You know that saying, "First impressions are everything?" Well, campaign offices definitely make an impression. They're known for their eclectic collection of art and knick-knacks, and the decor is usually the first thing volunteers notice when they come through the door. You want your office to feel like a place that represents you and your campaign. I know that I really enjoy campaign decor that's functional AND fun, so here are a few ways I like to define the space (and invite volunteers to join in):
- Use signs or decorations to intentionally define space. Colorful signs and posters can help you break up an otherwise large and unwieldy space. For example, you can set up a table with signage directing canvassers to pick up their instructions and materials for canvassing. (That trick can also help maintain an organized office during regular campaign days, and set you up for an easy transition during GOTV.)
- Create an office wish-list. You'll probably have folks who want to help out and get something for the office. Make a list of your needs so they know what to get! Put up a sheet of butcher paper, and leave space for anybody in the office to list some of the things they would like to have. Volunteers can pick items to donate. A wish list can help you get that coveted space heater or laminator, instead of another 15 boxes of donuts.
- Turn a simple icebreaker into an artistic endeavor. All you need are copies of a map (could be your state with counties, your district with precincts/neighborhoods, or a US map with state lines drawn in), red and blue markers/crayons/colored pencils. Whenever you have a new volunteer starting, have them color in their version of what the electoral map is going to look like when you win! Take a photo of the volunteer with the map, and post it on the wall. Volunteers can compare maps, get to know one another, and visualize how important their work is.
Decorating your office can be a great way to make volunteers and staff feel like they're contributing not only to the physical space, but to the health, community and spirit of the campaign.
Have tips for decorating your campaign office? Share with us in the comments.
Namita Waghray is Logistics Coordinator at NOI.