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Call Sheet #202: Oscar Ball Gets Revamp, N.B.A. All-Star Preview, Fashion Week's Online Shows, Paper Invites

BIZBASH CALL SHEET — #202 — Friday, 02.17.12

Compiled today by Chad Kaydo and Jana Schiowitz in New York
Feed the Sheet: [email protected]
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1. ACADEMY REVAMPS OSCAR BALL: From L.A. bureau chief Alesandra Dubin: The Governors Ball following the Academy Awards will get a radically restructured format this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences revealed at a press preview Thursday morning at the Hollywood & Highland Center. The new open format, created by producer Cheryl Cecchetto of Sequoia Productions, will allow the ball's 1,500 guests to circulate among a variety of seating configurations while dining on Wolfgang Puck's cuisine, instead of the more traditional sit-down-dinner experience. Cecchetto said the new format will "energize" the room as guests sample multiple plates instead of being bound to their seats through various courses.

Here's the story:

In related news: This Oscar season in Los Angeles, you can expect a party landscape as opulent as ever. But while showiness is back in fashion, it doesn't necessarily come with a corresponding bump in budget.

The Elton John AIDS Foundation viewing fund-raiser, consistently one of the biggest events on Oscar night, will move this year to a larger venue that will accommodate 890 dinner guests instead of last year’s 740—and will have a chance to draw from that many more wallets for the cause. Apart from, say, the additional rental costs incurred for a larger guest count, the budget for the event will not increase.

Here's our story:

2. ONLINE FASHION SHOWS: Designers are continuing to explore new ways to present their shows via the Web. PR powerhouse KCD introduced an online-only show for the first time this season with designer Prabal Gurungs's collaboration with Japanese retailer ICB label. Time: "The shows, which are translated into different languages for overseas editors, have been designed for over-booked editors and buyers and are available by invitation only. Editors get a pre-taped runway show with online-embedding capabilities, high-resolution photos, interviews of the designer and behind-the-scenes footage of hair and makeup."

3. FASHION WEEK INVITES: The Wall Street Journal: "[the] increasing use of Internet invites has only made a hard invitation all the more valuable, like a rare bird…Invitations to Fashion Week shows function as conspicuous tickets to the semi-exclusive club of journalists, jet-setters, celebrities, socialites and assorted hangers-on who get invited to the catwalk. They can also amplify a designer's cool factor and serve as keepsakes for crowds of Very Important People." (subscribers only)

4. N.B.A. ALL-STAR PREVIEW: The performers: Pitbull will headline the halftime show, along with Ne-Yo and several others February 26 at Amway Center. Nicki Minaj will also perform a medley during player introductions. Prior to tipoff, Mary J. Blige will sing the U.S. national anthem, and Neverest will sing the Canadian national anthem. At N.B.A. All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm, Will.i.am and Flo Rida will perform.

The celebrity appearances: Ne-Yo, Common, and "Jersey Shore's" Vinny Guadagnino will join former N.B.A. and W.N.B.A. athletes in the Sprint N.B.A. All-Star Celebrity Game, February 24 during N.B.A. All-Star Jam Session at the Orange County Convention Center. Guadagnino was added to the lineup after his 2.7 million Twitter followers started a campaign on his behalf.

Fan voting: For the first time, only fan voting will determine the winner of the Sprite Slam Dunk contest, February 25 at Amway Center. After each of four contestants has executed his first of three dunks, fans will be able to cast votes on Twitter by posting a corresponding letter assigned to each player along with the hashtag #SpriteSlam. For the past four years, the first round of voting was done by a panel of judges and the second round was done by fans using SMS text messages and voting on NBA.com. Sprite has been the title partner of the All-Star Slam Dunk competition since 2003.

5. WHITNEY HOUSTON FUNERAL PLANS: The proceedings will be live streamed online by the Associated Press Saturday. The AP will stream the service here:

Broadcasters can also access the event via satellite. Washington Post:

In other Houston news: Twitter chatter stopped during Jennifer Hudson's tribute to Whitney Houston during Sunday night's Grammy awards. Ad Age: "Following Ms. Hudson's performance, engagement ramped back up and capped at 3.9 million explicit #Grammy mentions. The broadcast probably got a viewer boost because of Ms. Houston's untimely death, but the night belonged to Adele, who dominated Grammy wins (six) and the conversation with 2.5 million mentions—500% more than any other artist, said Beverly Jackson, director of marketing and social media for the Recording Academy."

