National Museums Liverpool (NML)’s events business has achieved a record year following a run of high-profile corporate events and filming projects – creating £1.3m in revenue and national recognition for its team.
It is the first time the Hosted by NML team has exceeded £1m in annual revenues, with the 2022/23 financial year seeing 38 per cent growth in events income, compared to pre-pandemic levels (2018/19).
It has been its busiest year for venue hire, event management and inhouse catering. The team hosted 453 events and more than 28000 guests across its seven venues - from a major event for United Utilities and bespoke hospitality for Boodles jewellers, to a maritime evening with celebrity hosts and Sky Arts' Landscape Artist of the Year production. Other filming location bookings included Amazon, the BBC, ITV and Paramount+.
Eurovision has also provided a successful start to the new financial year, with NML facilitating the ‘turquoise carpet’ launch event at Walker Art Gallery, creating spinoff events across several venues, producing an ambitious catering provision for crew and artists over 10 days, and hosting the BBC’s media hub at the Museum of Liverpool.
Karen O’Connor, Director of Commercial Enterprises at National Museums Liverpool, which looks after some of the most visited museums in England outside of London, said: “It’s been a record year for our talented events team, with significant growth from our pre-pandemic levels and our biggest run of high-profile events to date.
“Our stunning venues are used creatively for corporate and private events - from a small boardroom with a history dating back to 1901, to a 1,000-capacity gallery in a museum that is home to incredible artefacts. We’ve refined the way we deliver event services for our customers and have big plans for the year ahead.”
Recent developments saw the Hosted by NML team recreate spaces within the Museum of Liverpool to provide a ‘blank canvas’ for clients to brand and visually customise events, alongside the day-to-day visitor experience at the museum. This work has seen a 15 per cent increase in event bookings at the venue.
It has also launched an external catering service, using its in-house chefs for other venues and events in the region, which do not sit within National Museums Liverpool’s own portfolio.
Gareth Nuttall, Head of Sales for Hosted by NML, added: “The reputation of our chefs is highly regarded, and external catering is one aspect we’re now expanding. While corporate events at our venues remain our biggest growth area, we’ve had an uplift in activity across the entire events business – including filming, weddings and our own ticketed hospitality events.”
Hosted by NML has won a series of industry awards this year, including Business Events Venue of the Year for Museum of Liverpool and Tourism Young Person of the Year for Neve Sutton, in the Liverpool City Region tourism awards. It has also now received national recognition at the Conference & Events Awards 2023 for the achievements of its events team.
Income generated from NML’s events business goes back into supporting the work of the museums and galleries, which attracted nearly 2.5 million visitors last year.