When Conventions Are Anything But

The clock is ticking for both parties with national conventions just about two months away.

The Democratic National Committee may very well be the first organization to host a large-scale hybrid event amid the pandemic. Officials are sticking to public health guidance with current plans to pair a smaller in-person audience in Milwaukee with significant virtual programming and smaller convenings for delegates in key battleground states.

The number of in-person attendees is still being determined, but Democrats can rally around  former Vice President Joe Biden’s confirmation that he’ll be in Milwaukee to accept the party’s nomination.

Just one week later, the Republican National Committee will gather fully in-person in stark contrast to Democrats. While party business — including nominating — will still take place in the original host city of Charlotte, North Carolina, the Republican National Convention will now straddle two swing states.

The majority of events will take place in Jacksonville, Florida, where state officials are expected to allow for a full arena and advanced reopening guidelines by AugustAccording to convention planners, health screenings and temperature checks will be in place, but mask-wearing will not be mandatory.

COVID-19 has also changed the economic impacts on host cities and the opportunity for networks to cover convention activities onsite.