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Meet the Candidates SOP

You will become involved in two elections where you are able to host Meet the Candidate events. These are -

  • Local Board elections - held every 3 years, next elections in 2025
  • General Election - depending on when the Government calls an election but usually every 3 years, next elections expected 2026

We also have past event information with templates in the Google Drive folder. You can find some general guidelines for running a "Meet the Candidates" event from Auckland Council at this link however we also have our own templates.

The timings during your event will be really important however will vary with each event depending on how many candidates you need to get through. In the Google Drive Past Events folder you will find all the templates for both events run in 2022 (Local Board elections) and 2023 (General Election) -

  • Rules and Procedures
  • Timeline
  • MC notes
  • Name tags for candidates
  • Promotional visuals

It is wise to bring in an external MC to run the event and for the Business Manager to be the time keeper. You can use your phone for this but also have the bell in case you need to stop someone who is not playing by the rules!

Event set up

  • Sort your date, venue, etc, book and confirm - ensure you can have a microphone
  • Sort catering if required (usually just tea/coffee/perhaps an open bar for drink purchases depending on venue and time of day) and book
  • Sort your roadside billboards
  • Get all contact details for candidates
  • Contact the candidates inviting them to present at the event
  • Contact Hibiscus Matters and try to secure coverage of the event
  • Sort advertising (for this one it is often good to put a small advert in the local paper since it is open to all the community - this is not a business only event)
  • Work out your timings alongside the MC (this is often hard until you have confirmation from all candidates as to whether they will attend or not)
  • Once a candidate is confirmed advise you'll send out the rules and timings approx 4-5 days before the event
  • Finalise timings and rules
  • Send information to candidates as soon as you are able to finalise to allow them time to prepare (you can give a bit of a heads up to those who ask about approx timings as you'll have some idea of these)
  • Re-confirm your venue, catering, etc

Day of the event

  • Arrive early
  • Set up, you will need to set up candidate chairs in a row across the front and audience chairs in rows with a central aisle
  • Make sure your set up allows easy access to toilets, has a registration table including pens and paper to write questions from the floor and easy access to food and drinks after so chairs don't have to be moved.
  • Have at least 2 people on the door - they need to ensure everybody is aware you will NOT be taking questions from the floor and if they have a question for any particular or all candidates they need to write it on a piece of paper - these will then be submitted to the MC and time keeper to work through best to present/cull any controversial, and work out how much time to allow for responses and how many questions they may be able to get through in the prescribed time.
  • Stick to timings as strictly as possible!
  • Allow time after for candidates to mingle with the audience and enjoy the catering
  • Pack down

After the event

  • Prepare your event report for the BW Executive meeting
  • Organise any reimbursements required.
  • Email a thank you to candidates who attended
  • Arrange to change out your roadside billboards
  • Liaise with Hibiscus Matters (or as required) on public reporting in the media
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