June 26, 2014: Google’s Crazy Cardboard Giveaway, Why More Event Planners Are Turning to Mobile, Dozens Hospitalized at Boston Concert

By Beth Kormanik June 26, 2014, 8:24 AM EDT

1. GOOGLE’S CRAZY CARDBOARD GIVEAWAY: Google handed out a strange gift after the keynote at its I/O developer conference Wednesday: a construction kit dubbed Google Cardboard. Mashable: “Cardboard is a way to create an Oculus Rift-like virtual reality viewer with your Android smartphone. Users can put together their Cardboard kits—which contains corrugated cardboard, some lenses, magnets, two strips of velcro and a rubber band. … Google wants developers to combine Cardboard with its experimental VR Toolkit to build immersive virtual experiences.”

2. WHY MORE EVENT PLANNERS ARE TURNING TO MOBILE: Mobile technology continues to change the environment at professional and social events, giving planners better tools and attendees more options for managing their experience. Forbes: “The event-planning sector will predictably continue to search for easier ways to gather feedback data, and lower the cost of administering events in a crowded market. Mobile is poised to offer event planners an easier means of oversight, and event attendees an easier means of saying thanks.”

3. DOZENS HOSPITALIZED AT BOSTON CONCERT: Concert promoter Live Nation and Boston venue TD Garden are being asked for explanations for why dozens of fans were hospitalized at a show for popular electronic dance artist Avicii Wednesday. Drugs, alcohol, and stifling conditions at the venue may have played a part in the evening, which saw 36 concertgoers sent to hospitals and more than 50 others treated at the scene. Boston Globe: “Mike Santostefano, 19, of Millis, said he saw three young women being carried out on stretchers. ‘You couldn’t breathe if you were on the floor,’ he said. ‘It was the best and worst time ever.’”


AUSTIN:  Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, which runs August 26-September 1, has announced the initial lineup, which includes headliners Mo Collins, Maribeth Monroe, Paul Brittain, Lauren Lapkus, Dave Hill and Matt Jones, Jon Gnarr, and writers from Key & Peele.

CHICAGO:  W Hotels has unveiled its $38 million renovation of W Chicago—Lakeshore. The renovated hotel has 14,000 square feet of meeting and event space including three new outdoor spaces; it also has a restaurant, Current, which serves Italian-inspired fare.

On July 8, Tickled Pink for Bright Pink will host the “Summer in the City” fund-raiser at the Kensington. The evening will include cocktails, sushi, and a fashion presentation.

DALLAS:  Dallas and Cleveland are the finalists to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

LAS VEGAS:  Wynn and Encore Las Vegas will recognize the 5,700 employees who contributed to their first United Way workplace campaign with a ceremony Friday in the Wynn Margaux Ballroom.

LOS ANGELES:  The Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club announced a multimillion-dollar clubhouse renovation that will expand the bar and dining room, add a new media lounge, and add cabana seating and fire pits to its terrace. The renovations are slated to finish in late July.

Balboa Bay Resort has opened a new waterfront bar and restaurant, A&O Kitchen & Bar. The interior of A&O is casual and rustic, with wood floors, reclaimed barn siding wall and floor accents, and wood communal dining tables. Its outdoor space has two fire pits.

Lucky Strike debuted Lucky Strike Live, a live music venue, with a launch event Wednesday. Brody Jenner provided music, and DJ Stubbs performed a set.

The Big Bear Pirate Ship in Big Bear Lake's Holloway Marina that sank in February because of severe weather has been restored and will be available for narrated tours.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Bistro BE, a Belgian restaurant, is slated to open in downtown Miami mid-July. The 110-seat eatery will have two communal chef’s tables, an open kitchen, a bar, and a patio, and offer more than 50 varieties of beer available by the bottle and eight options on tap.

NEW YORK:  The Omni Berkshire Place has appointed Ruztique Toscano as its new director of sales and marketing.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Sam Pollack has joined the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau as sales manager.

TORONTO:  Ink Entertainment’s Veld Music Festival will return to Downsview Park August 2-3. The electronic music dance fest features more than 30 DJs and artists.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Chaplin Restaurant & Bar—its name is inspired by Charlie Chaplin—is slated to debut in July. The eatery will serve Asian cuisine and drinks created by two of its partners, Ari and Micah Wilder. SwatchRoom is designing the space, which includes an 83-seat dining room, a second-floor “Opium Den” private lounge, and an 80-seat patio.

Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.'s fourth annual Fantastic March, a 5K fund-raiser, is scheduled for September 7. Proceeds will be used to purchase “newborn kits” for Unity Health Care Inc. and families in need in southwest Washington.

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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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