Event Communications

Event Communications, or Event, is one of Europe's longest-established and largest museum and visitor attraction design firms; it is headquartered in London.[1]

Event Communications ("Event")
TypePrivate limited liability
IndustryDesign and Architecture
FoundedMay 1986; 36 years ago (1986-05)
  • Celestine Phelan
  • Steve Simons[1]
Number of locations
London, Dublin, Kuwait, Oman, Hong Kong
Key people
  • James Alexander
    (Chief Executive Officer)
  • Esther Dugdale
    (Chief Design Officer)
  • Eithne Owens
    (Head of Content)
ServicesExhibition and attraction design consultancy
Revenue£10–15 million (2018)
Number of employees
50–100 (2018)
SubsidiariesEvent Ireland Limited


The firm was founded in 1986 by businesswoman Celestine ("Cel") Phelan and design partner Steve Simons.[2][1][3] In 2008, a new management team took over the running of Event, led by museum design consultant James Alexander, and creative director Esther Dugdale,[4][3] which saw the firm expand from its European base to an international focus that included the Middle East (Oman and Kuwait), and latterly Asia (China and Hong Kong).[5]

Event projects have won the major European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) a number of times, including for the Riverside Museum in Glasgow in 2013,[6][7] and for the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in 2016.[8] Event projects have also won other EMYA awards such as the Silletto Prize for the Shipwreck Museum St. George in Denmark in 2019.[9][10] The firm was also notable as the exhibition designer for the Titanic Belfast visitor attraction which opened in 2012,[11][12][5] and which has also won several major international visitor attraction awards including the 2014 THEA award.[13][14]

Event projects have won notable cultural tourism awards, including the World Travel Awards Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction for the EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum in 2019,[15][16] for the Titanic Belfast in 2016,[17][16] and for the Guinness Storehouse in 2015.[18]

Since 2016, Event became associated with "immersive" and "technology-driven" experiences, such as the Meet Vincent Van Gogh Experience,[19] a traveling exhibition created in 2017 with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and which also won a 2017 THEA award.[14][20][21] Another example being the overhaul of the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense in Denmark, into the House of Fairytales concept, a collaboration with Japanese architect Kengo Kuma,[22] that was set to open in late 2020.[23][24][25] Event's EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum was described by the Irish Times as "the world’s first fully digital museum", and was also shortlisted for the European Museum of the Year Award in 2018 (but did not win).[26][27]

Event has designed attractions for corporate exhibitions and landmark buildings such as The Shard: Viewing Gallery in London,[28] the KAPSARC in Riyadh,[29][30] the Siemens Crystal in London,[31][32] and the Expo 2020: Opportunity Pavilion in Dubai.[33]

