the excellence club

In the 17 years of the existence of The Best in Heritage, we have presented more than 300 projects. To qualify for the invitation to the conference, projects have to be winners of prestigious prizes attributed to them by the professional and other distinguished award schemes. 

Therefore, they were handpicked among many to be presented in Dubrovnik to the professional audience that comes to listen to and witness their success story, earned by hard work and creativity. It is an informal but real club, - truly the projects of influence, able by the definition of the term, to exercise or cause change. 

The conference does not end in Dubrovnik: the filmed project presentations are gradually added to the existing archive so that the conference is a year round event by the constant access to this precious referential and teaching material.


exponatec cologne 2017

Official Press release:

EXPONATEC COLOGNE convinces with clear growth in numbers of visitors and variety of themes

The 8th edition of EXPONATEC COLOGNE ended with an outstanding result. Around 4,400 visitors from 39 countries took advantage of the opportunity to inform themselves about the latest developments and current themes of the industry. The trade fair thus achieved a plus of around 10 percent in comparison to 2015. "The EXPONATEC COLOGNE 2017 convinces with pioneering themes and an exceptional mixture of exhibition and event programme. It links the classic core segments of the museum, conservation, restoration and cultural heritage with future-oriented trends like virtual reality, 3D staging and new digital developments in the fields of restoration and scenography. This thematic diversity allows for the networking of various experts, and in this way creates the prerequisites for an interdisciplinary exchange and the optimisation of common processes and forms of representation of projects", summarises Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse.

The focus of this year's trade fair was on the theme of cultural heritage, which was chosen on the occasion of the European Cultural Heritage Year 2018. The European Heritage Association reacted to, among other things, new quality standards of current restoration and conservation projects, while other companies presented new systems for the protection of cultural assets. For the focus on conservation, the companies this year paid special attention to ageing-resistant museum cartons and archive boxes for exhibits, standards in the context of preventive conservation, as well as new frames, with the help of which original frames can continue to be used without conversion. The German-speaking European restoration associations, as well as the Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences (CICS) also looked at new interdisciplinary requirements for conservation and restoration.

In the museum exhibition area, the main issue was how new visitor experiences can be created. In addition to lighting systems, display cases, presentation technologies or solutions for visitor tours, the focus was primarily on new concepts of multimedia staging and augmented reality. From interactive touchscreens through the use of virtual reality glasses to 3D staging or digital projections, exhibitors presented trailblazing concepts.

In addition to the exhibition programme, EXPONATEC this year also offered an extensive event and congress programme, as well as interesting special events on the themes of Cologne as an art metropolis, virtual museum projects and preventive conservation. METAPLAZA, the new special event concept, met with a very positive response. Embedded in an avant garde urban scenery, companies presented new ideas and currents in the scenography and exhibition industry here. Especially highly frequented were the many lectures and panel discussions, for example, on the topics of art handling or preventive conservation.


The exhibitors and visitors were also very satisfied with the development of the trade fair:
Already for the seventh time in a row, the European Heritage Association used EXPONATEC COLOGNE as a platform for presenting prize-winning projects and concepts of European museums to a specialist public. Prof. Tomislav Šola, Director of Best in Heritage (Dubrovnik, Croatia), emphasised the good cooperation in a spirit of partnership with Koelnmesse: "Of all trade fairs we are familiar with in this segment, EXPONATEC COLOGNE is the most reliable, stable and well thought out. For us, it is the trade fair of the industry for presenting our best "Projects of Influence" to the trade public".

Markus Knecht, Executive Museum Consultant, Glasbau Hahn GmbH says: "Exponatec is one of the obligatory events in the museum business for Glasbau Hahn. The presence at the trade fair is important to us for providing trade visitors the opportunity to have their open questions responded to with quality answers, to find out news, thus making it possible for them to in turn better master their own work."

"We are at EXPONATEC for the first time as a winning project of Best in Heritage. We are enthusiastic about the fact that it is not a pure product marketplace, but that concepts and new forms of cooperation are of greater importance. We have already found many new ideas for previously unresolved challenges. Here we find everything necessary for the public presentation of cultural treasures, and what we to date haven't experienced at any other event. That's state of the art!", emphasises Roberto Nardi, President of the Centro di Conservazione Archeologica Roma.

Joost van der Spek from Tinker Imagineers, distinguished as “IMAGINES Project of influence“ at Best in Heritage, adds: "The trade fair shows the newest of the new and deals with the most varied subject areas in an interdisciplinary fashion. This results in completely new food for thought for our own projects."

EXPONATEC COLOGNE 2017 in figures

185 companies from 20 countries, 33 percent of them from abroad, participated in EXPONATEC COLOGNE 2017. These included 125 exhibitors from Germany and 60 exhibitors from abroad. Including estimates for the last day of the fair, 4,000 visitors from 39 countries attended EXPONATEC COLOGNE 2017. The share of foreign trade visitors was around 20 percent.


photo gallery of best in heritage at exponatec 2017

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