Today In Events: New York Mets Owners Launch Esports Organization, Why This Creative Conference Is Scaling Down, Airbnb to Recreate ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ Trip

1. NEW YORK METS OWNERS TO LAUNCH ESPORTS ORGANIZATION: The owners of the Mets have launched New York’s first esports organization, titled Andbox. The organization will operate New York teams in professional video-game leagues focused on two Activision Blizzard Inc. games: Overwatch and Call of Duty. Bloomberg: “It also will bring more gaming-related events to the New York area, and build out a merchandise division starting with apparel. Andbox was launched by Sterling.VC, an early-stage investment fund backed by Sterling Equities—the family office owned by the Wilpon and Katz families. Sterling’s assets include the Mets and Sportsnet New York, a regional sports network.” 

2. WHY THIS CREATIVE FESTIVAL IS SCALING DOWN: As conferences focus on creativity and ideas to pull in more attendees year after year, the XOXO conference in Portland, Oregon, is downsizing. The experimental festival for artists who work on the internet drew 2,300 attendees in 2018, but this year, organizers Andy Baio and Andy McMillan are limiting attendance to 1,200. Baio and McMillan know this means the festival will bring in less money, but they believe the event runs better with a smaller number of attendees. Fast Company: “So what wasn’t working in 2018? The Andys cite three main factors: location (the giant venue required to house thousands of attendees felt isolated from Portland’s walkable neighborhoods), ‘intimacy’ (2,300 people is too many for a festival billing itself as a place for creatives to forge meaningful relationships with each other), and finally, stress (to their credit, the Andys admit that they had bitten off more than they could chew and administrating the festival felt ‘actively unpleasant’).” 

3. AIRBNB TO RECREATE ‘AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS’ TRIP: Airbnb is recreating the trip from the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days. The home-sharing app is inviting a small number of people to travel to 16 countries to promote a new collection of bookings called Airbnb Adventures. Associated Press: “Starting June 20, guests can book the 80-day trip, which comes with a price tag of $5,000 and includes all travel, lodging, activities, and meals. Guests will depart from London on Sept. 1, 2019. Airbnb Adventures is offering other two- to 10-day treks ranging from $79 to $5,000. Adventures are capped at 12 travelers or less. Other notable bookings include searching for Sasquatch in Washington and trekking through the Amazon.” 

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