EXHIBITION NEWS July 2017 - Page 21

HILD'S PLAY Age restrictions, buggy parks and guerrilla marketing – meet the event profs conquering the children's market Words: Nicola Macdonald C hildhood. It was a simpler time. A time of Beanie Babies, Pokémon Cards, Art Attack and interminable dial-up internet (Or was that just EN?). The experiences we have as children shape us, from our taste in music and television to our love of sports, books and even live events. All of which begs the question; how many people see exhibitions as a formative part of their childhood? How many people have fond memories of walking through the doors of an exhibition centre? Whatever the number, it’s set to exponentially increase in future years as a raft of shows aimed at children are on course for massive growth in the UK. October 2017 will see the return of Kidtropolis to ExCeL London for a second year, an event focused around providing a ‘funtastic’ experience for children and families. For two months throughout the school summer holidays, Dinosaurs in the Wild will be entertaining families with an immersive, theatrical exhibi tion experience at the NEC. Meanwhile, both in London and at new events around the UK, LEGO-themed show BRICKLIVE will once more be encouraging children to imagine, build and create. Exhibitions aimed at kids have arguably never been more popular. But, while being a child may have seemed simple, putting on an exhibition for children is anything but, as Simon Pilling, managing director of Kidtropolis, knows all too well. “There’s a lot to think about,” he tells continued ➞ exhibitionnews.co.uk | July 2017 21