May 16, 2017: Trump's Star Power Increasing Ticket Sales for Mar-a-Lago Events, Why Pandora Wants to Sell Ticketfly, Local Police to Carry Handguns at Cannes

1. TRUMP'S STAR POWER INCREASING TICKET SALES FOR MAR-A-LAGO EVENTS: President Donald Trump's star power is increasing ticket sales for charity events at private Palm Beach club Mar-a-Lago. Washington Post: "In the six months since his election, Trump’s presence, or possible presence, became a ticket-selling draw generating extra cash for his customers and himself. The season also showed that the Trump effect can cut both ways, with one charity that faced criticism for hosting an event there experiencing a decline in ticket sales. The Washington Post identified more than 45 events since Election Day in which outside groups paid to rent space at Mar-a-Lago. Hedge-fund investors noshed by the pool. Zoo animals prowled for the entertainment of donors. Men in military gear dropped from a helicopter near the lakefront cocktail bar and stormed a lawn full of socialites as part of a benefit for the Navy SEAL Foundation. In at least 10 of those cases, the events turned out to be a little bigger, and to raise a little more money, than in past years, according to interviews with event organizers. That often meant that they paid Trump’s club a little more money. The reason, some organizers said, was that Trump’s event customers could offer the grandeur of the presidency as an added attraction for potential attendees. The trend is likely to continue next year, as some charities planning Mar-a-Lago events for the 2018 season are hoping the dates they book coincide with times that Trump is staying at the club. 'Now that you have all this security, it just creates [this sense of], ‘You’re special by being there,’ ' said Jennifer McGrath, executive director of the charity Hearing the Ovarian Cancer Whisper. The group’s late-January luncheon at Mar-a-Lago drew 75 more people than last year, McGrath said."

2. WHY PANDORA WANTS TO SELL TICKETFLY: Pandora acquired ticketing platform Ticketfly for $450 million in 2015, but now the online radio provider is looking to sell the service in case it can't find a buyer for the entire company. Bloomberg: "Pandora declined to comment. The company, led by Chief Executive Officer Tim Westergren, stepped up its search for an acquirer this week after announcing a $150 million investment from private-equity firm KKR & Co. and the creation of an independent board committee. Investors such as hedge fund Corvex Management LP have questioned Pandora’s strategy, including its foray into ticketing, and have urged a possible sale because of losses and a tumbling stock price. Shares of Pandora rose 1.1 percent to $9.93 at 1:27 p.m. in New York. Pandora paid $335 million for Ticketfly in 2015, a move then-CEO Brian McAndrews hailed as a 'game-changer.' Ticketfly handles ticket sales for hundreds of venues across North America, and Pandora has tried to use the data it has about music fans to sell more tickets. Founded by Andrew Dreskin, Ticketfly competes with Live Nation Entertainment Inc.’s Ticketmaster, the market leader. Ticketmaster acquired Dreskin’s previous startup, TicketWeb. The online-radio company is poised to evaluate any strategic option, including a sale, in the 30 days before the KKR deal closes, board member James M.P. Feuille said this week in a statement. Feuille will be stepping down from the board, as will Peter Gotcher. The fast growth of Spotify and Apple Music, along with the billions of dollars Amazon and Google are investing in music, have pressured Pandora to expand beyond its roots as an internet radio company and become an on-demand streaming service seeking paying subscribers."

3. LOCAL POLICE TO CARRY HANDGUNS AT CANNES: One of the newest security measures at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival will involve local police carrying handguns. The Hollywood Reporter: "While there were no incidents at 2016's film festival and increased security was clearly evident—armed military and riot police patrols and police dogs were ubiquitous—security concerns this year have been stoked by a number of headline-grabbing events in France: a fatal shooting along the Champs-Elysees in Paris on April 20; a bomb attack in Marseille that was thwarted earlier that month; and the 2016 truck attack in Nice that killed 86 people celebrating Bastille Day (just six weeks after the fest ended), for which the Islamic State claimed credit. This year, in a nationwide first, local Cannes police officers will be sporting handguns. Mayor David Lisnard's two-year lobbying effort for local flics to carry 9 millimeter sidearms finally met with success in December, and they will also be issued bulletproof vests. Only national police previously were allowed to have handguns. In addition, 400 extra officers will flood the city, and plainclothes police will be dispersed in crowds. More than 500 closed-circuit cameras will monitor the city 24 hours a day and, in another first, large bags will be subject to searches along the waterfront in what Lisnard calls a melding of 'technological and human means.' One week ahead of the fest, the city was already on 'lockdown,' said local authorities, and large delivery truck—the kind used in the Nice attack—will be restricted from coming into the city during the event. Other new measures include cement barriers and 600 feet of spiked chain to deter any rogue vehicles."


Bizzabo has partnered with onsite event registration company Boomset to create a full-service event platform.


COAST TO COAST:  Nationwide has entered a multiyear agreement with the American International Motorcycle Expo to be the event's presenting sponsor, starting with the expo in Columbus, Ohio, September 21-24. 

CHICAGO:  Lyric Opera's 12th annual Wine Auction will take place April 14, 2018, at the Civic Opera House. 

INDIANAPOLIS:  The 101st Indianapolis 500, presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, will take place May 28. Jake Gyllenhaal and Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman will serve as the honorary starters. 

LOS ANGELES:  Marketing and communications agency PMK-BNC has appointed Karen Marines as a Los Angeles-based publicist within the firm's entertainment division. 

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

NEW YORK:  The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center will honor Judith Light with the 17th annual Monte Cristo Award on May 21 at 583 Park Avenue. 

Natirar estate in Somerset Hills, New Jersey, has appointed Michelle Mitterer director of sales and marketing. The 500-acre estate is slated to unveil its restored mansion and expanded event facilities in June. 

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  There are nearly 10,000 hotel rooms in planning or construction stages in the Orlando area, according to a new report. Orlando Sentinel:

TORONTO:  The Culinary Ontario festival, which will celebrate the province's 150th anniversary, will take place May 19-22 at Ontario Place.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Capital Riverfront neighborhood will hold its open house on June 3. The free event will feature tours of several residential rooftops, tastes of food and beverages from area restaurants, and live music in Canal Park.

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

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