The Royal Armouries International Leeds had an opportunity to build and host their own exhibition during 2014 at New Dock Hall so the decision was made to make it as green as possible. Items for the Dino Jaws exhibition were recycled, loaned, bought due to their re-use factor, hired or sourced locally.
To build the exhibition, 20 tonnes of aggregate was purchased, 80 LED bar lights were used to light the exhibits and a number of LED TV’s were purchased. Old pallets and boxes were used to create landscapes, balloons & newspaper from the onsite café were used to make large rocks within the exhibition. To create the retail section second hand slat wall boarding was used and old tables were painted and used for the children’s stamp activity.
A number of items were sourced and purchased locally, from the compressed air installation to retail shelving units and display boxes. Once the exhibition was finished, stone, shale and sand was taken off site by staff for used in their personal gardens. The larger rocks where claimed by the Leeds Dock Development resulting in all 20 tonnes being recycled. Some of the display boxes were even turned into umbrella stands!
Investment was made in LED Televisions & on site lighting systems that were already in place were used due to their LED nature. The televisions have since been re-used on a number of occasions across the site.
According to Steve Kersh, ‘We did this because we considered it as economically the right thing to do, we benefited from cost savings on purchases of equipment that we can repeatedly hire to clients for future events. We saved on items we already had which we adapted. We hired rather than bought the technical equipment needed to operate the animatronic displays. This was the most up to date and efficient machinery available which reduced energy costs.’
Investment was also made in marketing, the word of mouth kind. Radio, TV and social media adverts were predominantly used to spread the word about the Dino Exhibition.
E ticket technology was also used. Tickets could be purchased on line, downloaded and printed off by the guest or saved on a phone in order for bar code technology to be used on the day.
In terms of monetary investment, a total of £266,166 was spent to generate a return profit of £100,000 over a three month period. Money & profit were not the driving factor in this event, doing something different and sustainable was however, it is good to see that time, effort & good will can turn a profit.
“We saw this event as an opportunity to create a sustainable exhibition. We are usually restricted as most of our business is essentially room hire and food service and whilst we may guide clients in their choices ultimately it is out of our control and in the hands of external event organisations to deliver clients events. This event was 100% ours.
We all got a great sense of pride as an organisation; we empowered staff and their ideas or got them to buy into ours. We enhanced so many of our employees gardens with the “take what you want” message on the rocks , decorative stone, shale and coloured slate once the exhibition had finished.
This was a fantastic adventure for our organisation on so many levels. We stepped out of our comfort zone, challenged ourselves and were equally rewarded.” Steve Kersh, RAI Facilities Manager.