I had a workshop recently where the change being proposed would have a major impact on local government. I figured it would be important to get people exchanging thoughts and ideas before the workshop as well as during the workshop.
So we advertised a starting time of 9.00am. For the first 30mins we had a cuppa & gave people the chance to look at some posters on the proposal and importantly discuss the issue with peers and people from the agency concerned.
It worked well – even gave time for the late arrivals to settle in. The key was not to let it drag. 20 mins would probably be sufficient in future.
Your thoughts on this approach?
PS – for some further information on Community Engagement, check out my resources section