It’s hard to believe, but the 2020 Republican National Convention is almost here! In fact, we’re less than 100 days away. From August 24th through August 27th, tens of thousands of attendees will descend to downtown Charlotte, North Carolina to nominate President Donald Trump as the GOP presidential candidate for 2020 presidential election.

As temperatures rise and we move closer to one of the biggest events of the year, convention organizers are meticulously planning logistics, speakers, carpet, lighting, stages, and more to make the 2020 GOP Convention a smashing success.

We had the opportunity to chat with the GOP Convention’s Communications Director, Blair Ellis, about what we can expect from the event and how they are adjusting amidst COVID-19. So whether you plan to be in the middle of the action in Charlotte or watching from your television, here’s what you can expect from the 2020 Republican National Convention.

Blair Ellis serves as the Communications Director for the 2020 Republican National Convention. She is overseeing the entire communications strategy and social media. Prior to joining the Convention, she worked at the Republican National Committee (RNC), serving as the National Press Secretary. Before joining the RNC, she worked on Capitol Hill as a Communications Director for a North Carolina member of Congress and later served on the Energy and Commerce Committee overseeing strategic communications and the digital portfolio for two subcommittees. Blair is a native North Carolinian- a Tar Heel born and bred- and a graduate of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

What can we expect from the Republican National Convention this year? How many attendees are estimated to attend?

We recently passed a significant and exciting benchmark in the convention planning process – we are less than 100 days away from the 2020 Republican National Convention! Planning is well on its way as we continue to move full steam ahead and anticipate welcoming attendees to Charlotte, North Carolina. We are committed to working with local, state and federal experts, and our goal is to host as many people who can be in this city safely per guidelines and recommendations from health professionals.

How is the Republican National Convention preparing for the safety and security of the event?

We’ve said from the start that we are committed to hosting a safe and successful 2020 Republican National Convention. We recently hired a medical professional, Dr. Jeffrey Runge, to serve as Senior Advisor for Health and Safety Planning. This is one step of many that we are taking to protect the health and safety of our attendees, guests and the Charlotte community. 

Dr. Runge’s background and expertise will be instrumental as we move forward in planning. He will advise the team as we map out next steps and help to integrate health and safety protocols as recommended by federal, state and local health officials.

The Republican National Convention recently announced Jeffrey W. Runge MD as Senior Advisor for Health and Safety Planning. Can you share a little more about what his role will be for the GOP Convention?

Dr. Runge will serve as a Senior Advisor for Health and Safety Planning. He has an extensive background with over 35-years of experience as a board-certified physician and two stints in notable leadership positions within the federal government, including serving as the Chief Medical Officer and Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. His familiarity and prior work with NSSE (National Special Security Events) is tremendously helpful as both political conventions are designated as such.  

His background in medical and risk management, medical preparedness and response, and operational planning will be incredibly important as our plans take shape. Additionally, his 17 years working in emergency medicine here in Charlotte make him uniquely qualified for this role, as he knows many of the local and state level intricacies.

In a recent op-ed, GOP Convention CEO Marcia Kelly hinted of “show-stopping lineup of speakers” and “never been done before events.” Can you give us any hints?

While we can’t reveal any secrets quite yet, what we can say is that this will be a historic, five-star convention like never before. We continue to work on key elements of the convention like stage design and programming. Recently, we received approval from the President and First Lady on several elements including delegate carpet, the stage design and the lectern. We can’t wait to show you this summer! 

How can young women be involved in or be a part of the Republican National Convention 2020?

I am so proud of our team that has been working over a year to plan for our five-star convention, which includes many rising women who have stepped up to the challenges presented with this global pandemic. Our staff is majority women, and we remain committed to fostering opportunities for both young men and women to join us as volunteers and interns this summer. 

One way to get involved is to follow us across our social media channels: @GOPConvention on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We’d love their help communicating our conservative principles and ideas during convention week! 

How can we stay updated with all things Republican National Convention as we eagerly count down to the main event?

Continue to follow all our social media channels @GOPconvention. You can also visit our website for updates. 

Amanda O