Democratic National Convention looking for diversity in vendors
The vendor registration forms for businesses, service providers and suppliers to sign up and join the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia (DNC) are now open and the host committee is looking for diversity.
“Our goal is to make this convention the most inclusive yet, and we encourage any businesses and suppliers interested in participating to register,” said Kevin Washo, executive director of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee.
The online registration form allows businesses and suppliers to submit contact information and categorical specialties for vendor opportunities related to the convention.
“We are looking for vendors related to everything a convention needs,” said Tiffany Newmuis, director of diversity and community engagement for the host committee.
The full list of needed services includes catering, event rentals, audio and video production, entertainment, information technology, legal services and travel agencies, just to name a few.
“The folks that register are really raising their hands to say I’m here and I’m ready to do business around the convention,” Newmuis said.
The resulting vendor directory will be used for contract consideration by the host committee, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) and third parties interested in holding events around the convention. Some vendors will be selected through RFPs listed on the host committee’s website.
According to Newmuis, the convention provides a unique opportunity for local businesses to showcase their goods, services and expertise on the national stage.
The host committee anticipates 50,000 people from diverse backgrounds will attend the convention July 25–28, 2016, at the Wells Fargo Center and the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
“The strategy in ensuring that we have diverse vendors is not only to be reflective of the visitors that are going to be in Philadelphia that week but also to showcase all of what the city has to offer, and that includes our diverse communities, neighborhoods and businesses,” Newmuis said.
The host committee started collecting contact information for its vendor database last month, and encouraging diverse business owners — minorities, women, veterans, and members of the LGBT and disabled communities — to register.
“We have over 500 vendors currently registered in the directory just in the soft launch,” Newmuis said.
Starting in the fall, the host committee will be doing a series of outreach meetings and working with local partners like the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GPHCC) to ensure that the message gets delivered to diverse communities.
“This is a huge opportunity for Philadelphia and a huge economic benefit to our city,” Newmuis said. “Engaging diverse communities in making this the best 2016 convention means more business for Philadelphia as a city and as a region in the future.”