Milwaukee-area businesses looking to cash in on the $250 million economic impact expected from the 2024 Republican National Convention can now sign up to join an online directory that will be provided to convention groups coming to town.
The RNC's local host committee
announced the launch of its Vendor Connection portal at a press conference Thursday at Sherman Phoenix Marketplace in Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood. Committee and city officials, including Mayor Cavalier Johnson, encouraged businesses of all kinds to submit their information at mke2024host.org/vendors
"Our goal with the Vendor Connection is to drive lasting economic impact across the greater Milwaukee area and the state of Wisconsin," said Alison Prange, chief of staff and senior advisor for the MKE 2024 Host Committee. "We are excited to showcase Milwaukee’s small businesses to the world and are hopeful that the impact of the convention will stretch beyond 2024."
Leading up to the convention, taking place July 15-18, 2024, the host committee will use the information to build a database where individuals and groups associated with the convention can search for services ranging from event production and cleaning to lodging and parking.
Following the convention, the database will be taken over by VISIT Milwaukee, which will provide the information to other convention and meeting planners bringing events here, ensuring "the convention's impact goes well beyond 2024," said Peggy Williams-Smith, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee.
"Believe me, our leads have more than doubled since we announced hosting the 2024 RNC so we're looking forward to sharing that wealth with all of the different hospitality and tourism entities in the city," said Williams-Smith.
Businesses that submit their information to the portal will receive email updates from the host committee highlighting available opportunities.
The MKE 2024 Host Committee's website was designed by Milwaukee-based marketing agency Zizzo Group
, which has already felt the impact of convention-related business.
"In just a couple of months, Zizzo Group's partnership with the host committee has opened new doors with clients, it's made us an employer of choice with prospective employees and, altruistically, the partnership is reinforcing our brand and pushing us toward our mission to give back and make Milwaukee a better place to live, work and play," said the firm's founder and CEO Anne Zizzo.