Picturesque opening of the new entrance to the Van Gogh Museum



CUSTOMER: Van Gogh Museum


DATE: 4-6 September 2015


The new entrance of the Van Gogh Museum is ready after a 2-year renovation. To celebrate this the Van Gogh Museum briefed 3 agencies for a pitch presentation. 

The goals were: 

  • Enhance the image of the Van Gogh Museum;
  • Enhance the image of Museum Square Amsterdam;
  • Manage the relationships with stakeholders (sponsors, potential sponsors, city, national and international visitors);
  • The museum wanted to show that it goes above and beyond traditional boundaries in order to attract a wide range of people by organizing unique and engaging activities in and around the museum;
  • The event had to be attached to the brand: the Van Gogh Museum to the painter Vincent Van Gogh;
  • To generate (inter- ) national awareness and free publicity;
  • To attract new and potential sponsors;
  • And last but not least, it had to fit in seamlessly with the overall campaign: Van Gogh Engages You.


To attract attention we designed a labyrinth consisting of 125.000 sunflowers on Museum Square which led people automatically to the new entrance. You couldn’t miss it! The labyrinth fit in 100% with the payoff: “Van Gogh engages you”. The labyrinth was more than 800 meters long and over 8.000 m2. In the labyrinth the audience was confronted with 125 questions used in the marketing campaign. Van Gogh fans from all over the world could ask any Van Gogh question. Eg. Why did he cut his ear? These questions were placed in the labyrinth. We created ‘secret rooms’ where artists showed how they were inspired by Van Gogh, from visual artists to singer-songwriters.

The 400 VIP-guests were welcomed by 75 VIP-hosts all named Vincent, who guided the guests through the labyrinth. The audience could also make their own way through the labyrinth while using Augmented Reality on their phones. The installation was open all weekend to the public and on Sunday we (all the employees of the museum) gave away all the flowers to the public. 


5.500 VIP guests

40.000 visitors to the labyrinth 


125.000 sunflowers

500 wooden bins,
specially constructed for this event

150 volunteers

4 days of preparation and installation

800 meters of footpaths

4.000 m2



Museum Square Amsterdam. The new entrance is between the Museum and the Kurakawa Wing, which is not really visible from the square. By creating a labyrinth on the square, which had its entrance on the square, the visitor couldn’t help but notice it and be led to the new entrance of the museum.


We created an idea with a living product. Sunflowers! They needed to be in perfect shape on the opening day. Therefore we planted over 300.000 seeds by five different growers all over the Netherlands which minimized the risk of bad weather destroying the flowers. This allowed us to choose the most beautiful flowers. We made several test settings to ensure that a sufficient amount of water was available the entire time but also, importantly, that we didn’t have too much and it was the appropriate weight. Since we had to transport over 6.000 barrels (in 24 trucks) it couldn’t be too heavy:-)

Maarten Hogenhuis, Xsaga





Number of visitors increased by 16% in September. 150,443 visitors in 2015 compared to 129,547 in 2014



Number of visitors on the website increased by 107% during the week (31 aug - 6 sep) to a total of 789.421 visitors


Press Value

National: 174 publications with a press value of €851,145

International: 457 publications with an estimated value of € 2,102,200




potential reach:                                28.42 M         (+ 212%)

number of retweets:                        1,068              (+ 249%)

favorites:                                             585                  (+   94%)

number of mentions:                      1,255               (+   99%)



impressions:                                       4.08 M         (+ 317%)

number of shares on posts:            13,350            (+ 414%)

number of likes on posts:                57,470          (+ 227%)

number of reactions on posts:        1,085            (+ 293%)



A new 3-year collaboration with Takii Seed Europe

Participants's feedback 

‘I’ve never seen such a beautiful labyrinth’. 

“Everybody was happy and cheerful” 

“Walking between these flowers gave me a warm and deep, deep feeling of happiness”

“To create a live experience in an overall campaign which feels so logical is a big achievement"


Technical data:

Exhibition space: 4.000sqm\

Vehicles: 45 on the exhibition stage

Show: 3 days

Construction phase: 4 days conventional und LED recess mounted lights


Involved persons:

about  250 people from 12 companies

Number of visitors: in total 45.000 visitors

Per day about  10.000_ visitors

Amount of media contacts: about 3 billion

Amount of social media contacts: more than 30 million



The idea of a labyrinth consisting of sunflowers was THE answer to all of our questions. We were opening our new front door and NOT a whole new museum. By starting in the sunflower labyrinth on the square, people were automatically led to this new front door and it was a very logical solution. In the labyrinth the audience was confronted with the life of the famous painter and engaged by the questions from the overall campaign. Being surrounded by sunflowers -the flower of Van Gogh- people were happy and positive and the tens of thousands of pictures and all the posts on social networks are proof of this.

Van Gogh Museum


EX: All-glass balustrade for maximum insight and view

Floor covering on all floor levels: laminate, black and white varnished surfaces, wooden look light

Wall: varnished wooden surfaces


Media stage: 

scanner: Pixeled F6 modules with a pixel pitch of 6 mm, swing gates MC-12, MiSTRIPS, 

stage planking black varnished wooden surfaces

Project partners

Architecture: Xsaga and Sightline

Lighting design:  na

Booth construction: Sightline/Stage-co
Communication, Show, Set Design, Exhibition and Media Design: Xsaga

Show Design: Xsaga
Real-Time Tracking (Show): Xsaga


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