January 15, 2019: Trump Inauguration Spending Included $10,000 on Makeup, Hulu Surprise Releases Fyre Festival Documentary Ahead of Netflix, Facebook Plans Event-Sharing Feature on Stories

By Ian Zelaya January 15, 2019, 8:47 AM EST


1. TRUMP INAUGURATION SPENDING INCLUDED $10,000 ON MAKEUP: President Donald Trump's inaugural committee, which is currently under federal investigation for its use of around $100 million in donations for the inauguration, made expenditures that included $10,000 in makeup for 20 aides at one event; $30,000 in per diem payments to numerous contract staff members; and a bill from the Trump International Hotel that was more than $1.5 million, according to new details. The investigation was partly sparked by a recorded conversation between former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and first lady Melania Trump's former adviser and inaugural planner Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. The New York Times: “WIS Media Partners became the inaugural committee’s top vendor, acting as a kind of general contractor and overseeing a series of events. It received nearly $26 million, much of which was paid out to other vendors. ... WIS also helped bring in a New York-based party planner named David Monn, who refused to sign a contract, according to two people familiar with the arrangement. Mr. Monn charged the committee a total of $3.7 million, from which he paid subcontractors. Among other tasks, Ms. Winston Wolkoff and colleagues managed the 500-person black-tie dinner hosted by Mr. Barrack at the neo-Classical Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium and a 1,500-person 'candlelight' dinner at Union Station. They decided the decorations were not elegant enough and needed to be enhanced. Mr. Monn spent $924,000 on seven-foot-high wreaths, moss-covered obelisks, flowers, and other decorations to dress up Union Station. Makeup was provided for 20 staff members at a cost of $500 per person. For the dinner at the auditorium, table menus, table numbers, and place cards, including an on-site calligrapher to correct last-minute mistakes, amounted to $91 per guest." https://nyti.ms/2ALOQrP

2. HULU SURPRISE RELEASES FYRE FESTIVAL DOCUMENTARY AHEAD OF NETFLIX: Hulu surprise released its documentary about the Fyre Festival on Monday, just days before Netflix's documentary about the ill-fated event will be released on Friday. Hulu's Fyre Fraud, directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, focuses on what happened before, during, and after the disastrous non-event in the Bahamas, which was organized by entrepreneur Billy McFarland. The film features an exclusive post-festival interview with McFarland, who is currently serving six years in prison for wire fraud. Billboard: “While diving deeply into the debacle of Fyre Festival—which was itself meant to launch an app called Fyre that would allow people, in Tinder-like fashion, to book celebrities for appearances—Fyre Fraud delves into the millennial culture that thrives on FOMO (fear of missing out). It shows how McFarland, and to a lesser extent, his partner, rapper Ja Rule, tapped into the generation’s obsession with influencers, such as Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid, both of whom McFarland convinced to hype the festival. (Though it’s unclear how much McFarland paid Jenner, it’s revealed that she receives up to $250,000 to endorse an event on social media.)" https://bit.ly/2RwDAtO

3. FACEBOOK PLANS EVENT-SHARING FEATURE ON STORIES: Facebook hasn't seemed to gain the same popularity for its Stories product like Instagram has, but now the social platform plans to make events its new big focus for the real-time, 24-hour sharing feature. Facebook announced Monday that it plans to test a way to allow users to share events they're interested in and coordinate gatherings in real life with friends, by using Stories. The Verge: “Unlike your standard Stories feature, which Facebook initially cribbed from Snapchat for use on Instagram to help it become exceptionally more popular, this specific implementation is designed to share the details of an event with your friends. That way, you can see who may want to come to an upcoming show or some other activity that has a corresponding event page. The stories will come with tappable stickers for revealing event details, and friends can toggle themselves as 'interested' or 'going' to the event right from within the story. There’s also a link to the event page built in and a way to start a group chat on Messenger with friends who responded." https://bit.ly/2QOljCW

* LOCAL NEWS *

COAST TO COAST:  U.F.C. has named Motel 6 its first economy lodging partner. As part of the new partnership, Motel 6 will have a branded presence inside the Octogon for select U.F.C. events. 

BOSTON:  Experiential marketing agency Access TCA has appointed Chris Metzger senior vice president of client services. 

CHICAGO:  The Association For Creative Industries has selected SmithBucklin to provide association management. The company’s headquarters will open at 330 North Wabash Avenue on April 1. 

The cocoa crawl will take place February 2 in downtown Long Grove. The event, organized by the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association, will offer guests cocoa and chocolate-inspired treats at participating stores and restaurants. 

LOS ANGELES:  The inaugural BeachLife Festival will take place May 3-5 at Redondo Beach’s Seaside Lagoon. The festival will be headlined by Brian Wilson, Bob Weir, and Willie Nelson, and will feature a 50-seat pop-up restaurant with band-inspired menus from Southern California-based chefs. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The 10th annual Key West Food & Wine Festival will take place January 23-27 at venues throughout the city. 

NEW YORK:  Rodos, a new restaurant helmed by Emeril Lagasse, Yiannis Chatiris, and Eleni Vareli has opened at Hotel Henri. The restaurant serves Greek-inspired food and seats 112 guests. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE:  R Entertainment, a special event, business development, and concert entertainment company, has appointed Bryan R. Sperber president. Sperber was formerly president of ISM Raceway. 

SAN FRANCISCO:  The Flyer San Francisco, a flying theater attraction, has opened at Pier 39. Created by global attraction developer Triotech and W.A. Alter Inc., the ride virtually takes guests over city and Bay Area landmarks. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Event production company Dufour & Co. has rebranded as the Dufour Collaborative. The Dufour Collaborative has named Nate Rohnke executive vice president; Katie Kenney project manager; Kathryn Hurst project coordinator; and Gabby Kopf project assistant. 

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

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.

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