Republican National Convention
The August 2012 convention should be a business bonanza for Tampa and Florida.
For the Republican Party, the convention in Tampa is an opportunity to showcase the GOP presidential nominee. For the Tampa Bay Host Committee, the GOP extravaganza is a chance to show off the Tampa Bay region and Florida before a captive audience of thousands of attendees from 49 other states for four days.
"We want to make sure we project a favorable image and business climate to all of the delegates and guests and visitors that will be here the week of the convention," says Ken Jones, president of the host committee.
Kathleen Shanahan has been drumming up convention sponsors.
Throughout the fall, Jones and Shanahan have been crisscrossing the state, selling a range of customized sponsorship opportunities to Florida companies, including a promotion allowing a company to have its corporate logo emblazoned across the T-shirts of 7,500 volunteers. The host committee also plans to book sponsors for everything from the lanyards that hold attendees' convention credentials, delegate and media gift bags, and even the backs of hotel key cards.
The host committee also has been assembling a vendor directory to give local businesses an opportunity to provide products, services and staffing for the event. Local vendors will be needed to assist with everything from construction and technical build-out to catering and transportation. Businesses interested in adding their names to that database can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.