11 Ideas to Make Exhibitions Interactive
Innovative ideas for museums to make exhibitions interactive
What is interactivity?
Today, it is well known that innovative interactivity of certain processes or solutions means longer concentration, easier perception, and increased motivation to engage and to deepen knowledge. For young visitors, interactivity evokes different senses, makes it easier for them to grasp the information and engage with the activities, and as a result, captures their attention with different non-traditional methods. However it is easy to get caught up in this whirlwind of innovation and let your imagination run wild, but it is especially important not to overload visitors with unnecessary and overcrowded interactive space, where it becomes difficult to concentrate and stay focused on what is most important - the exhibit itself, the story behind it, or the message you want to communicate to your audience.
Exhibitions are common practice. They can be found everywhere - educational institutions, cultural centers, events, expositions, museums, and wherever their importance and value is appreciated. But it is also a challenge for these institutions, or for anyone else responsible for this practice. They find it difficult to find the right way to modernize and digitize their cultural and educational content in order attract new audiences, creating innovative and breathtaking interactive experiences and journeys for their visitors. How to provide opportunities for visitors of younger age to explore the world through interactive educational games or animations, thus making it easier for them to understand and retain information? Or how to effectively bring groups of children together for creative interactive workshops?. It's worth noting that any solution requires a detailed plan and the ability to implement it, so unfortunately, just having a good idea won't create a lasting impression on your visitors. In this case, it is best to take the time to DEMO the solution. This will allow you to get a better insight not only into the individual solutions, but to look at it in a broader spectrum. See a coherence in the interactivity that complements, rather than overwhelms the life of existing exhibits. And that goes for any solution. Because it is a common mistake when too little time is spent on the vision and implementation of a solution. In result, creating an uninteresting, irrelevant and unemotional interactive solution that eventually becomes simply unnecessary.
1. Interactive wall
"Touching the exhibits is forbidden!" You've probably heard or seen this somewhere before. Almost every wall with exhibitions often has such a message on it, or someone repeats it to discipline others. How things would change if what cannot be touched were replaced by something that is encouraged to be touched, and all the more so if the whole charm of the exhibition were to be found in this regard. Touch everything! Fly catapults, paint pictures, collect magic pebbles, see what's under the cup, build houses, collect honey from bees - whatever you want. This solution will allow larger groups of people to play with the interactive wall, and the large projection will mean better visibility and a better impression for the visitor.
2. Interactive escape rooms
Whether it is a completely new concept or an addition to existing solution, escape rooms are a great way to enrich your exhibition with intriguing experiences, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in a magically enchanting journey full of adventures and puzzles. Unlock hidden treasures behind the castle's high walls, travel to undiscovered worlds in a spaceship, find your way out of the cave of the primitive people and run as fast as you can! All this and more is possible in an interactive room that's well equipped and tailored to you.
3. Virtual reality (VR)
Virtual reality is sometimes seen as a solitary solution, but if applied properly to your exhibition, it can become one of the most popular tools and a real attraction! Virtual reality allows the user to embark on unprecedented experiences, traveling through a real or fictional world with their own eyes, without ever leaving the dedicated space. This solution allows you to expand the possibilities of the exhibition and portray history in a way that no other way could do. Let people fly in the sky and see the world from above, go back in time and walk the paths blazed by the ancient Greeks. The possibilities that can be created in a virtual world are truly endless.
4. Augmented reality (AR)
The difference with virtual reality is that instead of wearing VR glasses, you can just use your phone or tablet screen to transport yourself to another world with your own eyes. Once the camera is switched on, you can animate exhibits, create motion in pictures or paintings, integrate 3D animation into rooms or augment any other information with the help of Augmented Reality (AR). Visitors will be able to see moving animations on their phone or tablet, and watch the museum's exhibits, that have not been preserved or restored, come to life on the screen, making it easy to show the visitor what it looked like thousands of years ago. Create a unique visitor's journey and let visitors explore the mysteries and treasures they can find everywhere! Augmented reality helps to engage users with technology they already know and empower them to see what others cannot! Just get your phone or tablet ready and go on an adventure!
