April 02, 2024


Why should my organization plan a fly-in trip to Washington, D.C.?

The main purpose of a fly-in trip to the nation’s capital is to bring business advocates from your city or state for meetings with legislators and policymakers about issues that are important to the local business community. These trips provide an opportunity for your business leaders to advocate for local, state, and regional issues that are important for business growth and job creation. They can also help business leaders gain access to, and build relationships with, key decision-makers and administration officials.

What are some benefits of planning and attending a fly-in trip?

There are several benefits for both the organization hosting the fly-in, as well as for the attendees.

Benefits for the host organization:

  • Advocacy: Fly-in trips provide an opportunity for business leaders to advocate for local, state, regional, and federal issues that are important for business growth and job creation.
  • Membership Benefit: Hosting a fly-in is a valuable membership benefit and can be used as a tool to engage prospective new members as well.
  • Non-Dues Revenue Opportunity: Many organizations use these trips to generate both sponsorship and attendee revenue.
  • Exposure: Fly-in trips help showcase your organization’s advocacy work and can be highlighted on social media and by your local media.

Benefits for the attendees:

  • Networking: Fly-in trips can provide business leaders with a platform to network with other business owners and professionals in their community. By attending a fly-in trip with your organization, your attendees can gain access to a network of fellow small business owners, community leaders, government officials, business prospects, and more.
  • Learning Opportunities: Fly-in trips provide your attendees with learning opportunities on a variety of topics, such as policy issues, industry trends, and best practices.
  • Exposure: Fly-in trips can provide your attendees with exposure to new markets, customers, and partners.
  • Access to Key Decision-Makers: A visit to our nation’s capital can help business leaders gain access to key decision-makers and administration officials, including Members of Congress and leaders from federal agencies.

Why should we meet with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during our fly-in trip?

To support chambers of commerce and trade associations with their fly-in, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce offers the Washington, D.C. Fly-In Program, which provides member organizations with access to top U.S. Chamber policy and advocacy experts for a program tailored specifically to their business priorities.

Any dues-paying member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce may request a briefing from U.S. Chamber policy and advocacy experts during their fly-in trip.

Our experts can explain important policy issues and answer questions in a relaxed, informal setting to prepare fly-in attendees for meetings with legislators and other key decision-makers. In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides business leaders with a platform to network with other business owners and professionals in their community. 

What are some tips to make a successful fly-in trip?

  •  Plan your trip well in advance to ensure that you have enough time to schedule meetings with policymakers and other key decision-makers.
  • Determine the purpose of your trip and set goals for what you want to achieve.
  • Create an attractive promotional package that includes information about the event, the expected number of attendees, the demographics of the attendees, and the benefits of attending the event.
  • Promote your event through social media, email marketing, and other channels. You can also partner with other organizations to help promote your event.
  • Engage attendees by providing informative sessions, networking opportunities, and other benefits that will make their experience worthwhile.
  • Follow up with attendees after the event to get feedback and determine the success of the trip.
  • Stay organized by keeping track of your itinerary, meetings, and other important details to help you plan your next fly-in.

How do I start planning a fly-in trip to Washington, D.C.?

Decide what you want to achieve from your trip. Determine your key advocacy priorities and how you will communicate them with legislators and policymakers.

Once you have determined the purpose of your trip, choose the dates that work best for you. Keep in mind that Washington, D.C. can be crowded during peak tourist season (March to June), and hotel prices can be higher. If you’re planning to meet with your Congressional representatives, check the House and Senate calendars to make sure they’ll be in session.

You can book flights to Washington, D.C. through any major airline or travel website. The city has three airports: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).

There are many hotels and other accommodation options in Washington, D.C. You can use travel websites such as Expedia,, or TripAdvisor to find the best deals. We also have a separate article detailing our recommendations.

Washington, D.C. has many attractions and landmarks to explore. You can arrange visits to the National Mall, which includes the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the United States Capitol. We also have information on how you can request Congressional and White House meetings and tours.

While in Washington, D.C., your group can use public transportation such as the Metro or the bus system to get around the city. You can also use cabs or ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft.

Washington, D.C. has a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Make sure to pack clothes that are appropriate for the season and comfortable shoes for walking. Suggested dress code for meetings, dinners, and receptions is business casual.