June 2, 2014: Los Angeles Debuts Technology Conference, John Waters Prepares to Host Fashion Awards, Cisco Expands Virtual Meeting Rooms for Conferences

By Beth Kormanik June 2, 2014, 7:57 AM EDT

1. LOS ANGELES DEBUTS TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE: Taking a page from private technology conferences, the city of Los Angeles sponsored its own big data event this weekend that drew more than 1,500 registrants. Los Angeles Times: “As part of the weekend event, Los Angeles officials threw open their newly accessible data to teams competing in a 'hackathon.' Challenges included creating new apps to boost economic development, transform underserved communities and make Angelenos safer, with thousands of dollars in prize money up for grabs. Techies and students huddled around laptops on the 10th floor of City Hall, strategizing about how to battle local problems.”

2. JOHN WATERS PREPARES TO HOST FASHION AWARDS: Director and camp icon John Waters is hosting tonight’s Council of Fashion Designers of America awards show, and previewed his turn at the helm by talking about his design influences and what he thinks about everyone from Fashion Icon honoree Rihanna to current council President Diane von Furstenberg. The New York Times: “He is indeed not the beneficiary of stunt casting. He brims with twisted, Watersian ideas about fashion. … I think people should be out campaigning for these, like they do for the Oscars, but no one seems to.”

3. CISCO EXPANDS VIRTUAL MEETING ROOMS FOR CONFERENCES: Cisco Systems is adding to its offerings for virtual meetings and conferences. Business Travel News: “Seeing an opportunity for an open, cloud-based virtual meetings platform, Cisco Systems this month announced the development of Collaboration Meeting Rooms, a network of high-tech computers and cloud technology that Cisco claims will host better-quality virtual conferences.”


BOSTON:  The Taco Truck has opened its first brick-and-mortar restaurant in Harvard Square. With a sustainable design, the venue serves tacos stuffed with catfish, braised shredded beef, and fried avocados.

CHICAGO:  John Cordeaux is the new executive chef at Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, and will oversee all social catering and banquet operation. Cordeaux has had previous stints at the Fairmont hotels in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Tippling Hall, the soon-to-open restaurant from Mercadito Hospitality, has released menu details. Items will include beer-cheese fondue, duck-confit empanadas, and baked ratatouille with goat cheese.

DALLAS:  Fashion X Dallas has tentatively set dates of November 5-8, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

HOUSTON:  Aggreko, which provides temporary power and temperature control services, has named Chris Weston as chief executive officer. It also promoted Carole Cran to chief financial officer and executive director.

LAS VEGAS:  Rachel Diehl is leaving Preferred Public Relations to join the Public Education Foundation as associate director of PR & marketing.

LOS ANGELES:  The 2014 StarChefs Los Angeles Rising Stars Gala is June 12 at Vibiana.

Greg Drebin has been appointed to senior vice president of worldwide marketing for Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution.

The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits announced the reopening of two spaces: Observation Pit, an interpretive center, will be available for special tours after several decades of closure, and Pit 91will be reactivated for paleontological excavation following a seven-year hiatus.

Songs of Hope X, the 10th anniversary benefit for City of Hope, is Wednesday at a private residence in Brentwood. Colbie Caillat is scheduled to perform.

Dwimmer is a new company that will create pop-up retail experiences in unusual locations such as an alleyway, abandoned storefront, or mansion. The Los Angeles-based company, founded by Laurel Tincher, plans to start holding events in October.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  TigerDirect announced it expects to double attendance for its third annual TigerDirect Tech Bash to 20,000 people at the event, schedule for November 7 at Marlins Park.

NEW YORK:  The Gramercy Park Hotel has two new meeting and event spaces, Park Room and Board Room, which can be reserved together or separately along with an adjacent foyer. Both are located on the second floor overlooking Gramercy Park and include audiovisual equipment such as 80-inch LED television, Apple TV, Skype camera, DVD/Blue Ray player, and surround-sound Russ audio system with DJ inputs.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  Teal Project 2014, an event benefitting Ovarian Cancer Canada, will be held at the Everleigh on June 12.

Two Toronto venues from Dynamic Hosptiality, the newly renovated Atlantis and the Eglinton Grand, offer kosher kitchens on site.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The American Beer Classic, produced by Red Frog Events, is July 12 at RFK Stadium.

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us:

JOB BOARD: Post a job or find a job:

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

Feed the Sheet:


Advertise with BizBash:


Your email inquiry will be sent to 3 venue