March 12, 2014: How Small Brands Can Succeed at SXSW, Is This New York’s Most Exclusive Bar?, Conservative Conference Hosts Hot Tub Party

By Beth Kormanik March 12, 2014, 9:02 AM EDT

1. HOW SMALL BRANDS CAN SUCCEED AT SXSW: Not every company has the budget of Apple or Google to compete for consumer attention at South by Southwest. But there are still opportunities for smaller brands. Mashable: “With everyone from Yahoo and Pepsi to Funny or Die and Spotify hosting events, it is an expensive proposition to attract consumer attention. … Business to consumer (B2C) may be a difficult value proposition for anything but the biggest brands at SXSW, but the business to business (B2B) opportunities dictate why companies like Salesforce, which took over a tavern for two days, and Gigya also attend—and spend some money in the process.”

2. IS THIS NEW YORK’S MOST EXCLUSIVE BAR?: New York is famous for its exclusive venues, but here’s one you may not have heard of, called, appropriately, Rarities. New York Post: “Here, discerning masters of the universe can choose from an array of liquid gold—Louis XIII de Rémy Martin Rare Cask cognac (there are only two bottles in the Big Apple), perhaps, or a rye whiskey distilled before Prohibition. … To gain entry, there are two options. You can join the club, which comes with an entry key and an annual fee of $15,000. Membership includes 12 bottles of rare wine or Champagne and up to 12 nights in the hotel’s Tower suites. The other option is to call for reservations and bring your checkbook.”

3. CONSERVATIVE CONFERENCE HOSTS HOT TUB PARTY: An unofficial after-party at the Conservative Political Action Conference made news because of where it took place—a hotel suite with a hot tub—and its guests, which included Congressman Steve Stockman of Texas. Of course, it ended up on Twitter. Washington Post: “Photos circulating on Twitter on Monday showed the congressman, tub-side,  drinking and toasting some more. But the pics might lead folks to think things got crazier than it did, [host Gene] Berardelli insists. 'It was just a fun time—happy and full of energy.' Five folks in all took dips in the tub, but they wore either bathing  suits or boxers, he says, and while folks were drinking and there was one noise complaint early in the night, there was no boorish behavior.”


CHICAGO:  Keith Urban will headline the American Cancer Society's Discovery Ball at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel on April 26.

Hinda Incentives has announced the appointment of Michael J. Donnelly to the position of executive vice president and general manager.

LAS VEGAS:  Las Vegas Review-Journal: “As large trade shows come through Las Vegas, producers are looking to small business to supply innovation. At conventions such as last week’s ConExpo-Con/Agg and January’s International CES, it’s often the small guys who can make the biggest splash.”

Japanese-inspired grill and noodle house Yusho, from Chicago chef Matthias Merges, is slated to make its Las Vegas debut at Monte Carlo in April.

LOS ANGELES:  SAG awards committee chair JoBeth Williams announced on Tuesday the key dates for the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild awards. The show will be presented in a live simulcast on TNT and TBS on January 25.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The BioFlorida Latin America & Caribbean Life Sciences Conference is set for March 27-28, with events taking place at the Sofitel Miami, the Frost Museum, and Florida International University's Graham Center Ballroom.

NEW YORK:  Gerber Group opened the Roof at Viceroy New York Tuesday night, debuting the 29th-floor spot. The 120-person space will be open year-round, with heat lamps and wool blankets provided in colder months.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards will host its Wine & Seafood Festival on March 21-23.

SAN FRANCISCO:  The DoubleTree by Hilton San Francisco North is now open. The hotel has 210 rooms, a restaurant serving Mediterranean-inspired fare, and 4,200 flexible square feet of meeting and event space.

TORONTO:  The Toronto Fashion Incubator's Press & Buyers Brunch will take place at the Studio at David Pecaut Square on March 19-20. The event will showcase a curated selection of up-and-coming fashion designers. 

WASHINGTON:  The Prevent Cancer Foundation’s 20th annual Spring Gala raised more than $1.7 million. This year’s theme was “Graceful, Gracious Japan.”

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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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