Dress for Success at the RESULTS Conference

July 16, 2013
by Myrdin Thompson, RESULTS U.S. Poverty Organizer

Can you believe it? It’s finally here! After months of anticipation, the 2013 RESULTS International Conference begins this weekend.

For some of you, this will be your first RESULTS conference and first trip to “the Hill.” It's an exciting time as you make final plans, and in order to make your conference a success please take a moment to check out our resources on the RESULTS conference page. We have a great conference planned – most of which will take place in the hotel. This means wearing business casual to casual wear. While the weather gods may be cooperating with us this year, with temps on the 80s forecasted (fingers crossed), please remember that DC will still hot and humid. Many conference attendees know to dress in layers. As is often the case, the hotel AC will be running, so a light sweater or jacket for when you are in the building is probably not a bad idea.

As for our Lobby Day at the Hill, please plan to dress professionally. Would you want to be known as the one person who wore brown corduroys and a hoodie to a meeting? That was me on my first visit to DC as an advocate. I've never forgotten how embarrassed I felt and I only wish someone from my team had offered good advice on what to pack for that day. Your lobby meetings are about making the case for the end of poverty, but they are also about relationship building so that you can keep having opportunities to share what’s important. The best way to do that is to make sure that your meetings stay focused on the message and not the messenger. 

Also, bring comfortable dress shoes. There’s a good chance you will be walking between the House and Senate office buildings several times throughout the course of Lobby Day. Many women pack flats and switch shoes before meetings, but if you don't have a large tote, this might prove cumbersome. And don't pick that Tuesday to wear a brand new pair of shoes! Again, speaking from experience, you don't want to be the one limping behind the group, waving them on, telling them to “go ahead and start the meeting without me.”

Finally, always be ready for your close up. Many advocates will get pictures taken with their members of Congress. A picture tells a thousand words, and when you want to share that story with the press back home, that picture will help sell the story. Plus, sending a copy of that group photo is a great way to follow up with your meeting with congressional staff.

Can't wait to see you in just a few days as we “talk poverty” together to “end poverty” and get RESULTS!

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