TiLEforum 2011 Florence,

The trends that will offer opportunities, and provide challenges, to operators & suppliers of visitor attractions, brand centres and cultural institutions

See Speaker Bios

Tuesday 25th October

Set up & Registration

1900 – 2100 Speakers & Sponsors Reception, Palazzo Medici Riccardi (by invitation only)

Wednesday 26th October

0900 Registration & 1000 Coffee

1100 – Opening Session 1

Welcome & Introduction

Richard Curtis, Managing Director, Andrich International Ltd

The Expo phenomenon

Bob Simpson, Founder Director, Electrosonic

This presentation traces the origins of the international Expo in the 19th Century through its 20th Century versions and its most recent manifestations in the 21st Century. It concentrates on the visitor experience, but points out how the Expo has often been the catalyst for new ideas in exhibit design and show technology – the outcomes from Expo 2010 will be highlighted. It identifies lessons that can be learned from Expos in respect of meeting visitor expectations. The talk is given by Robert Simpson, and is largely based on personal experience. He has attended 15 Expo , starting with Expo 58 in Brussels, and including Expo 67 (Montreal) Expo 92 (Seville) and others in Japan, Korea,  Australia, Europe and the USA. In 2010 he visited 63 pavilions at Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

Expo 2015 Milan – Feeding the Planet, Energy for  Life

Speaker details tbc

The theme chosen for the 2015 Milan Universal Exposition is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for  Life”. This embraces technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity and how  they relate to food and diet. Expo 2015 site is located northwest of Milan in the municipalities of Rho and Pero, and covers an area of 1.1 million square meters (110 hectares, 272 acres). The emphasis on environmental sustainability with its buildings  designed to be energy efficient and so that they can be disassembled and reused or recycled  in the future. Each country will be invited to express its own interpretation of the Expo theme – each will have the opportunity to showcase its characteristics food production processes, food research and technology, and the points of excellence of its supply chain while also highlighting the paradigms and contradictions inherent to the theme. Another key  element of the Expo Site is the Corporate Thematic Areas, where the business community will  be able to take part in the exposition. New technology to enhance the visitor experience; highlight the innovative systems in the Expo; and for operational management, sustainablity, security & coordinated logistics management.

1245 – LUNCH & exhibits

1400 – Session 2: Places – the Palaces of Experience – 1

Chaired by Yael Coifman, Leisure Development Partners & Martin Barratt, Martin Barratt Ltd

How are owners and operators of leisure and entertainment facilities reacting to changes in demand? This session will examine how different places that provide guest experiences are planning, investing and creating product that will be relevant to and satisfy the needs of the contemporary leisure consumer… from sports stadia to hotels, to museums, to Expos, to brand centres …

The Palazzo Strozzi – Florence’s laboratory for interpretation

James M. Bradburne, Direttore Generale, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence 

Since its inception in 2006, the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi has clearly declared its mission of ‘not just exhibitions’. This means that exhibitions at Palazzo Strozzi have been considered merely a means – albeit a powerful one – to reach the Fondazione’s main goal: to help make Florence a dynamic contemporary city, and thereby contribute to a renewed quality tourism, increased economic growth, and a better quality of life for its citizens. The main ‘laboratory’ is the Palazzo Strozzi – but the experiments happen throughout the city and beyond. Interpretation is at the heart of the Palazzo Strozzi’s approach of ‘visible listening’, and has led to the development of innovative approaches to interpretation, including family & children’s labelling, interactive games, ‘passports’, iPhone and iPad apps, all in Italian, English and now Chinese.

Meet me at the destination

Rick Ray, Co-Founder, brandstory italia

What makes a destination brand? A journey through stories of destination brands from St Pancras to Shanghai, from Vinopolis to Veneto, from Gatwick to the Adriatic. How strategic storytelling can build the brand, while unifying all stakeholders – inside and outside the destination – behind one central theme. Every destination can find its own authentic brand story. You only need to define it and share it. This is a brandstory specialization. Let us share some stories with you – like these.

