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November 14, 2017: Anti-Trump Hotel Slated to Open in Washington, Cannes Lions to Undergo Significant Revamp, Facebook Launches Stories Feature for Events and Groups

1. ANTI-TRUMP HOTEL SLATED TO OPEN IN WASHINGTON: Eaton Workshop, an anti-Trump hotel for liberals that will offer guests activities such as progressive fireside chats and materials for protest posters, is slated to open in Washington in spring 2018. Bloomberg: "In Trump’s Washington, Eaton is planting a clear flag as a haven for Democrats. It’s the world’s first politically motivated hotel, the flagship for a global brand that’s built around social activism and community engagement. And it comes with a pedigree: As the daughter of Ka Shui Lo, the creator and executive chairman of Hong Kong-based Langham Hospitality Group Ltd., founder Katherine Lo knows a thing or two about luxury hotels and world-class service. Lo firmly believes that hotels ought to be catalysts for good. In a world where we can be conscious consumers—of everything from clothing to food to baby products—she argues there’s a place for conscious hotels, too. ... Among the Washington location’s programming signatures will be a sort of TED talk series driven by the liberal agenda, consisting of fireside chats and rooftop lectures that Lo hopes will be free, open to the public, and streamable as Eaton-branded podcasts. Then comes the art program, which—aside from the political statement piece at check-in—will include commissions from at least a half-dozen up-and-coming local artists and a street-facing exhibition window curated in partnership with local museums and institutions. A co-working space will prioritize memberships for progressive startups, activists, and artists, while a wellness program will offer “inner-health-focused treatments” such as Reiki and sound baths, rather than facials and massages. Just as important, partners and staff will be brought on board, both for their skills in the food and beverage worlds and their activist track records."

2. CANNES LIONS TO UNDERGO SIGNIFICANT REVAMP: The Cannes Lions festival will get a major revamp next year as part of owner Ascential’s effort to modernize the event and lower costs for attendees. Simon Cook, the festival’s director of creative excellence, revealed more details about the festival overhaul. Adweek: “In an immediate response, Publicis Groupe, which is skipping the 2018 festival and spending that money on developing an internal AI platform, applauded the changes (which it worked on directly with Ascential) and announced it will be returning to Cannes in 2019. … Most notably in terms of structure, Cannes Lions is introducing nine “tracks” that will guide all festival content going forward—both the programming and the awards. They are Reach, Comms, Craft, Experience, Innovation, Impact, Good, Entertainment and Health. Cook described the tracks as the new ‘foundational framework for the entire festival.’ All programming will be organized into the tracks, as will the Lions themselves—each Lions competition will live with one of the tracks. As part of the new structure, the Lions Entertainment and Lions Innovation mini-festivals are being integrated into the main festival. Lions Innovation will run for five days instead of two. Lions Health will remain its own separate festival, but Lions Health delegates will also have access to two days of Lions Innovation. The festival is also beginning the process of separating out pure charity work from brand-led work. The idea is to eventually have all charity work appear only in the ‘Good’ track.”

3. FACEBOOK LAUNCHES STORIES FEATURE FOR EVENTS AND GROUPS: Facebook has expanded its Snapchat-inspired Stories feature to its Groups and Events platforms. TechCrunch: “Starting today, users of Facebook Groups and Events will be able to contribute to a Facebook Story visible to the rest of the members and moderated by the admins. This could be fun for parties, weddings, meetups, and more. In essence, these collaborative Stories will work like a private hashtag so multiple people can add content but only those involved can see it. Facebook product manager Connor Hayes tells me the features ‘Give multiple people the opportunity to tell a Story from multiple different angles.’ People will see Stories on their Event and Group pages, as well as atop their News Feed. They’ll be able to post while inside Events and Groups, or get the option to share there on the Facebook Stories share sheet. … Facebook Stories posts will follow rules set by admins for the standard wall posts. So admins can either allow posts from everyone and delete ones they don’t like, or they can require approvals of posts. And to encourage people to kick off a Story, Facebook will show an open bubble atop the News Feed for you to add to if you’re RSVP’d for an event happening right now. By integrating Stories with Events and Groups, Facebook has gone beyond copying Snapchat. And it’s proving that it’s serious about Stories for the long-run.”


Paul Flackett, managing director of the IMEX Group, has passed away after several years of serious illness. Flackett had worked in the meetings and incentive travel industry for over 30 years; he co-launched IMEX in Frankfurt with Ray Bloom in 2001, and held leadership in several associations including MPI, SITE, the SITE Foundations, Destinations International, and ICCA. 

World Wildlife Fund and the American Hotel & Lodging Association, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, have released results from a set of projects demonstrating innovative strategies designed to reduce food waste in the hotel industry. Ten hotels participated in the 12-week pilot program, in which they tested waste reduction strategies such as low-waste menu planning, customer engagement, and staff training. The participating hotels reduced food waste at least 10 percent, and some properties lowered food costs by 3 percent or more after they increased measurement and engagement.


ATLANTA:  Luxury resort Sea Island has announced a $25 million enhancement project for the Lodge at Sea Island, which will include six new cottages, a golf performance center, an oceanfront pool, and a new putting course. The project will begin in December and is slated to finish in November 2018. Additionally, Sea Island’s Plantation Golf Course will undergo a full renovation, which will be completed in 2019. 

BALTIMORE:  Visit Baltimore has appointed Charles Jeffers chief operating officer. 

CHICAGO:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced that Chicago is on track to reach the goal of 55 million visitors annually at the end of this year, three years earlier than the initial goal of 2020. The Institute of Food Technologists also has announced it will bring its annual events to Chicago in 2018, and begin a 10-year commitment to hold meetings in the city starting in 2020. 

LOS ANGELES:  A pop-up exhibit dubbed the Happy Place will open in the Arts District on November 20. The 20,000-square-foot space will feature life-size installations, multi-sensory immersive rooms, and dozens of Instagrammable moments. The exhibit will run through January 7.

The fifth annual All-Star Chef Classic will take place March 7-10, 2018, at L.A. Live. Culinary events will include the Vegetable Masters Dinner presented by Blue Shield of California, the All-Star Women Masters Dinner, and the Middle East Feast. Participating chefs will include José Andrés, Michael Voltaggio, Nyesha Arrington, and Amanda Cohen. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Jackson Healthy Foundation’s Guardian Angels will host the 19th annual Guardians of the Children Luncheon November 17 at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami. The event, which is being presented in partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue Dadeland, will benefit Holtz Children’s Hospital. 

Conversations, Art Basel's talks series, will feature 19 discussions with prominent art-world figures from December 7-10 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Topics include “Is Culture in the Americas in Big Trouble?” and “Digital Museums and Virtual Audiences.”

NEW YORK:  The 16th annual New York Turkish Film Festival, presented by the American Turkish Society, will take place November 30-December 3 at the SVA Theatre. 

To celebrate the December 15 release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Brooklyn-based ice cream shop Ample Hills Creamery has launched three limited-edition flavors in collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm. The flavors are the First Order, a salted dark chocolate ice cream with white cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate, and espresso; the Resistance, a brown sugar and vanilla bean ice cream with mix-ins including red velvet butter cake and toffee; and the Force, sweet cream ice cream swirled with chocolate fudge. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  A new adventure-based water park will open in Lake Nona next summer. Nona Adventure Park will have the world's first solar-powered water ski and wakeboard cable park as well as an inflatable aqua park, a 60-foot climbing tower, a pro shop, and a cafe. The park will be available for corporate events and teambuilding experiences. 

TORONTO:  The Toronto Christmas Market will run November 16-December 23 in the Distillery Historic District. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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