Guest Post: Lindsey Braidley on Bath’s Museums at Night event planning with students

Our latest guest post comes from Lindsey Braidley, Learning and Programmes Co-ordinator for Heritage Services at Bath & North East Somerset Council. Lindsey describes how her team organised their Museums at Night event in collaboration with local college students.

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Since 2008 we’ve worked with our local Museums Group to organise joint marketing, and as a group we have also planned a couple of afternoon events in a historic square or a new shopping centre to encourage evening visitors.

2 boys with a pestle and mortar at a Roman bath

Children enjoying late night fun at the Roman Baths in 2011 (c) Bath & North East Somerset Council

In 2012 the Roman Baths decided to try something new.  This year we are working with Foundation Degree Students from Bath Spa University to plan and run our Museums at Night event.

To start them off thinking we outlined what sort of events we had run in the past.  Then we gave them some simple details we couldn’t change about Museums at Night; the date, time and of course the small budget.

The students worked through several event ideas before coming up with something exciting and different.  It is called Roman Sensations and offers a chance to explore the torch-lit Roman Baths, taste Roman wine, listen to music, watch live drama, smell perfumes and herbs introduced by the Romans and try on togas and tunics.

Women pointing to pots of colour on a table

Visitors discover Roman cosmetics at the Roman Baths during Museums at Night 2011 (c) Bath & North East Somerset Council

Events like Museums at Night give us the opportunity to collaborate on projects like this with other organisations such as the local university. Bath Spa University students learn from real world experience about working together, project management, interpretation and engaging with the public.

As I write, the students are returning for the new term and the pressure is now really on to meet all of the deadlines to make this evening a big success.  This is challenging for experienced heritage practitioners and students alike.  And the curtain has to go up at 8.15 on Saturday 19 May when the doors open…

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Thanks, Lindsey – visitors to Bath have a lot to look forward to!

If you’d like to write a guest post or case study for this blog about any aspect of event planning or marketing in arts or heritage venues, please drop me a line at rosie@culture24.org.uk or call me on 01273 623336.

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