December 5, 2017: How Companies Are Taking Steps to Curb Sexual Misconduct at Office Holiday Parties, Marketers Call on C.E.S. to Add More Women Keynote Speakers, J.C. Penney Makes Fun of Itself With New Holiday Pop-Up Shop

By Ian Zelaya December 5, 2017, 8:25 AM EST

1. HOW COMPANIES ARE TAKING STEPS TO CURB SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AT OFFICE HOLIDAY PARTIES: With male public figures continuing to be the face of sexual harassment scandals, many companies are making changes to their office holiday parties, which include less alcohol, no mistletoe, and the presence of party monitors. Associated Press: “TV and movies often depict office parties as wildly inappropriate bacchanals or excruciatingly awkward fiascoes, if not, horrifyingly, both. But even a regular office party can be complicated because the rules people normally observe at work don’t quite apply, which makes it easier for people to accidentally cross a line — or try to get away with serious misbehavior. Especially when too much drinking is involved. According to a survey by Chicago-based consulting company Challenger, Gray & Christmas, only 49 percent of companies plan to serve alcohol at their holiday events. Last year that number was 62 percent, the highest number in the decade the firm has run its survey. The number had been going up each year as the economy improved. … The Huffington Post reported Friday that Vox Media, which runs sites including Vox and Recode, won’t have an open bar this year at its holiday party and will instead give employees two tickets they can redeem for drinks. It will also have more food than in years past. The company recently fired its editorial director, Lockhart Steele, after a former employee made allegations of sexual harassment against him. A survey by Bloomberg Law said those kinds of safeguards are common: while most companies ask bartenders or security or even some employees to keep an eye on how much partygoers are drinking, others limit the number of free drinks or the time they’re available. A small minority have cash bars instead of an open bar. The National Federation of Independent Businesses recommends all of those steps, and adds another that might seem obvious these days: don’t hang mistletoe. It’s been giving those suggestions for several years.”

2. MARKETERS CALL ON C.E.S. TO ADD MORE WOMEN KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Technology trade show C.E.S. is under fire for its lack of female keynote speakers for the 2018 edition. Marketers and groups are calling on the Las Vegas-based event to add more women to the lineup, as the six keynote address speakers are men. Advertising Age: “GenderAvenger, a group that is dedicated to ensuring ‘women are represented in the public dialogue,’ has taken notice. The group issued an ‘action alert’ last week to call on CES to do something about it. ‘For a show marketed as 'the world's gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies,' it sure seems like 'for all' really means 'for all men,'’ the post says. ‘You still have over five weeks to make this right, CES.’ CES responded in an emailed statement that it has a record of diverse speakers and that participation of ‘strong women business leaders’ extends ‘beyond the keynote stage’ to its other conference sessions as well as the show floor. ‘The Consumer Technology Association, owner and producer of CES, champions diversity of all types – gender, ethnicity, thought and beyond – and we seek to ensure our show reflects that value,’ the statement says. … The marketing community has amplified and aggravated the initial backlash, though, with many of its big names chiming in – including HP's chief marketing and communications officer Antonio Lucio, Twitter CMO Leslie Berland, former president of PepsiCo's global beverage group Brad Jakeman and JP Morgan Chase CMO Kristin Lemkau, who tweeted a list of 22 names of ‘amazing women innovators in tech and media who would slay any keynote anywhere’ that took her ‘less time than it took to drink coffee.’”

3. J.C. PENNEY MAKES FUN OF ITSELF WITH NEW HOLIDAY POP-UP SHOP: Shoppers have long nicknamed J.C. Penney “Jacques Penne,” to make the bargain American retailer sound more lavish, which is why the brand is making fun of itself this season with a holiday pop-up shop of the same name. The pop-up, which will come to New York Friday and Saturday, is part of the company's initiative to appeal to more consumers. The Hollywood Reporter: “The retailer is aiming to create a sense of discovery by discreetly branding the shop ”Jacques Penne,” the fancy Frenchified nickname shoppers have been using for the affordable American department store for decades when wanting to make it sound more chic and expensive. Once inside, shoppers 'will be pleasantly surprised to find that the boutique is actually a J.C. Penney pop-up shop,' according to a release. The two-day shopping experience will offer curated collections from some of the retailer's more recognizable brands, including top picks from Nicole Richie and styles from J.C. Penney design partners Michael Strahan and Libby Edelman. There also will be customer meet-and-greets with actress Laura Marano, WeWoreWhat blogger Danielle Bernstein and YouTube stars Brooklyn and Bailey. ... The 'Jacques Penne' shop is part of the chain's plan to help customers rediscover the department store, which has struggled to maintain its appeal as a shopping destination in the last couple of years (as most department stores have), by inviting them to take part in a J.C. Penney Holiday Challenge 'to beat their holiday budget and get more for less.' (J.C. Penney reported a net loss of $128 million in its third quarter, compared to a net loss of $67 million in the same period last year.)"


Deborah Sexton will step down from her role as president and chief executive officer of the Professional Convention Management Association after the Convening Leaders event in Nashville in January. Sexton served has served in the role for more than 12 years. 


LAS VEGAS:  Caesars Entertainment has announced plans to develop Caesars Forum, a 550,000-square-foot conference center that the corporation says will have the two largest pillar-less ballrooms in North America. The $375 million venue, which will accommodate more than 10,000 attendees, is slated to open in 2020. 

LOS ANGELES:  This year's Oscars will air at 8 p.m. EST, 30 minutes earlier than prior telecasts. The pre-show will begin at 6:30 p.m. The 90th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre on March 4 and broadcast live on ABC; Jimmy Kimmel will host, and Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd will produce.

On December 9, 16, and 23, children and families will be able to join the Cocoa With Santa Experience at the Westfield Century City. The immersive Christmas-theme experience will feature surprise gifts, holiday music, desserts, photo opportunities, and craft activities, and all proceeds will benefit Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Serena Williams will headline the ninth annual All-Star Charity Tennis Event at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, on March 20, 2018. 

NEW YORK:  The Mets will host their annual Kids Holiday Party on Thursday at the Foxwoods Club at Citi Field. 

The New York chapter of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (N.Y.I.A.E.E.) will have its holiday celebration December 13 at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel. 

The annual NYC & Company Foundation's Visionaries & Voices Gala will take place December 18 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom. Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The National Board of Review’s annual awards gala will take place January 9 at Cipriani 42nd Street. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek has appointed Dawn Kingston as senior sales manager responsible for group sales in the Midwest market. 

TORONTO:  Casa Loma Canadian Winter Nights will run December 18-January 7. The venue, which will be transformed into a winter palace, will feature a lights display, live entertainment, holiday treats, and a toy drop-off for the CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish program. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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