Shop fronts (or site offices) are attempts to improve participation in programs by bringing a participatory venue into a heavily used public area, such as a main street or shopping centre. They are designed to allow people to drop in at their convenience and therefore display materials are usually provided along with project staff to answer questions. They have a relaxed atmosphere and can act as a semi-permanent meeting place / kitchen table discussion forum so providing refreshments is recommended. Shop fronts run for the duration of a participation program.
While many of the objectives and outcomes of shopfronts are similar to those of an open house, an open house is usually at an existing site or establishment, whereas shopfronts can be set up wherever they will attract the target audience. This may be in the main street, in a shopping centre, or in accommodation that is temporarily rented for the occasion.
This page originally copied with permission from the Citizens Science Toolbox