June 29, 2018: Why More TV Networks Are Hosting Their Own Live Events, Travel and Hotel Companies Stress Commitment to Hospitality After Travel Ban Upheld, International Olympic Committee to Host Esports Forum

By Ian Zelaya June 29, 2018, 8:34 AM EDT

1. WHY MORE TV NETWORKS ARE HOSTING THEIR OWN LIVE EVENTS: While TV networks have had a steady presence at large-scale events such as Comic-Con International, more networks—such as Freeform, AMC, and CBS—are launching their own summits and events to engage directly with fans. IndieWire: “In some cases, networks are opting to go it alone, creating direct-to-consumer and direct-to-trade events where they can spend more time honing their message. They’re also being much more strategic in not banging the marketing drum too early for shows. It’s a noisy entertainment environment, after all, so it’s important to pick when and how to stand out. ‘There’s a crisis of attention,’ said Freeform president Tom Ascheim. In January, Freeform opted to skip the Television Critics Association press tour and instead held a daylong “Freeform Summit,” in which it brought stars and producers to participate in a variety of panels that touched upon their shows but also discussed the themes that run through all of the network’s series. … Earlier this month, AMC launched its own ‘AMC Summit,’ a similar approach with a handful of panels featuring AMC talent. One discussion centered on ‘The Kick-Ass Women of AMC’ (including producers Melissa Bernstein and Marti Noxon, and stars Julianna Margulies and Jenna Elfman), while another was a discussion about book adaptations. The event ended with a ‘masterclass’ discussion about the origins of ‘Better Call Saul,’ starting with ‘Breaking Bad.’ ‘The consumer is so savvy now and fandom is so rich that they’re looking beyond consumer vehicles for their information,’ said AMC president Charlie Collier. ‘Because they want to know more. And really in many ways, trade is consumer for the avid fan… If you look at the diversity of topics we were able to cover, [it was] translated through the talent sharing with each other, and also it was a way for us to be personal and not packaged.’ Disney, perhaps, pioneered the direct-to-consumer approach with D23. The annual fan event is often compared to Comic-Con as a place where Disney likes to engage with fans and break news. But the streaming services have also helped trigger a new approach to consumer and media outreach.”

2. TRAVEL AND HOTEL COMPANIES STRESS COMMITMENT TO HOSPITALITY AFTER TRAVEL BAN UPHELD: The travel and hotel industries are emphasizing their commitment to making tourists in the U.S. feel welcome after the Supreme Court upheld President Trump's travel ban on five Muslim-majority countries, North Korea, and certain travelers from Venezuela earlier this week. The New York Times: "'The most important thing is the administration has got to change its rhetoric to welcoming legitimate travelers from around the world because the noise has been so loud around this issue that we’ve been hurt in inbound international travel,' said Roger Dow, the president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Travel Association, an industry trade group with members that include hotels, theme parks and airports. International travel in the United States fell during the earliest days of the Trump administration when the initial travel ban was issued by executive order in January 2017. According to preliminary figures released in March by the National Travel & Tourism Office at the Department of Commerce, international visitors to the United States in 2017 fell by 3.8 percent to 54.9 million. The office has not released 2018 figures because of what is says is an undercount of the previous two years, which it says it is working to correct. Still, other measures confirmed the decline in international travel. In a preliminary release of figures by the United Nations World Trade Organization, international tourism grew globally by 7 percent in 2017, but grew only by 3 percent in North America. It noted that losses in the United States were offset by gains in Canada and Mexico. The airfare prediction app Hopper found that flight searches to the United States from outside of the country have fallen 12 percent since the 2016 presidential election. ... Other industry leaders acknowledged the need for border security while maintaining their commitment to hospitality. In a statement, Hilton Hotels said: 'As a company that hires employees and welcomes guests from all over the world, we recognize the need to balance safety and security with the unwavering hospitality that is at the core of our industry. We are talking to the Administration, Congress, and the broader travel community with the goal of developing smart policies that strike the right balance between encouraging hospitality and enhancing national security.'"

3. INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE TO HOST ESPORTS FORUM: The International Olympic Committee and the Global Association of International Sports Federations have announced they will host a forum to consider whether or not esports should be a future Olympics event. TechCrunch: “According to the release, the IOC and GAISF will host esports players, game publishers, teams, media, sponsors and event organizers, as well as National Olympic Committees, International Sports Federations, athletes and the IOC. The group as a whole is looking to 'explore synergies, build joint understanding, and set a platform for future engagement between esports and gaming industries and the Olympic Movement.' ... Some of the panels at the forum include an interview on 'The Key to Twitch’s Success,' 'Future Opportunities for Collaboration,' an interview on “A Day in the Life of an Elite Player” and a panel on 'Gender Equality in All Sports.' Esports have continued to grow at an impressive clip. The Overwatch League has introduced city-based teams into the mix, while Fortnite had a huge Pro-Am tournament at e3, not to mention Epic’s introduction of a $100 million tournament prize pool for competitive play."


National tent manufacturer Aztec Tents has launched a new website with an array of updated features, including full mobile functionality, new webpage animations, refreshed slideshow functionality, and increased security. 


AUSTIN:  This year’s Out of Bounds Comedy Festival will take place August 28-September 3.

LOS ANGELES:  The Ride Foundation's second annual gala, which will benefit organizations combatting human trafficking, will take place September 29 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. 

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

NEW YORK:  The 20th edition of Broadway Barks will take place July 14 at Shubert Alley. Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber will host the event, which will feature adoptable animals from local shelters and adoption agencies. The event is produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. 

Film Forum will reopen August 1 with a renovated space and a fourth screen. 

Aperture Foundation’s annual Aperture Gala fund-raiser will take place October 30 at 547 West 26th Street. 

A-Speakers, an international speakers bureau based in Denmark, has opened its first North American location in New York. 

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

TORONTO:  The second annual Rosé Picnic will take place August 11 at Stanley Barracks at Hotel X Toronto. The rosé picnic will have food offerings from chef Mark McEwan’s restaurants, along with bocce ball, a nail bar, makeup touch-ups from Lancome, and a Peller Estates flower wall and flower crown station. Rosé wines will include Thirty Bench and X.O.X.O. by Peller Estates, Rrosé, and Moet & Chandon rosé champagne. 

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