1. BUMBLE HOSTED A WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT ACTIVATION AT SXSW: Dating app Bumble created a space to educate and empower women at South by Southwest, which kicked off Friday in Austin. Adweek: “The app is one of a number of digitally native brands using SXSW as a way to connect with consumers in real life but with a focus on healthy relationships—romantic, friendship or work—for women. While the activation, from Austin-based creative shop Preacher, is full of neon lights and poppy colors that would surely make for an easy photo opportunity for attendees the focus for Bumble was making sure the content and programming of the space would 'add value to [its] user’s experience,' explained Chelsea Cane Macline, director of marketing at Bumble. The space allows attendees to walk through real life versions of the app’s three platforms: Bumble Bizz, Bumble BFF, and Bumble Date. The activation featured speakers like Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe, actress Gina Rodriguez, singer Keke Palmer, director Yoruba Richen, political commentator Sally Kohn and poet Cleo Wade. It is the biggest consumer-facing activation the app, which has 30 million users in 144 million countries, has done. Inside the activation attendees can work with Bumble’s crew to tweak their profiles on the app and even go on a five minute first date." http://bit.ly/2Ght68V
2. TRAVEL BRANDS ARE OFFERING ROYAL WEDDING-THEME HOTEL PACKAGES AND VIEWING PARTIES: Ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in May, numerous travel brands in the United Kingdom and the U.S. are offering royal wedding-theme hotel packages, events, and viewing parties. The New York Times: “Among the most comprehensive is the eight-day Royal Wedding Celebration in England: Inside the British Monarchy tour from Road Scholar, the experiential learning travel company. The tour (from $2,499, excluding airfare) includes an indoor hotel-viewing party with picnic food as well as stops at the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey, Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle, as well as talks from former royal staff members about how to organize a security team of thousands of people, and the art of creating a royal cake. ... While the wedding is to take place in Britain, that isn’t stopping hotels in the United States from partaking in the festivities. Among them, the Drake, a Hilton Hotel in Chicago, is offering a 'Film and Fondue' series Monday nights in May with movies such as 'The Queen,' 'Elizabeth — The Golden Age,' and 'Victoria and Abdul' (starting at $25 a person plus taxes and tips). There are royal-themed sweets, snacks, teas and bar specials (10 percent of the proceeds from beverages on the Royal Cocktail Menu in May will be donated to Prince Harry’s endorsed charity, the Invictus Games Foundation). And, on the wedding day itself, the hotel is planning a screening of the royal festivities and, in the grand ballroom, a luncheon that was once served to Princess Diana during her visit to the hotel in 1996." http://nyti.ms/2GgEWzU
3. P.G.A. TOUR LAUNCHES AUGMENTED-REALITY APP: The P.G.A. Tour has launched a new augmented-reality app, which will let users of Apple's ARKit platform experience golf courses and player stats in their own home. TechCrunch: “You can select your favorite players and compare their strokes and get details on how long their drives were and where they sank the putt from. In the app’s early days, you’ll just be able to check out a few featured holes inside this app, it’s not something you’ll be able to access for every hole. Live AR coverage will be available this week on March 15 for the Arnold Palmer Invitational with the 6th hole getting the AR featured hole treatment. For a sport like golf, a lot of the utility of the organization’s apps is for what has been heralded as a “second-screen” experience, where users look to augment their TV-watching experience with content from their phone. Adding AR capabilities with a PGA Tour app brings an interactive, custom experience that couldn’t happen on the TV while allowing users to get more familiar with some of the world’s most iconic courses. For a lot of organizations, one of the biggest barriers to putting their locations into AR is acquiring 3D assets that they can showcase to users. The PGA Tour is in the unique position of already having plenty of laser-scanned models of golf courses that they use for TV animations of gameplay. In the context of this new app, the maps add another way for viewers to understand the geography of a course and particular hole. In the future, the organization’s expansive library of 3D course maps will put them into a good place to further capitalize on augmented reality experiences that require an intimate knowledge of the environments that users are in." http://tcrn.ch/2FzLzwl
* LOCAL NEWS *
CHICAGO: Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s 27th annual Blossoms of Hope Brunch, which supports the Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide Program, will take place April 29 at Drury Lane Theatre and Convention Center.
LOS ANGELES: The third annual Music Tastes Good, an independent food, music, and arts festival founded by the late John Fischel, will take place September 29-30 at Marina Green Park in Long Beach.
For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA: Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy and NBC6 anchor Roxanne Vargas will serve as the grand marshals for Miami Beach Gay Pride, taking place April 2-8.
NEW YORK: The Sheraton New York Times Square has appointed Achilles Poliviou executive chef.
For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork
TORONTO: The Toronto Pancakes and Booze Art Show will take place April 6 at the Opera House.
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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.
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