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January 16, 2015: Rethinking the State of the Union, Why Men’s Fashion Shows Matter, Do the Oscars Have a Diversity Problem?

By Beth Kormanik January 16, 2015, 8:13 AM EST

1. RETHINKING THE STATE OF THE UNION: With viewership of the president’s annual State of the Union address falling to 33 million people last year, the White House is rethinking how to present the big policy announcements typically unveiled in the speech. Associated Press: “The dwindling impact of the big speech has sent the White House searching for new ways to break through. It's now thinking of the State of the Union as an ‘organizing principle’ rather than a single, communal event. So instead of waiting until Tuesday night's address to announce new initiatives, Obama has spent the past two weeks unveiling them in a series of speeches around the country and social media posts. The White House is aiming to get people who don't tune in to the 9 p.m. EST address to catch up with at least parts of it later. And the president's first big post-speech interview will go not to a big newspaper or TV network but to YouTube, in hopes of capturing the attention of some of those less likely to have watched the actual speech.” http://strib.mn/1C7jkyO

2. WHY MEN’S FASHION SHOWS MATTER: The women get the headlines, but men’s fashion shows—which are being shown across Europe this month—communicate important trends from the industry to consumers. Wall Street Journal: “‘They’re trade shows meant for press and buyers to dissect and edit,’ says Isabelle Kountoure, fashion director at Wallpaper* magazine, ‘but what is presented at the shows trickles down to the broader industry and becomes trends that all men inevitably buy into. What we’re wearing reflects where we are in society—that’s what makes the men’s shows so interesting.’” http://on.wsj.com/1AnoXnW

3. DO THE OSCARS HAVE A DIVERSITY PROBLEM?: One trend critics and moviegoers noticed from the Academy Award nominations Thursday was its lack of diversity. The New York Times: “The 2015 Oscars nominations did not recognize any actors of color, nor did the director Ava DuVernay receive a nod for her work on “Selma” (which is up for best picture). And the omissions were widely noted online. … Two hours after the nominations were announced, the analytics service Topsy found that thousands of people had used the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to voice their frustration and disappointment with the Academy’s choices.” http://nyti.ms/1BBkqmi


BOSTON:  The Ellie Fund’s 19th annual Red Carpet Gala is February 22. Guests will watch the broadcast of the Academy Awards; there will also be hosted bars, chef stations, and live and silent auctions.

CHICAGO:  The world’s first Virgin Hotel opened in Chicago on Thursday. Housed in a former bank building from the 1920s, the venue has 250 rooms and an app called “Lucy,” which acts as everything from a virtual concierge to a thermostat.

Variety, the Children’s Charity of Illinois, will host is Academy Awards Viewing Gala on February 22 at Hollywood Boulevard Cinema in Woodridge. The event include a red-carpet reception, a silent auction, and a broadcast of the award ceremony on the theater’s big screen.

LAS VEGAS:  Mariah Carey is coming to Las Vegas with a headlining residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. For the first time ever, she will perform all 18 of her number one hits together in one concert; the residency begins May 6.

Dimension Design, a producer of branded environments for the event and exhibit industry, has opened a 23,000-square-foot production facility in Las Vegas.

LOS ANGELES:  The Anaheim Convention Center and Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau announced Thursday a $2.5 million investment by Smart City Networks into the convention center’s Wi-Fi network system capability. The new Cisco-based high density network will allow for faster, more streamlined wireless service, accommodating the increasing number of mobile users and devices at events.

Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Women’s International Zionist Organization will host its annual Gala Dinner February 12 at the Diplomat Resort & Spa. The keynote speaker is Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States.

NEW YORK:  Tribeca Film Festival will launch a hub at the 150,000-square-foot Spring Studios for many of the non-film screening events. The festival has created a “resident pass” to provide access to the hub, and it will also be accessible to industry, press, and filmmakers. Day passes also will be available. The festival is April 15-26.

Visual AIDS will host the 17th annual Postcards From the Edge benefit preview party on January 30 at Luhring Augustine gallery.

Julian Jaeger, former director of partnerships for the Clinton Global Initiative, has joined Zkipster as the chief business officer.

The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center announced today that it will present the 15th annual Monte Cristo Award to actor Nathan Lane at a gala dinner April 13 at the Edison Ballroom.

Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

ORLANDO:  Visit Orlando has hired Barbara Balaguras as senior national account executive.

SAN DIEGO:  Fast Forward Ventures has hired Lauryn Hudson Edwards to join its sales and new business development divisions.

SAN FRANCISCO:  Manos Nouveau, a Latin-French restaurant, reopened on Tuesday in the Castro. The new space has two stories and 49 seats; menu offerings include prawns with creamy-spicy sauce and pan-seared scallops with yuca.

TORONTO:  The seventh Advertising & Marketing Week Canada is scheduled for January 26-30.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Starting in February, chefs from Mike Isabella Concepts restaurants will offer a series of cooking classes. Guests will be served wine along with samples of each dish. Eventbrite is handling ticketing.

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us: tips@bizbash.com

JOB BOARD: Post a job or find a job: http://jobs.bizbash.com

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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