Public Involvement Techniques

Foreward  |   Table of Contents
Chapter 1  |   Chapter 2  |   Chapter 3  |   Chapter 4  |   Index of Techniques

4. Using Special Techniques to Enhance Participationskip page navigation

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4.A - Holding Special Events
4.A.a - Transportation Fairs
4.A.b - Games and Contests

4. Introduction

4.A - Holding Special Events

People like special events now and then. These unique occasions are light-hearted and intended to be fun for participants. They have a holiday-like feeling clearly different from day-to-day meetings and hearings. They give community people opportunities to meet others in a friendly, non-threatening setting and share their ideas. People like the freedom and openness of pleasurable events that do not demand immediate action or response.

Nearly any public involvement program benefits by incorporating special, one-time events. They complement many techniques by providing exhilarating breaks during a larger and longer process. A special event does not require a commitment to hold another such occasion, unless evaluation determines it is likely to be useful and appropriate.

Special events reach new participants. Individuals who have not participated in transportation planning or project development become interested because of exposure to agency work at a special event. Special events help current participants recruit neighbors to the process and demonstrate why it can be fun. With the help of participant advisors, an agency can determine if a special event is appropriate and if its timing can be integrated with other community events.

During special events in a public involvement program, messages about transportation—while clearly a motivating force—should be understated to keep the occasion light and friendly.

Special events take many forms. Two techniques have potentially significant use for transportation planning and project development:

  • Transportation fairs; and
  • Games and contests.

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