The lobbyist’s survival guide to the conventions

September 7, 2012, 4:05 AM UTC

FORTUNE — The Ritz-Carlton has served as the unofficial clubhouse for Democratic mandarins all week here in Charlotte. It’s where I ran into a top corporate lobbyist wrapping up his fifth consecutive Democratic convention and asked him his rules for making the most of these events.

1. “Block out a quarter of your day for sleep. 6 hours. That’s all you need to make it through the week. Your waking hours are at a premium here. Catch up on sleep when you get home.”

2. “You can do late-night or you can do mornings, but you can’t do both. It’s not a crime to have fun. So I missed a breakfast. BFD. My day starts at noon. “

3. “Some people watch the speeches from their hotel bar. Would you go to Augusta and watch the Masters on TV? It’s an experience. Get a suite in the arena. Go, sit down, watch.”

4. “If you’re going to host an event, have three things: booze, bathrooms, and a taxi cab stand.”

5. “Smart people stick with H20. This is a marathon. You’ve got to stay hydrated.”