March 11, 2014: Massive Crowd Expected at Boston Marathon, SXSW Events Cater to Women, the Top Spring Break Destination

By Beth Kormanik March 11, 2014, 8:06 AM EDT

1. SXSW EVENTS CATER TO WOMEN: South by Southwest Interactive, the tech component of the festival, has made an effort to move past the industry’s “bro-gramming” culture and offer more sessions about women in technology this year. Bloomberg News: “The surge in women-related events reflects what the technology-savvy attendees wanted this year. The conference’s panels are chosen through a crowd-sourced selection process, with people entering proposals that participants then vote on and for which they provide feedback.”

2. MASSIVE CROWD EXPECTED AT BOSTON MARATHON: A capacity field of 36,000 runners and more than one million spectators—more than double the usual crowd—are expected at the Boston Marathon next month. Officials are planning new security measures, including doubling the police force at the event, in response to last year’s bombings at the finish line. New York Times: “Despite the intense security upgrades, officials said they did not want Boston to appear to be a police state and they were trying to retain the festive and traditional character of the event, the oldest continuously run marathon in the world.”

3. FLORIDA IS TOP SPRING BREAK DESTINATION: After a brutal winter, college students are descending on Florida in record numbers. South Florida is the top destination, according to Travelocity, followed by the Orlando area. USA Today: “This is going to be a very good year for spring break because of the weather that the Northeast has experienced for several months. There's pent-up demand, and it's the opportunity to go south and have a good time,” said Paul Phipps, chief marketing officer for Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing corporation.


COAST TO COAST:  The British Academy of Film and Television Arts will honor director Amma Asante at events in New York April 1 and Los Angeles April 3 at the first of this year’s “Brits to Watch: The Screenings” series in partnership with British Council.

BOSTON:  The Boston Ballet's 50 Years Ball is March 29 at the Castle at Park Plaza. This year's event will have a Cinderella theme.

CHICAGO:  Entertaining Company has St. Patrick's Day catering options including an Irish Breakfast with green eggs and ham and a “Lucky Lunch” with Shepherd's pie and shamrock sugar cookies.

Carey Smolensky Productions has hired Connor Boram as its national sales director.

Platinum Events served as DJ at an event that appeared in the opening credits of CNN's new show Chicagoland.

DALLAS:  Omni Hotels & Resorts has appointed Natalie Malaszenko as the new vice president of marketing and digital strategies.

LAS VEGAS:  Las Vegas Review-Journal: “The city of Henderson is bringing back a car-free street festival that found some success with its debut in November. It will host two Stroll ‘n Roll events … on April 12 and November 15. ... Both events are free.”

The Azure pool will open at Palazzo Las Vegas for its sixth season on March 14.

LOS ANGELES:  Adam Shankman has been announced as the director and choreographer of the Hollywood Bowl’s upcoming production of Hair.

The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center will host a kick-off concert event featuring a performance by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts to promote this year's “An Evening With Women” on May 10.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY:  Omni Hotels & Resorts will build a 600-room convention hotel in downtown Louisville, slated to open no later than 2017. The project will also include an upscale grocery and retail space for other shops.

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The 29th annual Palm Beach International Boat Show is March 20-23, with more than $1.2 billion worth of boats, yachts, and accessories from marine manufacturers.

Hilton Miami Airport has appointed Gustavo Zapata as executive chef for the 508-room hotel.

NEW YORK:, New York magazine’s culture and entertainment site, will host a new festival of live events for consumers May 10-11 at Milk Studios. Television, film, and music will receive the most programming, with art, theater, and books also represented in a variety of formats, from interviews and panel discussions to screenings and live performances.

Christine Sheahan, former PR coordinator at Cartier North America, has joined W magazine as special events manager.

Opening for the summer Hamptons season is Bay Kitchen Bar in East Hampton from chef and co-owner Eric Miller and co-owner Richard Silver. The 3,000-square-foot space, which will serve “sea-to-table” cuisine, has an open-air lounge, a bar, an indoor dining room, and an outdoor dining terrace. Marina access is available for the waterfront restaurant.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  In a blog post, Koncept Events denounced SeaWorld Orlando over allegations of its treatment of animals and said it would no longer advocate corporate functions at the theme park.

The Global Pet Expo is Wednesday-Friday at the Orange County Convention Center. The show will have nearly 1,000 exhibitors and more than 5,000 buyers from around the world.

SAN FRANCISCO:  The Epiphany Hotel has opened in Palo Alto. With 86 guest rooms, the hotel has mezzanine-level meeting and co-working space; it also has an 80-seat indoor-outdoor bar and grill.

TORONTO:  The Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario's POGO Gala is April 12 at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex. This year's theme is “Odyssey,” and Bill Fulghum is handling the design.

WASHINGTON:  Susan Davis International, the public relations and strategic communications agency, announced several new clients, including: Edison Foundation Institute for Electric Innovation, which the firm will partner with Hargrove to produce; Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium in Norfolk, Virginia; PRSA’s National Capitol Chapters annual Thoth Awards Gala; and the expansion of Tysons Corner Center, which will include the Hyatt Regency at Tysons Corner Center.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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