The political parties and their leaders get a few days each year when they are guaranteed to be the centre of attention.
These are the party conferences. MPs, councillors and party activists head off to a big city or a seaside town for three or four days to hold debates, socialise and, sometimes, make decisions.
But that doesn’t guarantee they’re going to get the coverage they want.
For example, party leaders carefully craft their conference speeches to deliver a specific message.
But what we remember about Theresa May’s speech at last year’s Conservative conference was her coughing fit, a comedian attempting to hand her a P45 and the letters falling off a backdrop behind her.
What’s more, party leaders don’t have total control over events.
Boris Johnson will be attending the Conservative conference this year, and there will be a lot of discussion about whether he would make a better Prime Minister than Mrs May. She would no-doubt prefer him to stay at home.
The Labour conference is likely to include debate about whether to hold a second referendum on Brexit – even though the party leadership appear to oppose one (though their position might change).
Here's what to expect this year:
The Liberal Democrats are holding their conference in Brighton, and it began on Saturday September 15.
Big issues will include leader Vince Cable’s plan to transform the party into a “movement of moderates”. That includes inviting people who aren’t members to help the Lib Dems choose a new leader.
The next week, Labour hold their conference in Liverpool.
Controversial issues will include Labour’s Democracy Review, designed to hand more power to party members.
And the party will discuss proposals for “mandatory reselection” of MPs, a policy which supporters prefer to call “open selection”. This would involve forcing sitting MPs to go through a selection process whenever there is an election, so other people have the chance to apply to be Labour’s candidate
Tories, meeting the week after that, are likely to argue about the type of Brexit they want, with some MPs and members opposed to Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposals.
And everyone will be aware that Mrs May may stand down as party leader, or to be kicked out by her fellow Conservative MPs, in the not-so-distant future,
She probably won’t go until some time after we leave the EU, on March 29 next year.
Even so, a question people will be asking when the Tories hold their conference in Birmingham is this: who should replace her?