Selected worksEdit

Selected awardsEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Robert O'Byrne (19 January 2000). "Presenting the past: Event Communications". Over 15 years in existence, Event is now Europe's largest company specialising in museum design work. The group has been responsible for some high-profile exhibits over the years, including presentations at the Imperial War Museum and the Tower of London in the UK, and the new Book of Kells exhibition at Trinity College Dublin.
  2. ^ a b Robert O'Byrne (15 December 1999). "Museum designed by Irish company wins Europe award". Irish Times. It was designed by Event Communications Ltd, which was founded in 1986 by a Dubliner, Ms Cel Phelan, and her design partner, Steve Simons. With offices in London and Dublin, Event is now Europe's largest creative group specialising in museum and visitor attraction design.
  3. ^ a b Guy Julier (24 December 2013). The Culture of Design. SAGE Publishing. ISBN 978-1446273593.
  4. ^ System Administrator (10 March 2008). "Major changes afoot at Event Communications". Design Week. Retrieved 6 October 2019. On reaching her retirement last year, founder Cel Phelan, and Steve Simons will step down, while new CEO James Alexander and newly appointed Creative Director Esther Dugdale will step up, amongst other changes.
  5. ^ a b William J. V. Neill (19 July 2013). Relaunching Titanic: Memory and marketing in the New Belfast. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415540551. "Contributors: James Alexander, Event Communications
  6. ^ a b Banks, Tom (10 February 2010). "Event works with Zaha Hadid on Glasgow museum". Design Week. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Event to power up Riverside Museum". Design Week. October 2004.
  8. ^ a b c "POLIN Wins European Museum of the Year 2016". Culture.pl. 13 April 2016. The exhibition's concept was developed by British company Event Communications and designed by Polish studio Nizio Design International.
  9. ^ a b "EMYA SILLETTO PRIZE". European Museum of the Year Award. Retrieved 10 October 2019. 2019: Shipwreck Museum St. George, Thorsminde, Denmark
  10. ^ a b "Stories From the Sea". Event Communications. 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  11. ^ Tom Banks (3 April 2012). "Designs marks Titanic centenary". Design Week.
  12. ^ a b "The making of Titanic Belfast: Q&A with exhibition design chief James Alexander, Event Communications". Design Build Network. 12 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Titanic Belfast wins top International themed entertainment award". Art Daily. 19 April 2014. James Alexander, Managing Director of Event Communications, designers of the galleries at Titanic Belfast’s exhibition, said: “'Event is delighted to join in the celebration of Titanic Belfast's success at the THEA Awards.
  14. ^ a b c d "Past Thea Award recipients: 1994-2018". Themed Entertainment Association. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  15. ^ a b Pól Ó Conghaile (9 June 2019). "Epic Success: Irish museum voted Europe's leading tourist attraction". Irish Independent.
  16. ^ a b Patrick Kelly (3 June 2019). "Migration Stories". Museums Association. Retrieved 6 January 2020. Designed by Event Communications, the same team that created Titanic, Epic emphasises an interactive visitor experience.
  17. ^ a b c Amanda Ferguson (5 September 2016). "Titanic Belfast beats Europe's finest as top tourist attraction". Irish Times.
  18. ^ a b "Guinness Storehouse named Europe's best tourist attraction". Irish Times. 5 September 2015.
  19. ^ "ELBOW PRODUCTIONS CELEBRATES OPENING OF "MEET VINCENT VAN GOGH" WITH EVENT". MuseumInsider. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  20. ^ "Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience". Van Gogh Museum. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  21. ^ Nick Rabbitts (7 March 2019). "Work to start on JP McManus-backed Rugby Experience in Limerick". Limerick Leader. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  22. ^ "House of Fairytales". Odense Bys Museer (Odense City Museums). 9 January 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  23. ^ a b Angus Montgomery (9 May 2016). "Event Communications wins Hans Christian Andersen museum competition". Design Week.
  24. ^ a b "Kengo Kuma and Event Communications wins competition to design fairytale-themed Hans Christian Andersen museum expansion". Attractions Management. 26 April 2016.
  25. ^ Jessica Maris (22 April 2016). "Kengo Kuma reveals plans for Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense". Dezeen. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  26. ^ a b Joan Scales (17 December 2017). "Two Irish museums shortlisted for prestigious [sic] international award". Irish Times. Retrieved 8 October 2019. National Gallery of Ireland and EPIC Irish Emigration Museum in final nominees for European Museum of the Year
  27. ^ Pól Ó Conghaile (30 April 2016). "First Look: Inside Dublin's epic new €15 million tourist attraction". Irish Independent. Retrieved 8 October 2019. On a preview tour, my experience was of a bold series of 20 galleries slickly fitted with at times breathtakingly immersive technology-driven displays. Designed by Event Communications, the award-winning designers of Titanic Belfast, EPIC Ireland aspires to tell the story of "10 million journeys", with galleries organised into themes of migration, motivation, influence and connection.
  28. ^ a b Emily Gosling. "The View from the Shard visitor experience unveiled". Design Week. Retrieved 7 October 2019. The View from The Shard visitor experience has been unveiled, designed by Event Communications for the tallest building in Western Europe.
