Consider the Possibilities

Republican Convention in Cleveland Offers Variety of Marketing Opportunities

In less than five months, Cleveland will take the world stage as host of the Republican National Convention (RNC). Whether your politics are red, blue or some shade in between, it’s important to understand the magnitude of the event coming to Ohio July 18 – 21:

  • 50,000 delegates, media representatives, business leaders, politicians and celebrities
  • $400 million in economic benefits
  • 16,200 hotel rooms needed

Given this scope, the Convention is more than a political event – it’s a potential marketing opportunity that extends beyond Cleveland’s plans to reintroduce itself to the world. This mega-event offers a forum for a variety of companies, causes and communities to tell their stories. Consider the possibilities:

Media Relations

More than 15,000 reporters, editors and producers will be coming to northeast Ohio to cover the Convention. That is three times more than cover the Super Bowl each year. Only the Olympics draw a larger contingent of credentialed media. Quicken Loans Arena is undergoing a $20 million makeover to become a full-scale media production center.

How does this provide a marketing opportunity? While reporters will be focused on the Convention over those four days, they might be open to visiting a company or destination before or after the convention. In addition, many of these reporters will be coming back to Ohio, a key election battleground state, during the final months leading up to the November 8 election.

These reporters will be looking for ways to illustrate traditional themes the campaigns must address, such as innovative ways to improve economic growth, job creation, education and healthcare. And, they might pursue interesting-but-unrelated topics relevant to their audiences. Fahlgren Mortine has associates from our Cleveland office actively participating on the Visiting Media Subcommittee, which gives us valuable insight into how the media presence is taking shape.

At the Convention: Sponsorships and Events

There are a wide range of sponsorships, events and advertising specifically related to the Convention. Given the maze of options, it’s essential to have well-defined goals to ensure marketing funds are invested wisely.

This includes a swirl of events in and around the Convention, such as receptions, cocktail parties, CEO speeches and more – all competing for attention and many of the same attendees. Organizers anticipate 1,200 events will be booked in the region.

Planning a successful event to cut through the clutter will require thorough planning and precise promotion to attract the right audience. Given the chaotic environment, logistical support – boots on the ground – will be critical to securing meeting space and getting all the details in place to make a great impression. The Local Host Committee provides a good starting point with background about the Convention and the city as well as tips for planning your trip, finding suppliers, volunteering and more.

Beyond the RNC: Marketing to Visitors

With visitors from around the country, the Convention provides the potential to reach new audiences and make a lasting impact. It’s a one-time-only opportunity for communities where delegates will be housed as well as nearby tourism or recreational sites and other businesses.

Creating a viable marketing plan requires insights into the attendees and the demands on their time. Given the nature of the audience, combining traditional marketing flair with political savvy can ensure a well-targeted, effective outreach plan.

Our lengthy presidential campaigns can seem like they’ll never end. But, rest assured, July 18 will be here before you know it. If you see a marketing opportunity in or around the RNC, now is the time to act.


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