Free community engagement tips and skills



#1 Maximise space

Extra space is always better than a venue that’s too small and space gives you flexibility.  Spare room can be used for breakout areas, displays etc. and means participants won’t feel claustrophobic.

#2 Use plants!

Have an ugly, cold or unfriendly space?  Greenery softens a venue and creates a natural, relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.  Plants can also hide a multitude of venue sins… 

#3 Natural light

Natural light is always better than artificial light and venues with large windows and/or outdoor spaces are ideal.  Participants will feel more alert, relaxed and productive if they don't feel shut in and have access to fresh air. 

#4 Walk in a participant's shoes

Imagine your venue/event from a participant’s point of view – follow the journey they will take in your mind.  Will they feel welcomed, comfortable, accepted and supported from arrival to departure?

#5 Catering should never be an afterthought

Food is key to relationship building, participant comfort and overall productivity and sharing food can lead to shared conversations and new connections. 

#6 Liaise with key contacts

A conversation between your facilitator and the venue is crucial - miscommunication and mishaps can be avoided (and any specific requirements can be catered for) by ensuring this discussion happens early in the planning process. 

#7 Get private

Check with your venue to ensure the space is separate - wherever possible avoid the possibility of having 'interlopers' from an unrelated workshop or other guests moving through your space and disrupting participants. 

#8 Enhance the experience

How can you improve your participants' experience?  Small efforts can make a significant difference.  Taking glasses of water to people mid-discussions on a hot day, for example, will be greatly appreciated. 




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