July 3, 2018: Amazon Prime Day Campaign Will Include Live Events in Giant Boxes, Taco Bell Hosted 60 Weddings in the Last Year, the New Way Hotels Are Competing With Airbnb

By Ian Zelaya July 3, 2018, 8:31 AM EDT

1. AMAZON PRIME DAY CAMPAIGN WILL INCLUDE LIVE EVENTS IN GIANT BOXES: In the two weeks leading up to the Amazon Prime Day sale on July 16, the e-commerce company will install giant boxes in cities including Los Angeles and New York. The 25-foot boxes will have surprise live events. USA Today: “The giant boxes, which will also appear in London, Tokyo and Milan, will open to reveal a pop-up event that will be live-streamed on the Amazon website. New York City’s event could be a concert and Los Angeles’ a video-gaming event. Fashion and literary themes are also a possibility. ‘New this year, members can ... experience surprise entertainment events unboxed from giant Smile boxes in major cities,’ said Jeff Wilke, Amazon's head of retail. The marketing blitz comes in advance of Amazon's fourth annual Prime Day sales event. In 2017, Prime Day brought in revenue of about $1 billion, according to estimates by Cowen & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., triple the company’s average daily e-commerce revenue. ... The concept of opening the boxes in public is a nod to the popularity of ‘unboxing videos.’ Hugely popular online, these feature a simple video shot of someone taking a product out of a box and sometimes enumerating what’s inside.”

2. TACO BELL HOSTED 60 WEDDINGS IN THE LAST YEAR: A fast food chain is probably the last venue many would consider for a wedding—but since getting into the marriage business last year, Taco Bell has held 60 weddings at its Las Vegas flagship location. Food & Wine: “But if you want Taco Bell to be part of your wedding day without schlepping to Las Vegas, you can still incorporate Taco Bell branding, wherever you end up celebrating: Taco Bell's Taco Shop now sells ‘Taco Bell wedding attire and accessories,’ including garters, bow ties, and t-shirts. That's correct—we live in a world where Taco Bell-branded garters exist. Couples can also purchase (here) an entire wedding package, which includes a Taco Bell garter, bow tie, sauce packet wedding bouquet, ‘Just Married’ t-shirts, Taco Bell champagne flutes, a Cinnabon wedding cake, and a Taco 12 Pack. ‘In just one year, we have had over 60 couples, averaging more than one per week, tie the knot with us at our Las Vegas Cantina,’ said Marisa Thalberg, Chief Brand Officer of Taco Bell, in a statement. ‘And as we round this anniversary, we are excited to make future ceremonies even bigger and better than before.’ The chain has expanded their ‘Party Room,’ so more guests can attend the Vegas ceremony.”

3. THE NEW WAY HOTELS ARE COMPETING WITH AIRBNB: Hotels have been been trying to stave off competition from home-sharing companies like Airbnb—and now, the hotel industry’s latest tactic is to also get into the home-sharing business. The New York Times: “Hotel companies were ‘in a bit of denial’ about competition from Airbnb, said Makarand Mody, assistant professor of hospitality marketing at Boston University. ‘Now, they see it’s the same travelers, just choosing different accommodations based on the occasion or situation.’ Guests who stay in a hotel for a business trip may prefer a multi-bedroom apartment in an interesting neighborhood for family vacations, rather than connecting hotel rooms. Adding private home rental is a way to capture more of the customers’ total travel spending, Dr. Mody said. ‘If I’m a Marriott customer, Marriott wants me to be able to find all my lodging needs on their website,’ he said, ‘whether it’s a business trip or family reunion.’ It is only natural, he said, for hotel portfolios to include a new type of accommodation that the market wants. AccorHotels, which operates hotels and other properties in 100 countries, has entered the home sharing market over the past two years by acquiring companies already operating there. In 2016 it bought Onefinestay, which was founded in London in 2010 and rents upscale private homes and apartments. Accor has also purchased Squarebreak, which offers home rentals across a wider price spectrum, and Travelkeys, which manages vacation properties, like condominiums at beach resorts. The properties all offer check-in with a company employee, 24-hour support services, professional cleaning and hotel-style toiletries. Private home rental is complementary to hotel offerings, said Javier Cedillo-Espin, chief executive of Onefinestay.”


Quest Events has acquired Totally Mod, an Orlando-based furniture, scenic, and decor solution company. Press release:


LOS ANGELES:  The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association's second annual National Take a Stand Festival will take place July 5-14, while the sixth annual Take a Stand Symposium will take place July 13-14.

The inaugural Brunch Life festival will take place August 4 at Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach. The festival will serve mimosas and brunch items from vendors including Fiesta Gourmet, Island Soul Kitchen, Gaucho Grill, and Agaves Kitchen. 

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Miami Beach has given an initial green light for a new, 800-room convention center hotel. Miami Herald:

NEW YORK:  Bonnier Corp., a publishing group that owns brands including Popular Science, Saveur, and Field & Stream, has appointed Jonathan Moore senior vice president of events. 

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

TORONTO:  The inaugural BurgerMania will take place July 6-8 at Ontario Place. Burgers will be served in slider format from vendors including Burger Revolution,  Holy Chuck, Food Dudes, and Golden Star. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Omni Homestead Resort has debuted new summer and fall banquet menus, which include a sangria bar, ice cream truck, mashed potato bar, “Tour of Virginia”-theme menu for small groups, and a picnic buffet. The 483-room resort has 72,000 square feet of meeting space and is located in Hot Springs, Virginia.

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us:

JOB BOARD: Post a job or find a job:

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

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

Feed the Sheet:


Advertise with BizBash:


Sign up for the BizBash Daily - stay current with the event industry.
Your email inquiry will be sent to 3 venue