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Call Sheet #279: G.S.A. Bonuses Draw Outrage, Napster Co-Founders Launch Video Service, Does Orlando or New York Draw More Tourists?

BIZBASH CALL SHEET â€” #279 — Wednesday, 06.06.12

++ Sponsored by Event Leadership Institute ++

Compiled today by Beth Kormanik in New York
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TODAY'S CALENDAR: Whitney Museum of American Art’s Art Party in New York


1. BLOOMBERG QUESTIONS ORLANDO TOURISM: New York City has battled with the Florida mecca for the title of the country's top tourism destination, a title that was on the line again this week as Orlando announced its annual tourism figures. At 55.1 million visitors for 2011, it looks like Orlando is the bigger draw, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg questions whether the cities are comparing the Big Apple to Florida Oranges. "Julie Wood, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bloomberg, took issue with how large an area is lumped into the Orlando count. 'Visit Orlando counts travelers to three counties and 36 different cities and towns outside of the city of Orlando,' Ms. Wood said. 'When we count, we don’t add Newark, New City, New Rochelle, New Hope, New Haven, or anywhere else to our total—we only include visitors to New York City.'" http://nyti.ms/M5cAnO

2. G.S.A. BONUSES CRITICIZED: Despite an internal investigation into wrongdoing, the General Services Administration paid more than $1 million in bonuses to employees, according to Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri. The federal agency already is under fire for an $823,000 Las Vegas conference that has led to the resignation or firing of its top officials. Bloomberg: http://nyp.st/L9RAy9

3. JUBILEE WORKER ABUSE CLAIMS: Were some workers forced to sleep under the London Bridge during Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations? The Daily Beast reported that former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has asked for an investigation into "claims that security firm Close Protection U.K. had broken its industry’s standards, and he is calling for the government to review the company's contract for the Olympics. CPUK issued a 'sincere apology' on Tuesday for the 'London Bridge incident,' but insisted they were not exploiting anyone and were instead providing work experience." http://bit.ly/KFjZyG

4. THE NEXT BIG THING? Airtime, a new live social video platform from the co-founders of Napster, launched with some celebrity help at an event Tuesday in New York. The Hollywood Reporter: "The network platform is meant to sit atop of Facebook with three key features: One, it's a video chat service. Two, it allows users who interact to share video content with each other. And three, it allows its users to discover those with similar personal interests by making somewhat random, hopefully serendipitous, connections." Jimmy Fallon introduced the platform, and celebrities including Olivia Munn, Snoop Dogg, Joel McHale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ed Helms, Alicia Keys, and Jim Carrey demonstrated the product, with a few snags. "The system crashed several times. The celebrities often had a hard time using the platform to connect with each other. Even the microphones broke down, leaving the celebrities rushing to kill airtime, so to speak, as IT help came." http://bit.ly/M56Me8

5. BOOKS ARE BACK: The annual Book Expo America, held at Javits Convention Center, seems to have larger crowds and a more robust party lineup this year. New York Post: "There were a few more parties than there were during some of the worst years of the recession. Penguin staged its at the famed Algonquin Hotel, and Knopf/Doubleday was going to Cognac on Broadway yesterday. Harper Collins was heading downtown to The Park on lower Tenth Avenue. People Managing Editor Larry Hackett and the weekly’s Books Editor Kim Hubbard are staging a bash at the Top of the Standard on Washington Street tonight, helping to fill a void when The New Yorker opted out of its book party in favor of spending its dollars at the White House Correspondents Dinner in May." http://nyp.st/MbAVvJ

++ A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR: Event Leadership Institute ++

Check out our newest mini class: Alternative Projection Shapes & Surfaces, with Brandt Krueger of metroConnections. 21 minutes, 4 chapters. Take your event to the next level with tips from this class. www.EventLeadershipInstitute.com


ISES announced its 2012-2013 international board of governors:
David Buckley, AFR Event Furnishings, Pennsauken, N.J.
Richard Foulkes, director of special events and productions, Imagination, London
Gwen Helbush, president, Where to Start, Inc. Wedding & Event Management, Newark, Calif.
Sara Hunt, senior director, Giants Enterprises, AT&T Park, San Francisco
Melissa Jurcan, director of marketing and communications, SEAFAIR, Seattle
Ingrid Nagy, owner, Catering by Design, Denver
Terry Shields, director of catering, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas


BOSTON: Anna's Taqueria hosts Anna's Walqueria, a 13.1-mile loop bringing participants to six Anna's locations June 16. The event supports the Home for Little Wanderers.

CHICAGO: The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation hosts its summer soiree at Roka Akor July 25.

Mity Nice Bar & Grill, which hosts private events for groups of 12, debuts its new cocktail menu at a cocktail party June 29.

LAS VEGAS: Tropfest wrapped its first go in Las Vegas on Sunday. The event celebrated Tropfest’s 20th birthday during a weekend of free, mostly outdoor events at the Cosmopolitan.

LOS ANGELES: Royal memorabilia collection "Diana: Legacy of a Princess," presented in partnership with breast cancer awareness group Pink Ribbons Crusade, opens to the public June 16 aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach.

The Carousel of Hope, hosted biannually by Barbara Davis and presented by Mercedes Benz, is set for its 26th gala October 20 at the Beverly Hilton. George Clooney will receive the Brass Ring award for his humanitarian work.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA: BLT Steak at the Betsy South Beach, will unveil a new raw bar and sushi menu June 14 following invitation-only events with the Friends of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. The raw bar will be located in the newly reconfigured South dining area.

NEW YORK: Acria's "Unframed," presented by Architectural Digest and curated by Michael Cunningham, is tonight at 400 5th Avenue Penthouse.

The Ubuntu Education Fund hosts its annual gala today at the Roseland ballroom to raise funds for children in South Africa and to support its new Early Childhood Development program and campaign. Guests include Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, and Donna Karan.

Uniqlo hosts autograph sessions with game designer Hideo Kojima and artist Yoji Shinkawa to celebrate its T-shirt collection and the Metal Gear 25th anniversary Friday and Saturday at its New York flagship.

The Street looks at hotel debuts and summer pop-up restaurants in the Hamptons. http://bit.ly/LwjUtu

The National Father’s Day Council will honor five fathers, including Shaquille O'Neal, John Thain, and Oscar Feldenkreis at its 71st annual "Father of the Year" awards benefit luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel & Tower June 14. Proceeds of the event will benefit Save the Children.

History and Arctic Glacier partnered to introduce I.R.T. Ice in time to celebrate the Ice Road Truckers premiere last Sunday. To launch the campaign, I.R.T. star Hugh Rowland was at Walgreens in Times Square last Thursday with a delivery truck, an estimated 20 tons of snow, an ice road, and ice sculptures.

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

ORLANDO: The Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin hotel is hosting the I.B.M. Innovate conference through Thursday.

TORONTO: Luminato kicks off Friday night with performances by Kae Sun and K'Naan at David Pecaut Square. The festival goes on through June 17.

The 18th annual North by Northeast live music and film festival and music conference is June 11-17.

WASHINGTON: Crave Kimpton, an event to showcase the area's Kimpton Hotels, will be June 15 at Hotel Monaco Washington, D.C.

The D.C. Jazz festival will have a tribute concert to Chuck Brown at the Hamilton on Friday. The festival continues through Sunday.

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 Rose Chevalier, Beth Kormanik, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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

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