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April 5, 2018: Augusta National Will Hold Its First All-Women Golf Tournament, Ritz-Carlton Event Planner Offers Unusual Service—Controlling the Weather, More Hotels Are Opting for Artificial Intelligence Over Human Concierges

By Ian Zelaya April 5, 2018, 8:39 AM EDT


1. AUGUSTA NATIONAL WILL HOLD ITS FIRST ALL-WOMEN GOLF TOURNAMENT: Augusta National Golf Club, which admitted its first female members six years ago, has announced it will hold its first-ever all-women’s tournament in 2019. Washington Post: “The first Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship will be held next year, a 54-hole event involving 72 of the best amateur players in the world. While the first two rounds will take place at the nearby Champions Retreat Golf Club, the final 18 holes—when the field will be cut to 30—will be staged on the same course that hosts the Masters on the Saturday before that tournament begins. ‘We believe this event will have a significant and lasting impact on the future of the women’s game,’ said Fred Ridley, the new chairman of Augusta National. ‘Our hope and expectation is that this event will further energize those who already love the sport and inspire others through the dream of competing at Augusta National.’ The announcement of the new event represents a milestone for the exclusive, private club as it pertains to gender rights. Ridley said the announcement was ‘directed at a segment of our sport that is so important, one that is vital to the future of golf.’ He added: ‘Golf’s a great game. Hopefully it’s color blind, it’s blind as to gender.’ In 2002, Martha Burk, the chair of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, wrote a letter to William ‘Hootie’ Johnson, then the chair of Augusta National, arguing the club should admit women as members. Johnson issued a vitriolic letter admonishing Burk for butting into the business of a private club, and a conflict was on. Burk led protests before the 2003 Masters, and the club faced scrutiny it hadn’t before. Still, it took a change in the chairmanship, not to mention another decade, for the club to change its policy regarding female membership.” https://wapo.st/2uPc8wo

2. RITZ-CARLTON EVENT PLANNER OFFERS UNUSUAL SERVICE€—CONTROLLING THE WEATHER: No one wants it to rain at an outdoor event—and an event planner at a Ritz-Carlton in Indonesia claims to specialize in preventing that from happening. Town & Country: “An event planner and hotelier, Phrativi 'Tivi' Dyah is a member of the Ubud Royal Family on the Indonesian island of Bali. After marrying a tjokorda, or prince, she developed a special reverence for the cosmic energy surrounding her husband's jungle-clad kingdom famously depicted in Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love. When she's not preparing offerings for temple ceremonies or attending so-called life cycle rites, Tivi brings Ubud’s signature mysticism to her career: controlling the weather to ensure the success of her high-profile events. When she's not preparing offerings for temple ceremonies or attending so-called life cycle rites, Tivi brings Ubud’s signature mysticism to her career: controlling the weather to ensure the success of her high-profile events. Since 2014 Tivi has focused her wedding planning services on the Ritz-Carlton Bali in Nusa Dua—a resort that feels purpose-built for nuptials with its thick strand of sand out back and a modernist beachside chapel resembling some kind of alien bird cage. The hotel's full-time priest is Tivi's point person when it comes to the weather. 'Besides his daily blessings, the priest makes dedicated offerings to the gods that guard the area asking them to protect an upcoming event from rain,' she explains. ... Tivi’s most recent gig was a four-night, 700-guest extravaganza for the family of an Indian real estate and textile magnate, but she counts a five-day photoshoot for a prestigious-but-picky publication during the depths of monsoon season to be her biggest accomplishment as of late. Rainstopping services are offered only by special request for $400—pocket change considering it provides must-needed peace of mind before walking down the aisle. And in case you were wondering, Tivi's success rate is 100 percent." https://bit.ly/2q7ly1s

