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Republican National Convention offers opportunities for diversely owned businesses

December 19, 2022
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At the MARKETPLACE Wisconsin conference, Peggy Williams-Smith and Alison Prange presented about opportunities for diverse businesses to bid on contracts for the 2024 Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

One of the largest and highest-profile events ever to grace the City of Milwaukee will take place in late summer 2024, when the Republican National Committee brings its presidential nominating convention to Wisconsin.

According to guest speakers at MARKETPLACE Wisconsin, the Governor’s Conference on Diverse Business Development, in early December, the Republican National Convention also presents a unique business and growth opportunity for diversely owned businesses.

Speaking at MARKETPLACE, Alison Prange, senior advisor to the CEO of the MKE 2024 Host Committee, and Peggy Williams-Smith, CEO of Visit Milwaukee, previewed some of the many opportunities and benefits for diversely owned businesses.

Republican National Convention by the Numbers

It’s staggering to envision the size and impact of this event on Milwaukee and Wisconsin. Consider the following:

  • Delegates and others will come from all 50 states and six territories.
  • In total, the Host Committee expects more than 45,000 people to visit our state for the convention.
  • The convention will require more than 16,000 hotel rooms, ranging from Janesville to the south to Sheboygan to the north and Madison to the west.
  • 15,000 journalists will come to Wisconsin to cover the convention, some of them days and weeks in advance, presenting an incredible opportunity to showcase our state.

“The City of Milwaukee’s agreement with the Republican National Committee and the MKE 2024 Host Committee includes benefits for certified minority-owned businesses,” Prange told the MARKETPLACE luncheon crowd. “Staging a successful event for a convention of this size demands an incredible range of services, and there will be opportunities for diverse businesses to fulfill those needs.” To illustrate the incredible variety of services required, Prange cited everything from hospitality and entertainment to printing and construction services.

The Host Committee is working closely with Visit Milwaukee, the city’s convention and tourism bureau, to ensure the convention’s success. Although the groups are still nearly a year away from actively soliciting proposals, Prange urged diversely owned businesses to start preparing early. “Although Milwaukee’s agreement with the Republican National Committee and the MKE 2024 Host Committee stipulates preferences for diversely owned businesses, those that are competing for contracts will need to demonstrate that they’re qualified to receive those advantages,” she said. “That will require minority business certification from a qualified local, state or federal organization. I urge diverse businesses interested in seizing this opportunity to start the certification process soon, if they’re not certified already, and for those that are, to ensure that their certifications are active and up to date.”

Willliams-Smith’s organization is already putting tools in place to help potential contractors stay abreast of convention-related announcements. She invited businesses and others to subscribe to their RNC-dedicated newsletter to receive regular updates and first notice of contracting opportunities as they’re announced.

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