December 13, 2013: Why Your Conference Isn’t Unique, Time Warner Plans Super Bowl Pop-Up, HBO Invites Fans to Internet Roast

By Beth Kormanik December 13, 2013, 8:24 AM EST

1. WHY YOUR CONFERENCE ISN’T UNIQUE: Meeting and conference planners like to think they present unique and essential content for their attendees. After analyzing three years of events, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting concluded that few deliver on this promise: “Frequently a conference’s leadership says their event is unique, innovative and the voice of their industry. But every conference claims to be the single go-to-event for an industry’s movers and shakers while providing unique innovative experiences. It is time to be honest with ourselves about what really is—and is not—unique about our conferences.”

2. TIME WARNER PLANS SUPER BOWL POP-UP: Time Warner Cable announced plans for a Super Bowl pop-up in New York’s meatpacking district that will focus on fan engagement through music, sports, and entertainment. Media Bistro’s Lost Remote: “Time Warner Cable Studios will feature performances from high-profile music acts and surprise celebrity guests, and the cable provider’s Facebook page will be live-streaming the red carpet activity for all concerts.”

3. HBO CREATES TWITTER ROAST OF 'GAME OF THRONES' CHARACTER: To keep fans engaged with Game of Thrones in between seasons, HBO and Agency 360i launched an “Internet roast” of one of the show's most hated characters, King Joffrey. Advertising Age: “The agency decided then, what better way to celebrate such a vilified character than with what it bills as the first-ever internet roast. 'We thought about what we could do that would put fans at the core of participation—with this idea, we immediately knew we had something,' said 360i Chief Creative Officer Adam Kerj. 'There are so many hardcore fans, there's social spread built into the idea.'”


BOSTON:  Theatre 1 at Revere Hotel Boston Common will host a holiday installment of its series Reel Chefs on December 17. The dinner-and-a-movie event will feature a screening of Elf, and chef Brendan Pelley will serve a thematic three-course meal.

CHICAGO:  Hard Rock Hotel Chicago and Playboy will host a formal gala on New Year's Eve with celebrity guests, live entertainment, games, and food.

LAS VEGAS:  Hyde Bellagio will celebrate New Year’s Eve with Paris Hilton taking over the DJ booth for a performance.

LOS ANGELES:  The Recording Academy announced its Special Merit Awards recipients Thursday, with honorees including the Beatles, the Isley Brothers, Kraftwerk, Kris Kristofferson, and more. A ceremony will be held during Grammy Week on January 25.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Chef Fabio Viviani is expanding his Chicago-based Siena Tavern concept to Miami this summer in the former China Grill space. More tidbits about a rumored Eataly location are in the Miami Herald's Rumor Mill feature:

NEW YORK:  NYC & Company C.E.O. George Fertitta will step down effective December 31 to pursue a to-be-announced job. Executive vice president of market development Fred Dixon will serve as interim president and C.E.O. 

The International Council of Shopping Centers New York National Conference and Deal Making had nearly 7,600 attendees, the largest year-on-year increase since 2009.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

OAHU, HAWAII:  AEG Facilities, which will assume management of the Hawai‘i Convention Center January 1, named Teri Orton as general manager of the 1.1 million-square-foot facility.

ORLANDO:  Universal Orlando Resort will add eight new venues to its CityWalk dining and entertainment complex by June. New venues will include Hot Dog Hall of Fame, serving hot dogs from ballparks around the country; Cowfish, a North Carolina-based restaurant that serves burgers and sushi; Bread Box sandwich shop; and Antojitos Mexican restaurant.

TORONTO:  Metro Toronto Convention Centre has become the first conference venue in Canada to be certified to a new international sustainability standard, achieving the American Society for Testing and Materials level one certification.

WASHINGTON:  Park Hyatt Washington’s Blue Duck Tavern and Lounge has added several seasonal cocktails to its menu such as the Café Park (Grand Marnier and espresso), Apple Bourbon (Buffalo Trace, Daron Calvados, and apple cider), and Park Spritzer (Prairie Organic, Aperol, orange and mint). It also added three mocktails.

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, Lauren Matthews, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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