September 15, 2014: NPR Looks to Live Events to Raise Money, How Event Technology Can Reshape Meeting Layouts, Event Planning Lessons From Burning Man

By Beth Kormanik September 15, 2014, 8:16 AM EDT

1. NPR LOOKS TO LIVE EVENTS TO RAISE MONEY: NPR is creating a series of ticketed events with corporate sponsors as a new revenue strategy, with shows planned nationwide. The New York Times: “Audiences have ‘a real desire for coming face to face with brands, touching the brand, but also building communities around topics, around hosts, around the conversation,’ said Indira Etwaroo, executive producer and director of ‘NPR Presents.’ She said the events would maintain NPR’s ‘journalistic rigor’ and, without taking editorial license, would ‘create something entirely new in terms of the storytelling.’”

2. HOW EVENT TECHNOLOGY CAN RESHAPE MEETING LAYOUTS: Thoughtfully looking at the ways adults learn can influence the look and style of meetings to better help attendees retain information, argues Midori Connolly of AVGirl Productions. AV Network: “Start with the amount of gadgets and devices they bring to an event. It is almost absurd to even consider theatre style seating anymore—we need room to tap tap tap at a keyboard! And think of how many times you’ve walked into a room and seen 75% of the attendees crowded into 30% of the space. At the back, of course. Could we assist with more creative room design that uses screens in multiple locations, or suggest solutions that deliver visual content at the table, putting the teacher at the center of the room? … Finally, for tactile, or kinesthetic learners, give them room to move around. Play music to support their study/learning. Perhaps provide iPads or kiosks around a room where they can take notes or doodle, or place lecterns at the perimeter of the room, where they can perch their own devices and take notes while standing up.”

3. EVENT PLANNING LESSONS FROM BURNING MAN: The Nevada festival Burning Man, with its distinct language and culture, nonetheless has valuable lessons for event planners. Shannon Gilcrease of FreemanXP shares her takeaways, which include rethinking how people enter events: “There were several camps hosting events that had interesting ways of requiring participants to interact. For example, one camp handed out random painted tokens to everyone in line and you had to find the person with the matching token to gain entrance together.”


BOSTON:  Flavors of Fall, hosted by, will take place at the Royal Sonesta Hotel on November 17. Benefitting Youth on Fire, the event will include seasonal dishes paired with beers and wines.

CHICAGO:  Wheeling’s Taste of the Town “Healthy Harvest” celebration is October 9 at Westin Chicago North Shore. The event will offer tastings, wine, and craft beers from nearly 20 local restaurants.

LAS VEGAS:  The Las Vegas Jazz Festival runs Friday-Sunday with more than 20 artists participating.

LOS ANGELES:  Perfume house Krigler will be opening its first West Coast location at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. The shop will include a fragrance lab where guests can create their own custom scents and perfumed candles.

Pechanga Resort & Casino named Ronnel Capacia as the new head chef of Kelsey’s Sports Bar & Grill.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society will hold its first “Fiesta Cultural” celebrating Hispanic heritage on Saturday. The event includes a bilingual story time in the morning, and an evening “Roar & Pour” event for adults.

NEW YORK:  Actress Jennifer Lawrence will co-host next year's Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala. Co-hosts are Vogue’s Anna Wintour, Marissa Mayer, Gong Li, Silas Chou, and Wendi Murdoch, and the theme will be “Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film and Fashion.”

The Brooklyn Book Festival, billed as the city's largest free literary event, is September 21 at Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Universal Orlando's newest hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, will open in summer 2016 and planners can now begin reserving space for future events. The Caribbean-theme resort will have 131,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 41,000-square-foot ballroom. The hotel will have 1,000 guest rooms and suites.

TORONTO:  The first Evergreen Urban Rodeo & BBQ fund-raiser will take place at Evergreen Brick Works on September 27. The event will include local fare prepared by 40 Canadian chefs; there will also be a mechanical bull and carnival games.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Plume, the restaurant at the Jefferson, DC hotel, has named Ralf Schlegel its new executive chef. He will also oversee Quill lounge and the hotel's culinary team.

Prince George’s Community College will hold its 22nd annual Bluebird Blues Festival Saturday at the college's Largo campus. Radio host Christine DeProperty will serve as festival marshal.

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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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