6. QR CODES SHORT LIVED?: Jon Barocas, founder and C.E.O. of bieMedia, argues that QR codes usage will not last, suggests with alternatives, and highlights security issues. Mashable:

In the meantime, here’s our guide to using QR codes at events:

7. BRAND ENGAGEMENT: At a recent C.M.O. Salon hosted by Forbes, marketers like I.B.M. vice president of corporate marketing John Kennedy and SAP senior vice president of integrated marketing communications Susan Popper discussed how they shape brand engagement. Forbes:


Here’s a look at 10 highlights from our event coverage this week, including the vividly colored, Argentina- and Brazil-inspired design of the Recording Academy's official Grammy after-party, Chevrolet's interactive DJ booth at the Chicago Auto Show, the over-size Barbie closet during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, and the Canadian Film Centre gala's guest-driven art installation.


Startup company Kik Interactive launched mobile application Clik yesterday. The app can turn a smartphone into a remote to control any screen with a browser. TechCrunch:


M.P.I. has named Cindy D'Aoust new chief operating officer beginning April 9. D'Aoust will lead operation deployment of M.P.I. 3.0, the organization's strategic business plan.


COAST TO COAST: GQ's 10 best new restaurants in the U.S. include Ink in Los Angeles, Brushstroke in New York, and Next in Chicago

BOSTON: Cambridge Savings Bank has a new division designed specifically for nonprofits. Six employees are dedicated to helping local nonprofits with services such as event sponsorship; the bank's 10-member street team will also be available to help out at events.

The Industrial Fabrics Association International is celebrating its 100th anniversary year, and will host its trade show I.F.A.I. Expo Americas 2012 at the Boston Convention Center November 7-9 with an expected 7,000 guests. The event will include a welcome reception, 100th anniversary party, and an I.F.A.I. historical museum on the show floor.

CHICAGO: So Dressed Up, a wedding and event planning company, will host its launch party at Kate Spade on Oak Street Sunday. Vendors participating in the private event include Sugar Chic, Event Creative, Jewell Events Catering, and Branded by Love.

The ballroom at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare is undergoing a $3.3 million renovation that will wrap up on March 3. The new space will have color-changing LED lights, upgraded sound and speaker systems, and moveable walls.

Platinum Events will present "The World is a Stage... Dance on It" at Park West February 29. Proceeds benefit St. Joseph Hospital, and "Biggest Loser" contestants Jerry and Estella Hayes host.

LAS VEGAS: MGM Resorts International's M Life has expanded beyond a players club and is now available to all guests, offering rewards for dollars spent at 15 destinations in Las Vegas and across the U.S.

LOS ANGELES: Although this year's Screen Actors Guild awards just wrapped, committee chair JoBeth Williams announced that next award season's 19th annual show has been scheduled for January 27 at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center.

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA: Pop-up restaurant Eating House takes over the Cafe Ponce space in Coral Gables while the Broken Shaker, a pop-up cocktail lounge and speakeasy will be housed at the Indian Creek Hotel in Miami Beach for six months.

NEW YORK: A shoot for Vogue's Great Britain campaign, a new program developed to promote all things British, took over part of a platform at Grand Central station Wednesday. Anna Wintour posed with Victoria Beckham, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig of Marchesa, and David Neville and Marcus Wainwright of Rag & Bone. Vogue:

The three-decade tradition of lunch at Sardi's for the winner of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show—in jeopardy because of the Health Department earlier this week—will go on, due to a waiver from the commissioner. The New York Times:

CNN: New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin has great potential to expand the basketball team's brand.

Obama is heading back to New York for a campaign fund-raiser March 1. One of the evening's events will be held at ABC Kitchen. Bloomberg:

ORLANDO: MegaCon, a science-fiction, fantasy, and comic book convention, takes place today through Sunday at the Orange County Convention Center. The event features appearances from dozens of celebrities such as Stan Lee, Bruce Boxleitner, and Tom Felton, along with hundreds of booths filled with collectibles, comic books, apparel, and merchandise.

SAN FRANCISCO: The Association of Corporate Travel Executives's Global Business Travel Conference is April 22-24 at the Fairmont San Francisco. The event will have educational sessions, a "3 Under 33 Awards," and the A.C.T.E.'s Black and Red Gala.

TORONTO: The Wavelength Festival is celebrating its 12th anniversary this weekend with Canadian indie bands playing at different venues around the city including the Great Hall and Steam Whistle Brewing.

WASHINGTON: The Washington National Opera announced Wednesday that the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates will be the site of its Opera Ball June 2, with Adrienne Arsht as chair.

Kids in Distressed Situations and the national Diaper Bank Network are partnering to distribute 20 million Huggies brand diapers across the U.S., providing diapers first to local teen mothers February 21 at Covenant House Washington.

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us: [email protected]. 

With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, Carla Warrilow in Toronto, and Jana Schiowitz and Anna Sekula in New York.

BizBash Call Sheet is the must-read daily digest of event industry news from BizBash.com. 

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