RWS Entertainment Group has tapped zoo and museum industry veteran Robby Gilbert as its new global director, business development.
Gilbert joins the team as RWS and its subsidiary JRA expand their planning, design, implementation and operations capabilities for zoos, aquariums, science centres and botanical gardens worldwide, and as RWS offers custom leased experiences and merchandise featuring iconic brands, including all-new Hershey’s and Guinness World Records attractions.
RWS is the only leased experience provider offering not only top brands but also fabrication, installation, operations, and retail merchandise capabilities. These immersive designs encourage play, guest engagement and fun, and are designed to be scalable and flexible in nature to fit any property and space, encouraging foot traffic and demonstrating high return on investment. Current brands include Peanuts, Play-Doh, BRICKLIVE, Bugs…BIG Bugs! and Dinosaur Expedition. Experiences based on Hershey’s and Guinness World Records will be available starting in Autumn.
In his new role, Gilbert will drive the development, production, and delivery of these premium leased experiences as well as their associated branded retail products, which will be produced by RWS Entertainment Group’s London subsidiary, The Experience Department (ted).
In 2021, RWS acquired Cincinnati-based JRA, a world leader in creating cultural attractions, including zoos and aquariums such as Fort Worth Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo and Texas State Aquarium, and science museums including Science Centre Singapore, The Mind Museum, Space Centre Houston, Ithra and MOST Science Centre. The studio has also partnered on attractions with such high-profile brands as Hasbro, Warner Bros., LEGO, NBCUniversal and Lionsgate. Gilbert looks forward to leveraging JRA’s considerable expertise and experience to a broader zoo, aquarium, museum, and garden audience.
Gilbert specialises in the development, management and operations of entertainment and educational attractions based on scientific and mission-oriented goals. Prior to RWS Entertainment Group, Gilbert served as chief executive officer of HRG Concepts, which collaborated on the concept design, fabrication, and installation of exhibit elements for Phoenix Zoo, the San Antonio Zoo, the Nashville Zoo, the Baton Rouge Zoo, and multiple traveling exhibits. Other experience includes the development of over two dozen STEM/STEAM-based leased experiences around the world and supervising the production of a variety of full-scale animatronic figures.
“Robby has spent the last 14 years building amazing partnerships with zoos, aquariums, science museums and botanical gardens around the world,” said Kevin Kreczko, senior vice president, marketing & business development at RWS Entertainment Group. “As our new Global Director, Business Development, he’ll help to deliver immersive leased experiences, dynamic science exhibits and engaging cultural attractions to our clients. With the addition of Robby to the team, and with the expansion of our leased experiences offerings to top brands like Hershey’s and Guinness World Records, we can raise the experience of visitors to new heights across more markets than ever before.”