The German Foundation for Monument Protection
Digital Day of Open Monuments 2020

ToffD Hero
  • # Digitale Transformation Beratung
  • # Webdesign Agentur
  • # Videoproduktion
  • # Content Marketing
  • # Social Media Marketing
  • # Symfony Programmierung

The VUCX team implemented the culturally themed action day, which took place digitally for the first time, in an interdisciplinary manner. We supervised the programming of the website, the production of the video contributions, as well as social media.

Digital Event Platform
The Initial Situation

The Day of Open Monument usually consists of a multitude of in-person events at locations that are often not fully accessible or open year-round. This uniqueness of the event day is what makes it special and captivates millions of visitors annually.

However, in the year 2020, things were about to change. Amidst the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person events were rarely feasible with a clear conscience, especially in indoor areas. On the other hand, not holding such a culturally and socially relevant event was not an option either. Thus, alternatives were sought. The aim was to make the fascination of monuments accessible, irrespective of location and risk, through a digital and internet-accessible approach.

It quickly became evident what digitalization meant in this case: transforming a simple event calendar into a multimedia experience platform. New paths were taken in terms of content and design. Furthermore, the platform needed to handle a high volume of visitors, cater to the needs of less digitally savvy target audiences, and, with inclusion in mind, break down the boundaries of spatial experience.

tag des offenen denkmals website
tag des offenen denkmals website
tag des offenen denkmals website
tag des offenen denkmals website
tag des offenen denkmals website

What specific challenges needed to be overcome?

When the decision was made shortly after the initial COVID-19 lockdown that the Open Monument Day 2020 should go digital, there were only a few months available for detailed planning, development, and production. Additionally, achieving the desired impact and success could only be guaranteed through a thorough digital transformation. This situation demanded a high degree of creativity, organizational skills, and perseverance from all parties involved.

The Approach and the Outcome

Digitalization requires analytical and methodical approaches, especially in a time-critical situation. In the case of digitizing the Open Monument Day, the analysis of the existing infrastructure, previous workflows, and competitive environment took precedence. After this phase, many processes were initiated simultaneously, such as conceptualization, media production, and the establishment of the technological foundation. Through prototyping, tightly coordinated approval cycles, and effective interdisciplinary collaboration among all disciplines and with the client, not only was the lack of experience with digital events compensated for, but also a creative melting pot emerged, unlocking numerous innovative forms of media presentation for the format. The resulting content was offered and made accessible through a user-friendly and content-coordinated online platform.

The outcome: a digital Open Monument Day that was more diverse and exciting than a purely in-person event could have been. We are certainly looking forward to the next one and are excited to hopefully experience a fusion of both worlds in 2021.

The Technology

For this project, we built on the Symfony framework, implementing a flexible headless CMS that can be expanded for future possibilities and requirements.

Due to the expectation of a high number of visitors, a distributed server architecture with load balancers was set up, which could be expanded within minutes as needed.

The data structure was designed to quickly and easily integrate with applications already used by the client.

Video Productions

VUCX highlighted 18 monuments at a total of 16 filming locations. Our team produced content for 21 video contributions spanning across Germany. In addition to guided tours, interviews, dialogues, explanatory videos, and live-streaming were all part of this two-month production.

Each monument and each contribution had its own unique aspects, which were portrayed by our editors, camera crews, and post-production team. Drone flights over the Kugelbake, a live-on-tape ghost concert featuring pianist Sophie Pacini at the construction site of the Bonn Beethoven Hall, or a live stream through the Lower Danube Bastion in Ulm provided access to mostly non-public monuments on the Open Monument Day.

Even press events like the LIVE press conference via Zoom were planned and executed by VUCX. This also included the production of segments such as teasers and screencasts.

As a one-stop-shop, VUCX was responsible for production planning, execution of all shoots and live productions, conceptualization and animation of explanatory videos, as well as post-production and delivery of individual video formats for the digital platform.

In just two months of production time, emotional, informative, and captivating video contributions were created, bringing the monuments closer to the viewers - even without being present on-site.

Social Media

Based on the corporate design of the Day of Open Monuments, the VUCX design team developed a social media concept in the form of a style guide for image editing, posts, and stories.

The content team was responsible for topic research, editing, content creation, and community building.

The "Day of Open Monuments," during which thousands of historical sites open their doors to visitors for free every year, went digital for the first time in 2020. To reach new audiences, the diversity of the German monument landscape was visually and contextually portrayed in an appealing manner through social media.

In line with the existing corporate design, VUCX initially developed a social media style guide that catered to the demands of various target groups. In parallel, the editorial team researched topics and built an editorial calendar based on the client's specifications.

Through precise targeting via Facebook Ads and high community engagement, an Instagram community of over 1,000 followers was established within a short period of time. Additionally, more than 1,200 posts about the Open Monument Day were shared by other accounts.

ToffD Social Media Overview

About the Client: The German Foundation for Monument Protection (Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz) is the largest private initiative for monument preservation in Germany. Since 1985, it has been creatively, professionally, and independently dedicated to conserving endangered architectural heritage. Thanks to the active participation and donations from over 200,000 supporters, the foundation annually supports approximately 500 projects.