Be Our Guest

Today we looked at events planning in line with the aims and expectations of BMT. For the exercise the group had to come up with an event to be held at Aston Hall, which would appeal to two of the audience groups set out in the Arts Audiences: Insights guidebook. For this exercise, we chose the groups Fun, Friends and Fashion, and Time Poor Dreamers.

The first step was to come up with an idea for an event that would appeal to both groups. ideas we thought suitable included food festival and gin festival. We decided to go with a historic themed food festival, as we thought it would prove popular with both groups and we could tie it in to the history of the house. We also thought it might be possible to tie in popular trends, such as the Great British Bake off or a period drama, which both groups would find appealing.

The next step was to think of how we would run our event. Would it be indoors or outdoors? What things would the day involve? We decided the event would be held with outdoor food stalls which would be free, and an indoor kitchen demonstration which would be charged entry. The day would include food tasting and a gin tavern, and the food would span from the 17th to the 19th century. The event would take place in July to coincide with the school holidays, and would be a one day event held from 11-4 (the hall’s normal opening times). We hoped this would attract families looking for a day out. For children, there would be a Horrible Histories style stall featuring disgusting foods from the period, inviting them to take part and taste the foods.

Thirdly, we had to think of a name for our event. We came up with A Taste of History: 200 Years of Food.

Finally, we went through ideas of how the event could be marketed. Online, through the museums websites and social media websites Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We also thought we could utilise outdoor advertising such as on buses or trains. There were also food magazines, supermarkets, local papers, the radio. We also thought the event could be advertised at Digbeth Dining Club, to attract those with a specific interest in local food events.

Things we did not consider for this event were the cost and logistical difficulties in hosting an outdoor food even at an historic house. There would be a massive cost in preparing food for consumption by visitors, ensuring all members of staff were safe and qualified to do so. We were also told that historically food related events do not attract many people, and as this would not be a ticketed event it would not be viable to go forward at Aston Hall. There was also the question of history – the event did not tie in too well with the history of the hall.










TASK: Event proposal


We have identified the audience segments of Fun, Fashion and Friends and Time Poor Dreamers. Both are interested in more fun or entertainment based activities rather than educational.

This Victorian themed party experience will coincide with the anniversary and menu of Queen Victoria’s visit to Aston Hall in 1845. This fulfils the historical link of the event to the location, and will utilise the collections. It will also tie in with the recent ITV1 costume drama The Young Victoria, which was a success – we therefore think that the Victorian theme will attract many more visitors than it usually would. The audience will be adults but not families. Guests will be encouraged to dress in costume.

This will be a ticketed event. Visitors must book online or by phone, in advance. The event will take place over a weekend: Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. The event will start at 6pm and go on until 10 pm. The event will take place in May. The price of regular entry will be £15.00.

Guests to the party will have the option to buy dinner for an extra cost. A ticket with dinner will cost £35.00. Dinner will involve a three-course meal and will correspond (as far as possible) to the actual menu of Victoria’s visit.

There will be entertainment provided – a string quartet will play in the house. There is potential to involve the conservatoire. There will be a best costume prize for those who choose to come in fancy dress. There will be the opportunity to watch and learn a Victorian dance. There will be a bar at which alcoholic beverages can be purchased, for an additional cost. the gardens could also be opened to the party guests to increase the capacity of the event. Victorian garden party games could be held outside.

The house will be open for visitors to explore but there will be enablers stationed around dressed in costume to give more information on the house, the collections, and the historical context of the night.


How to advertise?

  • BMT sites
  • BMT Websites and social media.
  • Outdoor advertising in city centre
  • Local newspaper

These forms of advertising are most likely to reach our chosen audience. Both Time poor Dreamers and Fun, Fashion and Friends use the internet daily. Magazines and newspapers are very important for Time Poor Dreamers. Outdoor advertising will reach both groups during their daily commute.