Annual Summary for 2018We have had a very successful year, and 2019 will be even better. With every year since joining the Open Days program in 2014 we continue to get better, bigger and more well known. The venues are reporting increased patronage.
SignageThis year we introduced new signage, which further promotes the concept of "Gordano Open Days". New signs in a distinctive "Gordano Open Days" livery made the venues stand out and directed traffic to their locations. By their very nature, many of our historic buildings are located in residential areas and off the beaten path and down obscure country lanes. They need this help drawing in visitors.
The signage is designed so that visitors from outside the area, unfamiliar with the surroundings and driving by in busy traffic and with all the normal distractions without reading detail can pick out the signs as being where they want to go. The big H in bright pink for Heritage identifies it as part of the National Heritage Open Days program. The "Gordano Open Days" in a familiar racing green motif identifies it as part of a local event and ties all the venues together as being part of a single community occasion. The consistent livery, size, style and colouring makes them easy to spot and easy to follow.
Each venue wears the sign as a distinctive badge indicating that they have been selected by the community as a significant representative. It indicates that they are worthy of participating in National Heritage Open Days and are well worth a visit. The temporary nature of the sign in bright colours draws attention to the event as being a special occasion.
The signs we put out this year served as a test case. They were very well received by both the venues and the public. Next year we will have signs out for all the venues.
All the signs for open days have been made up and are donated. During the winter months we will be going around getting permissions from landowners and businesses for placing signs on their property. It is important to us that we have permission and support from the local community to put out signage. Signs that might otherwise be seen as obtrusive are temporarily welcomed as part of a celebration by the local community.
On the Saturday morning before opening times of next year’s event the signs will be put in place. On Sunday evening after closing time, they will be taken down.
The signs will be provided and installed by the Open Days team leaving the venues to concentrate on their individual events. This will insure consistency and uniformity for the public face of Open Days.
PublicityGordano Open Days has always given first priority to getting our name out in the public. As part of Heritage Open Days we receive the benefit of their extensive nationwide advertising. North Somerset Times and Gordano Living Magazine have been extremely supportive of our efforts in publishing our events locally. The Portishead Civic Society has always been very supportive of our efforts and publishes our events in their newsletter.
This year Churches Conservation Trust has promoted our Open Days in their News Letters. Great Weston Heritage Action Zone has included us in their handouts, had us included in North Somerset District Council publications and supplied us with brochures to hand out.
In this coming year we will be reaching out to the public by contacting additional historical and civic societies, church groups and groups of lighthouse enthusiast. We will also be publishing our own "Gordano Open Days" pamphlet to hand out to civic groups and high street businesses.
WebsiteThe website will get a revamp with more pictures and articles rather than being just a catalogue of events.
There will also be an interactive map to show various venues in the Gordano Valley with links to the detail pages and facilities to print out a hard copy map or a brochure.