Full evaluations of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 September events involving over 5,500 heritage sites, 2,000 organisers and 46,000 volunteers. We used a range of techniques, including face-to-face on-site visitor interviews and online surveys among organisers / volunteers, supported by in-depth qualitative interviews to provide a rich understanding of the impact of the event on local communities and heritage. Results underpin the social and economic impact assessment of the event as well as informing the format and content of future events. The 2019 evaluation additionally developed area case studies, including discussion groups among local residents, which assessed barriers to visiting Heritage Open Days and how these could be overcome.
“Our work with Decision House helped us hone our evaluative process to ensure we were balancing crucial quantitative monitoring with methods that allow us to understand the anecdotal and more qualitative impact of our work. It is crucial to how we serve our participants and our audiences that we have a broad and deep understanding of impacts that are easily counted and categorised as well as those that are subtle and require sensitive questioning and skilled listening. We’re using the data and testimonies gathered to shape our work with our thousands of organisers delivering more effectively on our and their ambitions.” Heritage Open Days Manager