Monday, June 04, 2007

Open Houses: A Gouda Event?

During Architecture Week, April 9-14, over 45 firms around the state opened their doors to the public on Thursday, April 12. Nearly 30 participating firms responded to the follow-up survey. Here are a few of their comments.

Things that were good: "We certainly benefited from the fact that this was a broader event for which we were just one stop – quite a few people took the opportunity to visit several other open houses near our location. We probably would not have had the same kind of turnout if we just had our own open house."

Things we wished could be better: "There wasn’t as much publicity as we had expected. Or rather, there wasn’t as much accessible and useful publicity as we’d hoped. The article in the Star Tribune was amusing, but it didn’t seem to really emphasize the tour as much as discuss the quirkiness of architects."

Things to note: "We also had some nice parents with their high school age kids who were interested in studying architecture in college. That was the best group for sure and staff here had the most enjoyable time speaking to those people. As for the rest of them, frankly, it seemed like people who wanted to eat cheese and weren’t particularly interested in architecture." (AIA MN staff note: After a serious discussion about the outcome of the event - among us we covered at least 40 open houses - we concluded that architects really do enjoy a wide variety of cheeses and if you were the general public and liked cheese, it would be good to visit a few.)

Tell us, should we have Firm Open Houses again in April 2008? And what suggestions would you have for event success? Click below to comment.

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