mobile household hazardous waste eventMany municipalities offer “mobile” drop-off events for “special” wastes such as hazardous materials, electronic waste, tires, and even paper shredding.

These events may take place a few times a year, once a year, or in some cases, just once every couple of years.

Residents love these type of events. For the most part, residents want to properly dispose of their waste, and look forward to events where they can clean out their garage or basement of unwanted materials.

Municipalities may promote these events using a variety of communication tactics: ReCollect reminders and campaigns, traditional advertising in print and radio, social media posts and tweets, and mobile signs.

Often, municipal staff are required to ask residents a few questions as they wait in line (if they haven’t had to pre-register). Due to time constraints, these questions are often limited to an overview of materials being dropped off, and perhaps for some proof of residency.

If staff can ask — and record the answers — to two questions, you’ll gain a lot of valuable information which can help you evaluate the impact of your communications tactics.

Question 1

First, ask for the resident for their postal or zip code. It’s fascinating to tally this information to gauge where the majority of your residents are coming from. If the majority of your residents are coming from one area of municipality, it could mean event promotions aren’t reaching the other neighbourhoods as effectively.

Question 2

Second, ask the resident how they heard about the event. Tally results for “mobile app,” “email reminder,” “newspaper ad,” “social media,” “website,” etc. Again, the information helps you understand how attendees are learning about the event, and how to best target your communications budget for future events.

Another beneficial thing to record is whether the resident has a newsletter or print ad for the event in their vehicle. You can often see these in the front seat or on the dashboard. It’s always interesting when 50% of people have cut the print advertisement out of the newspaper and have brought it with them!

Having staff fully prepared to tally this information during events will keep lines moving quickly, and give you valuable insights into effectiveness of your communications.

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