Plan Ahead: Submit your invitation as far in advance as possible. Be ready to follow up by phone in order to get in direct touch with the staff member who handles the Congressperson’s schedule. It is a good idea to plan your event during Congressional recesses. Check out the recess schedule.
If you are asking an elected official to be a part of your program, be prepared that you might not get an immediate commitment. Decide early whether or not you will accept a surrogate in place of the elected official and how long you can wait to get a commitment. Having a staff member represent the legislator at your organization gives you the opportunity to educate a policy leader.