Branding Istria – from the deep blue sea to the crests of the hills

Denis Ivosovic, Director Istria Tourism, Croatia

Over the past five years Croatia has become one of the ‘hot’ destinations in Europe. The key to this success, in a country that just 20 years ago was riven by civil strife, was an ambitious national tourism strategy. This strategy provided opportunity for the Regional Government and Tourist Board of Istria in Northern Croatia to embark on a successful programme of repositioning and rebranding the peninsula. This has focused upon the development of unique Istrian experiences based upon gastronomy, culture, agri-tourism and rural activities whilst creating new ways of enjoying Istria’s remarkable coastal and inland towns. A key tactic deployed by the tourism agencies has been the clever use of international experts and journalists to create and promote these experiences. The outcome is a remarkable range of innovative, creative and highly original tourist experiences.

1530 – BREAK with exhibits

1600 – Session 3: Places – the Palaces of Experience – 2

Chaired by Yael Coifman, Leisure Development Partners  & Martin Barratt, Martin Barratt Ltd

Swarovski Crystal Worlds
Dr Andreas Braun, CEO, Swarovski Crystal Worlds
Swarovski is the leading producer of cut crystal in the world. Since it began in Wattens, Tyrol in 1895, the company has preserved its independence. Today it employs around 25.000 people and is represented in more than 120 countries around the world. In the course of its history, Swarovski has developed groundbreaking innovations and inspired creative trends in such diverse fields as jewelry, fashion, accessories, interior design, culture and industrial research and development. The rich expressiveness of the company is rooted in the cultural heritage of Central Europe and its special ability to build bridges between art, science and industry. Today, the name Swarovski stands for exclusive manufacture, quality and creativity.

Creating customer emotions by visions on wine & architecture

René Tillmann, Managing Director, LOISIUM Kellerwelt GmbH

From the conceptual layout Loisium is standing for wine & architecture, which is valid for Loisium hotels as well as the Loisium Wine World. New emotions around these main topics are being created to reach new audiences and increase visitor impressions. Innovations such as filling your own bottle of wine and through a blind tasting game experiencing the capabilities of the own sense are new ways to get more interaction with visitors and increase the emotions customers can take away with them. To arrange wine tasting in 900 year old wine cellars in combination with modern architecture and educating visitors about wine, wine styles and trends in the Austrian wine market are key elements to take the visitors on an emotional path.

The Stanglwirt Biohotel (video)

Maria Hauser, Director of Marketing, The Stanglwirt Bio Hotel and Spa, Austria

The Stanglwirt Biohotel is the most remarkable story of a 400-year-old farm tavern evolving into one of Europe’s top 20 most profitable hotels. Located near Kitzbühel in Austria’s Tyrol, the Hauser Family have created a remarkable 5-star destination hotel that has traded without interruption for 250 years. At the same time it has remained a farm (with a dairy herd, horses, dairy and butchery). The Stanglwirt Biohotel is one of Austria’s best known brands. The Hauser family constantly innovates in order to keep its brand relevant and fresh. 2012 will see the opening of a major spa and wellness project – its theme and content will only be revealed upon opening – part of the Stanglwirt tradition. Thisvideo interview with Maria Hauser will explore the philosophy and brand values of the Stanglwirt and of the Hauser Family.

2000 – TiLEforum 2011 Dinner, Palazzo Gaddi (tickets at €78/£62 pp must be purchased in advance)

Thursday 27th October

0930 – Session 4: Rising to the Trend Challenge – Specialist Solutions

Chaired by Terry Stevens, Stevens & Associates

What are the other elements that will make an attraction a must visit and what will add value to the visit. The leisure experience consists of a number of different components: from the ‘main act’ to the ‘support acts’. In this session specialists in the varied aspects of a successful leisure and entertainment experience examine best practice to illustrate the potential to create world class experiences that significantly enhance the appeal and profitability of the attraction. Speakers will cover retailtainment, food as entertainment, marketing, new media and the art of story telling.

