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Thread: Creative ideas for community input kick-off meeting

  1. #1
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    Creative ideas for community input kick-off meeting

    I'm looking for some creative ideas for having a unique community planning Kick-off meeting. It's for a very small town, and we're assisting the town in a downtown re-development plan. We need to get input from the community and it's going to be about a 6-month process for developing a plan.

    I was wondering if anyone has heard of any creative or unique ideas for a day-long, community kick-off meeting.


    A couple things we thought of:
    Hold the meeting a local bar/restaurant/coffee shop
    Community walking-tour right away

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WMSmartGrowth View post
    I'm looking for some creative ideas for having a unique community planning Kick-off meeting. It's for a very small town, and we're assisting the town in a downtown re-development plan. We need to get input from the community and it's going to be about a 6-month process for developing a plan.

    I was wondering if anyone has heard of any creative or unique ideas for a day-long, community kick-off meeting.


    A couple things we thought of:
    Hold the meeting a local bar/restaurant/coffee shop
    Community walking-tour right away

    From a former consultant point a view that specialized in community outreach i believe you might be headed down the path of information overload during the first meeting. Instead of a day-long community kick-off meeting, you should first have a community-kick off meeting that ocurrs in the evening, for a few hours to establish the following:

    1) Why are you doing the project?
    2) Establish expectations & timelines
    3) What are some of the goals of this project?
    4) Brainstorm ideas that currently work versus what doesn't
    5) Vision- What is the vision for the downtown in the future


    This way, you collect data on expectation, variations of a vision, and most importantly goals! From this meeting, maybe a few days later, say a saturday morning, would be an all-day intensive workshop to focus on the goals and vision developed, followed by what was learned on the walk and ways to improve it. From there this should give you some good input to move on to additional workshops necessary for the proper community input. Good Luck!
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    We often recommend a similar approach. First we do stakeholder meetings and focus groups, or perhaps neighborhood meetings, a walking tour like you mentioned, etc. The idea is to get to people in small groups first, building up to a community-wide event. You suggested a couple informal approaches, which I think is ideal for the initial meetings. Starting a conversation, making people comfortable, and reinforcing that "we are here to listen" is a good way to head off opposition and build interest in the planning process.
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