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Industry Leaders

Milan Thakrar

HISTORIC ROYAL PALACES

When creating extraordinary experiences we are privileged to work alongside industry leaders. From caterers to entertainment suppliers, and venue teams to our clients, we live for the moment when all the key elements come together to create a truly memorable and engaging event. As part of an ongoing series we will meet some our event partners and find out a bit more about what makes them tick. 

Next in the series is Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle. Working in their majestic and awe-inspiring venues we have regularly created, alongside their events team, some of the industries' most prestigious and glamorous events. We sat down with Milan Thakrar, Business Development Manager | Commercial Events, to find out more. 

Milan Thakrar - Historic Royal Palaces

 

What are some of the most spectacular events you’ve been involved with?

One which stands out for me was the official launch of the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals, in which we welcomed world-class tennis players to the Tower of London for an event in the White Tower and New Armouries – seeing all of those sporting greats mingling in our iconic spaces was awe-inspiring! A photo call against the striking backdrop of the Tower perfectly captured the atmosphere of the night, with our iconic stone building beautifully lit behind the players and branded in vibrant ATP blue.

Another event which stands out in my memory is when we hosted a ‘venue safari’ for a selection of North American buyers last year following the eVent UK Summit. We organised a jam-packed itinerary for our guests which enabled them to experience a tour of five venues in our portfolio. From a drinks reception in Kensington Palace and rooftop tour of Hampton Court Palace, to a gala dinner in the Tower of London, it was an incredible way to showcase our venues and let our guests experience their individual histories.

More recently, we are very excited to be opening a brand new venue at Kensington Palace. The Kensington Palace Pavilion launch has been an exciting project as we have been able to expand our creative license as we finally have a space with very little conservation restrictions! With the support of our amazing suppliers, including Event Concept, we plan to create a show stopping launch event. This is certainly an iconic moment for Historic Royal Palaces as this Pavilion will give us the opportunity to reach out to new audiences and enable us to host bigger and better events!

Do you have a favourite spot amongst all the spaces across Historic Royal Palace’s venues?  

This is a tough one – I don’t think I could choose! I am incredibly lucky to work in and represent such incredible palaces. They all continue to amaze me. There are particular spots across all of the palaces that take my breath way, whether its standing at the top of the steps of the White Tower and looking over Tower Bridge and the Thames, walking on to the balcony at Banqueting House and looking up at the stunning Ruben’s ceiling or simply gliding through the state apartments (imagining I am the king of England) at Kensington Palace. Knowing you’re in the presence of so much history, is something that continues to fascinate me.

 

A recent awards show we produced at Banqueting House

The Sun Military Awards 2017

 

What are the key elements for creating extraordinary experiences and unforgettable memories within such historic spaces? 

At Historic Royal Palaces, we live and breathe our motto, which is tradition with a twist. We relish the opportunity to work with clients to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences for their guests. We have seen our historic spaces transformed with projection mapping on the walls, quirky furniture, contemporary floral designs and weird and wonderful entertainment acts. Contrasting the vibrant, modern elements against the traditional backdrop, creates stand-out memories for our guests.

And what challenges do they present?

Many of our spaces have existed for hundreds of years and contain irreplaceable artefacts that have survived some truly incredible historical milestones. Our clients are understanding of the fact that we therefore have to avoid using certain items such as naked flames or glitter - to ensure we preserve our buildings and their collections for everyone to enjoy.

 

Summer Parties at the Palace.

Kensington Palace

 

What makes London such a capital for engaging, exciting and extraordinary events?

London has traditionally been a hub for pivotal moments in our country’s history and continues to be a diverse, energetic and innovative city, attracting event planners across the globe who are enticed by this creative spirit. Of the six venues in our portfolio, five are London-based and have seen their fair share of extraordinary events over the centuries, from monarchs hosting opulent parties at Hampton Court Palace to a host of exotic animals at the Tower of London!

What is the one piece of advice you’d offer someone starting out in the events industry?        

The best piece of advice I could give is to embrace every opportunity with energy, commitment and enthusiasm. Each experience adds to your arsenal of skills, so showing dedication to every project that comes your way is a sure-fire way to be recognised and thrive in the industry. Plus, there is nothing more important than enjoying what you do!

 

Watch our recent event film for the Croissants and Crowns Breakfast event with Historic Royal Palaces at the Tower of London below.