Digital Tourism: tomorrow’s guest has checked in early

Lucy Von Weber, Deputy Director, South Wales Regional Tourism Partnership 

The co-founder of Intel, Gordon Moore, made a bold prediction in 1965 that the number of transistors on a chip would double approximately every two years. Known as “Moore’s Law” the principle has held true and the rapid pace of technological advancement now dictates how we communicate with visitors in order to meet rising consumer expectations. Speed of change will be the backdrop to a range of examples, from around the world, of how new digital technologies are being used, not simply for marketing, but also for managing and improving the visitor experience on the ground. From augmented reality to location based services powered by GPS and mobile technology, the presentation will focus on examples from around the world, of how innovative digital media is being used. The examples will aim to inspire, entertain and offer thought provoking solutions that can be applied to the contemporary tourism marketplace & museums.

Delivering retail distinction: how product licensing creates destination store appeal and attracts new audiences

Ashleigh King, Principal Consultant, Ashleigh Associates

Creating a successful product licensing programme will deliver financial rewards, as well as exposing your brand to new audiences. However, careful consideration must be given to licensee selection. How is your brand collateral translated into product? What are the external markets offered by the licensee? Learn the pitfalls of product licensing in the cultural & leisure attractions sector, and how the presence of your brand on the High Street can impact your onsite and online businesses. Understand the importance of maintaining exclusive products for both retail and licensing businesses to deliver long-term growth. Enjoy the extended brand reach that organisations like the Science Museum and Natural History Museum (London) and MOMA (NYC) have achieved through the careful selection of brand partners.

No Margin, No Mission – successful Attraction Retail

Larry Gilbert, President, Event Network Inc

Often an afterthought, the gift store is potentially an attraction’s single largest source of untapped resources.  The trick is to understand the dynamics that result in success and to put in place what is necessary in order to make the most of the opportunity.   Some pieces to the retail puzzle are tried and true.  We will discuss those that are less obvious and may challenge the status quo, but represent potentially far greater rewards.

1100 – BREAK with exhibits

1130 – Design Panel 5: Innovative Design and Interpretation – New Ideas, New Trends
Chaired by Malcolm Lewis, Media Projects and Kevin Murphy, Event Communications

Panellists: Peter Higgins, Creative Director, Land Design; Prof Franz Fischnaller, F.A.B.R.I.C.A.T.O.R.S; George Wiktor, GW Group and Oliver Vicars-Harris, Director, Contemporary Vintage

A panel of top designers will present innovative ways of interpreting exhibits in museums and galleries to make them more accessible to the public, and illustrate their presentations with case studies. Museum curators from Florence and elsewhere will contribute their ideas. The Millennium celebrations proved to be a catalyst for a golden age of innovation in design in the UK and other countries – for museums and leisure attractions – that has lasted over a decade. With the aid of leading international designers, this session explores new ideas and trends in design and interpretation for cultural institutions and attractions. The session will first introduce the panel with brief presentations of recent and relevant work followed by a lively debate on some pertinent issues such as:

Is a reliance on digital media over?

Do artefacts still rule over interpretation?

Are 4D and 5D immersive experiences the way of the future or easy solutions?

Are there new unusual fusions of partners and expression being developed for  design solutions?

Does technology inspire design?

1300 – LUNCH with exhibits

1400 – Session 6: Pushing the Boundaries – innovating to engage a 21st Century audience

Chaired by Leila Schrembi, KCA London

This session will explore how visitor destinations around the world are breaking down traditional barriers to to today’s modern audiences. From innovative visitor programmes to exhibitions challenging cultural norms, discover how operators and designers are broadening their horizons to create experiences designed to cause ripples…

