Call Sheet #351: Australian Open Targets Asia, Tech Conference Rivals, Summer Sees Hotel Rates Rise

BIZBASH CALL SHEET — #351 — Tuesday, 09.18.12

++ Sponsored by Event Leadership Institute ++

Compiled today by Melissa Ward Schorsch and Anna Sekula in New York
Feed the Sheet:


 In a bid to draw more interest—and revenue—from Asia, the Australian Open is hosting a series of matches in China, with winners earning wild cards for the 2013 tournament. “The event has been trying for years to rebrand itself as the region-friendly Grand Slam of the Asia-Pacific with limited success. With casino money and state support at the ready, the latest iteration of a plan might have a fighting chance of success … The Open will also reach out to Chinese kids, announcing a program with the upcoming China Open in Beijing to select six Chinese ballkids to work at the Open."

 Two major business software conferences will take over San Francisco this month, competing for attention and attendees. In addition to sessions, both's Dreamforce and Oracle OpenWorld will include live music performances, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the former, and Macy Gray, Joss Stone, and Jimmy Cliff at the latter.San Francisco Chronicle: “Roughly 85,000 people will descend on Moscone Center this week for's annual conference, which might make it San Francisco's largest annual tech convention … Estimated attendance for Dreamforce, which kicks off Tuesday, is up 85 percent from last year. That could prove a tough act to follow for Oracle OpenWorld, generally the city's most popular tech event each year. In 2011, the two business software conferences ran neck and neck in terms of attendees, with OpenWorld drawing about 45,000 people."

 Facebook launched the Facebook Ad Exchange, a real-time advertising platform that enables brands to target users by Web-browsing habits or link it to current events. The Financial Times: "'Real-time marketing is getting to be a really important component of digital advertising,' said Rebecca Lieb, an analyst with the Altimeter Group. 'We’ll see a lot of event-triggered marketing in the upcoming election cycle.'"

 A recent study by hotel booking software company TravelClick found the average hotel rates in major U.S. hotspots skyrocketed 17 percent in June, July, and August as compared with last summer's pricing. L.A. Times: "'Business and leisure travel demand through the end of the year is strong' and has pushed up daily rates, said Tim Hart, executive vice president of research and development at TravelClick."

 Expedia is launching a new reward program aimed at small business travelers who are Chase credit card carriers. The online travel agency will now allow small businesses to monitor their staff travel with a new “dashboard” that allows the big boss to see who is going where, when, and how much it costs. Delaware Online: “In an interview with the Associated Press, Expedia Inc. C.E.O. Dara Khosrowshahi said the idea for a program focused on small business came out of a customer analysis. 'We saw some power users out there—booking 50 or 100 trips a year. Turns out they were travel arrangers for small businesses,' he said.”  

 Google's senior vice president of engineering, Vic Gundotra, announced via his personal Google+ profile that the company has reached 400 million members. While that still leaves the social platform much smaller than Facebook, which boasts 955 million users, Google+ is proud to say its large increase only took 12 months. Mashable:


Webinar on Tuesday, September 25: “Teleprompters 101.” Learn what types of presentations warrant the use of prompters, how to pick the right type of prompter, and tips for guiding your speakers on how to use them. Click here for details.


We've announced a new panel for the Event Innovation Forum at the BizBash IdeaFest at the Javits Center on October 24:

“How Sponsors Evaluate and Measure Event Sponsorships”
Andrew Klein, senior vice president, global partnerships, AEG Live
Tammi Montier, senior vice president of partnership marketing, Revolution Marketing
Lisa Pfenning, category director, Stolichnaya and Elit by Stolichnaya, William Grant & Sons

With increasing pressure to drive event revenue, more and more events are turning to sponsors for financial support. Yet many event properties don’t go about pitching sponsors the right way. In this interactive panel, marketers who have put together deals with major events—including Coachella and the Tribeca Film Festival—and big brands—Stoli, Red Bull, Intel—will discuss what makes sponsorships successful for everyone involved. The panelists will share what they look for in evaluating sponsorship proposals, offering suggestions for marketers on both sides of the process—planners wooing sponsors, and sponsors comparing their opportunities. Find more info and register here:


 United Way Emerging Leaders will host a season kickoff mixer at the Liberty Hotel on September 27.

Chef Ming Tsai is planning to open a new Asian restaurant, Blue Dragon, in downtown Boston. The Braiser:

CHICAGO: The City of Chicago and UL will host the 99th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Daley Plaza on November 21 at 5 p.m. The event will include live performances.

FlexJet, a fractional jet ownership company, will showcase its new Learjet 85 aircraft at an event at the Alder Planetarium tomorrow. The evening will let guests interact with the new aircraft, test-drive a Rolls-Royce, and sample wines from Cardinale, Freemark Abbey, and Etude.

Common Threads will host a cook-off with 35 local chefs September 27 at Fulton's on the River.

Cooking Up a Cure, billed as a “culinary all-star dining event,” takes place at Salvage One on October 15. The event benefits the Chicago area chapter of the Scleroderma Foundation and will offer tastings from local restaurants including Province, Hopleaf, and Heaven on Seven.

Elizabeth Restaurant, a new eatery that requires tickets to dine, will open Friday. Chef and owner Iliana Regan serves tasting menus made with local, hand-harvested, or foraged ingredients, and can make special arrangements for groups with six to eight guests. The menus range from eight to 25 courses.

 The Atlantic looks into the reasons why there were two competing boxing matches in Vegas this weekend:

Caesars Entertainment revealed plans Monday to rename the company’s center-Strip resort, currently known as Imperial Palace, to the Quad Resort & Casino. The brand transformation will begin on the property in November, and the official conversion is slated for completion by December 21. Renovation plans are scheduled for finish by late 2013.

Following Caesars Entertainment’s companywide consolidation of its meetings business into a single department, the company has hired Rina Foster as its new manager for convention sales marketing, a newly created position.

 Executives with the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board announced Monday that DineLA’s inaugural summer Restaurant Week, held July 16-27 in partnership with American Express, recorded the highest volume of meals sold since the program began in winter 2008. About 300,000 meals were sold, and the program generated an estimated $15.6 million in spending.

L.A. Downtown News
 interviewed Los Angeles Brewing Company owner Ralph Verdugo about holiday party trends this year:

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

 The 12th annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival announced its lineup of events for the February 21-24 event, featuring a wide variety of food and drink presentations by Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Carmellini, Paula Deen, Rachael Ray, and Daniel Boulud.

 The Italian restaurant Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto opened its second location yesterday on Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side.

The Hope Fund Tour will be in town September 20 at the Metropolitan Pavilion.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

 Celebration Town Center will host a free Oktoberfest celebration October 5-6, with music headliner Ryan Cabrera, hayrides, pumpkin painting, and more.

 Microsoft plans to open a marketing shop, Solution Studio 415, in San Francisco this December. AdAge:

 Fashion Week kicked off yesterday and runs through Sunday. The Washington Post looks at some of the bigger events scheduled for the week, including the flash mob “Fashion in the Streets,” scheduled for tomorrow.

The second annual Nuit de la Mode will take place September 22 at the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens and will feature the exhibit “Prêt-à- Papier: The Exquisite Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave.”

 What are you doing? Tell us:

With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Melissa Ward Schorsch and Anna Sekula in New York.

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