As I started getting ready to attend our first community festival this year – I realized that a checklist of what I normally take would be helpful. And if it was helpful for me, I thought it might be helpful to share with you.
If your community has one or several festivals throughout your campaigning season, you will want to consider attending. Some of these events encourage political participation, some frown on electioneering activities. If you don’t know… ask. The event coordinators will tell you. Having a tent at a festival can be a fun way to engage your volunteers and build momentum. It can also be a great opportunity to meet a lot of potential voters in one place.
A good plan for getting the most out of your experience and a checklist of what to take can be very helpful. While not everything on this list might be necessary for you, hopefully this list will help you get your planning off to a great start.
Thoughts for overall planning:
Check your festival rules to make sure you comply with their requirements for things like tent size, giveaways, food and beverage etc…
Know how you will transport all the items you bring with you. They will need to fit in your vehicle and need to be transported by hand from where you park to your event space (often quite a distance away)
Keep in mind your overall campaign design theme. Your booth should be instantly recognizable as belonging to your campaign.
Festival Packing Checklist:
Tent – usually a pop-up 10x10 tent works well. These tents often come with options like detachable sides (useful in the case of rain) and weights for the legs (useful in the case of wind). It is good to keep this is in mind as the festival will usually go on even in touch and go weather.
Table – and a table cloth.
Chairs – You will likely spend most of the time standing to talk to your voters but your volunteers may need to sit down for breaks.
Banner/Signage – and something to hang it up with. Bungee cords may be a great choice as they will give your banner some give in the breeze to prevent it tearing.
Water, snacks and breath mints for you and your volunteers
Simple First Aid Kit
Wet wipes & paper towels
Palm Cards & Campaign Literature
Volunteer Sign-Up Sheets
Mailing List Sign-Up Sheets
Voter Registration Forms
Pens and Clipboards
Campaign Signs – for voters to take home with them
Stickers – for supporters to wear around the festival. Hint: Kids love stickers and will happily wear them!
Booth Attraction – Do you have something to bring people over to talk to you? Cups of lemonade? Balloons for kids? Candy? Campaign giveaways? Remember that giveaways can be expensive so go with something that fits into your budget and campaign plan.
This is a great place for volunteers to come help with the campaign. Think about giving your volunteers a campaign t-shirt or having them wear a similar color shirt with a campaign sticker. Plan a time schedule so that that booth is always staffed. And remember – lots of volunteers around the booth adds excitement and fun and will encourage others to sign up to volunteer.
Attending a festival can be a boost for the campaign and a way to demonstrate your support of the community.
Did we forget anything? Let us know what you take to your festivals or share your favorite festival campaign story… Happy Festival Season!