February 7, 2018: New Cocktail Conference Will Address Politics and Social Issues, Viacom Slated to Acquire VidCon, Peloton and NBCU to Live Stream Spin Classes From the Olympics

1. NEW COCKTAIL CONFERENCE WILL ADDRESS POLITICS AND SOCIAL ISSUES: Chicago Style, a new cocktail conference taking place in May after the James Beard Awards, is slated to tackle social issues in the bar industry including lack of diversity, sexism, and substance abuse. The New York Times: “’Where we will differ from other conferences is the diversity of our panelists and participants, and our inclusion of discussions directly addressing race, gender and sexual identity within these panel topics,’ said Shelby Allison, an owner of the Chicago tiki bar Lost Lake and one of the event’s founders. The other two are Caitlin Laman, the beverage director at the Ace Hotel Chicago, where many of the convention’s daytime events will take place; and Sharon Bronstein, directing of marketing for the 86 Co., which makes and imports spirits. The timing of the new convention is fortuitous, just months after the founders of Tales of the Cocktail—long the world’s pre-eminent cocktail conclave, in New Orleans—stepped down after accusations of racial insensitivity. (Tales recently received new leadership: The Solomons, a prominent New Orleans philanthropic family, is set to buy the festival.) News of the Chicago event also arrives as the #MeToo movement continues to gain steam. … Panels will include one on the “cross section between race, gender, sexuality within the hospitality community,” said Ashtin Berry, one of the panelists and beverage director of Tokyo Record Bar in New York City. Also on the panel will be Don Lee, a New York bartender and developer of barware who has long been outspoken on social issues. Among the main events will be a party held by Trash Tiki, a group that promotes sustainability and the elimination of waste behind the bar; and the national championship of Speed Rack, a contest for female bartenders started by Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero. The enterprise donates about $100,000 every year to breast cancer charities.” http://nyti.ms/2E7LmUg

2. VIACOM SLATED TO ACQUIRE VIDCON: Viacom is nearing a deal to acquire VidCon, the annual online video conference that spotlights vloggers and YouTube stars. The Hollywood Reporter: "VidCon will become an independent division of Viacom and its team will remain intact. Jim Louderback, who became CEO of VidCon last summer, will continue to lead the company.  The annual conference got its start in 2010 when the YouTube creator community was just beginning to blossom. Hank Green founded VidCon as a way to encourage vloggers from across the country to meet up and share tips. The event has grown significantly in the years since, moving to the Anaheim Convention Center in 2013 to accommodate its increasingly larger crowds. Last year's VidCon hosted over 30,000 fans, creators and industry executives. It has also grown to include events in Europe and Australia. ... For Viacom, VidCon adds to a growing portfolio of influencer marketing assets. which includes branded content platform WhoSay. Through VidCon, the company behind MTV and Nickelodeon will also have access to the thousands of engaged young fans who descend on the Anaheim Convention Center each year to meet their favorite YouTube stars.  UTA manages the VidCon business. VidCon Europe will take place March 22-24 in Amsterdam, and VidCon U.S. will run June 20-23 in Anaheim." http://bit.ly/2C1tlBa

3. PELOTON AND NBCU TO LIVE STREAM SPIN CLASSES FROM THE OLYMPICS: Indoor cycling brand Peloton has partnered with NBCUniversal to live stream classes from the Winter Olympics. Variety: “Call it a new type of Olympics TV workout: Peloton, which live-streams spin classes to the people who use its exercise bikes, will make available four workout shows from NBCU’s Olympics broadcast center in PyeongChang, South Korea, part of an advertising and promotional agreement struck between the two companies. While Robin Arzon, the company’s popular Peloton instructor, holds forth during the sessions, some NBC personnel are likely to appear as well. Among the potential helpers: NBC News’ Willie Geist and Dylan Dreyer, and former Olympians Scott Hamilton and Ato Bolden. NBCU knows it needs to beam its Olympics content on to as many different kinds of screens as possible, says Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics and Business. … Peloton’s consumer base is nearing 1 million people, said William Lynch, the company’s president, in an interview. Its biggest live-streamed audience to date is about 12,000 people, he said. Peloton intends to let its entire audience of users know about the NBC Olympics classes, which will be available daily between February 16 and 19 at 6 a.m. eastern, and will also be available in Peloton’s on-demand library.” http://bit.ly/2EKneEr


BOSTON:  The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority has chosen Arcadis as the owner’s project manager to oversee a capital improvements plan covering four facilities: John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the Boston Common Garage in Boston, and the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The term covers three years with two, one-year options for an extension.

CHICAGO:  The H Foundation’s Comedy for Cancer fund-raiser will take place March 8 at the LaGrange Theatre. The event, hosted by Pete McMurray, supports science cancer research at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. 

LOS ANGELES:  Gwyneth Paltrow will headline the Girlboss Rally in Los Angeles April 28. She will be joined by Girlboss founder Sophia Amoruso, and speakers including Bozoma St. John, Janet Mock, and Sarah Sophie Flicker.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The ninth annual Hawkers Model Volleyball will take place February 17-18 in Miami Beach. Hosted by Flo Rida, the event will have 250 participating models from 12 agencies. 

The Zenith Art & Fashion Wynwood Experience, showcasing select art and fashion from around the world, will take place February 16. 

NEW ORLEANS:  The Hilton New Orleans Riverside has appointed Marshall Hilliard director of sales and marketing. 

NEW YORK:  The Black Accessory Designers Alliance’s annual New York Fashion Week pop-up will take place February 12 in the Lerner Auditorium at the L.G.B.T. Center. The event aims to raise visibility and celebrate the creativity of undiscovered artisans of color. 

After previously showing at Spring Studios, Michael Kors is moving his New York Fashion Week show to the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center on February 14 at 10 a.m. The invitations were designed by theater poster artist James McMullan. “I wanted the show to be a love letter to New York,” Kors said.

The 17th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival, taking place April 18-29, will open with the world premiere of Love, Gilda, a documentary about Gilda Radner. 

The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM) Gala 2018 will take place May 30 at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The event will honor filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, actor Jeremy Irons, and philanthropists Nora Ann Wallace and Jack Nusbaum. 

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

SAN ANTONIO:  The Henry B. González Convention Center’s expansion has earned the venue LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for performance in innovative design, sustainable site development, water savings, and energy efficiency. The $325 million expansion added more than 800,000 square feet of new space. 

ST. LOUIS:  The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, has completed the renovation of its 30,000 square feet of event space. 

TORONTO:  The Toronto Symphony Orchestra will perform the score from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire live November 15-17 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. The film will play on a 40-foot screen. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Washington Business Journal: “The 2017 DC Design House was the nonprofit's last. DC Design House Inc., a nonprofit that oversees the annual fundraiser for Children's National Health System, has decided to disband. The effort has raised $2 million over 10 years — $290,000 in 2017 alone.” http://bit.ly/2sdjk4i

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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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