Madame Marie Tussaud is legendary. She survived the French Revolution (complete with a threat of beheading) then, escaping not just the authorities but a bad marriage too, she immigrated to London and became a fiercely hardworking single mother of two boys.
Survival tactics kicking in, Marie quickly honed her skill of mask making, something she’d learnt from a French master during her youth. He focused on famous death masks but Marie, being the PR-savvy businesswoman that she was, recognised the fascination that people have in observing not just masks but full-sized waxworks and the idea to open a museum was born.
People came in their droves, turning 'Madame Tussaud' into a household name and one of the first females to successfully execute a commercial exhibition.
The tiny Frenchwoman from Strasbourg had created something unique in London, building things literally with her own hands, focusing on fun, attention to detail and on quality (values that mirror our own here at The BNC).
And the test of time didn’t faze her either. She was forever recreating and updating her events and exhibitions, refusing, even, to let a fire in 1925 and WWII bomb attacks in 1941 destroy what she had built. This belief in her brand and dogged determination threaded throughout time and in more recent decades the company expanded and is now a worldwide attraction.
Such an impressive back story and such an impressive venue.
We were therefore thrilled when Merlin Events London (owners and operators of Madame Tussauds, as well as the London Eye, the Sea Life London Aquarium, Shrek’s Adventure London and London Dungeons) wanted to partner with us as co-hosts for our annual Christmas Networking Party.
Hollywood’s greatest film sets, iconic pop stars striking a pose; world record-breakers and sporting heroes of our time and key (and sometimes controversial) figures from political and cultural history provided an inimitable and stunning backdrop to our event.
This unique appeal took half of our event management woes away as the entertainment, the intrigue, the ice breakers and the selfie opportunities we already there in a series of themed spaces - all we had to do was roll out the red carpet and let in the 200 awaiting eventprofs from the cold and bustle of Marylebone Road.
BNC Show Directors Kim Paulden and Alec Mumford were delighted with the evening, reporting that it was the busiest and most successful BNC Christmas Networking Party to date.
“Our Event Manager, Emily Everall, did an outstanding job aided by Merlin Event London’s Matt Worthington and Lauren Grieve who were so accommodating. Through their recommendation we were introduced to foodbydish – the caterer for the evening – who got rave reviews and delighted our guests with hot bowls of chicken and tarragon mousse, teriyaki salmon, beetroot gnocchi and a superbly flavoured couscous salad.
“As well as the catering the highlights of the evening for us were many: seeing the room full of BNC Show guests and suppliers networking over wine and waxworks(!); helping our Feb 2020 Show charity partner StreetVet to spread their story throughout the eventprof community; the traditional sing-a-long where Tina Knowles of The Jockey Club took the mic and belted out a version of All I Want for Christmas Is You that would rival Mariah Carey’s efforts and seeing each and every guest carrying home some festive cheer, some new contacts and a huge Christmas hamper courtesy of our Feb 2020 BNC Show exhibitors.”
But just before everyone headed home a traditional game of Heads and Tails was played on stage where the prize for the last person standing was a coveted Mulberry handbag, to the value of approximately £800. The lucky winner this year was Carina Salem Senior Events Executive FieldFisher who said:
“I just wanted to say a big thank you to you and The BNC team for having me at the party on Monday – and of course for being the lucky winner of the beautiful Mulberry handbag! I still can't quite believe I won – it was a very close competition! Looking forward to seeing you at the show in February.”
Thanks received from other guests echo Carina’s sentiments:
“I just wanted to say a big thank you. It was a brilliant evening with a lot of networking. I am very happy I met you and am looking forward for the 19th of February!!!!!!
May I ask the name of the catering company from last night? It would be great if you could share.”
Marina,Church House Westminster
“Many thanks once again for the lovely party yesterday. Brigita and I were so impressed with the organization, and it was so much fun! Kudos for a perfect evening