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naturalhistorymuseum

“"One of the most memerable nights of the event calendar. An incredible evening."”

It’s rare that anyone gets given a commission to “create a lavish party that everyone will remember forever, no expense spared”.

Appco, one of the world’s leading sales and marketing companies, gave us just such a brief. For us as an event-styling company, this was a dream.

Appco wanted to impress one-thousand of their most valued sales and management associates; to reward them for their dedication and commitment to the company. What we gave them was beyond anything they could have ever imagined.

Venues for thousand-strong parties are not in short supply, but we knew from the start that no conference venue or swish hotel was ever going to cut the mustard for this project. No. We needed somewhere with a sense of occasion and grandeur. Something a bit more ‘cathedral-y’.

Cathedrals, by the very nature of their function, are difficult to book for corporate events, but that didn’t matter. We found something better.

London’s famous Natural History Museum – the ‘Cathedral of Nature’ – is one of the most imposing, most ornate and most beautiful buildings in the world. And extraordinarily, we were able to negotiate use of the museum’s Central Hall to stage our event of a lifetime. The vast vaulted hall is dominated by a truly spectacular Diplodocus skeleton (‘Dippy’) overlooked by Charles Darwin’s statue from the top of the grand central staircase.

Our big challenge was to transform this museum into a party venue. We certainly didn’t want to hide any of the magnificent architecture. Everything had to be in keeping with the surroundings. Our event styling team developed a concept built around the theme of evolution. We decided that the atmosphere of the evening should evolve as time progressed, with guests being treated to successive ‘generations’ of entertainment and excitement. Every twenty minutes, a new and unheralded spectacle would unfold, changing the natural history of the event.

Appco were thrilled with the concept and we were given the go ahead to make it happen.

We developed a precision project schedule and set about enlisting the services of our trusted suppliers and specialists. Layouts were generated in CAD and plans for building the necessary structures and installing the required equipment were established.

Timing was critical. The Museum was to close to the public at 6pm and the party set to start at 8pm sharp. Our project plan needed to orchestrate the movements and activities of all staff to get the structures and equipment into place swiftly. Forty technical crew worked rapidly to build bars, install the PA system, decorate the arches and set in place all the ornamentation and trimmings. They did it with time to spare. The party was all set.

As guests arrived through the grand entrance, they were greeted an electronic string quartet playing contemporary classical music while a custom-built paparazzi camera-flash effect ushered their ascent of the central staircase. They were lead up to the main museum doors along a plush white carpet and guided through the registry point toward the champagne reception at the central bar (which wrapped around the Diplodocus exhibit).

Stilt-walkers with enormous feather headdresses roamed while a silk dancer spun elegantly from the vast arches of the hall. Throughout the evening the guests were astounded and delighted by a succession of performance artists: amazing acrobatic pole dancers, incredible aerial performers, a glittering fashion show, contortionists, singers and more.

We had of course anticipated that some guests might appreciate a little tranquility amid the festivities, and so we created a peaceful ‘Zen’ space with trees, grass, birdsong and barley in one of the spacious side corridors. Guests could retreat from the party and relax on large day beds.

The finale act saw twelve of the evening’s charming waiters and waitresses suddenly and dramatically transform into a spectacular dance troupe whose performance welcomed onto the stage a sensational soul singer. The audience was blown away.

And then, more magic! The doors to either side of the stage and staircase opened up to reveal a second dance floor with Soul II Soul’s Diva DJ heading up the decks.

Our ‘evolution-of-atmosphere’ party was just what we’d hoped it would be: an incredible, unforgettable experience. Appco’s board of directors expressed their extreme gratitude for our hard work and attention to detail. For them, as well as us, the event was a total success.