FROM LAS VEGAS Of course, when MTV's Video Music Awards headed to Las Vegas this weekend, along came a gaggle of gift and hospitality suites—so de rigueur these days on the backs of award shows. MTV’s official hospitality suites took over the Palms, the show's headquarters, while other marketers courted guests both on and off the strip.
New York-based Strategic Group put together a hospitality suite poolside at the Venetian, accessible through the Strategic-run Tao Beach area, which opened in May and connects to the massive Tao nightclub space, also a Strategic venue. Strategic's team was in town to guide guests through the most orderly of the hospitality suites we checked out, where shade from poolside cabanas created respite from the heat and a sense of civility while the likes of Jennifer Hudson and Wayne Brady perused the wares.
Rolling Stone's frenetic 10th-floor Star Lounge at the Hard Rock featured sushi from Las Vegas restaurant Yoshidaya and tunes by DJ Pesce. Patron's “Cameos and Close-Ups” photo booth invited celebs to get their mugs snapped for future auctions benefiting the G&P Foundation for Cancer Research.
Casual clothing and accessories brand Michael Stars was there handing out its products, but don't look for them next week at Emmy suites in Los Angeles. “There's just so much excitement around these [MTV] awards, so we chose to be here over the Emmys,” Michael Stars' L.A.-based PR manager Jeannie Thomas told us. “Vegas has so much energy.” Rolling Stone's gift suite ended on Saturday, as did the magazine's other events; the other suite setups typically ran through Sunday.
Over at Caesars' Venus Pool Club, the glamorous Style Villa, created by Miami Marketing Group and Access West Marketing, featured a sleek, poolside look with production by L.A.-based Event Eleven. Eastside PR and Command PR teamed up on the publicity effort. Comfy lounge seating surrounded the private pool area, and bars and gift vendors rimmed the perimeter.
Expect to see hair-care products CHI and Biosilk, who had a presence at this lounge, also turn up next week at an Emmy gift lounge. And so will the Humane Society of the United States, although the group paid to set up a table at the Style Villa, whereas at the Emmys they will have a presence as a charity beneficiary at a gift lounge at the Hollywood Roosevelt instead. “The music industry is hard for us to reach,” said the society's senior director of corporate relations and promotions, Kathy Bauch, explaining the difference in strategy. “In some ways, Hollywood is more progressive.”
We'll have more on the VMA weekend's flood of events later today.