The Natural History Museum Ice Rink opened last month for its final year and glided straight into our top ten best sellers at Ticketmaster UK for October with up to 14 time slots available every day of the week until Sunday 16 January 2022.

We caught up with Joel Smith, Vice President of Arts & Entertainment Events at IMG to find out how the season is going after its flying start.

How does it feel to be back at the NHM Ice Rink after the 2020 hiatus?

We’re so excited to be back and welcoming friends and family to the Natural History Museum Ice Rink for its final year. After such a difficult winter season for our industry in 2020, it’s great to see everyone come together and enjoy some much-needed festive cheer in an incredibly special setting. Visitors are loving being back at London’s most magical ice rink, as well as our cosy café bar, array of hot food sold outside in the museum gardens and a range of fun activities. 

What COVID-19 safety measures have been put in place this year?

We’ve aimed to deliver the same experience everyone knows & loves, while ensuring health and safety remains our priority. In addition to reducing our capacity per sessions to allow for more space, we’ve implemented various measures in line with the latest government guidance, including installing hand sanitiser stations, NHS QR codes and a cashless payment system throughout the venue.

Have you seen a change in audience in comparison to previous years?

Over the last 16 years, the Natural History Museum Ice Rink has firmly established itself as a much-loved London winter tradition and we welcome thousands of friends, families and couples of all ages and abilities from all over the UK and beyond. We’re seeing huge demand this year, which shows people are excited to be getting out the house, reuniting and enjoying experiences with loved ones again. There is a definite shift in audience profile as we are currently seeing less international visitors but a lot more demand from across the UK. Many sessions are already sold out in December, so we’re encouraging everyone to book as early as possible to make sure they don’t miss out.

You’re utilising Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing software to track demand and adjust pricing. What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced from using Pricemaster?

Pricemaster is such a simple tool to use and intelligently provides recommendations for us to maximise our revenues. The way it learns based on previous year sales data is very smart, and the benefits are almost immediate incremental revenue, helping us to achieve our targets.  

The NHM Ice Rink is one of many events that IMG produce around the globe. What are the main differentiating aspects of event production which come from working with ice?

There are a number of important factors when it comes to working with ice, particularly during this time of year. For example, the ice needs constant attention to ensure that any change in weather and temperature doesn’t impact it, and we have to keep falling leaves off the rink to ensure they don’t freeze into the ice. Our chillers are always set to -12 degrees to pump antifreeze through the pipes underneath the rink.

This will be the final year of the NHM Ice Rink. Are there any plans to move the ice rink production elsewhere in 2022?

We’re open to ideas and are always exploring new opportunities, so watch this space and feel free to get in touch!



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