5. Educational animation
It is easiest to convey information to young visitors in a format they are used to and familiar with. This solution is ideal when you want to make it easier to communicate information to younger users or those who do not like to read long texts or simply prefer a simplified and facilitated way of disseminating information. Animation not only makes stories more interesting, explains things that are hard to explain, but also draws you into magical, fantastical worlds that you won't want to come back from. After all, it's better to see once than to hear 10 times!
6. Interactive characters
On projections, screen, phone, tablet or even hologram! Organising a meeting with any fictional or historical character is now possible. Bring your illustrations or drawings to life with interactive characters, let the characters themselves convey the information you want to communicate to your visitors, and push the boundaries of your exhibition. Using the latest technology, it is also possible to allow characters to interact with people live and answer their questions or react to their reactions. This technology has been used in a number of our projects, but one of the most unique and interesting was the interactive Santa Claus, who interacted with the audience live from the very top of the Bell Tower of Vilnius Cathedral!
7. Interactive stands
This is one of the most popular and simplest interactive solutions and is chosen by most venues to practically display information, games, maps, 3D illustrations or any other form of information to visitors. It is all about what we choose to program and upload to the stands or displays, and what visitors will interact with when they touch the screen. How we present the information on the screen will determine the popularity of the solution, so it is worth taking the time to think through the options and try to exploit the full potential of the technology.
8. Interactive flooring
Unlike an interactive wall, this solution makes use of the space underfoot and gives visitors more motor possibilities. Seeing images change, floors move or the ground fall from under your feet can be truly impressive. What would you do if the ground suddenly opened up beneath your feet, with rivers of lava bubbling up and hot splashes exploding below? Well thought out and well adapted solutions are sure to catch the attention of your visitors.
9. Interactive sandbox
People are taught from an early age to explore the world through their touch. This is why it may lead visitors to stick with the solution longer and to explore the interactive sandbox, discovering what was intended to be conveyed through this solution. By playing or pushing the sand, images can change, rivers and valleys can form, historical periods or landscapes can shift. The possibilities are endless and can be tailored just for You. This activity is sure to appeal to young and old alike.
10. Interactive constructors
Simple objects can be used to create history and discover unseen images or places. The overhead projection will recognise objects that slide across its surface, so that animations, texts or any desired imagery can appear in selected locations. In this way, you will have the opportunity to combine new or existing physical objects with technical innovative solutions, with the result of striking a balance between technology and traditional modes of display. Put objects together, create prototypes of exhibits that will be transformed by your magic into beautiful and enchanting sounds, magical fairy-tale kingdoms or underwater worlds. Take and give!
11. Interactive drawing
By encouraging creativity and combining entertainment with education, drawing can become a real attraction for the little ones, who will be able to easily remember or replicate certain stages of the exhibition through the prism of art. And for older people, it may become an opportunity to break away from the overloaded flow of information for a second and relax their minds by drawing Julius Cesar a moustache or decorating George Washington's hair with color patterns, forming and/or decorating an ancient pot, and continuing their visitor's journey through the exhibition spaces. This short entertainment and playfulness will allow visitors to better retain information and be more attentive during their further journey through your exhibition spaces.
Even simple things can become miraculous and magical. Interactive solutions must bring magic, adventure, amazing and never-ending journeys and discoveries. They need to be full of puzzles, movement, discovery, surprises and different tasks. They should develop logical thinking, creativity, motor skills, imagination, coordination, memory and attention span. Most importantly, these playful tools and unexpected journeys can encourage the younger generation to explore, discover and take an interest in the country's history, heritage, scientific and technological achievements and innovations. We encourage you to take the time to consult or DEMO and adapt solutions or options to your individual needs. Discover new opportunities for digitisation and modernisation!