Thursday Buzz: Cleveland Prepares for GOP Convention

Serious event planning is underway for events around the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this July. Plus: The head of a major airline group offers his two cents on industry regulation.

Politics aside, the 2016 Republican National Convention, taking place in Cleveland in July, presents some unique challenges for event planners.

After all, such a large event—50,000 people are expected to attend the GOP convention, along with 15,000 media, other outside political attendees, and possible protesters—raises several security concerns, particularly in light of already-tense protests at rallies and two terrorist attacks abroad in the past four months.

“Our goal is to develop and implement, with the numerous participating agencies, a seamless security plan that will create a safe and secure environment for our protectees, other dignitaries, event participants and the general public,” Secret Service Spokesman Kevin Dye told Politico.

Of particular concern is managing what could be a large number of protesters. Past Republican conventions have seen protest numbers from 1,000 in Tampa, Florida, in 2012, to 100,000 in New York City in 2004.

To prepare for a potential influx, Cleveland is not only preparing its 5,000 officers but also is calling for additional support from regional cities. In addition, the city has $50 million in federal support at hand and, with that, it’s looking to purchase  2,000 sets of riot gear and security steel barriers.

Beyond security, others are working to ensure that business as usual goes on during the convention. For example, local hotels,  many of which are completely sold out due to convention-goers, are doing their best to accommodate everyone.

Quote of the Day

Take a look into this man’s thoughts. On the topic of setting universal industry standards, International Air Transport Association Director General and CEO Tony Tyler argued that it was important to take care on regulatory issues.

“We’ve got to be very careful that we don’t re-regulate the industry. There are some warning bells ringing in the U.S. where there are legislators saying that the industry should be re-regulated on these kinds of things. I think that would be a very bad idea,” he said to travel site Skift. “The U.S. led the world in de-regulating the industry. Many, many years ago IATA used to get involved in defining the size of the sandwich in Economy class. All of that stuff has quite rightly been stripped away, and the market now determines these things. It’s the market that should be left to determine these things.”

Links for Your Day

Expand your social strategy. Content and social media managers shouldn’t just use Facebook and Twitter in building their social strategies, nonprofit adviser Kivi Leroux Miller suggests.

Events these days require much more than a physical presence. There’s this thing called a “digital integrated experience.” Adam Azor, the senior vice president of Jack Morton Worldwide, writes of its importance for EventBrite.

While focusing on today, event planners have to look to the future. Kevin Jackson, the president of the UK chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES), takes a dive into what’s to come in the next two decades.

A scene from the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. (PBS Newshour/Flickr)

Patrick deHahn

By Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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