3. MORE HOTELS ARE OPTING FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE OVER HUMAN CONCIERGES: In an effort to improve guests' stay, more hotels are using artificial intelligence such as robots and chatbots for services that used to be offered by human concierges. Condé Nast Traveler: “Already employed by online travel agencies like Kayak and Booking.com, the chatbot is the newest way for guests to communicate with their hotel, without having to pick up a phone or wait online to speak to a concierge. Though you can’t reach out and touch them like you can with their robotic counterparts, you can ask them questions on a whim (usually through text), day or night. At the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, you’ll meet Rose—a quixotic chatbot you can text for advice on where to eat or what to do. Though most recommendations are in-house, Rose treats guests to VIP access to select restaurants, bars, and clubs, letting them skip lines and entrance fees or get first crack at reservations for pool cabanas and spa treatments. She can offer extra amenities on-demand or even a tour of the hotel’s art. In Spring 2018, Rose will be the first chatbot to serve casino and loyalty customers from the resort’s Identity Rewards program, automatically lavishing extra attention on them. She may text about free spa treatments, concert tickets, or other benefits they could then automatically book. ... Bret Greenstein, Global VP of Watson Internet of Things at IBM, thinks adding AI to a hotel room is a logical extension of what we already use at home—but better. 'When you go to a hotel you want all the finer things—not the same home use,' he says. “And it needs to be deeply integrated into the experience.' IBM announced its Watson Assistant this March, which will combine AI with the cloud and Internet of Things—that is, the wireless linking of everyday objects—to automatically update your room with music, temperature, and lighting preferences, as well as syncing with your smartphone, calendar, and email via in-room technology." https://bit.ly/2IvP1sZ


* INDUSTRY NEWS *

IMEX Group and C2 International have announced a joint effort to drive innovation and creativity in the meetings and events sector. The three-year agreement marks the first time that C2 International has partnered with another event. 

* LOCAL NEWS *

COAST TO COAST:  Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry has unveiled its 2018 music event lineup. Concerts will include Caitlyn Smith at the National Building Museum in Washington April 9; X Ambassadors at Brooklyn Expo Center in New York April 18; Betty Who at Ice Palace Film Studios in Miami April 27; X Ambassadors at Media Park in Los Angeles June 3; and the Shadowboxers at Revel Fulton Market in Chicago August 29. 

Printed Matter has appointed Sonel Breslav director of fairs and editions. Breslav will oversee all aspects of the NY Art Book Fair and LA Art Book Fair.

LOS ANGELES:  The Paley Center for Media will host An Evening With Bob Newhart: A Newhart Celebration on April 26 at its Beverly Hills location. The event will reunite Newhart with Newhart cast members Julia Duffy and William Sanderson, and offer a behind-the-scenes look at the series. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Communities in Schools of Miami will host its 29th annual fund-raising event April 14 at the Intercontinental at Doral Miami. Publix Super Markets Charities is sponsoring the event, which will have a “Sailing For Success” theme. 

MILWAUKEE:  Kesha, Janelle Monae, and Lil Uzi Vert will headline the 51st edition of Summerfest, which will take place June 27-July 1 and July 3-8 downtown. 

NEW YORK:  City Harvest’s 35th Anniversary Gala will take place April 24 at Cipriani 42nd Street. The event will honor José Andrés, Chrissy Teigen, Bill and Wendy Mills, and Robin Hood. 

The New School’s 70th annual Parsons Benefit will take place May 21 at Pier 60. The event will honor Solange Knowles, Gucci C.E.O. Marco Bizzarri, and Farfetch C.E.O. José Neves. The event will be produced by Josh Wood Productions. 

The 16th annual Big Apple Barbecue will take place June 9-10 at Madison Square Park. The event, which benefits the Madison Square Park Conservancy, will feature 16 pitmasters teams from across the U.S. serving $12 barbecue plates. 

The National Board of Review’s 2019 film awards gala will take place January 8 at Cipriani 42nd Street. Willie Geist will host the event. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

TORONTO:  Cannabis convention Lift Expo Toronto will take place May 25-27 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The event will feature more than 250 exhibitors from across the globe.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Newseum’s Free Expression Awards will take place April 17. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will present Olympians Dr. John Carlos and Dr. Tommie C. Smith with awards. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.

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