The Engagement conference 2017

Housing is featuring prominently across the main party election manifestos and all sides seem to agree that there is a definite housing shortage, yet how do we engage support from the public, particularly where green spaces are at a premium and amenities are overstretched? At the same time, those opposing large-scale building projects consistently make more noise than those supporting them.

At MPC, we are looking forward to hosting Engagement 2017, a conference dedicated to public consultation and stakeholder engagement, being held at a prestigious venue in central London this November.

The conference’s seven sessions will cover various aspects of pre-application engagement and campaigning. The conference presents a chance to learn from councillors, consultation experts and people working in other fields, what does and doesn’t work in engagement. Confirmed speakers include James Murray from the GLA; Cllr Denise Hyland, Leader of Greenwich Borough Council; Cllr John Cotton, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council; Jo Davis from GVA; Dr Janice Morphet from UCL; and campaigners from Shelter. They will be joined by many others to consider the approaches that work best for developers, communities and councils.

This pioneering conference will include the launch of a major report, undertaken by Shelter and Meeting Place Communications, into new and effective ways of reaching and engaging communities on development issues. The report, sponsored by Redrow and L&Q, also looks at the use of social media and community outreach as a means of engaging hard to reach groups. Throughout the day, campaigners from Shelter will lead the discussion of how we can activate ‘the silent majority’.

Workshops will be held throughout Engagement 2017, one of which will consider how local councillors and developers can work together more effectively pre-application to build a coalition of support. Indeed, local councillors and developers have more in common than it might seem: they all want to deliver more homes. Our political speakers will explain what works (and what doesn’t) when engaging them on planning issues and how engagement works best in their two very contrasting areas.

The comprehensive programme reflects the fact that public engagement takes place in all areas of life. It will consider what the housebuilding industry can learn about the most innovative campaign techniques, from people using them elsewhere. It will also ask whether in the world of modern technology there is still a place for public exhibitions with plans on a set of display boards. Experts from the worlds of charity, social media and local government will share their expertise on the most effective techniques for engagement and how they can be applied to housing pre-application consultation. Engagement 2017’s speakers include John Myers from London YIMBY, Sam Davies from Queen Edith’s Community Forum and Claire Porter from NLGN.

Join us at 1 America Square on 16th November and find out how to engage more effectively, delivering better results and better value for money.

Tickets are available at the Early Bird rate of £175 + VAT until 31st May 2017.