Organising events in historical spaces
Let's start with the conclusion. There are some basic requirements to organise an event in a venue whose main function is very far from hosting events: a good dose of imagination, very good sense and a great ability to take risks. Firstly, because they are spaces that usually keep valuable and fragile assets, have opening hours to the public to perform and, furthermore, are deficient in terms of processes and habits to receive events. "The signs saying 'do not touch' and 'fragile' frighten both event managers and customers. This situation worsens when managers of some spaces are formatted, and rightly so, to further dramatise these messages," Gonçalo Oliveira, Desafio Globalativism Event Manager tells us. His company won a European award with an event held in the Museu dos Coches (National Coach Museum) in Lisbon (museum meanwhile relocated) for client Dior a few years ago.
Apart from the normal stress, typical when organising an event, there are other concerns that must be taken into account, says Gonçalo Oliveira. "Light temperature to avoid damaging the paintings, light rays direction not to focus directly on objects, light colour not to heat the venue or sound volume not to break anything." In his opinion, the greatest difficulty are opening hours, "Events can not be set nor tested on their eves, ason the following day these buildings open doors to welcome tourists who pay tickets to visit the original location and not the truss speakers, lights, projectors, etc." Basically, besides a further detailed planning, you must have the ability to take risks.
But these historic buildings have the aditional advantage of adding value to the event, as Desafio Global ativism Event Director considers, "especially if we base the scenographic and conceptual ideas in their space and give life to a historic site, recreating it, you can greatly impress your guests." Another advantage is the lower investment in decor.
In Portugal, there are several national monuments accessible for holding events. And demand even led to the creation of the law decree nº8356/2014, which regulates access, informs the rules and indicates the rental value of each venue.