Trade Shows

DNC 2012: Who’s Running the Show?

Having a moment here -- sitting in Section 102 of the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., watching delegates and staff and media slowly coalesce into the evening program for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

If you’re wondering if I ever imagined my professional life taking me to the floor of a political convention, the simple answer is no. If you’re further wondering if I ever imagined, having made it to the floor of a political convention, that I wouldn’t be terribly interested in what’s happening on stage — again, no.

But I’m here for Convene, working on a behind-the-scenes article about the DNC, and the honest truth is that I’m not all that concerned with who’s saying what on the wide, brilliantly illuminated stage at the other end of Time Warner, or with what deals are being made in the suites and meeting rooms scattered throughout the arena, or with opinion polls or policy statements or delegate counts. Instead, I want to talk to the meeting professionals who are, literally, running the show.

So while a good get for the mainstream media might be a senator or a convention delegate or, heck, President Obama himself, I was very pleased to sit down at the ¬†Charlotte Convention Center earlier this afternoon with Mike Butts, executive director of Visit Charlotte, to discuss how he and his team helped bring DNC 2012 to their city and how they’ve spent the last year and a half making it a reality. Click on the video above for a taste of our interview. And look for my article in the November issue of Convene — just in time for the election, and accompanied by a similar profile of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

It’s not that we’re bipartisan — we’re nonpartisan. All politics aside, a convention is a convention; each one is a unique story in itself.

Christopher Durso

Christopher Durso formerly was executive editor of Convene.