Expo 2017 Draws to an End

September 15, 2017

After three months of operations, Astana Expo drew to an end this week.

The event in Kazakhstan’s capital welcomed over 400 million visitors and took them on a journey into the theme of ‘Future Energy’.

The Saudi Pavilion showcased the Kingdom’s role and commitment to shaping future energies and sustainable solutions. We recruited and trained a wonderful team of Guides who exemplified the spirit and hospitality of the country. Throughout the course of Expo, the Guides engaged visitors with the stories and content in the Pavilion and helped thousands try on traditional Saudi dress.

We’re thrilled to have consistently been in the top most visited pavilions- welcoming over 740,000 visitors over the course of Expo.

It’s been a great three months in the Kazakh capital, but until next time- Астанаға қоштасу.

Images courtesy of Hypsos.

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Sorted! and Mail Rail Opens

September 8, 2017

Last weekend we were invited to a special preview of Sorted! and Mail Rail at the Postal Museum before they opened to the public.

We got to ride Mail Rail and enjoy the ride through the underground Postal Railway tunnels. The ride took us past Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant sorting office and station platforms that have remained unchanged since the railway was in daily operation. Through soundscapes, narrations and projections we were given a glimpse into the lives of the people who worked on the railway and its pivotal role over several decades.

We also got the chance to show some of the wider (and much younger) members of the KCA family Sorted! Fortunately these fierce critics were very impressed with our latest gallery and had a great Saturday playing in it!

 

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Good Luck Becky!

September 1, 2017

This week the wonderful Becky had her last day with KCA!

Becky was one of our graphic designers and has been with use since 2014. She’s worked on a range of projects during her time with KCA, including developing a new programme for Girlguiding, crafting a sensory toolkit for engaging families in Qatar and the graphics for an exhibition at Wakehurst.

She’s leaving us to go back to studying, and whilst she won’t be in the office as regularly- it’s definitely good luck and not goodbye!

 

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Expo 2017: Less than a month to go!

August 17, 2017

Since starting on June 10th, the Saudi Pavilion has welcomed over 400,000 visitors and has consistently kept the Pavilion in one of the top 10 most visited at the event.

Expo 2017 may be entering into its final stages, but there is still plenty happening in Astana and celebrations on the event site (we’re particularly looking forward to Saudi National Day on Tuesday 22nd August).

We contracted Hypsos to carry out the fabrication and installation of the exhibit and they have kindly shared their beautiful images of the Pavilion, visitors enjoying it and the guides being fantastic with us.

 

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Sorted! featured in Design Week

August 4, 2017

The Postal Museum opened its doors to the public for the first time last Friday and they’ve had a busy week. The Museum and Mail Rail have been featured in national, international and industry news outlets.

We really liked Design Week’s article with descriptions of the visitor experience and Museum collections, and lots of beautiful photos of our Sorted! gallery!

Check it out here

Sorted! and Mail Rail open to the public on September 4th. Book your tickets now!

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The Postal Museum Opens

July 28, 2017

Today the Postal Museum is opening its doors to the public for the first time!

We first worked with the Postal Museum team in 2015 to deliver training about the role of interactive exhibits, and were delighted to be appointed to their early years gallery, Sorted! in 2016. Sorted! is designed for under 8s and provides the perfect postal themed play space for letting imaginations run wild. The gallery features an interactive Sorting Office, a mini neighbourhood of streets and houses, uniforms to try on and a vintage post van.

The Museum charts the history of the British postal service, revealing the extraordinary stories of ingenuity of the world’s first social network which have shaped today’s world. The Museum has a very impressive collection with gold postboxes celebrating athletes winning gold at the London 2012 Olympics, to the original relief of the Queen’s head, telegrams sent by passengers on the stricken Titanic and a curious tale about attempting to deliver mail to the Outer Hebrides via rockets.

The Museum is home to Mail Rail, the underground battery powered train that operated 21m below the streets of London. At its peak, Mail Rail carried four million letters daily between London’s main sorting offices. Now visitors can ride Mail Rail for themselves and experience the Blitz and other events that occurred during the railway’s working life.

Congratulations and best wishes to the Postal Museum team. Visit the Museum from today and ride Mail Rail and visit Sorted! from September 4th.

