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DNC 2020: Frequently Asked Questions for Businesses

Wondering how the DNC may impact your business? Whether you’re a restaurant determining your hours during the convention, a venue hoping to host events, or another kind of vendor, you’ve come to the right place. Check back often for updated information as it becomes available.

General Business FAQ

What kind of vendors are convention and convention-related planners looking for?
  • Audio/Visual services
  • Bars
  • Caterers
  • Event services
  • Insurance
  • Legal services
  • Printing services
  • Restaurants
  • Security
  • Transportation
  • Venues
If I own venue space but it’s not downtown, will event planners for the convention still be interested in renting it out?

Yes! With over 500 daily events of various sizes, the entire city of Milwaukee will be engaged in hosting events for this convention. This includes Milwaukee's diverse neighborhoods and vibrant suburbs as well as downtown.

Any supplier, including venues, interested in doing business with the DNC committees, please visit: https://www.milwaukee2020.com/venues

What kind of economic impact will the convention have on the area?
Total expected economic impact to the area is $200 million – this includes direct, indirect, and induced spending. Direct spending is the money delegates and attendees pay for hotels, bars, restaurants, car rentals, venue rentals, etc. Indirect spending includes vendors or businesses who have an increase in production because of the convention. Induced spending includes wages paid to workers as a result of the increased business from the convention, that later gets reinvested into the community.
What will the security footprint look like?
The security footprint will cover Cherry Street to Clybourn Street, and 10th Street to Water Street. At this time, no street closures have been announced.

The secure measures for the convention begin the weekend prior to the convention and end immediately following the event. Businesses within the footprint are encouraged to remain open during the run of the convention, and locals and visitors are encouraged to shop, dine, work, and have fun throughout Milwaukee during the convention.
 
Additional security measures will be announced leading up to the convention.
 
When will attendees arrive and leave?
The DNC begins Monday, July 13th, and ends Thursday evening, July 16th. Attendees will likely arrive as soon as Friday, July 10th, and largely leave by Friday, July 17th. However, as businesses ramp up to the event, it is likely that some will begin their set-up as far as 2 weeks prior and take down 1 week after the convention.
Where will the convention take place?
The Convention takes place at the Fiserv Forum in the evening hours. While the final schedule has not been released, traditionally, the hours have been from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m each day.  Delegate breakfasts, smaller caucuses and council meetings will occur during work hours at the Wisconsin Center District campus, area delegate hotels, and various private event locations.
 
Where will convention delegates be spending their time?
Most delegates will spend breakfast hours at their hotel for state delegate meetings. Many delegates will then travel to downtown Milwaukee for various caucuses during the day and all will then travel to the Fiserv Forum for the evening. Following Convention activities, delegates will travel to various private events and/or their hotels. We expect many delegates, their families, and guests will explore Milwaukee's many attractions, restaurants, and diverse neighborhoods throughout their stay.
Will my business be disrupted by the convention?
Milwaukee is open for business during the run of the convention. No businesses will be asked to close during the event and we encourage everyone to come downtown and experience the excitement of the event.

If you are interested in volunteering, click here.
Will it be difficult for people to get around? Will highways or streets be closed during the DNC?
The security footprint will cover Cherry Street to Clybourn Street, and 10th Street to Water Street. At this time, no street closures have been announced.

The secure measures for the convention begin the weekend prior to the convention and end immediately following the event. Businesses within the footprint are encouraged to remain open during the run of the convention, and locals and visitors are encouraged to shop, dine, work, and have fun throughout Milwaukee during the convention.
 
Additional security measures will be announced leading up to the convention.

 
Will there be special parking or towing restrictions?
As we get closer to the event, there should be more information about remote parking and mass transit options for you, your staff, and potential customers.
 

Restaurant FAQ

If I’m a downtown restaurant, when should I expect a rush from convention attendees?

Most delegates will spend breakfast hours at their hotel for state delegate meetings. Many delegates will then travel to downtown Milwaukee for various caucuses during the day and all will then travel to the Fiserv Forum for the evening. Following Convention activities, delegates will travel to various private events and/or their hotels. We expect many delegates, their families, and guests will explore Milwaukee's many attractions, restaurants, and diverse neighborhoods throughout their stay.

Convention activities are expected to end daily at 10 p.m., so you may see a rush of attendees after that time. Guests, families, sponsors, lobbyists, and media will likely seek out food, beverage, and entertainment near normal rush hours. Additionally, Milwaukeeans will need to eat, drink, and entertain as usual.

How should restaurants and bars prepare for the event?
Staff up! Plan your staffing schedules early and consider building a list of reserve staff.

Downtown restaurants should consider late night food offerings and take-out menus.

Hotel Bars/Restaurants should consider a limited late night menu, an extended happy hour menu, or a limited room service menu to accommodate the increased volume of guests. 

The most important thing to remember is that following the Convention guests will be hungry & thirsty. Be creative!

If you are interested in your restaurant being considered for hosting events during the DNC, click here.
If the state legislature passes a bill allowing for the sale of liquor after 2AM, do I have to obtain a permit to sell liquor at my restaurant or bar during those extended hours?
The WRA is currently working on legislation that would allow bars and restaurants to remain open until 4 am during the week of the convention. We will update this website and our partners once we know more.
Should I change my private space rental and menu prices?
Milwaukee’s hospitality community has long been known to offer incredible food and beverage experiences at a great value to event attendees. This should still be true for the events of 2020. After all, event planners know that you get more for your money in Milwaukee and that’s part of why they chose our city for their event.