Democratic National Convention Announces the Selection of Major Venue Contractors

Wednesday, January 17, 2024


Democratic National Convention Announces the Selection of Major Venue Contractors

The Host Committee and DNCC selected four major vendors integral to convention planning and production: Event Architect, Event Manager, Exposition Services, and Construction Manager. Selected firms demonstrated a commitment to community engagement and providing local mentorship and internship opportunities.

CHICAGO, IL – Today, the Chicago 2024 Host Committee and Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) announced the selection of four major vendors who play a critical role in executing the convention at the United Center: Construction Manager, Event Architect, Event Manager, and Exposition Services. Following an intense procurement process, the Host Committee and DNCC received many competitive bids and evaluated them based on numerous criteria, including but not limited to: experience, reliability, costs, ability to meet timeline, relationships to Chicago and the surrounding region, participation of union labor, women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities.

To continue engaging more local businesses across Chicago, the Host Committee and DNCC will host a series of vendor summits in the coming weeks to socialize subcontracting opportunities to the public. These summits will be held in a variety of locations, as well as virtually, to ensure local businesses benefit from the economic activity of this major event.

Following two procurement outreach summits held on the South and West sides, the search for these major vendors was launched by four Requests for Proposals (RFP) in October and November 2023. Below are more details on each vendor role and the awardees’ experience and expertise.

Event Architect

The Host Committee and DNCC selected Populous to serve as Event Architect. Populous is an industry leader in large-scale events and has worked on five Democratic National Conventions, 41 Super Bowls, three Olympic and Paralympic games, and the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four. They plan to partner with local Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)- and Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) -certified firms and have committed to a 20% participation goal to guarantee increased participation of diverse vendors in the Convention. Populous has a demonstrated commitment to mentoring the next generation of architects and is a President’s Circle sponsor of the National Organization of Minority Architects. They will also be offering an internship program for architecture and interior design students with spots dedicated to those who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Event Manager

The Host Committee and DNCC selected Hargrove + Show Strategy to serve as Event Manager. Hargrove is an internationally recognized expert in executing high-impact live and virtual events, with unmatched experience putting on Conventions. It’s worked on the venue operations team of every DNC since 2012. Show Strategy is an Englewood-based MBE firm with deep expertise in planning and executing events across Chicago. The winning proposal included continuing education opportunities for local students interested in live event production.

Exposition Services

Show Strategy will also serve as the Exposition Services provider for the Convention. Show is the first Black-owned firm to serve as prime contractor for this scope of work. Show Strategy has successfully executed thousands of events at McCormick Place and Navy Pier, as well as at venues across the nation. As native Chicagoans, they understand and can anticipate the unique environment and opportunities of working in the city. Show Strategy is 100% Black-owned and will be collaborating with Juan and Only, a WBE-certified events and logistics company, on this project. Additionally, Show Strategy is a signatory to three unions: the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, United Steelworkers Decorators Local 17, and Teamsters Local 727.

Construction Manager

After a robust outreach and interview process, the Host Committee and DNCC selected McHugh-Powers UC, a joint venture between McHugh Construction and Powers & Sons Construction Company, to serve as the Construction Manager for the 2024 Democratic National Convention. The Construction Manager functions as the general contractor for all physical modifications that need to be made at the United Center and oversees construction and event safety codes. McHugh and Powers & Sons have a demonstrated track record of successfully completing complex projects together, including the Navy Pier Campus. The two firms have extensive local experience working on some of Chicago’s most iconic and anticipated projects, such as the Obama Presidential Center, McCormick Place, the University of Chicago, La Casa Norte, the United Center, Marina City, and more.

McHugh-Powers UC was selected in part due to its commitment to extensive local outreach for subcontractors and dedication to mentorship of diverse individuals and firms. The McHugh-Powers team will include a firm specifically dedicated to these activities. In line with the Host Committee and DNCC’s commitment to leaving a lasting impact on the greater Chicago community after the Convention is over, McHugh-Powers UC will also be offering an internship program for local minority students looking to grow their experience in construction management and general contracting. McHugh is a fourth-generation, family-owned business, and Powers & Sons is a third-generation, 100% minority-owned firm.

K + P Advisory, LLC, a certified WBE, was selected in November to serve as Owner’s Representative for the Democratic National Convention. K + P Advisory’s work is being supported by a diverse Chicago-based team including SQN Associates, a certified Minority- and Woman Business Enterprise; Rodriguez Media Communication, a certified Minority- and Woman Business Enterprise; and The Concord Group, a Small Business Enterprise.


We can't wait to welcome the DNC to Chicago and the Midwest in 2024!

Stay tuned for additional information.

Chicago DNC 2024