Many individuals will file for candidacy in local city, school, park, county, and state electoral races in July and August, signaling the start of campaign season. And what better way to launch a campaign than by hosting a rally? A rally can be appropriate for any campaign whether you’re running for a position on the school board, for governor, or if you’re promoting a ballot measure.
Here are some tips on how to organize a rally.
What’s Most Important?
Clear communication! Make sure your AV arrangements are spot on because if people cannot see you well and clearly hear your message, what’s the point? More on that later, but first, let’s back up a bit. There are several steps to take before you consider those AV requirements.
Why Host a Rally?
Knowing what you want to accomplish will help you put all the right details in place. A rally is a great way to kick things off. The candidate, whether that be you or someone you are supporting, can introduce themselves and express their views on key issues. This allows people to get to know the candidate and rally with those who already support them. Plus, it's a good way to get publicity with local media. Rallies are also a good way to win a constituent's vote as Election Day draws near.
Pick the Right Location
It could be a stadium, a city park, in front of your own business or a supporter’s, but it should be:
- Just big enough to hold the crowd you expect — nothing makes your popularity more obvious in photos and in the media than Standing Room Only!
- Properly permitted — even if you aren’t using public property, you may need permits for noise, etc. Without permits, your rally won’t happen, so find out what you’ll need right away and submit those forms and fees on time.
- Practical — details like parking and portable toilets matter to attendees.
Pull out all the stops to get folks there — social media, email, posters, personal invitations, and don’t forget to formally invite the media with a press release a week in advance.
Make it Visual, and Make it Fun
- Arm the audience with placards, post banners, and signs on and behind the podium.
- Invite a couple of local “names” who support the candidate to serve as warm-up acts before you speak. They can boost the candidate's credibility and excite the audience.
- Keep remarks on point — focus on the one or two key issues of the campaign message, not the full agenda.
- Keep things brief — the point is to excite the audience and leave them wanting more.
So, About Those AV Requirements
Most political campaigns have to watch their budgets, but this is not the place to pinch pennies. Working with a professional audio expert can save you time and ensure you have exactly what you need. No improvising. And if your venue is large and you need monitors, expanded sound systems, video, or lighting, having pros on your team will make it all flawless.