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Call Sheet #249: Gov't Conference Planner Investigated, Silent Social Secretary, Trade Show Tips

BIZBASH CALL SHEET â€” #249 — Tuesday, 04.24.12

++ Sponsored by Event Leadership Institute ++

Compiled today by Chad Kaydo in New York.
Feed the Sheet: [email protected]
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TODAY'S CALENDAR: CinemaCon continues in Las Vegas (through Thursday), Time 100 Gala in New York


1. G.S.A. PROBE SHIFTS TO PLANNER: The Washington Post reports that the inspector general investigating over-the-top spending on a General Services Administration conference in Las Vegas in 2010 has told federal prosecutors an outside event planner violated ethics laws. Details:

* "Investigators also want to know whether Michael W. Jahn, managing partner of Location Solvers, violated bribery laws by giving gifts to several GSA employees in excess of the government’s $20 limit. … The gifts, which would have been illegal for the employees to accept, included regular deliveries of flowers, concert tickets and free hotel rooms, sources said."

* "Over several months of planning that included eight scouting and pre-planning trips to Las Vegas at a $130,000 cost to taxpayers, Jahn acted as a matchmaker between GSA and the hotel, according to government sources and e-mails. Jahn was paid a commission of $12,601.50, which was added to the conference catering bill of $146,527."

* "The inspector general criticized the arrangement: 'The M Resort’s willingness to pay over $12,000 as a finder’s fee strongly indicates that further discounts might have been available to GSA if [the agency] had contacted the hotel directly, rather than working through Location Solvers,' Miller concluded, calling the use of an outside event planner 'redundant and wasteful.'” http://wapo.st/IaEPEy

What do you think of the case? And how do you think the news coverage will affect the industry? Tell us: [email protected].

2. WHITE HOUSE SOCIAL SECRETARY: In different news from Washington, The New York Times turns its gaze to—but doesn't speak to—Obama event chief Jeremy Bernard. Highlights:

* "He has overseen hundreds of events, from this month’s Easter Egg Roll for a record 35,000 participants—Mr. Bernard kept watch from the sidelines, jauntily chewing gum in dark sunglasses—to a stampede of Christmas celebrations to three state dinners."

* "Mr. Bernard, who raised tens of millions of dollars in Los Angeles gay circles for Mr. Obama in 2008, has moved the position further into the realm of the corporate as he carries out the Obamas’ vision: big celebrations that bypass large swaths of the Washington establishment but open up the White House to youth, military families and, in 2012, big contributors to the president’s re-election campaign."

* "By all accounts, Mr. Bernard has excelled at another part of his job, which is remaining in a media deep freeze after the messy departure of the Obamas’ first social secretary, Desirée Rogers. … He has turned down all requests for interviews. In a year in the job, he is not known to have spoken to a single reporter, at least not while on duty or on the record."

* Says an acquaintance: “Forget about the fact that he’s male and gay, it’s more that he’s top-to-bottom Dolce & Gabbana and wildly flirtatious. … He definitely adds a little bit of sizzle to a position that traditionally has been about which set of china are we using.” http://nyti.ms/JiTES3

3. WOMEN'S CONFERENCE RETURNS: California's first ladies have hosted a celebrity-packed gathering for 27 years, which raised its profile and attendance numbers during Maria Shriver's term. The current first lady, Anne Brown, declined to host, and now Michelle Patterson, C.E.O. of EventComplete, is taking over. The California Women's Conference is September 23-24 at the Long Beach Convention Center. Press release: http://on.mktw.net/IBs1EA

4. CINEMACON GROWING: The Los Angeles Times on the conference, which kicked off yesterday: "CinemaCon—formerly known as ShoWest—has assumed a higher profile since it was taken over by NATO in 2010, and this year every major studio will have a presence at the trade show." http://lat.ms/IzTvL0

5. INTERNET HALL OF FAME: 33 visionaries are being inducted into the hall in Geneva, Switzerland, including Al Gore and Craigslist founder Craig Newmark. Mashable has a slideshow: http://on.mash.to/IczQPj

6. TRADE SHOW TIPS: Fox Business has dos and don'ts for small businesses, including suggestions to partner with other organizations and sponsor something: http://bit.ly/ImpJdW


The Event Leadership Institute is proud to provide the most progressive training and education for event planners in the industry, through on-demand video classes, biweekly webinars, white papers as well as interviews with industry leaders. www.eventleadershipinstitute.com


COAST TO COAST: The Bon Appétit Grub Crawl will launch this summer in Brooklyn, New Orleans, and Los Angeles.

BOSTON: Joslin Diabetes Center will host its "Evening at Pops" benefit at Symphony Hall May 11 with music by George Gershwin.

CHICAGO: The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show is Tuesday through Thursday at McCormick Place. Some 500 manufacturers and suppliers will showcase their wares over 300,000 square feet of space. Cottonelle, DPHA, TODL and Decor Cabinets have sponsored lounges on the trade show floor.

The Chicago Resource Expo is April 27-28 at the Rolling Meadows Holiday Inn and Convention Center.

LAS VEGAS: L.A. Times: "CinemaCon—formerly known as ShoWest—has assumed a higher profile since it was taken over by NATO in 2010, and this year every major studio will have a presence at the trade show." http://lat.ms/IzTvL0

The National Association of Broadcasters’ NAB Show, held April 14-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, had roughly flat attendance from the previous year. But it showed an uptick in exhibitor participation and close to a 10 percent increase in size, with nearly 1,600 exhibitors spanning 825,000 net square feet of exhibit space. Trade Show News Network: tsnn.com/news-blo...

