April 9, 2014: Universal Studios Hollywood Takes on Disney, Google Glass Helps Sick Kids Visit Zoo, MPI Adjusts Certificate in Meetings Management Plan

By Beth Kormanik April 9, 2014, 8:11 AM EDT

1. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD TAKES ON DISNEY: A $1.6 billion overhaul to Universal Studios Hollywood is part of Comcast’s NBCUniversal’s plan to attract more families, an area it previously ceded to Disney. The New York Times: “To some degree, the remaking of Universal Studios Hollywood is less about stealing market share from Disney than catching up after years of underinvestment. … Comcast has discovered—to its surprise—that theme parks represent one of the few areas of stable entertainment industry growth outside of cable television.”

2. GOOGLE GLASS HELPS SICK KIDS VISIT ZOO: Using Google Glass, patients at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston were able to virtually visit the Houston Zoo. Mashable: “The program is the first of its kind in the United States. Children wear Google Glass and participate in a ‘double Glass Hangout’ with zoo employees. This allows children to not only ‘visit’ the zoo but go behind the scenes with zookeepers to get an up-close look at the animals.”

3. MPI ADJUSTS CERTIFICATE IN MEETINGS MANAGEMENT PLAN: After a backlash to new standards that critics felt would water down the Certificate in Meeting Management designation, Meeting Professionals International announced new changes to achieve the benchmark. Business Travel News: “The changes come after the associates in December introduced the changes to its CMM program. Chief among the concerns of some CMM holders was the fact that the program changes might weaken the caliber of the designation by lowering the experiential requirement from 10 to five years and by opening up eligibility to travel agents.”


CHICAGO:  The Old Town Art Fair is June 14-15 and will include fine arts, children’s activities, food and drinks, a garden walk, and music.

LAS VEGAS:  The Rehab day club series at the Hard Rock will launch its 11th season with Robin Thicke on Saturday and Flo Rida on Sunday.

Las Vegas has been named the top trade show destination for the 20th consecutive year, according to the Trade Show News Network’s “2013 TSNN Top 250 Trade Shows in the United States” list. Las Vegas hosted 53 of the largest shows.

LOS ANGELES:  GBK will host a gift lounge in honor of the MTV Movie Awards Friday and Saturday at the SLS.

The L.A. Ballet gala is April 12 at the Beverly Wilshire, honoring Paula Abdul, Jane Seymour, and Lori Milken.

As construction proceeds on the new Grand Avenue contemporary art museum known as the Broad, the Broad Art Foundation and the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection continue to acquire major works that will be shown in the museum’s galleries. New artists added include Yayoi Kusama, Julie Mehretu, Ragnar Kjartansson, and more. The venue is slated to open in 2015.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science will host the second annual Miami Eats, a food and fitness festival, April 19.

NEW YORK:  Luna Park in Coney Island will open for the season on Sunday.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

TAMPA:  Eric Hale is the new manager of Élevage restaurant at the Epicurean Hotel.

TORONTO:  SIOR Canada’s Spring Education Day is Thursday at the Renaissance Hotel & Arriba Restaurant.

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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