The Internet Infrastructure (i2) Coalition and Engine Advocacy recently organized separate but overlapping delegations of internet hardware and founders, respectively, to DC. Three weeks back, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SLVG) did the same, with a wider range of CEOs.
These groups set up discussion groups with elected officials and staff to explain the backgrounds of those who are attending and have conversations about a variety of issues. Often, the groups go through intensive preparation on issues that are likely to come up, as well as how to relate their own personal stories to the issues of the group.
These delegations are extremely common for politically mature industries. Washington DC is overwhelmed by the amount of information coming in, as well as by their responsibilities as a governing city. The best way to draw attention to a set of issues is to have face-to-face discussions, which means bringing the experts to DC.
The outcomes are that staff are more aware that a problem has a certain amount of urgency to be fixed according to the community that it affects. They also generally learn about proposed solutions to problems facing that community. Finally, they learn who various experts are to turn to when trying to solve other problems that affect that community.
These delegation trips to DC are a very effective way to persuade politicians.