January 24, 2019: Major Tech Brands Sponsored Conference Promoting Climate Change Denial, How the Super Bowl Stadium Is Preparing For Game Day, Hackers React to End of DerbyCon With Misogynistic Comments


1. MAJOR TECH BRANDS SPONSORED CONFERENCE PROMOTING CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL: Google, Microsoft, and Facebook recently sponsored a conference that promoted climate change denial to a libertarian group, despite the fact that all three brands have recognized global warming as a problem. The companies were some of the top sponsors of LibertyCon, an annual convention for Students of Liberty, in Washington last week. Mother Jones: “‘The presence of the tech sponsors at a libertarian conference is not itself unusual, as governments around the globe move to try to regulate social media and online privacy. Tech companies see libertarians as natural allies in the fight against regulation. Indeed, Google sponsored two different sessions at the conference, one on why ‘permissionless innovation’ needs to be defended and another on whether the government will ‘continue to let the Internet be awesome.’ But the companies’ underwriting of a conference with a climate denier on the schedule shows the hazards of trying to advance a policy agenda through interest groups without also supporting their fringe elements.” https://bit.ly/2T4Boqa

2. HOW THE SUPER BOWL STADIUM IS PREPARING FOR GAME DAY: The Mercedes-Benz Stadium may still be new, but the Atlanta venue has undergone a makeover ahead of Super Bowl LIII. Event graphics now cover the video boards and exterior walls, and the Rams and Patriots logos have been painted on the field. Stadium officials and the N.F.L. gave media a preview of the venue on Tuesday. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “In addition to the newly painted field and the proliferation of Super Bowl graphics, noticeable changes inside the stadium Tuesday included temporary broadcast booths, the conversion of two upper-bowl seating sections to auxiliary press space, an operations center constructed on the upper-level sky-bridge and lighting trusses installed for the halftime show. … While the field looked virtually game-ready Tuesday, complete with N.F.L. and Super Bowl logos, it will have to be repainted February 2, the eve of the game, because next week’s rehearsals for the halftime show and the pregame and postgame ceremonies will put thousands of people on the playing surface and ‘start wearing the paint down,’ said Ed Mangan, N.F.L.’s field director for the Super Bowl.” https://on-ajc.com/2ROeI0L

3. HACKERS REACT TO END OF DERBYCON WITH MISOGYNISTIC COMMENTS: The next edition of hacking conference DerbyCon will be its last, and many of its attendees have not responded positively. In a closed Facebook group, hackers have blamed women and SJWs (Social Justice Warriors) for the end of the event. Motherboard: "Regardless of the reason for the conference’s cancellation, the announcement renewed a conversation about toxicity in the infosec community that has been taking place in earnest since at least 2017 (and in smaller circles before then), when the Verge reported on chat logs from well-known security researcher Morgan Marquis-Boire, in which he confessed to a series of sexual assaults; the Verge and VICE corroborated that reporting with multiple women who have knowledge of the assaults. While some women in the cybersecurity world were discussing the toxic interactions, sexual harassment, and assaults they’ve faced in the infosec community, members of a popular closed Facebook hacking group called 'illmob' began to attack women who have spoken up about these issues, including Georgia Weidman, a security researcher who recently tweeted that her career was hurt by attending and speaking at DerbyCon in 2013." https://bit.ly/2WdPyHo


*INDUSTRY NEWS*

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events Major American Trade Show Organizer Council (Matso) has named Justine McVaney, senior vice president of event planning and operations for the National Association of Broadcasters, its 2019 Chairperson. New Matso council members are Lenay Gore, senior director of meetings and trade shows for the American Public Transportation Association; Tiffany Hale, event manager of expos for the National FFA Organization (Future Farmers of America); and John Rozum, director, Ag events and show director for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

* LOCAL NEWS *

COAST TO COAST:  Refinery29 has announced a multi-year partnership with IMG to expand the brand’s 29Rooms experience to at least four new markets. Beginning this year, IMG will manage the production, operations, and brand partnerships of the flagship events in New York and Los Angeles. The event is slated to expand to more U.S. cities and globally with a tour that will include Canada, Europe, and potentially Asia and Australia. 

AUSTIN:  Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa has appointed Spencer Cody director of golf operations. 

ATLANTA:  The National Center for Civil and Human Rights will host a FedEx Free Day on February 2, offering free admission courtesy of sponsor FedEx.

CHICAGO:  BCD Meetings & Events has named Ana Paula Hernandez vice president for Latin America. 

Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile has appointed Kathy Heneghan general manager. 

LOS ANGELES:  The 889-room InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown has hired Niles Harris as general manager and Sunny Saha as director of food and beverage. 

Pendry West Hollywood is slated to open in 2020. The 300,000-square-foot development will have 149 guest rooms and 40 private residences, along with a live entertainment venue, screening room, bowling alley, and spa. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

NEW YORK:  The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Luncheon, “Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness,” will take place May 1 at 583 Park Avenue. Tipper Gore, former second lady of the United States, will be the featured speaker. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  The first brick-and-mortar location of Pepe by José Andrés, a Spanish food truck, will open at Disney Springs this winter. 

SALT LAKE CITY:  The Vans Park Series World Championships, a park terrain skateboarding competition, will take place September 7 at Utah State Fairpark. 

SAN DIEGO:  The 35th annual National Grocers Association Show will take place in San Diego for the first time from February 24-27 at the San Diego Convention Center. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The fifth annual Ice Yards winter festival will take place February 2 at Yards Park. This year’s event is partnering with Special Olympics D.C. to host its Polar Plunge Fund-raiser; volunteers will plunge into two above-ground swimming pools to benefit the organization. 

Embassy Suites by Hilton Alexandria Old Town and Hilton Garden Inn Alexandria Old Town King St. Metro have appointed Tristan Harris complex general manager. 

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us: tips@bizbash.com

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

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

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