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May 19, 2015: More Event Planners Turn to Funeral Planning, How Summer Food Festivals are Leveraging Digital Marketing, Why Fashion Loves Music Events for Product Launches

1. MORE EVENT PLANNERS TURN TO FUNERAL PLANNING: A change in Florida law that no longer requires funeral directors to be embalmers has lead to more hospitality students turning to funeral planning than traditional social events like weddings. South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “Funeral directors must pull out the details — somebody's love story, a secret talent, career accomplishments or family history — and tuck them into the funeral in an extravagant way or sometimes rather quietly. Once, for an elderly man who helped discover the science that led to the atomic bomb, Ralph-Bowie displayed his handwritten science journals at the funeral. Or there was the Jamaican musician who died, so Ralph-Bowie organized a street fair where people danced and ate jerk chicken and yellow rice.”

2. HOW SUMMER FOOD FESTIVALS ARE LEVERAGING DIGITAL MARKETING: From New York’s Harlem EatUp to Chicago Food Truck Festival, food festivals are leveraging their social media accounts to get fans to attend. Adweek: “Millennials are definitely going to food festivals and events where they find value," said Harlem EatUp’s Herb Karlitz. "They are more attuned than the generation before them in terms of really trying to take the best of what culture and lifestyle marketing offers. They get their information digitally, which is why we have big digital campaigns going on, particularly with our magazine partners."

3. WHY FASHION LOVES MUSIC EVENTS FOR PRODUCT LAUNCHES: Fashion designers like Olivier Rousteing of Balmain are using the high profile of music festivals to launch new initiatives. The New York Times: “Mr. Rousteing used the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday — as well as his dates, the models Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn — to reveal his collaboration with H&M, creating a ruckus on the red carpet. This followed, it should be said, Alexander Wang’s announcement during the Coachella music festival in California last year that he would do a one-off collaboration with H&M. Given the frenzy over that limited edition, you can understand why Mr. Rousteing made a similar choice. If the trend continues, maybe the music events should start asking for a share in the profits.”


BOSTON:  David Ortiz Children’s Fund Gala will take place on June 22 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place.

CHICAGO:  Crain’s Chicago Business: “Mayor Rahm Emanuel's second inauguration's guest list read like that for a White House dinner. Former President Bill Clinton and former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley were there—all smiles. Lyric Opera soprano Renee Fleming sang a grand rendition of "America the Beautiful," and when the Apostolic Church of God Praise Team marched down the aisles of the Chicago Theatre and up to the stage with a hip, boisterous song of thanks to God, I thought the mayor was going to join in.”

Chicago Shakespeare Theater will host its annual gala on June 8 at its home on Navy Pier. The event will include a dinner catered by Food for Thought.

LAS VEGAS:  Rock in Rio U.S.A. festival completed its first run in Las Vegas over the past two weekends, May 8-9 and 15-16. Total attendance was approximately 172,000, with about 90,000 coming for the second weekend to see headliners such as Taylor Swift.

LOS ANGELES:  On May 16, An Evening With Women benefiting the Los Angeles LGBT Center drew more than 1,000 guests and raised more than $700,000.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Taste of the Gables, presented by Bacardi USA, will take place June 4 at the Westin Colonnade Hotel.

Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Weston has tapped FĂ«n Hotels as its new management company. The 500-room hotel has more than 80,000 square feet of meeting space.

NEW YORK:  The shoe brand Toms wraps up its eighth annal One Day Without Shoes campaign on Thursday with a lineup of activities at its Soho store including a morning yoga class and a photo booth where customers will be encouraged to take barefoot photos and use the #withoutshoes hashtag. The company has pledged to give away a pair of shoes for every photo of bare feet tagged on Instagram.

City Winery will host the seventh annual Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival, an outdoor music event held every Tuesday from June 2-August 25.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  The Americas Cake and Sugarcraft Fair will be September 18-20 at the Orange County Convention Center. The event will include cake competitions, classes, and appearances by industry celebrities such as Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro,

TORONTO:  The 17th annual Champions of Public Education Tribute Dinner is scheduled for May 28 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s Constitution Hall. The honorees are former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and author and education reform expert Dr. Michael Fullan.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Friendship Hospital for Animals will celebrate a renovation of its facility with a community block party June 7 in the parking lot of new sportswear Tenly Gastropub. The event will include the Washington Humane Society’s Adopt Force One mobile adoption center.

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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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