Success in politics, whether as a candidate, an incumbent, or a political activist, depends, in part, on events. Events are important because they force good things to happen.
Events provide great leverage. Any candidate, activist, or elected official who isn’t planning a series of events is missing major opportunities.
Events are hard work. But events such as speeches, fundraising dinners, debates, hearings, panel discussions, town or neighborhood meetings, press conferences, media interviews, rallies, celebrations, etc., all can help those involved in politics make progress for their campaigns or causes.
What happens when you schedule an event? You are forced to:
- Get people involved
- Establish policy and clarify positions
- Prepare communications materials, focus your messages and hone your arguments
- Interact with the media
- Develop contact information and mailing lists
- Pull together people in good causes
Those are all very positive things for a candidate or an office holder. Most political leaders develop important policy positions when they are writing speeches or preparing for media interviews. Giving a speech forces you to grapple with the key issues and to develop your policy and positions. Holding a fundraising event not only nets you some campaign cash, but it provides a lot of good exposure and forces you to get organized and get supporters helping. Holding a rally gets people involved, shows who is committed, energizes supporters and provides new mailing lists.
Without events, not much happens in politics. But it’s surprising how many political leaders at all levels, especially after they’re elected, don’t go out of their way to proactively plan events. They attend their regular meetings and take what speeches and other opportunities are offered them, but they aren’t aggressively creating events. More good event opportunities exist than most politicians realize. It just takes a little creativity. The old political maxim that events drive politics is true.