The Democratic National Convention in Denver is a chance for Senator Barack Obama to promote his campaign themes and introduce his running mate, Se. Joe Biden of Delaware, to a large TV audience. It's also an opportunity for the businesses of Denver to try to make a few extra bucks at the end of the summer in what has been a sluggish retail environment, as Patrick J. Sauer reports in "Profiting from Politics" on

I thought of Patrick's article this morning when I heard a report on NPR on how local retailers in Denver have been calling friends in Boston to get a sense with them for how lucrative (or not) a political convention might be.

Though some experts are predicting a $16 million bump for local businesses, NPR's Jeff Brady says that others are concerned that tightened security aimed at ensuring the safety of the visiting politicos will keep many locals away from their stores. In a bid to improve sales, some stores are slashing prices.

Then there's the world beyond retail: plenty of companies are looking for ways to promote themselves to the convention delegates, including one business that makes new "green" hotel keycards that biodegrade faster than those plastic keycards employed by most hotels.

Are you in a city that has hosted a political convention or some other kind of big event recently? Did you see a bump in sales? And if so, did you do anything to increase your odds of making the event profitable for you?