Most people begin planning for Christmas around now, but for some - including National Museums Liverpool's Trading and Events teams, it's always on the agenda!
A hot late summer’s day in a busy warehouse in Hyde, Greater Manchester is hardly the setting for thinking about Christmas. And yet here we are, because in the Events office at National Museums Liverpool, we never stop thinking about Christmas.
Once New Year is done and dusted and the last of the pigs in blankets have been devoured, we get started on putting together the following year’s party packages. Come February, the team are already pitching ideas to each other as to how we can make next year's events better than the last. At this stage we've already had enquiries from the people who missed on the previous year and they're eager to be at the front of the queue when bookings open.
This is what brings us to the warehouse. Trudy, the sales manager and I have come to see Steve, one of the prop technicians at iCatching Media and Events,who takes us on a quick tour to show the diversity of what the company can offer for pretty much any occasion - eight foot Oscar statue anyone?! Then we're shown the props for this year's chosen theme - our Narnia-inspired Winter Wonderland.
As an avid fan of the books I could not be more excited about this! The themed idea is new to us this year so we're a little apprehensive when we step into the shade of the building from the blinding sun outside, trying to imagine ourselves in the depths of winter. Although give it three weeks and we probably won't even have to imagine, this is the British summertime after all!
Steve has kindly pulled out all of the props we will be using to dress the venue, and Trudy and I are like kids in a sweet shop. I even get to walk through the wardrobe doors! Fortunately for Steve, the furs inside the wardrobe are attached for show or I may have got carried away! Steve explained to us that alongside the props and wonderfully winter table decorations (of which I don't want to say too much lest it give away the magic) they would also be adding some beautifully lit snowy backdrops into the space, turning a blank canvas into a Winter Wonderland.
Now that we have seen all of the props and Steve has demonstrated where everything will go, we are itching to get back to the office and tell the rest of the team how the inside of the Lower Horse Shoe Gallery at the World Museum - the venue for the party nights - will be transformed.
A week later and the enquiries haven’t stopped. Knowing how beautiful the venue is going to look certainly helps with promoting the event. Hopefully our enthusiasm is infectious as we are excited to be turning the dark December nights into a magical escape for guests to come and spend an evening as Kings and Queens of Narnia.