Community Engagement Definition of the Month: Entourengage

“Entourengage” – Definition: an excessively large community engagement team dispatched to a community engagement event.

If your engagement entourage outnumbers the public at an event, you have officially sent an entourengage.

We’ve all seen it. There’s 12 of us – engagement specialists, a welcome team, back up comms people, plus specialists from every technical team – and no one comes. We wait expectantly, until, a handful of bored community members wander in, feel besieged and so scoot off again.

Why does it happen?

1. We’re nervous and over compensate. There’s safety in numbers right?

2. We think our topic is much more interesting than anyone else does?

3. We failed to communicte the engagement activity in a way that was interesting, engaging and relevant to the community

4. Everyone on our team was so passionate they had to come

Irrespective of why it happens, an entourengage is a mistake. It’s a waste of time, resources and sends the message that no one in the community was interested.

There are solutions though.

1. Plan by learning from past events and activities to estimate likely numbers

2. Put your team on shifts (but always carry mobile numbers so you can call for back-up if necessary). Provide more people at the start and during lunch.

3. If you have a lot of technical experts, consider whether some can comfortably cover two topics at once.

4. If you want to attract attendees, then remember to make it attractive to the public.

Articulous is a national communications, engagement and training consultancy operating across Brisbane, Queensland, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.