Community engagement

a community engagement roadshow about the A428

What is community engagement?

 One of the finest definitions for community engagement that we can find is that given by Tractivity on their website.

 “Community engagement – which can also be referred to as stakeholder engagement, public participation or community collaboration depending on your industry – is the process of working with and involving the community to create meaningful relationships between the organisation and the people it serves.

It’s all about communication, involvement, and collaboration, where organisations seek to connect with their stakeholders, identify shared interests and concerns to make better decisions, and achieve sustainable outcomes.”


A community engagement project aiming to connect rural communities
Cambridgeshire County Council project for rural communities.

The importance of community engagement and why it matters.

Through feedback, community engagement enables government and public decision-making bodies (along with many other organisations) to listen and, in turn, demonstrate the impact of community contribution. Community engagement, then, builds deeper, stronger, and more trusting relationships between public organizations and communities.

Community engagement is sometimes seen by some as a box to tick, something to get past, rather than being an incredibly useful step in the process of any project which affects an area or group of people. It really does matter and the way it is done can have a huge impact on the outcome of a proposed action or activity.

It will help  build momentum behind a project, save time in the long run by getting a project moving much more quickly than taking an expedient, ‘box ticking’ approach.


These benefits can be summarised as follows:

A NOrthumberland County Council community engagement vehicle
One of two community engagement vehicles built for Northumberland County Council.
  1.      The Community that receives information is more trusting.
  2.      It helps focus the mind to make better decisions.
  3.     The community is generally happier with the actions being taken when they understand the whys and wherefores.
  4.     Whilst universal approval is unlikely, most of the community is more likely to be receptive to actions.
  5.     Going through the process of community engagement makes for better planning, better strategies, and policies.
  6.     Feedback can greatly assist in fine-tuning plans, actions, and scheduling.


Community engagement roadshows

Wanting to work more closely with a community is one thing but how to go about it is another.  Many of those looking to instigate an engagement campaign have looked at developing new approaches such as the extensive use of social media.  However well “new” media performs any campaign can benefit from being combined with tried and tested ways of engaging with their communities. From our extensive experience in community communication, we know that taking engagement campaigns on “the road” cannot be bettered.

Roadshows, via a mobile exhibition unit, is by far the best way to take a message to where the community gathers and is the most direct way to facilitate one-to-one conversation, group presentations, and most importantly of all explain plans, address concerns and answer questions.

There is no right or wrong choice of vehicle for such roadshow activities. Our clients have used a multitude of exhibition vehicle and trailer types including:

A community engagement vehicle built for Dover Council
Dover Community Roots project.


                         Single deck buses

                        Double deck buses


                        Exhibition vehicles with low floor access

                        Exhibition trailers


All these vehicles and trailers can be fitted with a host of features to provide easy public access, systems for the hard of hearing, and aids for those with visual impairments. There are no restrictions on any member of the public coming on board!

Static displays including photos and visualisations are usually a standard installation (combined with appropriate external graphics) and in addition, equipment can be installed to provide facilities for Powerpoint presentations and videos.  Literature racks and computer screen kiosks are amongst other popularly used installations.

And if you’re planning a year-round project heating and climate control is available as an option.

Where group discussions are likely to be a feature then seating and even hospitality such as hot and cold drinks facilities can be provided.


single deck information and exhibition vehicle
A single deck bus used for community engagement roadshows.

Multi Vehicle Technology Ltd

Our workshops are in Leicester which makes access to us easy from all parts of the country should you wish to visit, and you’re always welcome.  Alternatively, we can visit you to discuss your community engagement project and make suggestions and recommendations. We’re very happy to make a creative input and our design team will prepare visuals for you without any obligation on your part.

To tap into our experience from years of working with Local and National authorities, charities, not for profit organisations and businesses, please call us on 0116 326 0989 or write to us at

A community help and advice trailer.
A community engagement trailer offering advice on energy conservation.


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We can connect you with your community via our wide range of roadshow vehicles


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