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Space for a Better World – Aim Higher

Client: Space for a Better World
Event: AIM Higher VVIP Gala
Date: 3 May 2022
No of guests: 300-400
Venue: Exploring Space and Making the Modern World

Event brief & objective:

A gala dinner to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 16, NASA’s Artemis Mission & the future of space travel. An evening celebration to include cocktails, dinner, awards presentation, and inspirational fireside chats with astronauts.

Why did you choose the Science Museum? 

We chose the Science Museum because it was an historic Apollo anniversary and we wanted to celebrate somewhere that had the right atmosphere and ambiance.

What were you looking for in a venue when you started planning this event?

I already had a bit of history with the Science Museum having done a couple of events with other astronauts I work with including Buzz Aldrin. But I was also looking for a venue that could accommodate between 300-400 people.

What sort of experience did you want to create for your guests?

We wanted it to be an historic, epic experience for the attendees.

How did you choose which spaces at the museum you wanted to use for this event? The space theme was key, so Exploring Space and Making the Modern World were perfect for our event.

How did Exploring Space and Making the Modern World work for your event? 

Exploring Space was perfect for the reception and Making the Modern World, which was set for dinner, looked amazing. The artifacts in both galleries enhanced the event dramatically without having to add much more than colourful lighting.

Who were your catering and AV partners? 

Catering was Rocket Food and AV was White Light, who supplied the full production services for the gala.

What catering was provided by Rocket? Was anything bespoke created?

To keep with the intergalactic theme, the canapés were served on custom-made cosmic trays and included English Wagyu bresaola on an IPA beer bread croute with goat’s curd and balsamic pearls; Butternut squash, miso and parmesan filo tart; Red Claw crab and Amalfi lemon arancini; and Aubergine char sui with puffed green rice and furikake salt.

The three-course dinner began with either a Cornish sea bass marinated in wasabi and lime with furikake, nori, avocado purée, ponzu mayonnaise, pickled mouli and bronze fennel, or Grilled radicchio, pickled vegetables, pea and coconut yoghurt, citrus dressing, mixed cresses and olive crumb.

To follow, there was a roast Barbary duck with miso aubergine, sticky rice, pickled kohlrabi, bok choi and Szechuan pepper jus, or pan-fried Cotswold white chicken with courgette ribbons, crushed Jersey royals, romesco sauce and chicken jus, or cannelloni with fresh peas, broad beans and courgette fricassee served with Jersey royals, toasted artichokes and preserved lemon.

To finish, guests enjoyed either a summer berry macaron with white chocolate whipped ganache, rose and lemon veil, gold leaf and mint cress, or a coconut pannacotta with pink pineapple, coconut crumble, and kaffir lime sorbet.

Did White Light create anything bespoke for the event?

The staging was set up in the middle of the room as opposed to the end of the hall – it looked amazing by the lighthouse.

Atmospheric lighting was used to enhance the guest journey from the main entrance and highlight the exhibits throughout the Energy Hall and into Exploring Space, for the pre-dinner drinks. A PA system for background music was also supplied for the reception.

In the flagship Making the Modern World gallery, a custom stage was constructed around the 1907 Eilean Glass lighthouse, flanked with two large projection screens, one for content and one for image magnification (IMAG) . The left-hand side was used to present awards to the many astronauts in attendance and the right-hand side stage was used for live music performances. Repeater screens in and among the dinner tables relayed all content, as well as IMAG so that all guests could clearly see the MC Dallas Campbell and award winners.

Moving lights were used to add to the gravitas of the on-stage awards presentation and showcase key objects in the Museum’s fascinating collection. To signal the start of the awards, WL designed a launch sequence to accompany the audio recording.

What feedback did you receive from guests?

The guests have been raving about the event. It’s mostly been extremely positive feedback.

Client testimonial:

“If you want to have a truly memorable event, then there is no better place to hold it than at the Science Museum. Our gala guests have continued to rave about it for weeks. It has a natural ambiance with the beautiful and historic artifacts that greatly enhanced our event and made it extra special. The staff was wonderful and extremely attentive of our needs. I’d love to do another historic celebration there.” – Christina Korp, Director of Space for a Better World