Parties at HMNS Rock! [Pun Intended]

The runaway success of the Night at the Museum movies shows people’s fascination with what goes on around the T. rex after the Museum closes its doors. More often than not – it’s a party! And we have a department dedicated to managing events that take place here at the museum, from weddings in the Cockrell Butterfly Center to out-of-this-world events in our Planetarium.

Leslie and Nancy are starting a new series on the blog to give you insight into what makes a great party – not just here at the museum, but wherever you might choose to throw one.

To introduce you, we asked them a few questions about what it’s like to plan an event where dinosaurs are typically in attendance.

You’re the Museum’s event coordinators. What exactly does that mean?

L: We handle some of the Museum’s internal events such as Big Bite Nite and VIP nights for exhibit openings. We also work with individuals and corporations that want to rent the Museum for private events. Specifically, our tasks include site visits with clients to help determine the right space for their event, putting them in contact with our caterers and coordinating details between the client, caterers and Museum staff.

N: Basically we work with clients who want to rent out the Museum for a corporate or individual event from start to finish.  Typically that involves gathering details about the event, recommending a venue within the Museum, going over pricing and policies, leading site visits, filing contracts, collecting payments, coordinating with the caterer, and managing the event.

What kind of events do people host here at HMNS? 

L: People host all sort of events here, from corporate dinners and client appreciation events to wedding ceremonies/receptions and bar/bat mitzvahs.

What’s the neatest thing someone has done to make an event at the Museum unique?

L: The Museum is such a unique place that our clients are always coming up with creative ideas to enhance their event. I have seen some  really great themed events in the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals. For example, one client turned the Gem Hall into a swanky lounge and had a signature drink with rock candy that looked like the gem and mineral pieces. They also gave out diamond shaped paperweights engraved with the company’s name as favors.

N: Just the venue in itself is very unique.  Not everyone can say they have dined and danced with dinosaurs or had an elegant dinner next to some of the most stunning gems and minerals in the world or gotten married in a lush indoor tropical rain forest with butterflies fluttering over their heads.

Is planning events in such a large, diverse venue a challenge?

L: It is actually the diversity of the space that makes the Museum an attractive event venue. We have noticed that the one thing that unifies our clients is that they all want something different. Also, because the Museum is not a traditional space like a hotel ballroom there can be some challenges in planning an event here. It certainly helps to have experienced vendors working in the space. Our caterers and their staff do a fantastic job at setting up and working around any challenges.

N: Actually the size and diversity of the venue works to our favor.  The Museum can handle events from 20 to 2,000 guests and the variety of exhibits makes a great backdrop for any event.  

What kinds of things can readers expect from your upcoming posts?

L: You can definitely expect some info on the latest event trends and how to apply those trends to events at the Museum. Because we know that planning events can sometimes be a little overwhelming, we’ll also provide some practical tips and tools on how to organize and execute your event successfully.

N: Our upcoming posts will include event tips and trends, fresh ideas, and the benefits of hosting an event at HMNS.

Hitting this scene is a sure sign of intelligence!

mixers19Mixers & Elixirs is back and it’s my pleasure to announce the return of one of the most well-attended events in Houston.  Every Friday night from June through August an average of eleven-hundred people come to HMNS to start the weekend off right!  That’s right, the summer’s biggest parties happen at the largest educational institution in Houston. Why? HMNS wants to invite you to experience the Museum in a relaxed atmosphere. 

Let loose by taking your sweetie for a spin or meeting someone special under the dinosaurs. Try wandering our world- class Gem & Mineral Hall with a drink in your hand and good music in your ear…Check out our 2009 lineup for bands that’ sure to please every musical taste.

June 5 – Grady Gaines & the Texas Upsetters

June 12 – TropiCrew 

June 19  – The Handsomes

June 26 – Molly & the Ringwalds

July 3 – HOLIDAY WEEKEND – MIXERS RESUMES JULY 10

mixers87July 10 – The Fab 5

July 17 - Mango Punch

July 24 – Mambo Jazz Kings

July 31 – The Chromatics

August 7 – Commercial Art

August 14 – Grupo Batacha

August 21 – Yvonne Washington & the Mix

August 28 – Grupo Ka-Che

So how do you get into this awesome party where you can have a cool drink, listen to awesome music, check out the dinosaurs, and meet someone who’s as interested in the exhibits as they are in the party? Click here! Your ticket into the biggest party in Houston goes for just $15 or you can purchase a membership and get in all summer long for only $13. See you Friday, June 5!

Little who?!?

mixers-june-6th.jpg

Mango Punch performed at Mixers
last week in front of a crowd of 800 people

Did you come to last week’s Mixer? Mango Punch used their signature latin sound to bring over 800 people to their feet! And this week, the question that everybody is asking me is: Who is Little Brother Project?!?

As someone who gets to pick the tunes you listen to every week at Mixers I have the pleasure of exploring for new talent. The moment Little Brother Project starts playing you can tell the crowd is picking up what they’re laying down. Since I’ll see you at Mixers this Friday to listen live to their tunes I present to you a small chat I had with band-member Tyson Stargel that will give you a little background that tells you what these guys are really about…

Jamie: Describe your musical style.

Tyler: Funk based Rock band with a mixture of groove and improvisation.

J: Which artists have influenced LBP the most?

T: Phish, Bootsy Collins, Dennis Chambers, and Bob Marley.

J: What are your thoughts about the direction of the music industry today? What do you like about it and what do you wish you could change?

T: As with any business you must ride the wave and change your perspective to continue to be successful. It will always change. What we love about it is expression. Lighting up a room of people by hitting that one note that makes everyone focus on the music is very powerful. Almost intoxicating. We don’t really focus much on what we would change. We try to focus on what we like, not what we don’t like.

J: Where in Houston do you go to see live music when you’re not performing?

T: Meridian, Dan Electro’s, Last Concert Cafe, Warehouse Live, Continental Club, Rudyard’s, Engine Room, Fitzgerald’s… Anywhere/everywhere.

I invite you to head out to Mixers, Elixirs, & IMAX this Friday to get a real taste of the heart and soul of this band – their music. Groove to the funky jamz of Little Brother Project on June 13th from 6 – 10pm only at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.