Case study: Term starts for Imperial College students at Science Museum

After so long learning from home and missing out on the university experience, Imperial College Business School, a faculty of Imperial College London, wanted to warmly welcome its new students to campus, explains Imperial College Business School vice-dean, Leila Guerra.

  • Client: Imperial College Business School
  • Event: Imperial College Business School Welcome Day 2021
  • Date: Monday 6 September 2021
  • No of guests: 1,200
  • Venue: The Science Museum, IMAX: The Ronson theatre and Illuminate Level 5
  • Event brief & objective: Welcome Day for 1,900 Imperial College postgraduate students.

The event objective was to warmly welcome our new students into the community, provide a unique shared experience for them to create a sense of belonging to the School and inspire them with the new surroundings and the wider community.

Did Covid affect this event in any way?

The Welcome Day was a hybrid event with some students in attendance, and a live stream from the IMAX for students who were not able to attend in‐person

We split the group into five slots to create a little exclusivity for each group and provide them with a little bit of space if they wished to keep their distance from other people.

Branded masks were available to all attendees, along with sanitiser stations.

How did you feel about organising an event post‐pandemic? Did you implement any Covid measures?

We were confident with organising the event and put a series of measures in place to minimise the risk.

Covid measures:

  • Encouraged both students and staff to test before the event
  • Encouraged and provided branded masks for participants if they chose to wear them Staggered arrival and assigned time slots to reduce the number of people per slot

Why did you choose the Science Museum?

We were looking for a renowned venue in close vicinity to the campus that would link well with Imperial College Business School.

We’re part of a leading STEMB (science, technology, engineering, mathematics & business) university, so we already have a strong connection with the world of science and technology. We are also very proud of our location in the heart of the Albertopolis area.

Being an Exhibition Road-based organisation and inviting the students for their welcome day at the Science Museum was a fantastic introduction to the area.

How did you choose which spaces you wanted to use for this event?

We were guided by expected participant numbers and wanting to offer them the unique experience of exclusive access to the museum’s exhibitions.

Our student community is very global and for many of them this was the first time they’d had a chance to visit or live in London – we wanted to provide with a glimpse of what the South Kensington area has to offer.

What were the benefits of using the recently revamped IMAX for your main plenary?

It added a cinematic feel to the session. We commissioned two bespoke films – presented in the IMAX on the big screen, which were a great success with our students.

What set-up did you go for in Illuminate and what was the standout feature of this space?

We had a simple set-up with a few poseur tables, a small stage for speeches and a drinks station.

The standout feature was the breathtaking views of London from the floor to ceiling windows.

Who were your catering and AV partners?

We used Moving Venue for our catering and White Light for AV. White Light arranged the streaming of one of the sessions and created gobos to project the Business School logo in the IMAX.

Any aspects of the event that proved challenging? If so, how were they overcome?

Due to changing travel restrictions and our students coming from all over the world, it was difficult to predict attendance numbers.

The museum’s capacity and support were extremely helpful in dealing with that uncertainty.

What feedback did you receive from guests?

  • Amazing venue, made a big impression The experience was very unique
  • Appreciated exclusive access to the exhibitions
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