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A New Programme for Girlguiding

July 21, 2017

We are excited and proud to announce the Girlguiding programme we helped develop with Flow Associates has been revealed!

In 2015, we were invited by Girlguiding to evaluate their existing programme and develop a framework for a new one. We worked with girls around the UK at every level of Girlguiding, finding out what they wanted and needed from the organisation. We spent time with girls at weekly meetings, camp holidays and focus groups and worked with volunteers and parents, learning what they valued in Girlguiding and how they wanted to see the programme develop.

Using our findings as a framework, Girlguiding have spent the past two years going through their programme. They’ve updated old badges, developed new ones and created a programme that is challenging, exciting and appealing for girls of all ages- from Rainbows to Senior Section.

Best wishes to all the dedicated leaders and members that commit so much time and energy to Guiding and the future. Find out more about the changes here.

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A month of Expo 2017

July 7, 2017

Expo 2017 opened four weeks ago in Astana, the new capital city of Kazakhstan, and what a month it’s been!

The Expo is themed around Future Energy and features pavilions from 115 participating countries and 22 international organisations.

TalentS|KCA have designed and developed the Pavilion for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and we’re also managing the operations of the Pavilion during the three-month event.

We oversaw the recruitment of over 40 local Guides and comprehensively trained them before the Expo opened, helping them develop as a team and prepare for their new roles. We couldn’t be more impressed with them! They have become an incredible team and are continually wowing us with their dedication and enthusiasm.

The KSA Pavilion was amongst the top 10 most visited pavilions within the first 10 days of Expo and we are continuing to welcome an astonishing number of visitors. Within the first three weeks of Expo, over 100,000 people had visited the Pavilion and today has been our busiest day to date with well over 20,000 visitors!

Check back here for regular updates about the event and follow SaudiExpo2017 on Twitter and Instagram for the latest happenings, KSA facts and pictures!

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An opening event for the Postal Museum

July 6, 2017

Last week we went to the Postal Museum’s opening event. The event showed off the new central London attraction and gave us an opportunity to see the rest of the Museum.

It was great to see Sorted! and we’re very, very excited to see families enjoying the space in three weeks time!

Until then, we couldn’t resist sharing a few early photos of the space, and the KCA team as postmen and women from days gone by…

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Visiting the Imperial War Museum: Part II

June 28, 2017

Here’s the second instalment of the KCA trip to the Imperial War Museum, read the first here.

The IWM’s current major exhibition is “People Power: Fighting for Peace”, exploring how peace movements have influenced perceptions of war and conflict from the First World War to today.

 

Starting with the  First World War, the exhibition looks at conscientious objectors and how they risked facing hostility and abuse through paintings, letters and artefacts. From here the exhibition moves into the Second World War. There were thousands more conscientious objectors during this conflict and the show tells this story, exploring the different struggles they endured for their anti-war cause and some of their non-combatant roles.

The Cold War and threat of nuclear weaponry makes up a substantial portion of the show, and it’s here we first encounter one of the most iconic images in the world: the CND sign. One of the cases tells the story of how Gerald Holtom created the sign, an early sketch revealing how it is based on the semaphore for “N” and “D”- standing for nuclear disarmament. The sign has grown from its original use and has become the international symbol for peace and featured prominently throughout the rest of the show- featuring in a wall of peace posters from the Sixties, placards against the Vietnam War and a section about the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp.

From here the Fighting for Peace story is brought up to date with a room telling the story of recent conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East. Highlights include powerful photography from “The Day The World Said No To War”- the day in 2003 when mass marches happened across the world protesting the planned US invasion of Iraq, objects from Brian Haw’s almost-10 year long peace camp in Parliament Square, and the famed photomontage of a grinning Tony Blair seemingly taking a selfie in front of a huge explosion in the desert.

We really loved the graphic imagery of the exhibition, from the protest banners, placards and posters to engagement points and our favourite- an enormous mesh wall with a graphic of the Labour Party’s 1935 “Stop War! Vote Labour” election poster of a baby wearing a gas mask  (see below).

“Stop War. Vote Labour” election poster graphic from 1935

The exhibition tells an inspiring story of people coming together from across the world but does also show how little has changed between conflicts. Perhaps the best summary can be found in the Telegraph’s review, “People often talk about the futility of war. Depressingly, the same could be said of the peace movement, too.”

The exhibition is open until August 28th.

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