Cork Heritage Open Day is an annual festival attended by 20,000 people which sees Cork’s historic buildings open their doors to the public for one day only in August. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, many of the buildings in the city were closed and Cork City Council asked us to create a virtual Cork Heritage Open Day Experience that the public could enjoy from their homes.

The key to organising a successful online event is to be innovative, develop new and interesting programme content, be flexible and to think outside the box. We created a successful festival by 

  • Developing a new website called for Cork Heritage Open Day which allowed the public take part in an online adventure and explore many of the buildings usually open to the public for this event. The design of the website was kept clear, video led and easy to use. 
  • Producing 42 new videos of archival footage of Cork and guided tours of historic buildings in the city. Each video had a fascinating story to tell and gave a wonderful insight into the history of Cork.
  • Project managing and liaising with all historic and cultural buildings in the city to create online content and to tell their story to the public. 
  • Devising new content ideas and interviewing the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh and local historians on topics such as the Burning of Cork, Street Games of Cork in the 1950’s, Medieval Cork and the Coal Quay Festival.
  • Subtitling all videos to make them more accessible. 

To communicate that Cork Heritage Open Day was taking place virtually, we ran a very strategic Communications Plan in traditional media and through social media. Cork Heritage Open Day Goes Virtual was widely featured online and in local and national media including RTÉ. 

In lieu of a physical event we created a series of #CorkHeritage Open Day TV# Episodes where people could watch online short videos of guided tours of buildings in Cork and archival footage of the city. Each video directed people back to the Cork Heritage Open Day Website. The festival took place virtually on August 15th and was very successful.

Our Facebook posts were seen 55,960 people, our tweets were seen 120, 960 times and are Instagram posts were seen by 10, 479 people. had over 1338 people visitors on Saturday August 15th. The most popular pages on the website all which featured new content which we created and project managed, were the Cork Heritage Open Day Home Page, Buildings Page, Walks Page and Explore Cork Page. We received very positive feedback from the public and our client Cork City Council.

Top Tip: Never be afraid to be innovative and good video content is key for a virtual festival to work!