by Office of Presidential Advance
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Table of Contents:
• I. Introduction to Advance
• II: The Role of Advance: Office and Team Structure
• III: Types of Presidential Events, Building the Event Site, and Technical Requirements
• IV: Building the Local Organization and Working with Vendors
• V. Crowd-Raising and Ticket Distribution
• VI. Press Advance
• VII. Backstage and "The Announce"
• VIII. The President's Schedule, Scenarios, and Diagrams
• IX. Other Agencies and Divisions: White House Military Office, United States Secret Service and White House Office of Administration
• X. Hotel Advance
• XI. Motorcade Procedures
• XII. Quick References
o Advance Checklists
o Important Callers/Contact List
o Flag Etiquette
o Advance Glossaries
o Press Advance Materials
o Sample Event Diagram
o Sample Event Scenario
o Chronology of an Advance Trip
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The President participates in various types of events. However, the principles and guidelines covered in this manual can be applied to any type of event. Common events are speeches (to both large and small groups), rallies, roundtable meetings and tours.
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Section V. Crowd Raising and Ticket Distribution
The Lead Advance will assign a member of the Advance Team or trusted volunteer to help raise the crowd and to organize a ticket distribution system. Proper ticket distribution is vital to creating a well-balanced crowd and deterring potential protestors from attending events. The amount and type of tickets will be determined on an event basis by the Lead Advance and the Advance Office. Each ticket type will be numbered in order to track distribution and facilitate the placement of groups or people at the event. Distribution Tickets will be sent to the Lead Advance for distribution. The Office of Presidential Advance, the Office of Political Affairs, and the division responsible for the event will determine the distribution groups. In most cases, tickets should be distributed from the Advance Staff office. The Lead Advance will choose a trusted local volunteer to handle the actual distribution of tickets. Groups will be allocated tickets by number and must sign for tickets upon pick-up. Groups should be encouraged to request only the amount of tickets that they can use and tickets that are not issued must be returned to the Lead Advance.
Typically, tickets will be divided into two different categories. In some cases, depending on the type and event size, there will be additional categories added. There will also be an additional15-20 percent above the tickets ordered printed in order to ensure that the event is full and there are no empty seats or areas. The categories are:
VIP: These tickets should be used to highlight a group involved in the theme of event and in limited numbers to members of the State Party, Local Officials, the Host of the Event, or other groups extremely supportive of the Administration. These seats are usually located behind the podium or in the area between the stage and the main camera platform.
GENERAL: Tickets distributed as general seating. These tickets represent the bulk of the seating at large events. Ticket Collection Ticket collection at events should take place prior to the magnetometer checkpoint. Volunteers should be used to form the crowd into lines, check for signs or protestors, and to remove the stubs on official tickets. Homemade signs are not allowed at events.
Always be prepared for demonstrators, even if the local organization tells you that there will not be any. It is the responsibility of the Lead Advance to have in place an effective plan for dealing with demonstrators.
As mentioned, all Presidential events must be ticketed or accessed by a name list. This is the best method for preventing demonstrators. People who are obviously going to try to disrupt the event can be denied entrance at least to the VIP area between the stage and the main camera platform. That does, not mean that supporters without tickets cannot be given tickets at the door and gain entrance to the event. It is also not the responsibility of the Secret Service to check the tickets of the people entering. They are concerned whether the person is a threat physically to The President and not a heckler. It is important to have your volunteers at a checkpoint before the Magnetometers in order to stop a demonstrator from getting into the event. Look for signs that they may be carrying, and if need be, have volunteers check for folded cloth signs that demonstrators may be bringing to the event.
For fundraising events, [redacted]
Preparing for Demonstrators
There are several ways the advance person can prepare a site to minimize demonstrators. First, as always, work with the Secret Service and have them ask the local police department to designate a protest area where demonstrators can be placed, preferably not in view of the event site or motorcade route.
The formation of "rally squads" is a common way to prepare for demonstrators by countering their message. This tactic involves utilizing small groups of volunteers to spread favorable messages using large hand held signs, placards, or perhaps a long sheet banner, and placing them in strategic areas around the site.
These squads should be instructed always to look for demonstrators. The rally squad's task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform. If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protestors (USA!, USA!, USA!). As a last resort, security should remove the demonstrators from the event site. The rally squads can include, but are not limited to, college/young republican organizations, local athletic teams, and fraternities/sororities.
For larger rallies, the squads should be broken up into groups of approximately 15-25 people. A squad should be placed immediately in front of the stage, immediately in front of the main camera platform, close to the cut platform, immediately behind the stage area (if people are being used as the backdrop), and at least one squad should be 'roaming' throughout the perimeter of the event to look for potential problems.
Being aware of Demonstrators
It is important for the Advance Team and all volunteers to be on the lookout for potential demonstrators. Volunteers should be instructed to contact the Advance person onsite (whether it is the Lead, Press or Site Advance) when they see demonstrators. Always check with local police, to inquire of any demonstration permits issued prior to a visit.
Once a group of demonstrators has been identified, the Advance person must decide what action to take. If it is determined that the media will not see or hear them and that they pose no potential disruption to the event, they can be ignored. On the other hand, if the group is carrying signs, trying to shout down the President, or has potential to cause some greater disruption to the event, action needs to be taken immediately to minimize the demonstrator's effect.
Before reacting to demonstrators, the Advance person should inform the rest of the Advance Team, the Tour Director, and the Press Advance Director of the situation. Be prepared to give the number of demonstrators, location(s), a description, and their issue/organization.
If the demonstrators appear to be a security threat notify the Secret Service immediately. If demonstrators appear likely to cause only a political disruption, it is the Advance person's responsibility to take appropriate action. Rally squads should be dispatched to surround and drown out demonstrators immediately.
Remember - avoid physical contact with demonstrators! Most often, the demonstrators want a physical confrontation. Do not fall into their trap! Also, do not do anything or say anything that might result in the physical harm to the demonstrators. Before taking action, the Advance person must decide if the solution would cause more negative publicity than if the demonstrators were simply left alone.
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The White House Office of Administration (OA)
While on the road, you will encounter two classifications of events: Official and Political. Official events are those that the President is participating in on behalf of the Administration. These may include Education, Welfare, Defense or any topic on which the President is introducing or advocating an issue. All costs from these events are handled by OA, regardless of the source of payment. Your OA Representative will be responsible for payment for all costs associated with the event, such as sound, light, staging, pipe and drape, bike rack, etc. It is extremely important that you collect invoices from vendors as soon as possible, allowing you and the OA Representative to review the invoice for inaccuracies and validity.
The OA Representative handles no part of and is not responsible for any cost incurred for a political event. Political events are those held on behalf of a particular candidate or office holder and typically involve fundraising activities. Federal law prohibits OA Representatives from having any participation in such events.
If you are handling the political part of a trip, the Republican National Committee will handle your per diem and expenses.
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