Displays and Exhibitions

Displays and exhibitions can be used to give information to the public as part of a larger programme of engagement activities. It is often appropriate to include opportunities for visitors to provide their comments in response to the overall engagement programme.

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How to do it


  • The aim of the display or exhibition needs to be made clear, e.g. notification of changes to a service, information about plans, public education.
  • Details should be given of relevant contexts such as timescale for a service change and whether or not the change has been formally decided. It must be made clear whether people are just being given information or whether there is an opportunity for them to contribute their views.
  • Written material must be in plain language and avoid jargon.
  • Test out the information with members of the public or your local Public Partnership Forum.
  • People who attend should be given the opportunity to contact someone if they wish to discuss the topic further.
  • Offer feedback sheets to people who attend and encourage them to fill them in on the spot.


  • It is important to be clear to whom the display or exhibition is targeted and that locations, formats and languages are chosen accordingly. This approach can reach excluded groups provided this is planned for at the outset.
  • One approach or activity may not reach a large number of people or all target groups. It may be preferable to plan a series of displays/exhibitions over different times and locations.
  • Displays, exhibitions and other activities that provide information can be linked to other events and/or mounted in partnership with relevant community groups to target the audience more effectively.


  • There are many opportunities to use creative approaches, which make the experience of receiving information more effective and enjoyable.
  • Through use of visual material, this method may lend itself to reaching people with literacy problems.


  • Display materials are expensive. Their value for money will depend on how many people in the target groups are reached.
  • Responses received will not be representative of all views.


  • Staff time at the planning stage and in having a presence at the event
  • Display materials

Top Tips

  • Effective promotion is very important. Methods to consider include written material; press releases; local radio (consult your organisation's communications team); and working in partnership with local groups and community workers.