  29. ^ a b "KAPSARC: Case Study". Sysco Production Engineers. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  30. ^ a b James Denby (11 April 2017). "KAPSARC". Greenway Associates.
  31. ^ a b Sian (21 September 2012). "The future is crystal clear..." World Architecture News. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  32. ^ a b "Siemens completes The Crystal". Architecture. 28 September 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2019. James Alexander, CEO of Event Communications said: “This has been an incredible opportunity to work with Siemens, one of Europe’s leading multi-nationals, to explore the pressing issue of how to live sustainably in urban environments.
  33. ^ Editorial (23 September 2018). "Expo 2020 reveals 'Opportunity Pavilion', made completely of recyclable materials". Architect. To build the pavilion, Expo recruited a team of architects, designers and curators, with the Australia-based Cox Architecture and UK-based Event Communications winning the international bidding process to design the building and curate the exhibition.
  34. ^ "POLIN: Museum of the History of Polish Jews". LucyCarruthers. 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  35. ^ Derek Anderson (30 September 2010). "U.K.-Irish Firm to Revamp Museum". The Moscow Times. Event Communications was selected from a shortlist of four firms by a 16-member jury that included Culture Minister Alexander Avdeyev, Rusnano head Anatoly Chubais, presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich and representatives of several European museums. The other three contenders were the Spanish CosmoCaixa, the U.S. Ralph Appelbaum Associates and U.S.-Canadian Lord Cultural Resources.
  36. ^ "Event works on Russian science museum". Design Week. 6 October 2019. Event Communications has been appointed to create a vision and strategy plan for the redevelopment of the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow, Russia, following an international competition.
  37. ^ Claire O'Sullivan (24 March 2016). "New Irish museum to tell the story of the diaspora". Irish Examiner. The exhibition has been developed by Event Communications, who designed the multi-award-winning Titanic Belfast.
  38. ^ "Bletchley Park Becomes A World-Class Museum and Visitor Centre". Museums+Heritage. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  39. ^ Stephen Mcilkenny (19 April 2017). "Burrell Collection given planning approval for £66m refurbishment". The Herald (Glasgow). Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  40. ^ "Interview with Event Communications – East Baths Project (2017)". The Roman Baths. 1 April 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  41. ^ "THE ROMAN BATHS: TEPIDARIUM". Sysco Engineers. October 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  42. ^ Sarah Dawood (15 April 2017). "New National Army Museum will "discuss, not promote" British Army, says Esther Dugdale of Event Communications". Design Week. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  43. ^ "Kelvingrove set to reveal £28m overhaul". Design Week. 29 June 2006. Retrieved 11 October 2016. Glasgow Museums’ Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is reopening next month following a £27.9m refurbishment, featuring exhibition design by Event Communications and a brand identity and wayfinding scheme by Fitch.
  44. ^ "The View from the Shard". LucyCarruthersDesign. October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  45. ^ Tom Ravenscroft (2 February 2018). "Grimshaw Architects reveals first image of Chinese Eden Project". Dezeen. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  46. ^ Editorial (6 July 2006). "Event drafted in to lead Guinness Storehouse design". Design Week. Retrieved 10 October 2019. Event Communications’s appointment, replacing Imagination as lead design group, follows its completion of a €2.5m (£1.73m) project to re-envisage the Storehouse’s ground and first floor with a more interactive exhibition design that explains the brewing process. It has reinterpreted the space, installing additional video elements and introducing the concept of a brewer guide and a tasting laboratory where visitors can sample Guinness from the keg line. Event Communications was appointed to this project in April last year, following a four-way pitch.
  47. ^ "The Family and the Product". Event Communications. 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  48. ^ "Case Study: Strandings Museum St. George". Interiors Printed. 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  49. ^ Feilden Clegg (2019). "Gweithdy, St Fagans National Museum of History". Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  50. ^ Soinead Hughes (18 June 2015). "Out with the old, in with the new". Museum of Wales. Retrieved 11 October 2019. The past few months have seen the Making History core content team work intensively with designers from Event Communications to develop this space. It’s an exciting, creative and intense process that involves looking in depth at our object selection and testing them against this exciting new concept.
  51. ^ "St Fagans National Museum of History". Lucy Carruthers. 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  52. ^ "Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction 2019". World Travel Awards. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  53. ^ "World's Leading Tourist Attraction 2016". World Travel Awards. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  54. ^ "Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction 2016". World Travel Awards. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  55. ^ "Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction 2015". World Travel Awards. Retrieved 5 October 2019.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°30′8.7534″N 0°4′24.8689″W / 51.502431500°N 0.073574694°W / 51.502431500; -0.073574694