Instead of asking community members to come to you, find them where they are! Happy Hour engagement places table tents and coasters in bars and restaurants around the neighborhood to ask community members “if you could change one thing about your neighborhood, what would it be?” As people are waiting for their friends, drink or food, they have a moment to engage with the planning process.
The coasters are the more “low-tech” version, where participants can write their response on the back and leave it with their server. The table tent gives participants the option of texting, tweeting, or emailing their response. Once they have engaged via text, they are entered in a database and questions can be sent to them on a weekly or monthly basis as a form of ongoing dialogue with the planning process. Both of these strategies also inspire conversation about the community at the bar or restaurant between strangers and friends.