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November 18, 2014: Pope Francis to Visit Philly, Are Voluntary Meetings More Effective?, Chocolate Shortage Looming

November 18, 2014, 8:02 AM EST

1. FIRST PAPAL VISIT ANNOUNCED FOR NEXT YEAR: Pope Francis’s first visit to the United States will be in Philadelphia, attending the World Meeting of Families, a gathering sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family, in September 2015. The New York Times: “The trip may include a stop in New York. Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the head of the Holy See’s permanent observer mission to the United Nations, told The Associated Press last week, ‘If he comes to Philadelphia, he will come to New York.’ But the Vatican’s spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said that only the stop in Philadelphia had been confirmed. .... Francis’ visit to Philadelphia is expected to draw as many as a million people to a Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the heart of the city.” http://nyti.ms/1zw1SBd

2. HOW TO HOST BETTER MEETINGS: How do you make your office meetings more engaging? According to Fast Company, you take away chairs, start by asking attendees what they need to share or learn, and make them voluntary. "‘Eric ­Lindblad, a vice president at ­Boeing, lets his employees make the decision to attend or leave a meeting early,’ says [Dick Axelrod, co-author of Let’s Stop Meeting Like This]. ‘People are there because they want to be there, and he uses attendance or lack thereof to assess how well he conducts his meetings.'” http://bit.ly/1yg0Wjd

3. CHOCOLATE MAKERS WARN OF SHORTAGE: Just in time for the holidays, Mars Inc. and Barry Callebaut are saying that production of chocolate cannot keep up with global demand. The Washington Post: “Chocolate deficits, whereby farmers produce less cocoa than the world eats, are becoming the norm. Already, we are in the midst of what could be the longest streak of consecutive chocolate deficits in more than 50 years. It also looks like deficits aren't just carrying over from year-to-year—the industry expects them to grow. Last year, the world ate roughly 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than it produced. By 2020, the two chocolate-makers warn that that number could swell to 1 million metric tons, a more than 14-fold increase; by 2030, they think the deficit could reach 2 million metric tons.” http://wapo.st/1qKAwlw

4. BARRY DILLER ENVISIONS FLOATING PARK: Billionaire Barry Diller has proposed building Pier 55, a park and performance space constructed on New York's Hudson River. The project, for which Diller has committed $130 million, would replace Pier 54 with a 2.4-acre space that includes three areas for performances. To oversee the latter, Diller has recruited filmmakers and theater producers. The New York Times: ”‘I have always loved public spaces,’ said [Diller]. ‘It’s entirely my fault that this has become so ambitious. We will fail in our ambition, outsized or whatever it may be, if this doesn’t feel completely like a park and completely like a performance space.’” http://nyti.ms/1uy52Ex


BOSTON:  The Melanoma Foundation’s 15th annual “Shades of Hope” gala will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel on Friday. Heather Unruh of WCVB-TV news is the M.C.; Bridget Brunet, Miss New Hampshire USA 2014, will also attend.

CHICAGO:  The Lyric Opera of Chicago will host its wine auction on February 7. HMR Designs will handle decor, and Calihan Catering will collaborate with chef Thomas Lents (of Sixteen) on the reception and dinner menus.

LAS VEGAS:  Win-Win Entertainment will bring Vegas headliners together for the annual Headliners Bash, presented by the John C. Kish Foundation, on Friday at the Penn & Teller Theater at Rio.

LOS ANGELES:  M.A.C. Cosmetics will host its M.A.C. Heirloom Mix holiday celebration at the Grove Friday-Sunday.

The Toscana Restaurant Group has announced sommelier Emily Johnston as wine director.

Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Honey, a new nightlife concept, opened on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. It holds 400 guests for private events.

NEW YORK:  Creative Time’s Fall Ball is a two-night event taking place at Neuehouse, starting with a “sleepover’ on Friday—with late-night lullabies, sunrise yoga, and a morning macha bar—followed by a dance party Saturday.

The New York Marriott Marquis today will debut what it’s billing as the world’s largest high-definition digital advertising display, measuring eight stories high and spanning the entire block from West 45th Street to West 46th Street, on Broadway. The LED screen will display an art exhibition by digital artists Universal Everything.

Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

ORLANDO:  American Gymkhana on Restaurant Row is now open. The restaurant is operated by Rajesh Bhardwaj, owner of the Michelin-starred Junoon in Manhattan, and has a private dining room with seating for 50 people.

SAN FRANCISCO:  The third annual San Francisco International Tea Festival took place at the Ferry Building over the weekend. The event drew 1,000 guests and featured lectures, tastings, and a showcase of wares from 16 vendors.

DanceFAR hosts its charity event tonight. The benefit includes a dance performance at YBCA Theater and an after-party with samples from local restaurants including Twenty Five Lusk and Salt House.

TORONTO:  Comedian Howie Mandel will host the “All That Glitters” gala, which benefits Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, this evening at the Allstream Centre. Organizers aim to raise $1 million.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  It’s DC Cocktail Week through Sunday with more than 55 participating restaurants. The event, produced by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, includes an “Instagram challenge” that invites participants to share photos of their cocktails to win prizes such as movie tickets.

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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.

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.

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