Create Connections With Diverse Local Suppliers

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Did you know your local CVB can connect you with diverse local suppliers? Here are four cities that pride themselves on their ability to do just that.

Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) and city Chambers of Commerce offer a host of useful services for meeting and event planners — including, in some cases, a database that can directly connect planners with local, diverse event suppliers.

Here are 4 cities that create connections with the diverse world of suppliers that service local area events.


This popular Mid-Western city is proud of the wide range of diverse vendors it can offer to service meetings and events. Its website includes a database of these diverse vendors, broken down by category: minority-, veteran-, women- and LGBTQ-owned. Each category offers listings by grid, list, “recommended” and “near me,” and includes a map so planners can pinpoint where each is in relation to their meeting venue. Individual listings include, as applicable, a description of the business and its services, Yelp reviews, available amenities, events that business has served, hours of business, and a link to its website.


The city of Columbus, Ohio, includes an office of diversity and inclusion that has a database of city-certified diverse businesses that is searchable by certification, business name, business description, commodity code, contact person and location. The City of Columbus Certified Vendor Directory includes in its database local businesses that are certified as Emerging Business Enterprise, LGBT Business Enterprise, Minority Business Enterprise, Small Local Business Enterprise, Veteran Business Enterprise and Women Business Enterprise.

Los Angeles

The City of Angels also offers a database of minority-, women-, LGBTQ+ and veteran-owned event suppliers through its Business Connect program, the official supplier diversity program of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission. The network is comprised of small, minority-owned business suppliers representing more than 25 disciplines in meeting, convention and event production, including AV, décor, entertainment, security and transportation. Rather than searching a database, planners can connect directly to program-certified suppliers — some of whom have served high-profile events such as Super Bowl LVI — through the LA Tourism team.


In Portland, Ore., the city is celebrating its diverse business community with My People’s Market, scheduled for June 3–4. The market will feature more than 100 of the city’s BIPOC vendors, including those who serve pantry and snacks, sweet treats, hot foods, beverages, health/wellness/beauty, home goods/art/music and fashion/accessories. As Visit Portland notes on its website, “Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are fundamental, and Travel Portland wants to support you and your meeting to deliver these values. Whether it’s connecting you with BIPOC-owned vendors via My People’s Market, providing diverse promotional photo and video assets or recommending culturally relevant activities, we help your event walk the EDI talk.”

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