January 8, 2014: Michelle Obama’s Unusual Birthday Party Directive, Rival Executive Thrown Out After Crashing C.E.S. Event, Fan Sues Over Super Bowl Ticket Allocation

By Beth Kormanik January 8, 2014, 8:09 AM EST

1. MICHELLE OBAMA’S UNUSUAL BIRTHDAY PARTY DIRECTIVE: Those invited to First Lady Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday party later this month are instructed to “eat before you come,” a request that's puzzling event experts such as Colin Cowie and André Wells. Washington Post: “To ask people to ‘eat before you come’ is not the way I would have done it,” Cowie said. “I always think of the food. When it comes to making people feel welcome we give them great music, a well-stocked bar, and excellent food—and you do it abundantly.”

2. RIVAL EXECUTIVE THROWN OUT AFTER CRASHING C.E.S. EVENT: Corporate feuds usually do not take place at private concerts by the rap act Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. TechWire: “T-Mobile's C.E.O. John Legere is taking his ‘bad boy’ image and feud with AT&T to the next level: he crashed a party thrown by AT&T at the International C.E.S. gadget show in Las Vegas, and was thrown out after being discovered. The incident late Monday night occurred amid a recent escalation of the intense rivalry between the two companies.”

3. FAN SUES OVER SUPER BOWL TICKET ALLOCATION: A New Jersey Man says the N.F.L. does not make enough tickets to the Super Bowl available to the general public, saying that the league’s allocation practices run afoul of state law. Star-Ledger: “The pertinent subsection of the statute states, ‘It shall be an unlawful practice for a person, who has access to tickets to an event prior to the tickets’ release for sale to the general public, to withhold those tickets from sale to the general public in an amount exceeding 5% of all available seating for the event.’ In essence, alleges Finkelman and Nagel, the N.F.L. was required to make 95 percent of the MetLife Super Bowl tickets available to the public—which they say does not include season-ticket-holders—at face value.”


The P.C.M.A. Education Foundation has hired Susan Mennenga as its new executive director. Press release:


ATLANTA:  CORT Trade Show & Event Furnishings has hired Victoria Shelton as its exhibit house account executive for the Central and Southeastern states; she will be based in Atlanta.

BOSTON:  Phantom Gourmet will host the Steak & Cheese Throwdown at Howl at the Moon on January 13. The event will pit All Star Sandwich Bar and Al's State Street against each other in a steak and cheese competition and will include live piano music.

Bastille Kitchen is set to open soon in Fort Point. According to a Craigslist post, the venue will seat 240 and have two private event spaces. Eater:

CHICAGO:  The Pittsfield Building at 55 East Washington Street may house a 250-room hotel in the near future. The Chicago Tribune: The building already has an event space; check out our walk-through:

LAS VEGAS:  PopSci has a look inside Monster’s “weird” C.E.S. press conference:

LONDON:  New York's Brooklyn Bowl is expanding to London, opening an outpost at the O2 arena January 16. The 800-person concert venue will feature 12 lanes of bowling—three of which are elevated in a private party area with its own bar—and food by Bromberg Bros. Blue Ribbon Restaurants.

LOS ANGELES:  The Board of Trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles announced Tuesday that in less than ten months, it has met and exceeded its goal of raising the museum’s endowment to a historic high of more than $100 million, thereby securing its independence.

The latest performances for the 56th annual Grammy awards telecast were announced Tuesday, and they include Lorde, Katy Perry, and Metallica with Grammy cultural ambassador to China Lang Lang. Boyz II Men, Ciara, and DJ Michelle Pesce are scheduled to perform at the Grammy Celebration, the Recording Academy's official after-party.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Les Dames D’Escoffier Miami will host its annual Giant Gourmet Garage Sale January 25 at the Galleria of the Coral Gables Museum.

NEW YORK:  On January 25, the DiMenna Children’s History Museum at the New-York Historical Society will host its second annual Family Benefit Party, an all-ages event with activities, experiences, and food. The event is sponsored by Donna Karan.

The 26th annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair is slated for May 17-20 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

I.e. Design Events has changed its name to Cathy Casey Events.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey presents a new show, Legends, at the Amway Center Thursday to Sunday.

The  Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will open in November with a multiday celebration produced by AEG Live. Orlando Sentinel:

SAN DIEGO:  Hilton San Diego Bayfront named Carissa Giacalone its executive chef. The hotel four restaurants and 165,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Giacalone is a former contestant on The Next Food Network Star.

TORONTO:  The Toronto Insurance Women's Association Dinner Meeting is January 21 at Hyatt Toronto Regency.

WASHINGTON:  Kelly Olson, a former executive at the General Services Administration, has been hired by Atlantic Media as senior director in charge of events for its Government Executive Media Group. Mediabistro:

Sweetgreen announced that its fifth annual Sweetlife Music & Food Festival is scheduled for May 10 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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