effective exhibition stand, their staff were intent on genuine interaction and interesting dialogue. No pressure selling or insistent data capture for them. Conversation was more than enough.

Pinewood Studios were rightly proud to showcase their set building for attractions like Hampton Court Palace and assorted museums With disciplines like film restoration and the ability to call upon 300 tenants within the studio grounds, they too ran a very approachable and great looking stand. Mind you, the 007 / Eon stage is based there so if anything is going to have a dramatic aesthetic, you’d expect it to be there.

Naturally there was some incredibly impressive tech present at the show and stands that made the required statement. Audio guides, virtual reality, apps, humidity testing equipment and beautiful display cases were all there to fill a museum’s tick list. Yet just as beguiling were the smaller and (only marginally) lower tech exhibitors like Timberkits which evoked scenes from Scorcese’s “Hugo”. Captivating automata, moving models and scenes that seemed to run the entire gamut of both a child and adult’s imagination. Dinosaurs, Stephenson’s Rocket and an according player all featured in their wonderful pantheon of products. Their literature speaks of the “warmth of the wood” and warmth was as abundant in the well run Museums and Heritage Show.

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