MILWAUKEE — We are less than 300 days away from the 2020 Democratic National Convention. The Milwaukee-based DNC Host Committee invited local venues to learn about opportunities at an information forum at the Italian Community Center Friday. Organizers are not just recruiting big event spaces for July, but also storefronts, offices, gyms, art galleries, salons and restaurants.
There will be approximately 2,000 events that take place, leading up to, and during the convention. The Host Committee is looking to work with venues of every shape and size—traditional and unique—and especially those that showcase Milwaukee’s vibrant dining, arts, and cultural scene. All interested venues are encouraged to sign up through the Host Committee’s venue portal: https://www.milwaukee2020.com/venues
We've learned the Milwaukee Art Museum already has a high-profile customer booked for a party during the convention. As does downtown restaurant group, Hospitality Democracy. Neither will reveal specific details.
"We have politicians, political pacts, advocate groups and states contacting us," said Kristin Godfrey, Vice President of Marketing for Hospitality Democracy. "I'm in the process of budgeting now for 2020, and I'm like how do I budget for this? I know the convention is going to be a huge opportunity, but we don't know exactly how big in terms of our bottom line, just yet. Just how big will it be? We will need to hire more people, and that's going to be both exciting and challenging from a training standpoint..."
The Host Committee wants to make sure workers, restaurants and event venues in all areas of the city and suburbs are represented. They are putting a focus on minority and women-owned spaces.
To prepare venues, caterers and vendors throughout the community to be a part of the historic convention, Friday's information forum included a unique panel discussion with experts from previous conventions and the Super Bowl. Those experts were Diane Downing, former chief operating officer for the Cleveland Host Committee; Andrea Mokros, former vice president of communications and events for the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee; and Angela Val, former deputy executive director for the Philadelphia Host Committee.
"You're going to want to put your best foot forward no matter what your party affiliation is, no matter how you feel about a particular candidate," Val said. "That is not what it's about . Many people will learn about your city for the very first time. You will be all over television and social media every single moment for about a week's time, and that can often spark the interest of other big national events looking for a host city."
If you have any questions, you are urged to email the Host Committee at email@example.com