Revenue Opportunity for Diverse Businesses in Chicago: DNC 2024 

You have to bid to win. You can’t bid unless you know.

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) 2024 is coming to Chicago! Regardless of your politics, this will be a big event that brings a lot of revenue to Chicago and Illinois businesses. A lot of that money will arrive with the crowds in August. The DNC 2024 Host Committee is planning the event and has already issued 5 Requests for Proposals (RFPs). 

What is the potential economic impact of the DNC 2024 Convention?

The 2020 DNC was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Fiserv Forum.1 The prime contractors were: 

  1. Event Architect: Populous, partnered with Milwaukee-based American Design, Inc.1 
  1. Event Management Services: Hargrove1 
  1. ​​​​​​​Construction Management: JCP Construction, a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)1 

The live events for the DNC 2020 were substantially reduced because of COVID-19.2 

According to WBEZChicago, an NPR news source, “The Democratic National Convention in August next year could draw up to 50,000 visitors, with the potential for up to $200 million in economic impact, if outcomes from previous conventions hold true.”3 

During the bidders conference we attended on 11/8, the DNC 2024 Host Committee representatives stated that they estimated their budget for just the events they’re planning to be $5-$10M based on previous events.  

What RFPs are out?

The five RFPS currently out include: 

  1. Event Architect 
  1. Event Management Services 
  1. Exposition Services 
  1. Sustainability 
  1. ​​​​​​​Construction Management 

The first three are due 11/28 @ 5:00 pm. The fourth is due 12/5 @ 5:00 pm and the fifth on 12/6 @ 5:00 pm. They are regularly and actively releasing new RFPs.  

Schedules for the RFPs due 11/30

Each RFP has it’s own schedule and milestones. Below is a list of the milestones for the three RFPs due 11/30/2023. Note that you’re required to indicate your intention to submit a proposal by Thursday, November 16, 2023.  



RFP Issue Date 

Tuesday October 24, 2023 

Questions about RFP Due 

Thursday November 9, 2023 5:00 PM Central Time 

Answers to Bidder Questions Issued 

Tuesday November 14, 2023 

Bidder Intent to Propose Due 

Thursday November 16, 2023 

Final Proposals Due 

Tuesday November 28, 2023 5:00 PM Central Time 

Finalists notified 

Thursday November 30, 2023 

Finalist Interviews 

Week of December 4, 2023 

Decision Communicated to Finalists 

No Later than December 14, 2023 

These dates may change. Details on accessing the RFPs are in the next section. Once you download the RFP(s), you will receive emails with milestone reminders and updates. 

Where do I find the RFPs?

The RFPs are available for download at You will need to complete a form for each RFP you wish to download. 

We attended a bidders conference on November 8, 2023, and noticed that, although the Host Committee has stated their commitment to creating opportunities for diverse businesses to participate, there’s no visibility as to what companies have downloaded the RFPs documentation. We believe this is critical information for empowering small and diverse businesses to proactively advocate for subcontract opportunities with other businesses, including potential prime contractors. 

The Host Committee stated during the conference that they will look into providing this information on the website. Late the same day, we received an email stating that the lists of businesses that downloaded RFP documents will be available by November 17, 2023.  

What services and products do they need for the DNC 2024 Convention?

Below is the list of services currently listed on the DNC 2024 Host Committee’s website: 

  • Audio/Visual Services & Production 
  • Childcare 
  • Cleaning/Maintenance 
  • Construction 
  • Electrical Network & Cabling 
  • Entertainment/Live Music 
  • Event Planning & Services 
  • Event Production 
  • Exhibition Services 
  • Food & Catering 
  • Floral Services 
  • Health & Wellness 


  • IT Equipment 
  • IT Support/Services 
  • Messenger Services 
  • Mobility Devices 
  • Photography/Videography 
  • Printing 
  • Promotional Items 
  • Therapy/Service Animals 
  • Transportation Services 
  • Security Rentals 
  • Staffing Services 
  • Web & Graphic Design 
  • Venues 
  • Other 

This list is very high level. For example, many specialized vendors are covered under the general terms of “Staffing Services,” such as Sign Language Interpreters and Translators, and the category “Other” is another catchall. 

During the bidder’s conference, they listed the following as potential subcontractor opportunities: 

  • Cable management 
  • Low voltage cable install/removal 
  • Temporary poser/electrical upgrades 
  • Traffic control 
  • Fencing install/removal 
  • Surface protection 
  • Drywall installation 
  • Painting and finishing 
  • Moving and storage 
  • Seat removal/replacement 
  • Landscape restoration 


The DNC 2024 Host Committee is also planning several large celebrations: 


  • Welcome Party (12k attendees) 
  • Media Party (15k attendees) 
  • Volunteer Appreciation Party (12k attendees) 

The best way to become visible to potential prime contractors in the process is to register to be listed as a vendor at 

How do I keep up with what’s happening?

The Host Committee website for the DNC 2024 is Bookmark this website. Also, download the RFPs and register as a vendor. 

Finally, put a task on your calendar to check the website daily. Yes – the process is moving that quickly.  

Need help bidding?

You can go the process alone if you have the time, or you can engage an expert. Reach out today for your no-cost strategy call and to learn more about how we can help you respond to the RFPs. Call us today at 312.883.3007. 

About Once Upon an RFP

Once Upon an RFP is a certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise, Woman-Owned Small Business, and Disabled-Owned Business Enterprise.  

We are a diverse team of Project Managers, Writers, Editors, Graphic Designers, and Desktop Publishing Professionals specializing in complex documents, including Request for Proposal/Quote/Information (RFP / RFx) responses, and quick-to-digest marketing materials.  

We support businesses with all of their activities around RFP/RFx-based business development – including helping small firms manage the complex business development environment and helping large organizations – including government, non-profits, and corporations – engage and support small, diverse businesses to meet their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals. 


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