Scheduling Meetings with Policymakers

Members of Congress receive a large volume of meeting requests. In fact, the Congressional Management Foundation estimates that the typical House office receives an average of 23 meeting requests each week.

Watch the video below to learn more tips on scheduling meetings with your representatives.

Scheduling Tips

1) Notify NAA and Your Affiliate: Whether as part of an event (such as the spring Advocate event in Washington DC or “Back Home” meetings with your Members of Congress while they are in their districts), be prepared to tell NAA that you intend to schedule meetings with your policymakers.

Tell NAA About Your Scheduled Meetings

You should also inform your affiliate. Affiliates will often schedule meetings for their members. This allows them to coordinate scheduling requests from participants with common Representatives and Senators. Your affiliate will let you know whether to schedule yourself or to let them schedule for you.

2) Know the who, what, where and when BEFORE contacting the scheduler: Schedulers who value their jobs will never schedule a meeting without knowing information about who their audience will be, what policies will be discussed, the venue where the meeting will take place and when. Best case, providing incomplete information about the who, what, where and when will delay your scheduling efforts. Or worse, it could lead to your invitation being declined.

3) Follow directions: Procedures used to process scheduling requests vary among congressional offices. Get your congressional offices’ scheduling instructions and follow them to the letter.

4) Be flexible: Considering the volume of scheduling requests that Members receive, there’s a high probability that your request will overlap with another group’s request. Offering alternative scheduling options increases your odds of getting a meeting scheduled, and will likely win the offices’ appreciation.

5) Be open to meeting with staff: Members of Congress trust their staff to represent them and relationships with staff are absolutely essential to key contacts. Be willing to meet with staff if your Member cannot participate. In effect, refusing to meet with staff is turning down opportunities to deepen your relationship bench with their congressional office.

6) Follow up: Most congressional offices process meeting requests in two weeks or less. If you do not hear back about a scheduling request after two weeks, it’s perfectly reasonable to politely inquire about the status of your request. And don’t forget to inform NAA about the meetings you schedule. That allows NAA’s government affairs team to coordinate their efforts with your and to provide resources to make your meeting more successful.

Senate Meeting Request Template House Meeting Request Template