This may surprise you, but this museum has got quite a history…
You may have visited it as a child, you may have taken your family there, you might have never been to the museum, but I would bet you know about this museum. Not being a London native, I grew up only knowing London based on how I saw it on TV, and for the longest time as far as I was concerned London was the home of the London Eye, the Natural History Museum and Danger Mouse.
That childhood wonder definitely plays a big part in the museum’s atmosphere; children and adults alike share the same expressions of intrigue and excitement when face-to-face with dinosaur bones dating back hundreds of millions of years. The departure of Dippy the Dinosaur in the main hall could throw you off, as the Diplodocus skeleton hits the road for its UK tour, but its replacement was just as magnificent. Suspended from the ceiling, the new blue whale skeleton has opened up the room, allowing for dinners to be held in the event space.
Opening itself up to events around 30 years ago, the Natural History Museum became one of the country’s first unique venues, standing out in the events industry by offering something very different to its competition. Investing in new lighting displays and virtual reality (VR) exhibitions, how does the venue hold up in the growing world of unique venues?
“When people come through the doors we just don’t disappoint,” explained the museum’s Head of Venue Hire, Robert Wetherell. “I think, with respect to other spaces – hotels absolutely have their market and appeal – I think sometimes people want something a little bit different, a little more impressive. We have overseas clients and this is the choice when they want to blow their clients away.”
Offering bigger and smaller event spaces and lecture and seminar rooms, the venue can host multiple events at the same time, and the venue is still growing. With a motto of ‘evolution, diversity and sustainability’, the team at the Natural History Museum looks ahead just as much as it looks back.
“The fascination for learning never ends and people are genuinely interested in the topic, but also we’re a charity and when people hold events here they’re directly contributing to the charity,” continued Wetherell.
“We have hundreds of scientists here all focussing on climate change and sustainability, so we help to fund those works, looking after the future as well as the past.”
Despite being among the first unique venues in the future, the Natural History Museum itself is no dinosaur. Continuing to expand and change with modern times, introducing lighting displays and VR, the central London venue is as relevant now as it was 30 years ago and I look forward to see where the venue takes us in the future.