How to Host a Legislative Event

Hosting an event at which your legislator can meet and talk with a group of ABC members is an easy and often successful way to create a lasting impression and relationship. Though it may sound intimidating at first, organizing a meeting is very simple and can be done in a variety of settings—luncheons, dinners, informal coffee hours, etc.

Here are some tips for scheduling an event:

Send your legislator a written invitation three to four weeks before the date of the event. Be considerate of the legislator’s schedule by offering several possible dates and times. Your RPM can advise when Congress will likely be in recess to help you coordinate a good time to meet.

  • Clearly state the purpose of the event and the number of people you expect to attend.
  • When the legislator confirms, send a written confirmation to his or her office, reiterating the purpose and format of the event, including:
    • time, location, and length of the program;
    • topic or purpose of the event and the legislator’s function at the event;
    • proper attire;
    • the number of people expected to attend;
    • a profile of the audience (e.g., ABC members, general constituents, business owners, chapter leadership);
    • whether the legislator is expected to speak and, if so, for how long;
    • whether the legislator requires any audio-visual equipment;
    • whether other legislators, candidates or participants have been invited; and
    • whether food will be served. (Be aware that there are restrictions regarding the amount of food that can be served. Contact prior to the event to ensure you are in compliance with the law.
  • One week before the event, telephone the invitees to ensure good attendance.
  • After the event, send thank-you notes to the legislator as well as to the participants emphasizing the positive results of the event and the value of similar events in the future.