May 20, 2014: Woman Gets Kicked Out of Trade Show, the Year’s Most-Watched Commencement Speech, Hamptons Shuttle Offers ‘Selfie Machine’

By Beth Kormanik May 20, 2014, 8:03 AM EDT

1. WOMAN GETS KICKED OUT OF TRADE SHOW: Security at the National Restaurant Show, held this weekend in Chicago, asked a woman to leave because she had brought her 10-day-old baby along in violation of the show’s rules. The woman said she needed to breast-feed her baby, but the show cited security concerns for barring all children under 16. Chicago Tribune: “I think the National Restaurant Association should be embarrassed,” said Emilia DiMenco, president and C.E.O. of the Women's Business Development Center. “I think with changing demographics and the generational shift that's going on and given who (the association's) stakeholders are and the involvement of women in that association, they should have been prepared for such a situation.”

2. THE YEAR’S MOST-WATCHED COMMENCEMENT SPEECH: Ousted New York Times editor Jill Abramson addressed graduates of Wake Forest University Monday in what may be the season’s most-watched commencement address. Charlotte Observer: “Abramson, 60, found herself in the role of newsmaker rather than journalist Monday and appeared comfortable with the reversal. She smiled and nodded for a scrum of photographers as she approached the podium in the commencement procession, blue jeans and sneakers peeking out beneath her ceremonial robe. … Abramson said the only hesitation she had about keeping her speaking appointment, announced in March, was that the “small media circus following me would detract attention away from you.”

3. HAMPTONS SHUTTLE OFFERS ‘SELFIE MACHINE’: The Free Ride, a beach shuttle in the Hamptons, is rigging its fleet with 19 so-called “selfie machines.” The contraption is little more than an iPad mounted in the back seat, but it’s proved popular with guests. New York Post: “Everyone’s very selfie crazy right now,” said Alex Esposito, 27, an East Hampton native and Free Ride co-founder.


The Professional Convention Management Association announced the recipient of the Global Executive of the Year Award as Phelps R. Hope, vice president of meetings and expositions at Kellen Meetings.

Event industry veteran Charles McCurdy has joined InGo’s board of directors.


BOSTON:  No. 8 Kitchen & Spirits is now open in Amesbury. The restaurant serves small plates and larger entrées of modern American fare, and drinks are made with farm-fresh ingredients.

CHICAGO:  Hotel Palomar Chicago has launched a tiki-theme cocktail bar called “Cocktails in Motion.” On the patio of Sable Kitchen & Bar, the pop-up bar offers craft cocktails in tiki mugs, snacks, and plush lounge furniture.

LAS VEGAS:  Jimmy Kimmel partnered with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas men's basketball coach, Dave Rice, and his wife, Mindy, to host the third annual “An Evening With Dave Rice” gala on May 17 inside the MGM Grand Conference Center.

On May 16 the Las Vegas production of Mamma Mia celebrated its grand opening at the New Tropicana Las Vegas in the newly transformed Tropicana Theater.

LOS ANGELES:  Sal Masekela will host the Children Mending Hearts sixth annual fund-raiser “Empathy Rocks: A Spring Into Summer Bash,” which is slated for June 14 in Beverly Hills.

X Bar in the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza is celebrating its reopening after a renovation and menu revamp.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce hosts its 13th annual gala and award presentation, this year dubbed the Emerald Gala, on June 21 at the Hilton Miami Downtown Hotel.

NEW ORLEANS:  The International Association of Exhibitions and Events announced New Orleans as the host city for Expo! Expo! IAEE's Annual Meeting & Exhibition, to be held December 11-13, 2018, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

NEW YORK:  The team behind Meet at the Apartment in SoHo has launched Meet: the Meeting Solutions Company, which will curate meetings and events at unusual New York City venues.

The National Italian American Foundation will host a reception June 3 in the rooftop garden at 230 Fifth. NBC 4 anchor Michael Gargiulo will serve as M.C. Catering will include Italian specialty foods such as pasta buffet stations with Rao’s gourmet sauces, as well as Italian wines and premium beers.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  On June 4, the Residences of Royal Connaught will reopen with a bash planned by Kim Graham and Associates. The evening will have food, music, and fashion inspired by the 1900s.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Tonight the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation hosts a “Celebrating Music Education” reception and dinner at the Library of Congress.

The Oval Room restaurant will close on June 30 for a renovation to both its design and menu. Martin Vahtra of Projects Design Associates of New York will create the new design scheme, which will include bold art pieces, theatrical lighting, plush fabrics, and rich accent colors of burgundy and blue.

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

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