LHC 2008 Open Days <br/>The enthusiasm is shared by all

A couple of weeks on, people are still talking about the Open Days held on 5 and 6 April. The record number of visitors and the commitment of the hundreds of personnel who took part served to strengthen links within the Laboratory.

Welcoming 76,000 visitors in two days is no trivial matter. The volunteers demonstrated great drive, responsiveness and sometimes even ingenuity to encourage those queueing to visit the underground areas. The visitors all had a great thirst for discovery. The guides’ good humour and the many educational and interactive activities on offer provided opportunities for exchanges between the public and the scientists, which were appreciated by one and all.

Receiving 76,000 visitors in a single weekend was a tremendous accomplishment! The event went off like a well-oiled machine and had a huge impact on morale within the Laboratory", says Lucio Rossi, who chaired the LHC 2008 steering committee. 1500 current and retired members of the personnel contributed to the success of the operation by working together both on the surface and underground. Although a certain tension reigned at the organisers’ HQ, where the phones never stopped ringing, the overwhelming atmosphere during the two days was one of enthusiasm across the board. "It’s not so much the visitor numbers as the satisfaction expressed by everyone involved that is so gratifying", adds Lucio Rossi. "Apart from the Web, advertisements in a few newspapers and radio announcements, the Open Days were not widely publicised, so word of mouth must have played an important role. And despite the long queues, the general public came away happy".

At Point 1 of ATLAS.

Demonstration at SM12.

Dominique Bertola, Head of the Visits Service, also underlined the outstanding efforts of the volunteers. "This proves that there is a real spirit of solidarity at CERN and pride in being part of the Laboratory", he said.

In the Grid Café the public was able to obtain lots of information on the Grid and the latest technological advances in the informatics field.

Even toddlers, whose attention is not always the easiest to retain, were fascinated by the fun activities organised specially for them.