Creating a unique Christmas party experience at the London Dungeon
08 August 2014
When you think of a holiday/party experience, the London Dungeons probably is not the first attraction that comes to mind. We also have the additional challenge of selling a product that is an unusual concept (promenade theatre one might say). The challenge for 2014 was for the Merlin Events team to utilise the Dungeon in all its glory whilst also integrating food and dancing into the experience
Early on in the year, to assist with the selling of our Dungeon late product, we created a Victorian Gin Palace. This now acts as the opening for your party. Guests arrive via the main entrance on the South Bank in style, our social media photographers taking personalised pictures which are posted online within just a few hours.
Guests make their way to the Gin Palace where Gin cocktails and themed food are served before heading off to the interactive actor-led tour. Each “show” element lasts between 10 and 20 minutes and groups of guests, normally between thirty and forty people per group, are led through a number of shows where more themed food and drinks are served. There’s plenty of audience participation and it culminates in the deadly drop ride, certainly not for the faint hearted.
But your evening doesn’t finish there. After experiencing one of London’s top immersive shows your guests arrive in Guy Fawkes, our fully immersive event space under the Houses of Parliament where a disco and unlimited wine, beer and soft drink package await them. Of course the Dungeon experience is not for everyone but for those looking for something fun and different with lots of elements, then it cannot be beaten and, with a location next the EDF London Eye, it’s a great option this Autumn/winter.
Creating a package like this took us a while to come up as it’s very easy to follow a standard format, for example drinks on arrival, show then food & finally dancing. Whilst this works well for standard events the Dungeons is very unique. Having seven shows, a ride and groups of 40 with ten minute start times between each tour, this leads to challenges that other events do not have. For the caterer, serving food in a number of the shows has unique logistical challenges but we are fortunate as Dish have worked with us and the Dungeons for a number of years and understand the product. The Dungeons have great back of house rat runs to allow us to service the different shows quickly and easily.
Regarding the price, you want to offer a high end product at good value. Our price starts at £139 +VAT for 120 guests. The struggle comes when clients compare this to prices offered by the marquee companies, which I feel you cannot.
Emma Greenfield in my team will be creating the marketing plan which will consist of this blog, newsletter and a complete social media strategy. We have found in previous years that parties in December for 80-120 guests normally sell in September so the package will be ready to go with a Google ad word campaign in early September.
Would you consider a Christmas party at the London Dungeons?
This blog was written by Michael Aldridge on Thursday 7th August 2014