Getting the Most from an Event Scheduling Form
From the Campaign Manager’s Perspective
Throughout the campaign, your candidate will be asked to attend or participate in countless events. As a campaign manager, your job is to keep track of all of the potential engagements, advise on which ones to attend, and ensure that your candidate is confident and well prepared. A tool like the Event Scheduling Form can make this process simple and organized.
Our form begins with logistical information about the event – when, where and how long is the engagement? What is the sponsoring organization, who is the contact person and how do we reach them? How many people are expected to attend and what is the event about? What is the dress code? Having event dates and contact information at your fingertips will save time and frustration as you are working out the campaign calendar and needing to RSVP or ask relevant questions.
The next three sections ask:
Who will be attending the event? Knowing who your audience is will help you personalize your speeches and be prepared for anticipated questions. There may also be people in attendance who are on your list to talk with when the occasion arises. Take advantage of naturally “bumping into them.”
What is the candidate being asked to do at the event? Understanding what the candidate is being asked to do will also aid in preparation. If speeches are to be given, how long should the speech be? Is there a specific focus of the event such as economic development or the environment? Or is the event something altogether different such as judging a science fair or bake-off? If the event is a meal, consider how many dining events the candidate has in the day when planning the schedule.
Will the Media be Present? A newspaper or television presence may be an opportunity for earned media coverage. Be prepared with appropriate documents, ie. Copies of the speech, press releases, candidate photo, etc.
The right side of our form is a space for internal notes including the important question of whether the candidate will be attending the event. Many times events will overlap and choices will need to be made. Additionally, not all events are appropriate for the candidate to attend. Work together to evaluate the political and social pros and cons of each event.
If the candidate is going, who from the campaign will also be in attendance? We strongly advocate that the candidate always have a “wing person” to assist, carry campaign literature, handle awkward situations, and take notes as necessary. The form also has a space to jot down what items should be taken to an event such as literature and signs, donation information and sign up sheets.
Depending on the event, the campaign may wish to announce their planned presence via social media or other media outlets or upload event photos to their website or social media pages after the events. Use the media/social media plan section to create a strategy and serve as a reminder to take photos or make relevant posts.
The last section (Follow Up/Thank Yous) is a space to jot down action items for follow up and ensure that Thank You notes are sent. The opportunities for positive voter contact extend beyond the event itself.
In addition to the organizational benefits of using Event Scheduling Forms for preparation, the collection of completed forms will be a useful resource for the future. We wish you all the best for your campaign events this season!