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Open Public Workshop Characteristics

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Cost Scale:  £1,000-£10,000. The costs of open public workshops are associated with venue hire, catering, specialist hire and supporting arrangements, and vary with scale.  

Time Scale: 1-2 months

Depth Breadth Reach
Engagement Level
Medium Medium Medium


The facilitated group discussions and activities that make up open public workshops provide participants with the opportunity to consider an issue in depth and deliberate with fellow participants and specialists to develop their own views. They produce rich discussions that offer an insight into the fundamental values of participants.

As the workshops progress, there is an opportunity for the policy maker to observe how participants’ views change with the provision of information and interaction with specialists.


Open public workshops are typically broad in scope, and participants may guide the direction of conversations and frame discussions within it. Specialists facilitators also play a role in guiding discussions by moderating conversations and structuring activities. Participants are also able to raise ideas and concerns they feel are relevant to the topic in feedback sections of activities.


The number of participants in open public workshops is limited by venue capacity and the number of facilitators. Larger scale public workshops can attract hundreds of participants.  

Engagement Level

Open public workshops bring together the public, specialists s and policy makers to discuss an issue in depth, allowing all parties to develop their views and understanding in the process.

The one-off, public nature of these workshops mean they don’t typically provide repeated and ongoing engagement with participants, although discussions can be continued remotely after the events through online communication and feedback on the event.