You may have noticed that the US is gearing up for the upcoming presidential election. It seems that political campaigning never stops. For this election year the Republicans have selected Cleveland and the Democrats chose Philadelphia to host their respective nominating conventions. Regardless of which party wins the general election both convention cities stand to gain economically. And there’s also the ripple effect that the cities can expect over the next several years as they are spruced up and looking their very best (another benefit of hosting the convention). What stands out over and above normal conferences and conventions is security. Due to the high profile delegates attending the conventions, security plays a pivotal role in the initial planning. Pretty much everything else revolves around how it will be handled by security.
Political Event Planning for the RNC Convention
- The RNC Cleveland convention runs from July 18-21, 2016.
- The Host Committee has contracted for more than 16,000 hotel rooms, nearly 95 percent are within 35 miles of Downtown Cleveland.
- The Convention will bring 50,000 people to town for about five days.
- The convention will contribute $400 million in economic impact.
- $20 million for a media facility at the Quicken Loans Arena(the Q).
- $30 million telecommunications and network updates to the Q.
Political Event Planning for the DNC Convention
- The DNC Philadelphia convention runs from July 25-28, 2016 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, with some events at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
- Expecting between 35,000 to 50,000 attendees, 6,000 delegates, 15,000 to 20,000 media
- $350 million in economic impact.
- 15,000 rooms at 88 hotels in the area (over 100,000 room nights).
- $60 million in costs to stage the event.
- The Democrats have a goal of seeing 35 percent of contracts go to diverse businesses, defined as those owned by women, minorities, people with disabilities, veterans or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Both convention cities created construction and other service jobs in the 2 years leading up to the conventions. On top of that, the national and international media exposure to the hosts cities generate tourism revenue for several years following the conventions.
Both political conventions are classified as a National Special Security Event (NSSE). This means that the Secret Service and The Department of Homeland Security oversee the security needs. Other National Special Security Events include presidential inaugurations, State of the Union speeches, the Super Bowl – and even some NASCAR races.
However some economists argue that the overall local economic impact doesn’t take into account that many local businesses lose whenever a major event, such as a political convention, are in town.