With more than 1,400 event spaces already available for hire in London, the prospect of one more may not on its own sound altogether exciting or interesting... until you learn that it’s at the London Science Museum.
Who wouldn’t want to attend a conference or an event at one of London’s most iconic venues?” – asked the Science Museum’s business development and marketing manager, Jodie Guilford during our visit to the historic venue.
Scheduled to open in February (2019), the Museum is in the process of creating two brand new purpose built dedicated event spaces on levels four and five, which on completion will be able to host close to 1,000 people combined.
Illuminate, as it’s being called, is designed to complement the museum’s existing portfolio of event spaces (which includes galleries and other dedicated spaces) with the additional rooms offering new potential for attracting both daytime and evening business, boosting revenue opportunities.
The architectural theme, conceived by Mary Duggan Architects, is based on ‘Light and Dark’ and is formed of two contrasting spaces, with a ‘unique’ panoramic window views across the London skyline from Level 5.
“We saw there was a massive demand for daytime events and that’s one of the reasons why Illuminate was conceived,” added Guilford. “The exclusivity for daytime events that we can now offer within our award-winning venue diversifies the client base and nature of events we can accommodate. ”
White Light, a production solution specialist operating in a range of markets such as theatre, corporate events, broadcast, concert touring, leisure, education and trade, has been selected as its exclusive production partner for the venue.
Following an extensive tender process, company – which has a long standing relationship with the museum (25-plus years) – was selected to design an AV solution that is in synergy with the brand, and will “exceed the expectations” of event organisers and guests.
The system, incorporating hardware, programming and design, is fully flexible to support the widest range of events and styles, using the latest technology applied in a user friendly format, and fully supported by its own team based on site.
Richard Wilson, director for White Light revealed to AVTE the firm was selected – in part – for its vision and commitment to the project, which has also included a sizeable financial investment.
“It’s a collaborative partnership,”said Wilson. “This is different to us just providing equipment. We have invested our own capital into making this project a success and see ourselves as an equal partner.”
Flexible and agile
The technology selected by White Light has been installed with a “plug and play” approach. This is to help significantly reduce setup times, whilst providing greater flexibility around the different types of event being held and their requirements – maximising selling opportunities.
The event spaces will be controlled using Crestron’s NVX IP secure solution with all equipment running on a CAT 6 network. AV technology specified for the two rooms include a mix of projectors (Christie), displays / cameras (Panasonic), speakers (D&B), processing (Yamaha/Crestron) and microphones (Shure), with a fully flexible colour-changing event lighting solution.
Content can be streamed across multiple rooms at the same time and even to other parts of the museum and the outside world as required.
“For technology, we’re only using high quality equipment,” commented Jason Larcombe, project manager at White Light. “The NVX system allows us to quickly move hardware around and because it’s already coded and designed, that hardware will automatically work. It means it does not require a lot of pre-programming to set up an event.”
Guilford concluded: “The Museum has been very forward thinking with this project, and realises the potential for generating valuable income to support the organisation.”