When you hear no at a public involvement meeting, do you think road block or opportunity?
If the aim of public involvement is to encourage purposeful input into the decision-making process, then this naturally opens the door to objections and outright no’s. However, with the right tools that inform and build trust, you can overcome obstacles.
Understanding your target audience and identifying when you lost your audience are essential skills to take into a public involvement meeting. Also essential is knowing how to press into a concern and convert a potential no into a yes.
In the transportation industry, for example, presenting urban design upgrades in a business district that addresses traffic calming, parking issues, accessibility codes and the creation of a pedestrian gathering place can be overwhelming to stakeholders. The use of well thought out support media such as renderings or animations can quell concerns and answer questions. However, what happens if a stakeholder asks about the design view from a particular location, such as their business window, that’s not covered in the available media?
Here is where you can turn the potential negative into a positive by adding an additional visualization tool to your toolbox. This new tool (it’s actually not that new) is Immersive and Interactive Visualization. Responding to the stakeholders’ concern ‘on the fly’ will more often than not put them at ease since you revealed rather than concealed and answered their question.
Using this additional technology in your public involvement presentations actually invites dialog, and can be your early warning system and identify unseen concerns. Other advantages include transparency and immersion. So, when you’re presented with a no, don’t look for the exit. Instead, engage, immerse and interact with stakeholders to achieve real-time solutions.
Gary Rackliff / Real Image Solutions
Natan Elsberg / RDV Systems