Tactile crocodile at Exponatec in Cologne

Tina Schneider

By Tina Schneider
17.12.2021 | 5 minutes reading time

Our accessible crocodile model was again able to inspire trade fair visitors. The model was exhibited for three days at the most important trade fair for museums in Europe, the EXPONATEC COLOGNE.

As a trade fair for museums, conservation and cultural heritage, the EXPONATEC COLOGNE  takes place every two years. It offers an overview of the latest presentation techniques and exhibition design in addition to current developments in core areas such as restoration or materials research.

From 17 to 19 November 2021, around 2,700 trade visitors from 20 countries flocked to the exhibition centre, which is located not far from Cologne’s old town on the opposite side of the river Rhine.

The Cologne exhibition grounds from above; photo: © Koelnmesse GmbH
The Cologne exhibition grounds from above; photo: © Koelnmesse GmbH

Our project partner werk5 GmbH , who developed the accessible crocodile model together with the Mediasphere For Nature team, took care of the stand on site.

At the stand, our crocodile was in a central position of the presentation area - as highlighted by the green arrow in the photo attached. The large stand with an approximately 9 metre long back wall was shared by werk5 with their sister company Interactive Scape and evelution.

The quiet before the storm: the stand on the first day, before visitors arrived; photo: werk5 GmbH/ Interactive Scape
The quiet before the storm: the stand on the first day, before visitors arrived; photo: werk5 GmbH/ Interactive Scape

„Please do touch!“ – A large sign with this request could certainly be added to the crocodile model. Since “Do not touch!” tends to be the rule when it comes to exhibits, many visitors were initially hesitant to reach out their hand. The fact that the model may and should be explored in its entire length happily surprised the expert audience.

A visitor listens to the audio feedback whilst exploring the model, photo: werk5 GmbH/ Interactive Scape
A visitor listens to the audio feedback whilst exploring the model, photo: werk5 GmbH/ Interactive Scape

Full house at the stand; photo: werk5 GmbH/ Interactive Scape
Full house at the stand; photo: werk5 GmbH/ Interactive Scape

The stand was very well attended throughout the fair and there was lively interest in our tactile crocodile, including specific questions about accessible solutions. Visitors were taken with the fact that the model is based on an original saltwater crocodile from the collection of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and were interested in the model’s development process.

Our “star“ in the limelight; photo: werk5/ Interactive Scape
Our “star“ in the limelight; photo: werk5/ Interactive Scape

We want to trigger precisely this kind of interest. The crocodile model should not only help to show the innovative and creative potential that lies in our own museum digitization processes. We also intend to show other interested parties what possibilities they can discover in their own collections in order to implement inclusive projects that create additional value for everyone.