Universities, science centre and research institutions open their doors for one day or over a weekend. These Open House Events are an easy way to introduce the general public to the work which goes behind the scenes at a reseach institution a similar organisation. Staff members show their work and various aspects of the research they do, or describe their day to day lives to visitors, explaining what their days look like, the equipment they use, and how it works.
It is a chance for visitors to get informed about research that is happening in their area, and it aso provides a great opportunity for the general public to talk to researchers and learn what they do. Often open house events include additional activities such as workshops or shows which make it a more interactive event for the visitors.
- Adult citizens
- Children 3-6
- Children 7-12
You can do it with all those groups, but we did it with professionals from different fields like public engagement or the cultural and creative sector.
It is often the case that the general public is not aware of the type of work that is done within a company, or what research actually looks like. This is especially true within universities, research institutes, and laboratories. Open days provide the opportunity for visitors to gain direct insights to the work being done within these companies as well as providing the opportunity to speak to the real people behind the scenes, such as scientists. For children and teenagers, it is also a good opportunity to have a valuable insight into a carrer within the STEM subjects and what a daily routine within this role actually looks like.
- Decide on the maximum number of visitors as well as on the maximum group size that you can host.
- Decide on the rooms, area, space you want to be open for the public and make sure the rest is inaccessible.
- Consider activities that engage and form your visitors, and get the most out of this opportunity.
- Additional logistics might be required, such as refreshments and handouts.
- You will need to market the event and share it with local news outlets, schools and on your social media channels.
Simply opening your doors may not necessarily draw visitors. Activities such as “meet the scientist” or science shows contribute to the attraction of such an event. It is important to promote your open house event, as well as ensure it is clear whether visitors have to book in advance and how.