Skip navigation
Special Events Blog

And the Gala Award Goes To...Gateway to Tomorrow

Part 6 in our 2023 Gala Award Feature Series

All photos courtesy Andreas Keller

Gala Award Recipient for Most Outstanding Spectacle, Fair, or Festival

When insglück was tasked with creating Kazakhstan’s exhibition for the World Expo 2020, they came up with a way to optimize celebrating the country: design the entire structure to incorporate symbols of the country’s culture.  

The Kazakhstan Pavilion: Gateway to Tomorrow, built using lightweight construction and the use of composite building materials and nearly 100% recyclable steel, took World Expo guests through a tour of Kazakhstan’s past, present, and future from the first glance. The design was inspired by traditional architecture and was shaped like Kazakhstan's traditional “kalpak” hat. Its external façade was inspired by the latticework of Kazakh yurts with their round crowns, perforated with algorithmically arranged holes to provide both ventilation and light effects. At the entrence area, pre-historic rock engravings and Scythian animal motifs brought to life ancient nomad culture, while the pre-show depicted the heritage of humankind in video, image, and sound installations that demonstrated how we are all linked by our DNA. 

The pavilion was divided into three levels, each dedicated to a section of Kazakhstan’s history and future. The lower main area featured an atmospheric and multi-sensory installation showcasing the country’s rich natural environments, biodiversity, natural resources, and cultural heritage. Visitors swayed in the wind with the grass on the “Great Steppe,” explored sacred sites and artefacts with the help of authentic exhibits and tactile surface installations, examined the land’s rich natural assets in the lab, and enjoyed an interactive experience of the country’s flora and fauna.  

After going back in time, visitors took the staircase to the upper level, past a fascinating lenticular image bridging the ancient and modern worlds. The next exhibition area provided a mixed media presentation of present-day Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan’s capital) that brought the essence of Eurasia to life and provided a vision of the city’s future.  

In the next “Future Now” area, with its spaceship-like design, visitors viewed a kinetic art installation, captivating on-screen content and an interactive table informing them about the country’s future projects, initiatives, and challenges. 

The journey ended with the final Main Show, which took viewers through an exploration of the future of humans and AI. 

Using clever design and deep creativity, insglück produced an engaging exhibition that tied together Kazakhstan’s past and future and celebrated the country’s culture. 

Congratulations to insglück for taking home the award for Most Outstanding Spectacle, Fair, or Festival!  

Click through to see photos from the event!

To submit an entry to this year's Gala awards, please visit our awards portal.  

Important Dates  

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2023 | Gala Award Submissions Open  
  • September 1, 2022-September, 30, 2023 | Eligibility Period for Entries  
  • Sunday, October 15, 2023 | Regular submission deadline ($99 fee)  
  • Tuesday, October 31, 2023 | Late Bird submission deadline ($160 fee)  

If you are interested in entering in the ACE awards instead, you can enter the 2024 Catersource ACE awards in the same online portal as the Gala awards. Catersource + The Special Event will run February 12-15, 2024 in Austin, TX. Both the ACE and Gala awards will be presented during the conference at a to-be-determined location in Austin. 

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.