Sure, you don’t plan on feeding the 5,000, but if your public exhibition is worth its salt it’s going to go on for more than a couple of hours. Meaning you and everyone else there will get hungry and more than a little thirsty. Take a supply of sandwiches and snacks for the team to save you from having to leave the exhibition short staffed during runs to the corner shop.
Also, think of your visitors. They’ll probably be just as grateful of a cup of tea as you are, and there’s something instantly civilising about chatting over a cuppa and a biscuit.
Make the most of every opportunity to develop new contacts, be they supporters of your cause or opponents, who you may (or may not) be able to win round in due course.
The best way to do this is to ask visitors to sign in on the door (while you offer them a cup of tea), but at the very least make sure a comment form and box is available for all visitors to fill in.
It’s inevitable that at some point a parent will have no choice but to bring their child along. The last thing you want is for that bored child to start crying, running around or doing anything to add to the stress of the parent who probably isn’t very keen on your proposal anyway (let’s be honest, the antis are more likely to attend your public exhibition than the supporters).
So ease their stress by providing a children’s area. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but paper, pens and a couple of colouring books can provide enough of a distraction for youngsters to enable the grown-ups to attend to matters at hand.
Yes, you may be a successful national (or international) business with award-winning developments and a track record for safety, but unless you’ve achieved all that in the village in question many of your visitors won’t care. They’re more interested in their community, view or employment prospects so make sure your exhibition boards are too.
I know the introduction to the article said four tips, but one final thing that can sometimes be difficult to remember should tempers flare: be polite.
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