1. WHY NBC UNIT IS INVESTING IN EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING: Events are a key part of the marketing strategy under a new plan to promote cable networks like USA and Bravo, according to a profile of Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal's Cable Entertainment Group, whom the Hollywood Reporter named the most powerful woman in entertainment. At a corporate retreat in New York, she called upon social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk to inspire new marketing strategies. The result is a new “innovation fund” for new initiatives. The Hollywood Reporter: “A group of 20-somethings at the company will be given a budget to dream up other ways to reach younger viewers through social media, guerrilla campaigns and other events. ‘We have the best marketers in the business, but they have to take a look at everything they've been doing for the last decade and question it,’ said Hammer, ‘because if you think about what attracted us in the past and created noise and recognition, there's a glut of it, and it's not how the millennials get their messages.’” http://bit.ly/12uPHJC
2. HOW TO FIX SANTACON’S BAD REPUTATION: The holiday-theme bar crawl in New York known as SantaCon, scheduled to take place Saturday, has hired noted civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel to represent them in an effort to preserve the event in the face of criticism from the community and the venues they seek to visit. Gothamist: “A SantaCon organizer explains, ‘With our numbers increasing it attracts a certain element that doesn't understand the ethics behind it. It's about art in public space, creativity, donning gay apparel and being festive.’ Citing the Halloween Parade, which started out as an unauthorized street party before becoming an official parade in 1985, SantaCon organizers say they're ‘investigating other parade and festival-like options for the 2015 event and beyond.’” http://bit.ly/1GgIewB
3. THE “DISRUPTERS” CHANGING THE EVENT INDUSTRY: New ideas from ticketing platforms like EventBrite and the event app company DoubleDutch are changing the event industry. One key to their success is providing data for event planners to learn from. Forbes: “Post campaign analysis is key to learning why some events fail and others enjoy success. Which stalls are popular, which fast food outlets do a less than roaring trade, and how long do people spend where, and why? These kind of questions can be answered using data mining, and obviously those who can provide the largest datasets will be able to demand the highest prices. It’s a game that all event managers will soon be playing.” http://onforb.es/1qzRKXN
* INDUSTRY NEWS *
The International Association of Exhibitions and Events has selected the recipients of its 20 Under 30 awards program. The honorees were recognized at Expo! Expo! IAEE's Annual Meeting & Exhibition, which concludes today in Los Angeles. Find a list of the honorees here: http://bit.ly/169YYJa
* LOCAL NEWS *
BOSTON: Bullfrog & Baum has been named the agency of record for Himmel Hospitality Group, which operates three local restaurants: Grill 23 & Bar, Harvest, and Post 390.
CHICAGO: Steakhouse Gene & Georgetti will open a new restaurant and event space in Rosemont in 2015. The venue, which is still to be named, will host weddings and events; the restaurant will have a menu and atmosphere inspired by the original Gene & Georgetti.
The Revel Group will host its annual Super Bowl party, #RevelBowl, on February 1 at Union Station. The theme is “Katy Perry Candyland,” a nod to this year's halftime headliner. Ticket proceeds benefit Oakley Square through Revel Cares.
LAS VEGAS: The ninth edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit returns April 23-26 to Aria, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, and MGM Grand. Headliners include chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Gordon Ramsay, Julian Serrano, François Payard, Masa Takayama, Michael Mina, and Guy Savoy.
Olivia Newton-John’s “Summer Nights” residency at the Flamingo Las Vegas will extend through September.
LOS ANGELES: Hotel Maya’s new 6,400-square-foot Lagunita waterfront pavilion is now open.
The London West Hollywood has appointed Shane Aaron Bunda as director of catering and special events.
Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA: Rakontur and ESPN Films are hosting a screening of the new 30 for 30 documentary The U Part 2 tonight at the Colony Theatre.
NEW YORK: The American Museum of Natural History announced plans for a $325 million, six-story addition that would finish in 2019. The New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1GgFUWu
Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork
SAN FRANCISCO: Hotel Triton in Union Square has launched a “Triton on Tap” package. The package offers guests individual tours of local breweries, including Magnolia DogPatch Brewery and ThirstyBear Brewing Company.
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center announced the appointment of Anthony Arbeeny as general manager of the recently renovated hotel.
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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.
BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.
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