One of the benefits of membership of AAHAM is attending Legislative Day and its just days away now! Because of the extra cool temps we’ve had lately, the cherry blossoms will be in peak bloom, right when you are here. How lucky we are! For more information, visit www.nationalcherryblossomfestial.org
I have to admit, despite planning and attending every Legislative Day; I find going to Washington, DC and being part of this event so incredibly exciting and rewarding.
For a newbie, Legislative Day attendee, I want to offer some advice which also may be useful to those who have attended Legislative Day before.
1. Sure, you are pumped up. It’s exciting to see the Capital and know you are going to be walking the halls. Try to get prepared. Read a little about your congressman on the internet so you know some of their background. Politician’s love learning that you have done your homework and know something about them.
2. AAHAM provides good briefings about issues prior to the Hill visits; attend these informative sessions and read the position paper.
3. Relax. They are just politicians…you are a constituent and your vote put them where they are today. They are here to serve their constituents.
4. Have a plan. Every event either you pay to attend or your company sends you is an opportunity to network. Plan in advance who you want to connect with, get it on paper so you have a plan.
5. Even the most gregarious people can be shy. Set a goal of a specific number of people you want to meet. With that goal in mind; set out to meet them.
6. With the adage that people do business with people they know and see, every meeting offers endless opportunities to get to know people of the industry. You are building your network and it’s a priceless investment
7. Bring your smart phone with camera and/or a camera, you never know where photo opportunities exist; and it pays to be prepared. Celebrity sightings are common, so make sure the batteries are charged.
8. Enjoy Washington. This time of the year the weather is changeable, so come prepared with comfortable walking shoes and raingear. It will also be chilly this year (hey, it’s April) so bring a coat or warm jacket.
9. Come to the debriefing reception when everyone shares their findings. You’ll find it very validating that others had similar experiences.
10. Share your experience with your office peers and chapter members, when you return home; you’ve carried the banner and it’s so exciting for others to learn about your experience. Write about the experience for you company’s or chapter’s newsletter. Spread the word. The value of Legislative Day is immeasurable and we want you to enjoy the experience and share it with others.