March 4, 2014: SXSW Goes International, Oscar Selfie Gives Samsung Big Boost, 2014's Must-Attend Marketing Conferences

1. SXSW'S GROWING INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE: South by Southwest, Austin's music, film, and technology festival and conference starting this Friday, will see a more international crowd this year. Ad Age: “According to SXSW Director Hugh Forrest, 74 countries will be represented this year, up from 57 in 2013. He said that there is no concerted or organized strategy by the festival to increase interest outside the U.S. Instead, he tries to grow the festival outside the U.S. the same way it has domestically: via word of mouth and social media, and networks. 'One of the bigger events within SXSW Interactive is the awards,' he said. 'Last year, the awards had 14 finalists from outside the U.S, this year that's up to 21 finalists.'”

2. OSCARS HITS RECORD VIEWERSHIP: Ellen DeGeneres may have played it safe as host of Sunday-night's Academy Awards, but that didn't appear to impact the ratings. In fact, the ceremony's telecast saw a record number of viewers, with 43 million people tuning in. The number represented a 6 percent increase over 2013 and made it the most-watched telecast of the award show in 10 years. The event was also a success on social media, garnering 11.2 million tweets, 75 percent more than last year. Entertainment Weekly:

3. OSCAR SELFIE SCORES BIG FOR SAMSUNG: The biggest winner of the selfie snapped by Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres? Samsung. The subtle product placement of the Galaxy Note device used to take the pic not only complemented the Korean brand's ad spot during the telecast, but also added momentum to social media mentions. Adweek: “According to Kontera, which analyzed millions of digital views, Samsung was mentioned 40,000 times across Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets during ABC's three-and-a-half-hour broadcast. Even though DeGeneres did not actually mention the brand in her tweet (which was swiftly retweeted 1.3 million times), the San Francisco tech firm found that Samsung scored a peak rate of 900 online mentions per minute because of the stunt.”

4. WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST MARKETING EVENTS THIS YEAR?: John Hall, C.E.O. of brand building firm Influence & Company, shares his list of the most important conferences for entrepreneurs and leaders to attend in 2014. In addition to the Ad Age Digital Conference in New York and PTTOW in California, the Forbes columnists emphasizes the influence of iMedia's invitation-only summits, the advertising industry's Transformation LA, and the CMO Club Innovation and Inspiration Spring Summit. Forbes:


BOSTON:  Project Bread's 46th annual Walk for Hunger is May 4. Billed as the largest walk event in Massachusetts, the event typically draws 40,000 participants.

CHICAGO:  For the first time this year, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon will use a lottery system for registration. PureWow:

LAS VEGAS:  Plush (Posh Little Urbanites Show) announced a change to its upcoming Las Vegas trade show. It will now be held in conjunction with the Las Vegas Summer Market at the International Market Centers July 27-31. Kids Today:

After nearly nine years since Le Rêve–The Dream opened at Wynn Las Vegas, the production is celebrating its 4,000th showing this month.

LOS ANGELES:  Press-Telegram: “As a deadline to submit its bid approaches, Los Angeles officials are stepping up their efforts to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and overcome perceived obstacles that could keep the International Olympic Committee from looking elsewhere.”

The 10th anniversary MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert will honor Ozzy Osbourne and owner and C.E.O. of the Village studios Jeff Greenberg. The event is scheduled for Club Nokia on May 12.

The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's 44th annual Beastly Ball, celebrating the zoo's new Rainforest of the Americas habitat, is set for June 14.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Miami Beach Garden Conservancy presents the 13th annual Miami Beach Garden Tour March 15. The six-residence tour begins at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.

Music and arts festival SunFest announced the lineup of acts for its 2014 event. The gathering in West Palm Beach, which takes place April 30-May 4, will include performances by English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding, the Goo Goo Dolls, and Young the Giant.

NEW YORK:  The New York Post: “Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams shocked some local business and community leaders at a Borough Hall meet-and-greet recently, hitting them up for cash to fund pet projects—with the money to be funneled through a nonprofit that doesn’t even exist…The former state senator and retired NYPD cop, who took the borough’s reins in January, had his staff distribute fliers and 'Partner/Sponsor' application forms—copies of which were obtained by The Post—claiming the money would go to his 'affiliated nonprofit,' called One Brooklyn, to fund various cultural events throughout the year.”

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  The Food & Wine Classic at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is October 31 and November 1.

The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes'  Yoshikazu Kizu has been named Pastry Chef of the Year at the 25th annual U.S. Pastry Competition, which took place Sunday during the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York. Orlando Sentinel:

Rhonda Davis is the new director of Serenity by the Sea spa at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. The hotel recently completed a $12.5 million renovation of the 11,000-square-foot spa.

SAN FRANCISCO:  The boutique Hotel G will open this spring in Union Square. In the former Frank Hotel, the venue will offer a gym, a meeting room, and 153 guest rooms. HotelChatter:

TAMPA:  The new, food-focused Epicurean Hotel recently received a AAA Four Diamond rating.

WASHINGTON:  Mediabistro: “Politico, in partnership with Google and the Tory Burch Foundation, announced earlier today their 2014 plans for Women Rule. This year the event series will expand to New York City and San Francisco, as well as continuing to host events in DC. Women Rule launched in 2013, convening hundreds of women leaders to share expertise and insights.”

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us:

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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