Appealing to existing and new audiences

Anthony Richards, Galleries Development Manager, Science Museum, London

How do you keep people coming into your attraction?.  The Science Museum in London is formed with two words that have dull and elitist conations for many people…..how can you make it a destination that people want to come to, not one they think they ought to come to? Through audience research, testing, evaluation, video and brave, brave decisions the Science Museum has been in the fore front of innovative gallery programming.  Once a month 500 children sleep overnight on the hard floors, once a month 3500 adults queue to get into the ‘hottest ticket in town’ Lates at the Science Museum.  Not all programming is high impact – on a different scale we have deaf presenters leading workshops for hearing audiences, drama characters that are purposefully provocative and tours where adults dress as cockroaches.  Anthony will explain the reasons and risks behind all these initiatives and more importantly, how we are allowed to get away with it….

Old Problem, New Approach

Rhys Evans, Business Development Manager, Techniquest

A small centre with a relatively small catchment area has to look outside the walls of its exhibition to engage the often hard to reach audiences. Techniquest has designed and delivered a range of portable outreach kits that, along with our shows and workshops, enable us, and institutions across the world, to reach large audience numbers either unwilling or unable to visit our centre and to deliver high quality interactions. Using examples from Petrosains in Malaysia, to Questacon in Australia and Sci Bono in South Africa, along with the years of experience in-house, this presentation will attempt to highlight not only the successes, but also the pitfalls of creating a groundbreaking solution to a problem faced by many centres and will attempt to show that with a little innovation, large scale successes are possible.

An overview of how Social Media is transforming the visitor/attraction relationship

Charles Read, Managing Director, Blooloop

Social media has changed the way in which attractions interact with their visitors by developing communities and allowing the creation and sharing of user-generated content.  But can one measure success in likes and links?  How should an attraction best engage with its visitors to turn them into friends? And who do you tweet to when your dinosaur needs a makeover?  A look at the growth and importance of social media to attractions including a check list of “dos and don’ts”, using examples from Resorts World Sentosa, Manchester City Art Gallery, Barnstaple Museum, Chester Zoo, The National Marine Aquarium and The Wallace Collection.

1530 – BREAK with exhibits

1600 – Panel Discussion 7: Serial Reproduction – Crimes Against the Consumer

and closing discussion

Chaired by Terry Stevens, Stevens & Associates

and including a panel of invited speakers from the conference

In this session delegates will be challenged to consider the implications of the market trends and to reflect on the innovation and creativity that exists in and around our industry in order to avoid ‘serial reproduction’ – the formulaic approach to leisure and entertainment projects. How do we access information about trends, interpret this information and successfully translate it into appealing, desirable and original “must-see” experiences?

Hybrid Solutions: The Avoidance of Serial Reproduction in the Attractions Industry

Terry Stevens will lead off: Market trend analysis highlights the leisure consumer’s increasing interest in … the authentic, the real, the local, the true story (the narrative), creative involvement, aesthetics and meeting ‘different’ people. These trends create wonderful, exciting, fresh opportunities for the attractions sector – exciting opportunities to work with and involve creative, innovative new disciplines. Hybrid thinking is critical to shift us away from the tedious serial reproduction of sameness that characterises the industry. We need new concepts, new business models to be relevant to and excite new audiences – we must shift from the formulaic approach of the past 15 years. Terry Steven’s challenging & uncompromising overview will be followed by some case studies of places that have / are ‘broken free’. These could include projects already in existence, e.g: The Home of Detention (Clerkenwell Design Week, London); The Celica Hostel in Ljubljana, Slovenia; The Soline Salt Project in Portoroz, Slovenia; Wolf Trapp Arts Centre, US National Park Service Capital Region; and the Tram Shed and the Flying Bicycle, Naples and Cardiff.

Concluding with views and comments from the Panel & Delegates.

End of conference

from 1900 – TEA Mixer, Giubbe Rosse, Piazza della Repubblica 13/14r (All TiLEforum participants welcome. Drinks & food on own account).

Friday 28th October

1000 – 1200 Visit to Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi,  p.zza Strozzi, 50123 Florence (free – reserve place at TiLEforum Registration)