The 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee for the Republican National Convention is celebrating the success of the 2012 Republican National Convention.
More than 50,000 guests, including media, delegates and elected officials, descended on Tampa Bay over the course of the last week, and the economic impact to the area is expected to be worth $175 to 200 million. In addition, the economic “multiplier” effect will likely result in an economic impact that will be even more significant.
“Tampa Bay took center stage this week for an event that captured the international spotlight, and Tampa Bay was showcased like never before,” said Host Committee President and CEO Ken Jones. “Visitors to Tampa Bay were treated to a first-class Convention, great venues and warm hospitality from our local community. I know without a doubt that we have left a lasting impression in the minds of those who have visited, and I am certain they will leave wanting to come back again and again.”
“I’ve never been prouder of Tampa. We hosted a great event while the world’s eyes were on us, and the thousands of visitors left seeing the best we have to offer,” said City of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “This was our time to shine, and we rose to the occasion. Hosting the RNC is a turning point in Tampa’s story.”
“While the immediate economic benefit of the RNC – including a record setting August – is significant, the value of long-term brand-building the entire Tampa Bay area will enjoy from successfully hosting an event of this magnitude is immeasurable,” said Executive Director of Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater DT Minich. “We’ve proven we are a player on the international stage, and we now have a working template we can use to continue this growth together.”
“Welcoming the world for the 2012 RNC has been a tremendous success for our destination and has opened the door for Tampa Bay & Company to lead the way on groundbreaking marketing initiatives, such as the first-ever Social Media Command Center for a national political convention,” said President and CEO of Tampa Bay & Company Kelly Miller. “Tampa Bay has arrived. Over the past week, we proved that we are a major meetings destination, and we can accommodate and welcome the biggest and best conventions out there.”
During the week of the Convention, the Host Committee hosted several events throughout the Tampa Bay region. The Welcome Event, which was held on the eve of the Convention, kicked off the Republican National Convention at Tropicana Field. More than 20,000 guests were invited to the invitation-only event, and it was the first time in the history of the Republican National Convention that a combined delegate and media event took place. In addition, the Host Committee hosted a “Salute to the Military” luncheon and “Thank You Tampa Bay” event.
Another event done differently than ever before, during the week of the Convention, was the Host Committee’s Economic Development Series. The series, which included topics such as International Trade, the Emerging Workforce and Education, was a partnership with Bloomberg. Guest panelists included former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Javier Palomarez, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, St. Augustine Partners President George P. Bush, Infante Zumpano Partner Daniel Diaz Leyva and former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
The Host Committee implemented several initiatives and programs throughout the last year. Some of these programs include the Small Business Network Directory, the Volunteer Program, the GOParty Card and Herd About Tampa Bay.
The Small Business Network Directory included more than 500 registered small businesses in the Tampa Bay region. It was marketed to delegations, media and guests in the months leading up to the Convention in order to promote our local small business community.
The Host Committee’s Volunteer Program utilized more than 4,500 volunteers to fill approximately 10,000 volunteer roles. Volunteers assisted the Host Committee in several aspects, including at Volunteer Headquarters, acting as hotel and airport greeters and helping guide guests throughout the Tampa Bay region.
The GOParty Card discount program included roughly 100 businesses that offered discounts ranging from percentages off to buy-one-get-one-free deals. The discount program was open to guests and the public alike. In fact, it is still active and ongoing until Monday, September 3, 2012.
Herd About Tampa Bay, a partnership with the Outdoor Arts Foundation, brought herds of creatively decorated fiberglass elephants to Tampa Bay. The elephants, which were sponsored by patrons, were designed by local artists and students and displayed in herds around the area.
In addition, the Host Committee, in partnership with the Committee on Arrangements launched the first mobile application (or app) in the history of the Republican National Convention, “Tampa 2012.” The app was available on Android and Apple platforms and featured relevant information regarding the Convention and the Tampa Bay region.
The 2012 Republican National Convention was also the first time several social media platforms were available and utilized. The Host Committee was active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr and YouTube.
The Host Committee will release its financial data to the Federal Election Commission on October 15, 2012.