August 5, 2014: Google Hosts Secret Conference, Hotel Threatens $500 Fine for Bad Review, How Golf Resorts Are Luring Younger Players

By Beth Kormanik August 5, 2014, 8:15 AM EDT

1. GOOGLE HOSTS SECRET CONFERENCE: Google is hosting an unpublicized conference this week, inviting tech and finance elite to a resort in Sicily. The New York Times: “Google is sponsoring an elite conference this week at a golf resort in Sicily, with a guest list of chief executives, investors and celebrities, all of whom were invited to bring their families. On the agenda are high-minded discussions of global issues—along with relaxation by the Mediterranean Sea. Call it the Davos of the summer. Like the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland—a rarefied annual gathering at a snowy ski resort—the Google conference projects an aura of exclusivity. Its existence has not previously been disclosed. It is called, simply, the Camp.”

2. HOTEL THREATENS $500 FINE FOR EVERY BAD REVIEW: Groups planning weddings and other events at the Union Street Guest House were warned that they would lose $500 from their security deposit for every bad review posted on social media—a policy that met with a wave of backlash after news of the policy went viral. The inn, located in upstate New York, is now reconsidering the idea. New York Post: “A source at the Union Street Guest House insisted that the policy ‘was meant to be tongue-in-cheek,’ but admitted that the attempt at humor had fallen flat. … But one Yelp member contacted by The Post said he actually received two e-mails from the inn’s management threatening to impose the fine if he didn’t take down the 1-star review he posted last year.”

3. HOW GOLF RESORTS ARE LURING YOUNGER PLAYERS: As fewer younger guests are playing golf, resorts are adapting the game and their courses. The New York Times: “Resorts are pondering that question, too, making changes that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago, adding speakers to golf carts and Wi-Fi access on the course, building high-tech training centers and miniature golf putting courses, and peppering corporate golf events with tangentially related activities like using golf clubs to hit marshmallows or throwing Frisbees around the course.”


The experiential marketing firm George P. Johnson has launched GPJ Sports Marketing, a practice that will specialize in developing sports experiences for Fortune 500 firms. It will offer services such as strategic consulting, concept development, design, fabrication, and on-the-ground management.


BOSTON:  Boston GreenFest will take place at City Hall Plaza August 15-17. The free event will offer a beer and wine garden, along with eco-friendly art and fashion.

CHICAGO:  Limelight Catering has been selected as the culinary partner for Chicago’s third iteration of  Dîner en Blanc on August 21.

HOUSTON:  Kickercon, a conference on crowdfunding, is August 28-30 at Hilton Americas downtown. Speakers will include Roy Morejon, president of the crowdfunding marketing agency Command Partners.

LAS VEGAS:  The Las Vegas Review-Journal profiles two women who started new careers as event planners and one who became a concierge.

LOS ANGELES:  The first Ivy Innovator Awards for Film presented by Cadillac is Wednesday at Landmark Theaters. Actor Daniel Radcliffe will attend the awards, which honor achievements by young innovators in film, technology, and design.

The Imagine Ball, a benefit concert for Imagine LA, is Wednesday at House of Blues Hollywood.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The flashy Adoré Nightclub Miami Beach, which opened in March, has closed, according to The New York Post:

SLS South Beach is offering a new meeting and event space, Clyde. Featuring design by Philippe Starck, the space has more than 1,500 square feet and holds 70 guests for receptions.

NEW YORK:  The event rental company Arena Americas and Chameleon Chairs have entered into an agreement to be the exclusive supplier of Chameleon Chairs products in the Greater New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia markets.

Barbara Walters will serve as the keynote speaker for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation dinner on December 3 at the Sheraton New York Times Square.

The woman-focused conference Activate 2K14 is September 20 at the Times Center.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Chef Jessica Baker is planning to create a series of pop-up restaurant events on weekends beginning later this month. Epicurious:

SAN FRANCISCO:  Esquire Network will sponsor a “Sip & Shave” activation at the Outside Lands Festival, which begins Friday. The activation will offer complimentary shave sessions, specialty cocktails, and meet and greets with the network's hosts of Best Bars in America and chefs Naomi Pomeroy and Kris Morningstar from Knife Fight.

TORONTO:  On August 14, Liquor Control Board of Ontario will host a “Taste Local” event at 1095 Queen Street West. The event will feature local wines and pie makers. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Bounce TV Summer Music Festival is September 14 at Verizon Center. Performers include Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Patti Laelle, and Ruben Studdard.

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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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