1. STATE OF THE UNION WILL TAKE PLACE NEXT WEEK: President Donald Trump has accepted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s invitation to deliver his State of the Union address February 5. The speech will take place a week later than originally scheduled because of the partial government shutdown. Associated Press: "The speech had initially been scheduled for January 29, but Pelosi postponed it amid what turned into a 35-day partial government shutdown over Trump’s demand for border wall funding. It was the first known time that a speaker had rescinded an invitation to deliver the State of the Union. ... Pelosi’s office and the White House told The Associated Press that the House speaker and president had spoken by phone Monday afternoon. A Pelosi spokesman said she placed the call at 3:55 p.m. and it lasted about 12 minutes. The House and Senate still must pass a resolution officially inviting Trump to speak to a joint session of Congress." https://bit.ly/2G8j4c6
2. FOOTBALL STADIUMS USE TECHNOLOGY TO BRING IN MORE ATTENDEES: Many football fans prefer to watch games on their couch rather than buy tickets to attend for multiple reasons. And according to a 2017 Gartner study, 27 percent of consumers attended a game in the last six months, a number that's expected to continue to drop. In an effort to get more fans to buy tickets, many stadiums, including Super Bowl LIII venue Mercedes Benz-Stadium in Atlanta, are implementing a number of tech-centric efforts to improve the fan experience. These include mobile payments, upgraded Wi-Fi, and giving fans directions on their phones. Adweek: "Mercedes-Benz Stadium also has what it calls Fan-First Pricing—or food and beverages with price tags comparable to local restaurants and convenience stores—and these prices do not rise for any event, the Super Bowl included. An event like the Super Bowl is certainly an exception to the attendance rule, but the N.F.L. is nevertheless working on ways to improve that fan experience as well. ... In addition to more bathrooms, Mercedes-Benz Stadium has taken steps to minimize lines, like mobile payments via Apple Pay, as well as a partnership with navigation system Waze to help fans park, and walk-through magnetometers and new turnstiles, which give its entrances 40 percent more capacity than its predecessor, the Georgia Dome." https://bit.ly/2WoTt4m
3. TRUMP REVELS IN WHITE HOUSE TOUR GUIDE ROLE: When people visit the White House these days, they may have the pleasure, or displeasure, of being treated to an unofficial tour by President Trump. The president reportedly enjoys giving impromptu tours of the West Wing to strangers and friends, in which he brags about improvements and makes comments about past presidents. Washington Post: “The visits are often impromptu and usually involve several of Trump’s favorite spots, those who have been on the tours say. When the president finishes dinners with members of Congress, he often raises the same question. ‘You want to see the Lincoln Bedroom?’ he asks, before beckoning lawmakers up the stairs. He often remarks how tall President Lincoln was and how short the bed is during these visits, before noting the nearby Lincoln desk and the Bill of Rights, guests said. The president has also claimed to guests, without evidence, that his private dining room off the Oval Office was in ‘rough shape’ and had a hole in the wall when he came into the West Wing and that President Barack Obama used it to watch sports, according to two White House officials and two other people who have heard him discuss the dining room.” https://wapo.st/2CNh9q5
* LOCAL NEWS *
ATLANTA: On Services, a GES company that provides audiovisual services, has appointed Jeffrey C. Byrne senior vice president of sales and Stan Egerson national operations director.
LOS ANGELES: Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort has appointed Lani Baird director of sales and marketing.
For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA: The Parkinson’s Foundation South Palm Beach County Chapter’s Leo Geller Golf Tournament will take place February 4 at Boca Rio Gulf Club.
Miami New Times’ Out to Brunch event, benefitting Special Olympics Florida, will take place April 13 at Jungle Plaza in the Miami Design District. Leftovers from the event will be donated to Miami Rescue Mission.
Celino South Beach hotel has appointed Domingo Velasco director of sales and marketing and Michael Ryan as general manager. The 132-room hotel is slated to open this spring.
NEW YORK: Production Resource Group (P.R.G.), an entertainment and event technology solutions company, and VER, a production equipment rental company, will operate as one company under two brand names. P.R.G. acquired VER in August 2018.
Thomas Preti Events to Savor has launched a new website, coinciding with the company's 32nd anniversary.
For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork
PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE: Caesars Entertainment Corporation will open Caesars Republic Scottsdale, its first non-gaming hotel in the U.S. The 266-room property will break ground in the second half of 2019.
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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.
BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.
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