Virtual Fly-In

The pandemic is creating challenges for many companies and trade associations who normally plan an annual advocacy day in DC. DC Fly-Ins is working with organizations to pivot to a virtual fly-in rather than canceling their events.

The good news is members of Congress and their staff are willing to engage virtually and your advocates still have opportunities to connect and share their views and first hand knowledge.

DC Fly-Ins is well positioned to assist you with your virtual fly-in. Based on our experience helping organizations who hosted a virtual fly-in and talking with congressional staffers, we have gathered best practices to assist you as you plan your advocacy day.

Tips for Effective Virtual Fly-Ins

Develop Strong Team Leadership

Designate a strong meeting lead for each delegation/group and assign key tasks including no more than three or four speakers for each meeting and one participant to follow up with the congressional office after the meeting.

Build-in Flexibility

Request participants hold the entire day of the fly-in open as meetings may be rescheduled.

Make the Most of Your Time in the Meeting

Send the meeting participant list to the congressional office prior to the meeting so that introductions do not take up valuable time; avoid using lengthy power-point presentations and if necessary include only one slide or infographic; and most importantly make a specific ask.

Make it Easy for the Congressional Office

Email each staffer a calendar reminder that includes a list of meeting participants, background materials and the meeting link; send a reminder to staff leading up to the meeting; choose a reputable meeting platform such as Zoom, WebEx or Teams, which are the three platforms preferred by congressional offices.

Make it Easy for Participants

Send a confirmation and reminder to participants; host an issues webinar briefing one week prior to the event and include a breakout session for participants who need more information in order to feel comfortable with the virtual format.

Ensure state delegations/groups have an opportunity to meet with their meeting lead and fellow meeting participants prior to the congressional meetings in order to confirm the meeting script.

Determine if a desktop version of your meetings app is available in order to provide one location for meeting schedules, congressional bios and background materials.

Designate a help desk number for participants to use on the day of the fly-in in case a staffer does not show up or there are any technical problems.

Be Courteous

Start your meetings promptly and be mindful of the length of the meeting. Request prior approval from the congressional office before recording any meetings.

Solicit Participant Feedback

Review your meeting questionnaire, as participants are more likely to fill out meeting response forms while sitting at their desk.

Leverage Your Fly In For Other Goals

Consider optional sessions to engage your participants for networking or educational purposes or to offer sponsorship opportunities.

the KWT company DC flyins