FASTSIGNS at E. 21st Street and St. Clair Avenue was one of the first Cleveland businesses tapped to do work for the Republican National Convention when they were called upon during the site selection process to come up with a banner to be placed behind RNC officials at a news conference.
"First they thought they needed one, then they needed two," said owner Bernie Doyle. "So we printed two and they only needed one so we get to have one in our man cave," he said referring to the company's warehouse.
"This is going to be our biggest year, absolutely," said Doyle, who started the business in 2000 with his wife Kay.
"This is a championship. It may not be a sports championship but it is a money championship," he said.
They just purchased a new high-tech printer in anticipation of the RNC workload. "I'm optimistic that this will be running all the time."
The company did a lot of work for local films shot in Cleveland including the Avengers movie and they feel just like the movie folks the political demands will be last minute and at all hours. "We're going to be open 24/7 for the RNC," he said.
Already seeing an increased workload is Tim Coughlin, co-founder of Host 16. It's a company that is working with outside corporations, associations and sponsors in putting together events while in Cleveland.
"In a lot of cases they don't know what's available, they don't know how to navigate the chaos that is a convention and we become go-betweens," Coughlin said..
"We work with them, we strategize with them to basically lay out a plan for them to maximize that impact, maximize their investment in the RNC and that week-long impact."RNC and that week-long impact."
The work right now is the mapping and planning of what venues will be needed for how many.
"There are 3,000 events that are going to be happening during that week. We're looking at about 1,500 sponsored events and another 1,500 rogue events. So everyone is trying to get their fingers in on that week."
"We can do events from five-person VIP gatherings with a celebrity all the way to 5,000-person galas or concerts.
One of my partners on the talent procurement side is an agent in Nashville so he's got an in to most of the country music folks down in Nashville so we have some packages that we have created that we will go out and sell to certain corporations that say, 'hey we have this talent, you have the sponsorship dollars' and we'll work with the Republican party locally to get the venue created and we'll put all of that together and then you have an event."
On a smaller scale, Coughlin said, "Some corporations just want an audience with a celebrity, they may want to talk to a Hall of Fame football player, they may want to talk to a golfer and we put those things together for them."
The company has eight people involved now but when it comes to actually putting on the events Coughlin said he figures they'll have over 100.
"Everyone seems to be sprinting for the finish line now. It's, 'Oh my gosh, it's here. It's six months out. What are we going to do?' " he said.
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