July 21, 2014: Advanstar Explores Possible Sale, AIDS Conference Honors Crash Victims, John Legend as Unexpected Keynote Speaker

By Beth Kormanik July 21, 2014, 8:10 AM EDT

1. ADVANSTAR EXPLORES POSSIBLE SALE: The event marking company Advanstar is pursuing a potential sale that could reach $900 million. Reuters: “Advanstar is working with investment banks Goldman Sachs Group and Moelis & Co to assist with efforts to find a buyer, the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is not public. The company is best known for putting on twice a year in Las Vegas the Magic fashion trade show, the largest U.S. fashion convention.”

2. AIDS CONFERENCE HONORS CRASH VICTIMS: Organizers of the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, took time Sunday to honor victims of downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, some of whom were slated to attend the event. Bloomberg Businessweek: “Nobel laureate Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, co-chair of the conference, invited dozens of representatives of HIV research and advocacy groups, mostly from the Netherlands, to the stage yesterday as she paid respects to the 298 passengers and crew who died. … Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, singer Bob Geldof and Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu are among about 12,000 public figures, researchers, health-care workers and people living with HIV slated to attend the biennial five-day meeting at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. While the deaths of those on board flight MH17 have brought 'sadness and shock,' Sharon Lewin, an infectious diseases physician and the conference’s other co-chair, said the meeting has to press ahead, working toward a cure for HIV.”

3. JOHN LEGEND AS UNEXPECTED KEYNOTE SPEAKER: At events, singer John Legend is normally a performer, not a keynote speaker. But he took on the unusual role at Interact 14, a conference for marketers, in San Francisco. And he pulled it off, according to Forbes columnist Daniel Newman. Forbes: “I realized that great speakers are entertainers, and they perform. When their performance is to speak, they don’t “talk” about anything, well not technically. The best speakers, the best performers, the best entertainers, they tell stories. They rope you in unknowingly and they slowly grab at places in your heart and your mind that captivate you. Legend being no stranger to the big stage did just that.”


CHICAGO:  Diffa Chicago’s Dining by Design will take place November 6-8. The event will include a cocktail reception, a public viewing, a gala, and the “table hop & taste.”

CINCINNATI:  The National Urban League's annual conference begins Wednesday at the Duke Energy Convention Center.  About 8,000 people are expected to attend, and Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to address the group.

LAS VEGAS:  The 2014 Wireless Hall of Fame celebration is September 9 at the Four Seasons Hotel.

LOS ANGELES:  American Ballet Theatre presents its annual Stars Under the Stars benefit performance September 16 at the Beverly Hills home of Jeanne and Anthony Pritzker.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  South Florida Business Journal: “The Hotel Riu Florida Beach will reopen Nov. 1 under a new name, after $15 million in renovations. Once it debuts, Hotel Riu Plaza Miami Beach from Spain-based RIU Hotels & Resorts will be the first Riu Plaza hotel brand in the U.S. Located at 3101 Collins Ave., the Miami hotel will feature a new main restaurant with a terrace overlooking the sea and a modern redesign of its 284 rooms.”

NEW YORK:  Obica Mozzarella Bar Pizza e Cucina, a new Italian restaurant, opens this week in the former Bar Stuzzichini space. Its private dining room holds 100 for receptions or 60 for banquets.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Veritas Wine Bar in Dupont Circle will close August 2. The venue announced the news on its Facebook page. Eater:

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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.

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