Behind the Scenes: special events

Good morning everyone! I hope you’re having a great Monday.

Today’s “Behind the Scenes” article is focused on special events. This past weekend we joined over 50 cultural and historic sites for Doors Open London, during which we encouraged people to explore the museum free of charge. Thank you to the 560 visitors who made this weekend a huge success!

Although Doors Open was London-wide, Banting House National Historic Site of Canada also holds many of its own special events. The key to making any event successful is to plan ahead. In museums we use something called a “Critical Path” to organize the many tasks that need to be done beforehand to make an event work. I wasn’t familiar with the term Critical Path before I started working here, but I found out that it’s no different from the to-do lists that I make for my big research papers. When things get really hectic, having the Critical Path – or to-do list – is what keeps us moving forward.

Our next special event is World Diabetes Day, which occurs every year on November 14th (Sir Frederick Banting’s birthday). We’ll be participating in World Diabetes Day in three different ways: by lighting Banting House blue, opening up a new exhibit, and reading aloud some of the many thank-you letters written to Dr. Banting in their original languages. The Critical Path I drafted will help us make sure that we’re ready to welcome all of you on that day. What do we need to do to prepare? We need to finalize the exhibit design, request images, select artifacts, create the panels, remove the old exhibit and install the new one; select letters to read and volunteers to read them; and arrange for the lighting, catering, sound system, and media coverage. Finally, our World Diabetes Day activities will be registered with the International Diabetes Federation’s “Steps for Diabetes” campaign.

This planning needs to take place while we carry out our everyday activities like organizing collections and giving tours. With all of this to keep in mind, it’s no wonder that the museum staff need to use lists to keep track! But the work is worth it; there’s nothing better than when an event runs smoothly, and hundreds of people become reacquainted with the story of Banting and his impact on millions of lives.

We’d love to have you make Banting House NHSC a part of your World Diabetes Day. I’ll be posting more information about this event as we move closer to November. You can also stay up-to-date on all the happenings at Banting House by following us on Facebook and Twitter. I’ll write again next week with more news from behind the scenes!

This blog was posted by Stacey Devlin, graduate research assistant at Banting House NHSC. Stacey Devlin is an M.A. candidate in Public History at Western University.

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