A meeting is a coming together of people for a specific purpose. The meeting can involve a large number of people, or a smaller (under 10) number of people who focus on a specific problem or purpose. Meetings generally have a facilitator who encourages two-way communication, and a recorder who records suggestions and issues that are revealed at the meeting.
Public meetings provide a good focal point for media interest in an event, and photos can provide a visual indicator or levels of interest and the range of people who attended. Public meetings are often the springboard for a movement or for the establishment of a common-interest group which will continue to act on the issues raised and suggestions made.
Public meetings are familiar, established ways for people to come together to express their opinions, hear a public speaker, or plan a strategy. They can build a feeling of community and attendance levels provide an indicator of the level of interest within a community on a particular issue.
Smaller focus group meetings can be made up of people with common concerns who may not feel confident speaking up in a larger public gathering (e.g. women, those who speak English as a second language, Indigenous groups). In a separate venue, these people can speak comfortably together, share common issues and a common purpose. The findings from focus group meetings can be presented to larger group meetings, giving a ‘voice’ to those in the community who are unable to speak up in a larger meeting
Unless well facilitated, those perceived as having power within the community, or those who are most articulate and domineering in their verbal style can dominate the meeting.
- Participants may not come from a broad enough range to represent the entire community.
- Organisers must be aware of potential conflicts.
- Community members may not be willing to work together.
- May not achieve consensus.
- Can be time and labour intensive.
Venue rental/ Facilities
- Overhead projectors
- Data projectors
- Slide projector
- Projection screen
- Props for working in groups (pens, paper, pins, etc.)
- Children’s requirements
- Communications and warning technologies
- Fire protection and life safety systems
- Pollution control systems
- Materials and supplies
- Special expertise
- Information about the threats or hazards