Using Partnerships to Combine Expertise for Successful Traveling Exhibition Projects – ecsite Case Study on the Future of Traveling Exhibitions

Flying Fish was recently featured in a case study by ecsite on the future of traveling exhibitions, titled “Using Partnerships to Combine Expertise for Successful Traveling Exhibition Projects.” Read on for an excerpt of the article, featuring Flying Fish and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.


Flying Fish Exhibits works in collaboration with museums and science centers to create touring exhibitions through a sharing of expertise. Museums and science centers use their collections, content, and interpretation with the expertise of Flying Fish, which is to design and fabricate a turnkey exhibition suitable for touring internationally. Flying Fish also serves as the marketing and sales-force, managing the global tour of the exhibition.

Up until a few years ago, the traveling exhibition industry was dominated by for-profit firms, trying to sell the latest ‘blockbuster’ exhibition. But recently, touring exhibition committees have begun evaluating, in earnest, the profit and loss associated with hosting these large, capital-intensive exhibitions and it has become fairly evident that few were making any positive returns for their institutions. Part of this was due to the decline of the entertainment dollar – something that the private exhibition companies failed to recognize.

Flying Fish recognized that the future of the touring exhibitions is museum to museum and science centre to science centre exchange. They say it’s a simple and winning concept that is easy to execute with the right partnership in place. This exchange will encourage a larger collaboration between exhibition contributors and hosts, and often one that reaches overseas and across borders. Flying Fish helps to bridge these gaps and connect dozens of institutions around the world each year, providing content to museum visitors around the globe that they likely may have never seen otherwise.

Their latest collaboration was with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. To commemorate the lunar landing’s 50th Anniversary in 2019, Flying Fish partnered with the Rocket Center to design, fabricate and tour Apollo: When We Went to the Moon. Flying Fish was responsible for ideation, design, fabrication, crating and logistics for the project, while utilizing the strengths of the Rocket Center team with their expertise and internal capacities for curation, education and interpretive writing. The tour is already booked through 2021 and has already secured a financial return for the Rocket Center’s initial investment.

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