Now that a vast blue whale skeleton has replaced ‘Dippy’, the Diplodocus cast that stood in Hintze Hall for 35 years, the Natural History Museum is keen to highlight what else the venue has to offer event professionals. Head of venue hire, Robert Wetherell answers Access’ questions.
What areas of the Natural History Museum are most popular for events?
The museum and galleries are split nicely into three main spaces. This roughly fits in with the amount of entrances we have into the museum, so we’re pretty flexible on how event planners can use the space.
Fossil way is popular as a pre-dinner drinks area before guests enter Hintze Hall. However, saying that, if anyone wants to use Fossil way for an event coming through from Earth Hall, then we can switch to Hintze Hall where guests can use the dinosaur gallery for reception drinks. We are very versatile.
How often do you host events at the museum?
Most nights. Our busiest periods are autumn and Christmas; we could easily be running two or three events on the same night.
We share the spaces with the public events team at the museum, hosting mainly sleepovers and launches. We also stage a popular New Year’s Eve party. It is our ambition to host an event every night of the year after we close our doors to the public, and we’re not that far off.
How has the blue whale’s move into Hintze Hall been received?
The reaction has been incredible. We launched it on 13 July, which was the first time guests could see the blue whale in its diving pose in that space. It was the first time anyone was able to have dinner and drinks underneath the skeleton too so it was an awe-inspiring evening.
The following day, we had our members’ launch and the following week, we held our first corporate event in there.
Personally, I’m looking forward to the first wedding of the summer. It’s sure to create an extraordinary experience and be really exciting for the lucky couple.
Editor’s note; This is an excerpt of the feature published in 214 issue of Access All Areas. The digital edition is available now.