Home
The Basics: Definitions and Principles
Consultation Methods - How to?
Case Studies
Engaging hard to reach groups
Choosing a methods
Planning and process design
Preparing a consultation strategy
Online Publications
Discussion Board
VLGA Victorian Government
Local Government Consultation and Engagement  
Links Sitemap Contact Us Privacy Policy
Exhibitions

For a printable version of this information click here.

Brief description of technique
Displays are used to provide information to the community about current services, programs, promotions and other initiatives that require community feedback and input.
To what kinds of consultation situations is this approach best suited?

Community exhibitions can be useful for broader visioning exercises such as community or council plans, broader strategic plans or policies. Often they are used for a development or issue that is ongoing and part of a broader consultation strategy. In particular, they are useful for land use policies, plans or developments, as they enable visual material to be displayed and discussion generated.

How much time is generally needed?

Set-up time for displays, depending on the duration of the venue or event.

What are the skills required?
Information on the displays needs to clear, concise and attractive so some thought needs to go into how it is designed and arranged.
Brief outline of how the process usually works

The exhibitions are usually set up on a temporary basis at public places, for example shopping centres, parks or festivals, and are run by council staff or community representatives (can be community leaders) who answer questions from the community, ask passersby to complete questionnaires, encourage passersby to have a look at display boards and then promote discussion and feedback of current local issues and problems.

Strengths
  • The community may appreciate meeting council staff face-to-face, enabling them to ask questions directly.
  • Enables people to learn and provide feedback on an issue in a non-threatening and unstructured way.
  • The consultation comes to them - people may have the opportunity to participate when going about their daily business, for example shopping, going to the library or visiting a park.
Weaknesses
  • Has limitations in terms of exposure and may be a roving exercise.
  • Can be resource-intensive in terms of staff time. Community leaders may be engaged to assist.
Resources Required
  • Resourcing relates to the design and production of displays and staff being available to answer questions.

CASE STUDY

Council or other authority
Casey City Council
Name of Project
Casey C21 Strategy
Date of consultation
March to May 2002
Aim of consultation

To raise the profile of the strategy in the wider community.

To seek feedback from as many people as possible on the directionand content of the strategy.

Consultation methods used
  • Information provision
  • Community workshops
  • Community exhibition
Description of consultation

Information provision

Four-page A3 colour summary flyer delivered to:

  • every household (55,000)
  • most businesses (3,000)
  • all community-based groups (2,000) in Casey and outside that serve Casey
  • preschools, libraries, recreation and leisure facilities, community centres, tertiary institutes, maternal and child health centres

Full copy of the strategy sent to all relevant state government departments, neighbouring municipalities, public authorities and service authorities for comment.

Presentation/discussion of strategy to:

  • Casey Conservation Advisory Committee
  • Casey Neighbourhood House managers
  • Business forums
  • Casey Youth Committee
  • South-East Vegetable Growers Network
  • Casey Access and Equity Committee
  • Casey's staff in small groups
  • Various other community groups

Over 600 copies of the document were requested and given to individuals and groups in Casey.

The document was advertised and displayed on the Casey website

Community workshops
Seven community workshops were held in April in Casey's secondary colleges and one at a primary school. Between 40 and 50 people attended each workshop, which lasted for two hours. A large amount of material was gained through this process to shape and refine the strategy.

A C21 development forum was planned for the Municipal Offices (expected to attract over 100 key developers) in early June 2002. Casey staff had direct contact and feedback from well over 1,500 people. Over 300 people attended forums in their local communities.

Community exhibition
Day and evening displays in major shopping centres, including Westfield Fountain Gate, Cranbourne Park and Endeavour Hills. Contact was made with over 1,000 people during this time.

Schools
Year 11 students at Casey's secondary colleges completed an activity to analyse the strategy with respect to Casey's youth issues.

Success of the consultation
  • Overall highly successful in terms of number of community contacts made and the requests for copies of the strategy.
  • Very positive feedback was received from the community forums. These were well attended, (even though C21 did not raise any major controversial issues) because 1000 were invited by phone.
  • Very positive feedback was received from shopping centre participants who appreciated the staff getting out to meet the community members.
  • Customer service staff and council planners attended the shopping centre displays and community workshops, which proved highly successful. The Casey staff were able to answer most questions, was highly appreciated by passers by.
  • Quality displays were prepared in-house by council staff.
Contact person
Name: Rob Pedder Position: Manager Corporate Support
Phone number: 9705 5200 Email: [email protected]

To view more case studies, click here.

 

spacer
people in front of a display

header row