May 29, 2014: SXSW Could Change Event Policies, Code Conference Launches With Tech and Hollywood Stars, Do Florists Need Licenses?

By Beth Kormanik May 29, 2014, 8:08 AM EDT

1. SXSW COULD CHANGE EVENT POLICIES: The city of Austin shared survey results about South by Southwest that could lead to changes to the music, film, and interactive gathering such as capping the number of permits for pop-up events, limiting event marketing, and regulating the length of events with free alcohol. Austin American-Statesman: “Amid a raft of complaints, the survey did reveal what Austinites love about SXSW: Free stuff. Nearly half of survey respondents said they attended for the ‘free food/alcohol/swag.’”

2. CODE CONFERENCE LAUNCHES WITH TECH AND HOLLYWOOD STARS: The Code Conference, a new event from the former All Things D team of Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, is making news with big names such as Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Microsoft C.E.O. Satya Nadella, and Gwyneth Paltrow. The event has drawn top tech executives among the guests, but the program hasn’t gone smoothly. Business Insider: “After, at a dinner under a tent, an afterparty, and an after-afterparty, that crowd passed verdicts on those who were on stage. … [Paltrow] read a long speech from printed-out paper. Why didn't she use a deck? Why didn't she go over her presentation with the Code people? Why didn't the Code people coach her up? Why'd she go on so long?”

3. DO FLORISTS NEED LICENSES?: It’s time to change the occupational license system, which in Louisiana, for instance, requires florists to secure credentials from the state, argues professor Morris M. Kleiner. The New York Times: “But even better would be to stop requiring licenses for jobs whose potential harm to the public is minimal, like tour guides, and instead allow for certification. This lesser form of regulation provides a distinction in the eyes of a consumer but does not forbid others from offering the service.”


BOSTON:  Brass Union Restaurant & Bar will open in Union Square in June. Housed in a former police headquarters, the eatery will include an interactive lounge with tabletop video games and a shuffleboard court. 

CHICAGO:  Oak Brook Hills Resort is now under the management of Portfolio Hotels & Resorts. Management is working to create new meeting breakout sessions and more to boost the venue’s profile as a business-travel destination. 

Offsite, the meeting and event space, is launching its second location in Chicago’s West Loop.

LOS ANGELES:  Ian Metrose has been promoted to senior vice president of talent relations and special events at CBS Communications. He will oversee West Coast special events for the both the CBS Television Network and CBS Television Studios, including series premieres, show milestone celebrations, Television Academy events, and the planning and execution of the Network’s Television Critics Association parties.

The Perfect (China) Company Ltd. conference, a 7,000-person meeting of direct marketing professionals, held its main conference and banquet Thursday at the Anaheim Convention Center—the largest single group meeting from China to visit the United States. The group will visit various Orange County and Southern California destinations through June 2.

The International Cinematographers Guild’s latest Emerging Cinematographer-honored films will be screened June 19 at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.

Pacific Event Lighting now offers all-inclusive options with lighting, audio, video, and drapery services.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Commune Hotels & Resorts announced plans to open Thompson Miami Beach in late 2014. The 380-room beachfront property will include food and beverage from chef Michelle Bernstein.

Current Lifestyle Marketing has been named public relations agency of record for the Setai, Miami Beach, operated by Trevi Luxury Hospitality Group.

NEW YORK:  Chef Marco A. Moreira plans to open Botequim, a pop-up restaurant for World Cup fans. The Union Square venue will have a menu of Brazilian food and beverages, four televisions, and farmhouse-style tables. Reservations for groups are available.

The Archer Hotel in Midtown opened Thursday.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions has extended its contract to host the I.A.A.P.A. Attractions Expo at the Orange County Convention Center through 2025. This year's event takes place November 17-21 and is expected to have nearly 30,000 attendees from more than 100 countries. 

TORONTO:  On June 4, the Stop Community Food Centre will host “Big Night at the Green Barn.” Benefitting the Stop’s Green Barn at Wychwood Barns, the event includes a family-style meal prepared by local chefs. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  A new pedestrian connector joins the new Marriott Marquis Washington, DC to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The convention center also has added four escalators for hotel guests and convention visitors.

The Richmond Regional Tourism has named Matt Robinette its director of convention and sports services.

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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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