Event brief & objective:
The event brief was a 1-day conference for 300 guests featuring breakfast on arrival, a morning plenary session, lunch, and afternoon town hall. The objective was to create a high-end immersive experience and NOT a conference.
Why was the Science Museum chosen for this event? What were the key criteria you required from a venue for this event?
The Science Museum was chosen as the location so that the evening event at the V&A Museum the night before and the daytime conference could be near each other at two different unique venues. As many of the guests were arriving from other countries the venue needed to be very British and in a famous area of London. The venue needed capacity for 300 guests seated during the on-stage sessions and for a standing breakfast/lunch.
What sort of experience did the client want to create for guests?
The client wanted to immerse their guests into realistic environments and create spaces for the event to take place in. Every detail of the event was designed to transport people into different environments and away from a normal “conference.” From the entrance into the Smith Centre, through the Groups entrance corridor, the lifts and up to Level 4 and Level 5 of Illuminate, every detail was planned to take guests on a sensory journey focusing on what they see, what they hear, what they smell, what they taste and what they touch.
What made Illuminate the right space for this event? What was the benefit of using this space?
Illuminate gave us an opportunity to create two unique spaces across Level 4 and Level 5 which could still be easily connected together. The view of the London skyline through the panoramic window on Level 5 provided a unique space with big impact. The small, private nature of Illuminate was also a major benefit.
How did Illuminate work for the event? What tech was utilised across both floors? What set up did you create on each floor?
Level 4 was transformed into Borough Market with a theatrical transformation including wall vinyls, pillar wraps, crate walls, parasols, and cleverly themed furniture. Borough Market was open all day for guests to visit whenever they wanted, and menus changed across the different food and drink stations to provide a unique dining experience for breakfast and lunch.
Level 5 become our London Town House where we could invite our guests into our living room for an update on the company and future plans. An understated but super detailed stage set was complemented with an eclectic collection of lounge furniture providing a feeling of home. Our piano lounge set the tone of the casual space, provided water and snacks, and cleverly linked the red thread of the event together.
The tech was all provided by White Light, with most of the setup being a bespoke build and brought in specifically for the event. Some connectivity between Level 4 and Level 5 was utilised.
What would you consider the standout features of Illuminate?
The standout feature is the wide-open space and the views over London.
Did your catering partner create anything bespoke for the event?
Moving Venue worked with us to create a bespoke concept around Borough Market style food stations with four options available for lunch:
- British tapas
- Bao Buns
- Salad Bar
A barista station was available throughout the day, along with fresh juices and ginger shots. On Level 5, snacks were presented on a piano for guests to help themselves from throughout the event. They were also available on Level 4 to ensure easy access for guests.
What bespoke production elements were included in the event?
White Light worked with us to deliver full production services to transform the museum in keeping with the high-end bespoke theme. The Smith Centre Courtyard immersed guests in a garden fit for a stately home complete with foliage and floral displays cascading from the roof and surrounding hedging. A branded 5m high painted scenic wall provided the backdrop for the concierge with background music incorporating the sounds of nature.
Hedging was installed in the Groups entrance lining the guest journey into the museum with custom designed lighting adding depth to the aesthetic. The museum lifts were also fully branded with vinyl to transform the modern lifts to period features.
On Level 5 of Illuminate the versatile space featured high-finish custom scenic elements including radiator covers with picturesque projections above of townhouse windows, with birds flying past, herringbone floor panelling, brass fixtures, and bespoke branding features. Every intricate detail was staged to convey the look and feel of a London Town House. The centrepiece for the conference was a 14m wide LED wall with a small library ‘snug’ for fireside chats.
WL’s d&b audio infrastructure installed in Level 5 was re-distributed to suit the bespoke design of the space. A total of 88 lighting fixtures were used within the space – serving to spotlight the furniture, custom details, architecture, and aesthetic props, as well as add room and house lighting to help blend everything together.
In Level 4, which was used for catering, WL helped bring Borough Market into the blank-canvas space. Vinyl brickwork pillar wraps, metres of festoon and spotlights from track lighting all helped bring this to life, highlighting the different food stations. The lighting was configured to actively switch on and off as guests interacted with the food stalls, to simulate an authentic market experience. A PA system was used for background music and screens displayed rolling video content.