As the final piece of protective wood flooring slots back into place, the team at St George’s Hall is celebrating the most successful Minton Tile Reveal in history! After four years, and a pandemic, the team behind this year’s reveal worked tirelessly, with passion and commitment to breathe new life into the encaustic tiles that adorn the hall’s floor, uniting the city’s love of history and culture.
This year’s Minton Tile Reveal reached unprecedented heights, generating substantial income which will be reinvested into the hall’s preservation. It’s a financial success for the city’s assets and it embodies the City Hall team’s devotion to preserving the heritage that defines our city.
The success of this year’s reveal stands not only as a testament to their relentless dedication but also as a shining example of what can be accomplished when a shared vision, creativity and collaboration across teams converge. Behind the scenes the City Hall departments intertwined seamlessly like the intricate patterns on the tiles themselves.
The Visitor Services team, with their infectious enthusiasm and adaptability, curated a tour worthy of the Victorian craftmanship. Their ability to weave stories and immerse visitors in their depiction of the period, (all delivered in at least three layers of Victorian attire!) generated an abundance of five-star reviews, loyalty and 22 per cent of the generated income.
Visitor Services Supervisor, Sean MacGregor said:
“After the floor reveal finished the feeling is one of immense pride. At the launch we originally had 48 tours on sale with 40 people per tour, and these had all sold out by the second day, so we put eight more tours on sale and again, these also sold out before our final day! We ran a wide range of events from early morning talks to music concerts in the evening and guided tours during the day. We were able to cater to many demographics and offer the best experience possible to every single person who walked through our doors.
“Absolutely none of this would have been possible without a huge amount of planning beforehand and hard work on each day of the reveal itself. It is for this reason that I am left feeling proud of all our staff, including our knowledgeable ambassadors; they have made this one of the most memorable cultural events in Liverpool.”
The Event Managers stood as architects of engagement, crafting an experience that would appeal to multiple demographics and stand as a blueprint for more technologically immersive and creative events at the hall in the future. Paul Challinor applied entrepreneurial spirit and worked tirelessly to recreate the sights and sounds of the designer Charles Cockrell’s office and a Victorian art gallery. The additional space transported visitors back to the day of the first unveiling in 1854. It was Paul’s mission to create an experience that would appeal to a bigger audience and inspire a younger people to take an interest in history. By creating activities such as children’s colouring books, word games and quizzes the uptake in sales for families for this year’s reveal has been the highest on record. In addition to this, the event team put together a diverse programme to spotlight our city’s new and established artists, sopranos, choirs, and organists. Active involvement with local communities extended our reach to a broader audience.
Venue and Event Manager, Paul Challinor said:
“As we had not revealed our Minton Floor since 2019, we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on previous reveals and offer something that was diverse and engaging for our communities. We focused on three main areas; heritage, education and entertainment.
“It was important to build on our previous success and introduce some new elements to keep the reveal fresh and exciting. One thing we wanted to focus on was attracting children and families to the hall. We designed activity booklets for children that helped make the history of the floor come alive and celebrated the decorative elements that make the Great Hall an iconic example of Neoclassical design. We also wanted to make the hall as immersive as possible and created a specific tour that brought our guests in to our shared history and highlighted the significance of this special moment. Through working collaboratively as a team, we were able to create a programme of events that catered to different demographics and cemented St George’s Hall as a building for the people of Liverpool and beyond.”
Behind the scenes, the St George’s Hall Operations Team, Catering Team and City Hall Ambassadors assisted with an unprecedented footfall and maintained customer service excellence every day. The visitor experience was seamless and has created many unforgettable memories.
James O’Keeffe, Tour Guide and Visitor Services Officer shares one of his favourites:
“The funniest moment of the floor being uncovered was when a lady came to do the Minton Tiles Experience and had come straight from doing some shopping in town. She was carrying a bag with a brand-new floor mop sticking out of the top.
“As my tour group all looked at the beautiful tiles, one man asked me how the tiles are cleaned. I told him that we use visitors on the Minton Tiles Experience to clean the floor. I then pointed to the lady and said that she came prepared for this and had brought her own mop to clean the tiles!”
For many in the team, it was their first experience of the tiles and a wonderful learning and development opportunity for those envisioning a role in Liverpool’s vibrant cultural economy.
Digital Assistant, Donatella Jaroka reflects:
“I have learnt how popular the Minton Tile floor is. People were coming from all over the country to see the stunning beauty of this unique floor.
“This busy period allowed me to display my excellent customer service skills to a wide range of people. It was great to see so many happy faces. It’s also helped me to gain more experiences and I know I’m ready to work at bigger events in the future.”
Liverpool City Council’s Communications and Marketing strategy resulted in over 20,000 visitors to St George’s Hall, some travelling from as far as Inverness, Killarney, and Plymouth.
The success of this year’s Minton Tile Reveal is a collective triumph, a true reflection of what can be achieved when passion meets purpose. It’s a celebration of preserving heritage, fostering education, and nurturing an unbreakable bond between the past and the present. As we applaud this remarkable achievement, let’s take a moment to express our gratitude to the Minton Tile Team at St George’s Hall. Their dedication, creativity and determination have not only secured a rekindled appreciation for our city’s crown jewel, but they have secured a brighter future for the Hall’s tourism economy.