August 12, 2014: Chicago Is Most Popular Meeting Destination, Levi’s Angers Fans With Dress Code at Free Concert, the Surprising Economic Impact of Endurance Races

By Beth Kormanik August 12, 2014, 8:13 AM EDT

1. CHICAGO IS MOST POPULAR MEETING DESTINATION: Topping both Orlando and Las Vegas, Chicago is the top domestic destination for corporate meetings and events, according to booking data from Cvent. USA Today: “Chicago has seen extensive investment in its hotels, including major renovations of the Hyatt Regency Chicago and The Langham, [according to Eric Eden, Cvent's vice president of marketing]. The fact that Chicago and other Midwestern cities are more centrally located also is appealing because they may be more convenient and affordable for attendees traveling from various cities. … Such cost consciousness shows that while meeting and event activity has bounced back after dropping significantly during the recession, businesses and organizations still are guarding their pursestrings, sometimes holding meetings in hotels near airports or in the suburbs to curb expenses.”

2. LEVI’S ANGERS FANS WITH DRESS CODE AT FREE CONCERT: Fans hoping to attend a free concert sponsored by Levis’ in Brooklyn August 5 were turned away when they weren’t wearing the denim brand’s products. New York Daily News: “Concert industry observers say they’ve never heard of a sponsoring brand denying entry to fans who don’t buy, or have never bought, their product. ‘Exclusivity is common—say, an arena has exclusive pouring rights for Budweiser or Coke,’ says Billboard’s concert expert, Ray Waddell. ‘If Levi's produced and sponsored the event, I guess they have that right, but it would seem to me it would cause more ill will toward the brand than positive, especially for those that couldn't get in.’”

3. THE SURPRISING ECONOMIC IMPACT OF ENDURANCE RACES: Marathons, triathlons, and other endurance races had an economic impact of $64.1 million in San Diego last year, according to a new study from the National University System Institute for Policy Research. The events, including the popular San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, drew participants from all 50 states and at least 22 countries. NBC San Diego: “The institute says the city’s tourism industry could be doing more to get bigger crowds to run to San Diego. ‘As the endurance event industry has changed, stronger partnerships between the hospitality industry and event organizers could generate even more visits to San Diego and further boost attendance,’ study authors wrote.”


BOSTON:  Westin Waltham has opened the temporary restaurant Test Kitchen. Preceding a new restaurant that will open in the fall, the pop-up venue serves poutine tots, ahi tuna tartare, and seared Arctic char.

CHICAGO:  Market Days, the Midwest’s largest street fair, took over Boystown Saturday-Sunday. With some 200,000 guests, the street fair featured entertainment from Belinda Carlisle and Neon Trees.

The Grant Park Conservancy will host “Savour,” the opening-night fund-raiser for the Windy City Wine Festival, at Buckingham Fountain on September 4.

LOS ANGELES:  The Screen Actors Guild Foundation has appointed media marketing expert Cyd Wilson as its new executive director. Read her rules on dealing with celebrities at events from BizBash's archives:

Longines Los Angeles Masters show jumping event is September 25-28 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer is the new director of regional sales and design for Luxe Event Rentals.

NEW YORK:  The city's largest trade show, the summer edition of NY Now, is August 16-20 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Pier 94. An estimated 53,000 participants are expected to attend.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Visit Orlando has hired two new senior national account executives. Faye Memoli will be responsible for the mid-Atlantic region and Kelly Albert for the Northeast region.

TORONTO:  Internet sensation Grumpy the Cat recently appeared at Toronto Eaton Centre as part of a book tour, and guests paid $15 a head to take selfies with the cat. The Star:

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  A ribbon-cutting and grand-opening celebration for Chuck Brown Memorial Park is scheduled for August 22, which would have been the go-go musician's 78th birthday. Marshall Moya Design designed the park and incorporated amenities such as lawn seating and benches for live performances, as well as tributes to Brown in the form of a timeline of his life and career and an engraved memorial wall of his discography.

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

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