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  • Writer's pictureWhitney Libby

2020 Political Campaigns Have To Evolve

Updated: Aug 18, 2020

The pandemic has forced many industries to pivot virtually, almost overnight.  Educators have moved teaching online, and our supply chain has, according to an eMarketer survey, seen an 18% increase in ecommerce purchases vs brick and mortar sales. Perhaps the least talked about industry needing to think differently this year is the political one.  Candidates and campaign managers with an election this year are faced with the new challenge of reaching constituents with a message that resonates with how human behavior has shifted over the past 6 months.

So, what are the "traditional" campaign tactics for context? Door knocking, town halls, rallies and print and tv advertising are all strategies candidates used in prior elections.  With the health and safety concerns at the forefront of the pandemic -- and many people still uncomfortable being in public even where states have opened -- these traditional campaign approaches may no longer be the most viable tools for politicians in the 2020 election. 

Town halls and rallies are both, at their core, live events.  The events industry has been through an amazing transformation this year as live events have pivoted to virtual or hybrid experiences.  For this year’s political campaigns, there are some great benefits to going virtual or hybrid in nature (beyond just the health and safety aspects).  Here are a couple:

1) Reach: Candidates are no longer limited to the physical capacities associated with room and venue restrictions in the live world. In the virtual world, they could reach more constituents at each touchpoint during a virtual or hybrid event. 

2) Data: Candidates have access to more critical voter insights in the virtual or hybrid world.  You can see who has attended your events and run polling within platforms to get vital feedback on your policies.

But, can you hold live events if you want to?  Well, that depends on many factors, including state regulations and CDC guidelines for group sizes.  Assuming your state is open, you can plan events within specific size restrictions.  Vital best practices must be put in place to execute the live events in the safest possible manner, like ensuring you avoid congestion in hallways when people exit the venue at the end of the event for example. Detailed safety protocols must be in place to handle ongoing social distancing, in addition to managing sanitization, ensuring masks are worn, and introducing temperature checks. 

At the end of the day, there are many new ways to effectively campaign in this new world.  Next Level Events has studied this space extensively and can help any candidate drive their election goals with tailored approaches that make sense for them, their region, and most importantly, their constituents.

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