LOS ANGELES: The 19th annual Race to Erase M.S. event benefiting the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis will take to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza May 18 with performances by the Tenors and American Idol’s David Cook.

Tori Spelling and Nina Garcia will host the launch of the Havaianas & Baby Buggy Mother’s Day Mommy & Me Collection at the London West Hollywood May 2.

"In the Art of the City" will take to Vibiana May 3 with big-name L.A. chefs, a silent auction offering work from local artists, and live music. Patina Catering will orchestrate the dinner, including participation from chefs Joachim Splichal of Patina Restaurant Group, David Feau of the Royce at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Josiah Citrin of Melisse, Kris Morningstar of Ray’s & Stark Bar, Philippe Muze of Patina Catering, John Sedlar of Rivera.

L.A. Times: "The Century, a luxury condominium tower in Century City, will soon house a restaurant operated by high-profile Los Angeles chef David Myers. His yet-to-be-named restaurant will be open to the public and also cater private meals and events for residents of the 41-story tower such as Candy Spelling, who owns the top two floors." http://lat.ms/I7gAX8

Children and families advocacy group Hollygrove will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a "Hooray for Hollygrove" gala on Wednesday at the Hollywood Museum, with Juicy Couture as the title sponsor. Rob Reiner will serve as master of ceremonies.

Montage Beverly Hills has announced the renamed and renovated Parq Bar, which now offers outdoor seating overlooking the Beverly Canon Gardens and nightly entertainment.

The John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary hosted its 27th annual Odyssey Ball with a disco look at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday night.

This weekend, Lacma celebrated its annual Collectors Committee Gala and raised $2.8 million towards the acquisition of new artworks.

On Sunday, celebs like Kim Kardashian joined Jeep for the launch of its 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude Edition. The automaker announced the vehicle as the “official vehicle of U.S.A. basketball,” and the crowd feted the men's and women's U.S.A. Olympic basketball teams at the event at L.A. Center Studios.

The Ian Somerhalder Foundation hosted the "Influence Affair" on Saturday night in support of the foundation's efforts and its initiative with the California Coastal Commission and Heal the Bay. Entertainment at the private residence came from graffiti artist Erik Wahl, DJ Josh LeCash, and a performance by Capital Cities.

MIAMI: The Dauer Museum of Classic Cars will host their second annual Cars, Cocktails, Cuisine event to benefit Betty Cares at Miami Children's Hospital Foundation April 28.

The fourth annual "Rock the Race: A Kentucky Derby Bash," benefiting the Ann Storck Center, is at the Seminole Hard Rock & Casino May 5.

Upscale Greek eats restaurant Estiatorio Milos will debut in South Beach in late April or early May with an open kitchen, fish market display, and a "build-it-yourself approach to dining." The Miami Herald: miami.com/highbro...

NEW YORK: Today, the Time 100 gala is at Jazz at Lincoln Center, with keynote speaker Hillary Clinton and performances by Rihanna and Raphael Saadiq, to celebrate its list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The Museum of Modern Art's Party in the Garden is May 22, with a performance from Santigold and a DJ set by Solangé Knowles.

The Greater New York Chapter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America will host its 19th annual Women of Distinction Luncheon May 1 at the Waldorf-Astoria, with a fashion show presented by Bergdorf Goodman showcasing Oscar de la Renta's Fall collection and makeup by Trish McEvoy.

Literacy Partners' 28th annual Evening of Readings gala is May 21 at Jazz at Lincoln Center. This year, the event will see best-selling authors and TV personalities Bill Maher and Jeffrey Toobin, as well as biographer Sally Bedell Smith.

The 2012 Outstanding Mother Awards is May 10 at the Pierre. Honorees include Nina Garcia, Gayle King, Lisa Price, and Karen Hoguet.

ORLANDO: Starbucks will open stores inside Disney's six U.S. theme parks—four in Orlando and two in California. Washington Post: http://wapo.st/I623Le

TORONTO: The Corsage Project hosted its 12th annual Boutique Ball on Sunday at the Toronto Reference Library. The event supplies girls in disadvantaged homes with dresses, shoes, handbags, and jewelry for their high school prom. Volunteers acted as personal shoppers and the event included an area for alterations and mini makeovers.

WASHINGTON: Vicon Business Media Inc., publisher of Forensic Magazine and DFI News Digital Forensic Investigator, announced a new conference focused on evidence collection, handling, analysis, and chain of custody. The Evidence Conference is October 1-2 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

To further reduce its carbon footprint, Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C., announced a partnership with Washington Gas Energy Services.

The Code of Support Foundation is hosting a Give-Back-24 fund-raising weekend to help troops, veterans, and military families battle post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The main event is a "Ride Around the Clock" motorcycle ride, in which participants will cover a nearly 1,000-mile circuit from Arlington through Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and back to Arlington in a 24-hour period, starting 9 a.m. June 9. Press release: sys-con.com/node/...

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us: [email protected]. 

With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, Carla Warrilow in Toronto, and Anna Sekula, Beth Kormanik, and Rose Chevalier in New York.

BizBash Call Sheet is the must-read daily digest of event industry news from BizBash.com. 

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