Thursday, May 26, 2011


 There is an on going Consumer Fair in Brunei right now. The event is from 25 until 29 of May. And just yesterday morning, my officemates and I had the chance to visit the fair.
The gang: (L to R) Joms, Soc, Me, Mizna, Zidie, Troy and Celynn
 I won't talk about the fair itself. Since it is a Consumer fair, it is inevitable to have the different products in display ranging from fashion, gadgets, food and even products from the service industry. What I want to talk about in this blog is the Night Safari Exhibit and my suggestions to improve it should the organizers think of putting up another jungle theme or any themed exhibit in Brunei.

The Safari Night setup reminded me of my encounter with a simple yet attention grabbing Jungle setup that I saw in 2010 in the Philippines. I was strolling at SM Fairview when the lush and animal-packed display piqued my interest. I must say, the ensemble was just artistic, natural and superb.
The Safari in Philippines
A Noah's Ark themed Ensemble
Coming from a design and advertising agency, I would like to commend on both the strong and weak points of the Safari Night exhibit, which I hope could be considered for future projects.

When we arrived at the entrance of the night safari, the main entrance was designed with leaves and the heading "Night Safari." We were charged BND3.00 for the entrance fee.

I felt that there was a lacking in the entrance. Apart from the not so high energy of those who were in the ticketing area, I was probably just expecting that a trained or jungle expert will be present to entertain guests; someone could be feeding a bird or simply doing some tricks with a pet.

On a simple note, I was expecting to hear the jungle sound in the entrance. But it was just quiet not until we got inside. 

There is something to be learnt here. To attract people, it is best to create a gimmick even in the entrance or somewhere near the venue. Perhaps a video that is looped could be used or an interesting sound could be played to paint the Safari feel.

When we got inside the Safari, we were surprised that everything was packed in one room. By standing on one side of the room, you can already see everything.  I'm not arguing that there should be a bigger room for such exhibition, but what could be derived in the setup is that the creative approach in establishing a more interactive layout.

So there's an aircondition in a Jungle?

An interactive layout is a space that is well utilized with activities. As a suggestion, the Safari could have setup some areas where an Animal Expert could share some knowledge among visitors. Or perhaps, a video could be playing somewhere. A touch screen could be placed to share quick facts about animals. 

One of the strengths of the Safari is the convincing design. The animals were just well-made and were very natural. Even the setting of the jungle was distinct. On one hand, the lights added beauty on the exhibit. Seriously, hats off to those made the animals in the jungle. It was marvelous!

Truth be told, exhibits are not only made for entertainment. In today’s world, especially with issues on Global warming, the Night Safari at the Consumer Fair could have been used as a channel to educate people on animal habitat as relative to saving the Earth or the humanity from climate change. How do we achieve this?

From a standpoint of a communication specialist, the Safari could use some boards or stands talking about the life of the animals in the jungle. With this, people wouldn’t just have to take a picture with the huge animals, they may also learn something out of the experience. At least, kids who will come can get to know the behavior, life span and more about the animals.  Even adults could learn from the experience.

And speaking of its educational value, the event could display a television looping an informative video on the life of animals at night. This could be played during the exhibit as everyone roams around the place.


Apart from the Night Safari, there was a “maze.” The maze had walls. And as a surprise, there were hidden mummies. Yes. There were hidden mummies along the way.
Serious Mummies!
Candid Mummies!
 So, to maximize our BND3.00, we scared ourselves with the maze despite its half-baked eerie approach. What's commendable is that the walls look natural; it had the Egyptian themed walls. Plus, the mummies were just funny to encounter. 

The mummies in the maze could be improved. Tied up with the night Safari theme, apart from putting real humans who could be in jungle outfits, the mummies could be real as well; something that is moving! This will be more exciting especially seeing a mummy scare people. And then there's a camera that documents this. People get to watch the eerie show! =)

To incorporate interactivity, the walls could have some secret holes where a creature could pop out like a snake or a hand. This could add some spice to the maze. On the flooring of the maze, there could some fake and moving props to scare the people.

In the end of our tour in the Safari Night Exhibit, we got to join the lucky draw. And there, we got some HSBC bags. While our other officemates were just so lucky to walk away with BND10 which they used to purchase food in the fair.

As a souvenir, I would have thought ( a suggestion) of putting a photo booth wherein the customers could wear an animal-themed hat and have a picture taken. On the other hand, a picture could be bordered with a safari themed design. 

Despite my comments and suggestions, I encourage you to visit the Night Safari in the Consumer Fair. Once in a while, it's nice to unleash the child within and simply enjoy exhibits. And don't forget to bring your camera, big smiles and creative poses. You'll definitely need those as excitement gets in your nerve!

After the tour, I was on my home and realized one thing. Eureka! Brunei doesn’t have a National Zoo. I don’t know if its culture based or whatever, but I just feel that having a National Zoo (as same with Museums) could be an additional advantage to boost the country’s tourism. With Brunei rich and natural habitat, setting up a Zoo could possibly be a hit among locals and foreigners. Although, it is a natural sight in Brunei to encounter lurking Monkeys and Monkey-mannered people (kidding!). Cool eh!

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