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organising an open practice event

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1. Plan the event well in advance and prepare a press release with details of the practice, focusing on a specific feature. Remember to enclose clearly captioned photographs relevant to the story. Get a list of appropriate local, regional, national and specialist press from media directories such as pr planner or pimms. Make sure you include a contact name and telephone number of someone at the practice.

2. Send out a leaflet or invitation to clients, local businesses, schools, colleges and anyone else you think might be interested or you wish to make contact with.

3. Decide whether you are going to set aside a specific area for setting out information on projects and give someone the responsibility to get this sorted out.

4. Make sure all plans, diagrams, models and images are labelled.

5. Have someone available to welcome people into the building and answer questions.

6. Provide clear signage into the studio.

7. Provide promotional leaflets or an A4 sheet giving details of the practice including current and past projects. These can be used as handouts or can be faxed to press contacts.

8. If possible, have available all background material and images of one project from beginning to end to give some idea of the complete process.

9. Have a visitors'/comments book for people interested in the practice to leave their details.

10.Contact your regional riba office to see if it might arrange seminars or produce guidelines about organising, publicising and marketing Open Practice events.

OPEN PRACTICE FACTS

Of the 82 practices which took part (including some structural engineers), 42 were in London, 23 in the South East, four in the South West, two in the North East, five in the North West, two in the Midlands, two in Wales and two in Scotland.

In 1997, 12 practices took part; nine were in London, three in Chichester.

Highest attendance was 212 people.

Visitor profile: clients and ex-clients; school children; recently graduated European architects looking for work; related professions including designers, contractors, structural engineers; the general public; architecture students; and other architects.

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