Opener and event organiser toolkit

Event management

There are many aspects of event management! Some key points to keep in mind are listed below:

-Insurance: Fortunately we can cover your public liability insurance, however you will need to carry out your own risk assessments and have evacuation plans in place in case of fire or emergency.
-Volunteers: Volunteers can help enhance the visitor experience. Do you have enough people to help out over the EHOD weekend? Make sure that everyone is well briefed and know what the running order of the day is.
-Preparation is key: If you feel your building is off the beaten track and visitors may need a map or directions to find it; post these on social media prior to the EHOD weekend.

If any foreseeable circumstances occur and you cannot open your building after all, have the EHOD team contact details to hand and please let us know as soon as possible.

-Visitor Numbers: Don’t forget to record your visitor numbers. Each year we provide you with a method for informing us of your visitor numbers.

Health & Safety

Currently, Historic Environment Division (HED) in the Department of Communities provide public liability insurance for all EHOD events. However, this does require each building owner / event organiser to complete their own risk assessment. We will send you a copy of the insurance certificate, risk assessment fact file and blank risk assessment form for you to complete, prior to the event.

It is your responsibility as an event organiser to plan, manage and monitor the event to ensure that members of the public are not exposed to health & safety risks. Think about the following:

1. The venue
- Are there any risks inside or outside the venue? Such as clutter on steps, locked gates or passing traffic.
- Is there difficulty accessing the property? If so, consider how to guide visitors around the building.
- Think about your car parking facilities. Will you need someone on site to provide guidance on where to park?
- Consider your fire escape routes and if needed, let your visitors know what to do in case of a fire.
- Always have a first aid kit on site and a procedure to follow if anyone gets hurt.
- Remember to schedule break and lunch times for your volunteers.

2. The people
- Think about the type of people that may visit your property or attend your event. Will there be a lot of children? If so, you should consider toilet and baby changing facilities.
- Will there be a lot of elderly people visiting your property? If so, consider the access to your building and if you will have to create alternative routes.
- Consider what level of wheelchair access is available and think about other limitations of some of your visitors e.g. hearing impaired.
- Keep in mind that new visitors will not be familiar with the layout of the property. If necessary increase signage.
- Strangers will be visiting your property so lock away valuables.
- If you experience difficult visitors, be firm but fair when dealing with their behaviour or complaint. If a situation arises where a visitor becomes aggressive, ask them to leave and if they don’t, call the police.

3. The risks
- Look at your property from a visitor’s point of view. Perhaps get someone who isn’t familiar with the property to point out risks. This will help add to the list of risks you are already familiar with.
- If there are any areas which you consider dangerous then close these off to visitors.
- Consider if you need any volunteers to help point out hazards and take charge in an emergency.
- Set out a clear emergency escape route and make sure all staff and volunteers are aware of it.
- If anything in the property needs repaired, do so before you have visitors. If necessary point out anything that may be of danger.
- If your event includes a walk that cannot proceed in poor weather, consider having an alternative option e.g. giving a talk.

If you require anything further please email

Social media

Each year, we engage in a social media campaign to help promote EHOD. From June we begin our ‘100 day countdown’ to the event. Each week we choose a theme such as ‘Heritage and Nature or ‘Living History’. We then post a couple of times a day and give our fans and followers a sneak peek into what they can expect during the EHOD weekend!
If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, please connect with us: