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October 26, 2015: What Planners Can Learn From ZombiCon Tragedy, Does a Sponsored Grand Marshal at Halloween Parade Go Too Far?, See Pepsi on the Runway at Shanghai Fashion Week


1. WHAT EVENT PLANNERS CAN LEARN FROM ZOMBICON TRAGEDY: Following a shooting at the annual ZombiCon festival in Fort Myers, Florida, in which one person died and five others were injured, security and event planning experts evaluated how planners and city officials could have made the event safer. Ideas included creating a written security plan before the event begins and having standard guidelines on the size of a security detail required for an event. Naples Daily News: “Is it expensive? Yeah. Is it something that adds to the cost of the event experience? Yeah. But what else are you going to do?” said Darrell Stefany, a private event planner whose firm helps produce the massive Gasparilla pirate festival in Tampa. “We live in a world today that these steps are becoming almost mandatory and if you don’t do it, you are not doing your due diligence.” http://bit.ly/1Mm1eQY

2. DOES A SPONSORED GRAND MARSHAL AT HALLOWEEN PARADE GO TOO FAR?: The fictional pitchman for Dos Equis beer will be the grand marshal for this year’s 42nd annual Greenwich Village Halloween parade on Saturday in an unusual sponsorship deal. The “Most Interesting Man in the World” joins a roster of past grand marshals that includes Gene Simmons, Kelly Ripa, and Whoopi Goldberg. New York: “The parade has been in existence since 1975, created by puppeteer and mask-maker Ralph Lee. Initially, it was just a short neighborhood walk for Lee’s kids and a few others, but after two years, it became a citywide hit. While once scrappy, it’s now attended by more than 2 million spectators every year. … Everything needs a sponsor these days, but this does seem like a new frontier of product placement. It's hard to reach those seen-it-all young consumers these days!” http://nym.ag/1P0JtFR

3. SEE PEPSI ON THE RUNWAY AT SHANGHAI FASHION WEEK: Three collections at Shanghai Fashion Week earlier this month featured designs inspired by Pepsi, a level of brand integration typically seen on reality programs like Project Runway. Advertising Age: “The various collections incorporated the Pepsi brand in fresh yet nuanced ways. According to [PepsiCo Senior Design Director Matthieu] Aquino, such initiatives are ‘not about sponsoring things and putting the logo everywhere. It's about creating meaningful stories that will engage the consumer on another level.’ … The design team also released a limited edition Shanghai Fashion Week can, which depicts an intricate lace pattern of white over blue.” http://bit.ly/1Ma8Tf1


* INDUSTRY NEWS *

The Consumer Electronics Association announced the death of William T. Glasgow Sr., vice president and show manager for International C.E.S. (then called the Winter and Summer Consumer Electronics Show) from 1975-1984. He later founded his own event management company, W. T. Glasgow Inc.

* LOCAL NEWS *

ATLANTA:  The owners of SkyView Atlanta are introducing a SkyTower in Centennial Park, which will have three thrill rides. Atlanta Business Chronicle: http://bit.ly/1W9sqY0

BOSTON:  The Boston Christmas Festival at Seaport World Trade Center will feature a farmer’s market this year, with 48 small-batch producers of specialty foods.

CHICAGO:  Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel begins phase two if its $8 million renovation this month. Set to wrap up in March, the phase of the renovation will introduce a new terrace bar, a new ballroom, and 4,000 additional square feet of meeting space.

LAS VEGAS:  Caesars Palace has announced that its renovated 587-room Julius Tower, formerly the Roman Tower, will start accepting guests on January 1.

LOS ANGELES:  Viviane, a collaboration from executive chef Michael Hung and restaurateur Stephane Bombet, opened at Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills last week. The menu, inspired by American and European continental cuisine, will offer breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and weekend brunch.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau announced a record number of visitors to the region. From September 2014-August 2015, there were 15.1 million overnight visitors, a 5.4 percent increase. The economic impact also increased 7 percent to $25.1 billion.

NEW YORK:  Begin the Beguine, an annual fund-raising event for nonprofit the American Run for the End of AIDS, will take place November 22 at Hudson Terrace.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Top Chef Masters alumnus chef Rick Bayless will open a Frontera Fresco location at Disney Springs. Orlando Sentinel: http://bit.ly/1NrNkKs

PHILADELPHIA:  The 24th annual Philadelphia Film Festival runs through November 1, closing with a masquerade-theme party at the Prince Theater.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Africare’s Bishop John T. Walker Memorial Dinner Gala has moved its date to December 5 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Fashion Fights Poverty celebrates its 10th anniversary “Dress Responsibly Gala” on November 13 at the French embassy. The initiative includes a showcase of eco-friendly and ethical fashion designers and raises money to support projects that create income-generating and micro financing opportunities for artisans in developing countries.

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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, Anna Sekula, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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