Page 1


Toronto $4.95 SPRING 2010 BIZBASH.COM

Special Meetings Report How Fresh Thinking and New Technology Can Solve Old Problems

Toronto’s Top 100 Events 27 New Venues

The Best Ideas From Big Events Art Basel, Super Bowl XLIV & the Golden Globes Plus: Boxed Lunches, Dining Tables, Pop-Ups, Corporate Picnics & More

®/TM trademarks © Mars, Incorporated 2009


Making a big impression at a big event isn’t easy – until now. Personalize MY M&M’S® Candies with your logo and message and give your guests a party favor or gift they’ll be sure to eat up – and remember forever. Get started now at

For personalized packaging orders, call 866.290.6854

GET 15% OFF YOUR ORDER! Use Promo Code: BASH6

Offer expires 2/28/10. Offer only valid with your MY M&M’S® Candies for Business order. Minimum purchase required. See site for details.

TORONTO Volume 6, Issue 1 Spring 2010 © 2010 BizBash Media


The University of Toronto’s Palais d’Hiver event adopted a “Through the Looking Glass” theme in honour of Alice in Wonderland. Aerialists from Zero Gravity Circus, dressed as Alice and the white rabbit, performed with hoops and silks above Hart House’s Great Hall. Down below, a whimsical cake, a performer playing the Cheshire cat, trippy checked tablecloths, and tea sets filled with flowers lent a mad tea party look. More photos are on

On the Cover One of Toronto’s Top 100 Events, the 2009 Design Exchange Black and White Gala honoured BlackBerry maker Research in Motion with a “Commotion” theme that included a Tron-inspired laser show in the venue’s Trading Floor. Photographed by George Pimentel

FROM THE EDITORS 6 Conversation starters READERS’ FORUM 9 How do you recharge after a big event? 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

THE SCOUT Flexible seating Dining tables for rent Resources for corporate picnics How do you entertain guests on a car or bus ride? Trend Spotted: Greenery as event decor Thrillist’s offline events Innovative box lunches Knot PR’s Tatiana Read; What to do with summer associates

VENUES 19 Some of Toronto’s newest spaces embrace Art Deco design

EVENT REPORTS 21 The new Ad Ball’s burlesque end to Advertising Week 23 Operanation’s Latin-influenced tribute to Carmen 24 From Miami: Art Basel’s exhibitions, satellite fairs, and sponsored parties 26 Coast to Coast: Pop-ups from across the U.S. and Canada 28 The Interior Design Show’s Italian-themed kitchen party 29 Blending fashion and literature at the Book Lover’s Ball 30 From Las Vegas: The Consumer Electronics Show 32 From Los Angeles: Productionheavy Golden Globe parties 34 From New York: A man’s world at the Hermes store opening 36 Toronto’s Top 100 Events A roundup of the city’s biggest annual undertakings 42 Break the Meeting Mold Innovative solutions for keeping meeting attendees energized THE DIRECTORY 46 New venues TED KRUCKEL 48 Rules for breakfast entertaining

ON BIZBASH.COM Comprehensive local venue and supplier directories The latest industry news Local sites for Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami/South Florida, New York, Orlando, Toronto, and Washington spring 2010 3

BIZBASH EDITOR IN CHIEF Chad Kaydo MANAGING EDITOR Libby Estell NEWS EDITOR Courtney Thompson STYLE EDITOR Lisa Cericola ASSOCIATE EDITORS Michael O’Connell, Anna Sekula








Claire Hoffman

CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR AT LARGE Ted Kruckel WRITER AT LARGE, LOS ANGELES Irene Lacher CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Mimi O’Connor, Brendan Spiegel CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Meryl Rothstein, Andi Teran LOS ANGELES: Shilpa Gopinath, Rosalba Curiel TORONTO: Amy Lazar, Erin Letson WASHINGTON: Adele Chapin, Walter Nicholls COPY EDITOR Josh Wimmer CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Vincent Dillio, Roger Dong, Nick Ferrari, Emily Gilbert, Dan Hallman, John Minchillo, Alice and Chris Ross BOSTON: Aviran Levy, Patrick Piasecki CHICAGO: Mireya Acierto, Tyllie Barbosa, Barry Brecheisen, Eric Craig, Jeremy Lawson, Eddie Quinones LOS ANGELES: Matt Armendariz, BEImages, Jessica Boone, Nadine Froger, Line 8 Photography, Zen Sekizawa, Dale Wilcox MIAMI: Joseph Cancellare & Associates, Alexis Corchado, Matthew Horton, Moris Moreno, Elizabeth Renfrow, Mitchell Zachs TORONTO: Gary Beechey, Jill Kitchener, Henry Lin, Emma McIntyre, Nicki Leigh McKean, George Pimentel WASHINGTON: Tony Brown/Imijination Photo, Stephen Elliot, FotoBriceno, Powers and Crewe EDITORIAL OFFICES 21 West 38th St., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018 phone: 646.638.3600, fax: 646.638.3601 CHICAGO BUREAU 312.436.2525 LOS ANGELES BUREAU 310.659.9510 MIAMI BUREAU 1450 NE 123 St., North Miami, FL 33161 305.893.8771 TORONTO BUREAU 1 Thorncliff Park Drive, Suite 110, Toronto, ON M4H 1G9 416.425.6380 CONTACT US Editorial Feedback and Ideas: Event Invitations and Press Releases: Directory Listings: Subscription Inquiries: 866.456.0517 (toll-free) or 845.267.2170, New Subscriptions: Subscription Renewals: Reprints: Dani Rose, The YGS Group 800.494.9051 ext. 125, BIZBASH MEDIA C.E.O. AND FOUNDER David Adler PRESIDENT Richard Aaron BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jonathan Adler (CHAIRMAN),

Richard Aaron, David Adler, Beverly Chell, Martin Maleska, Todd Pietri








BIZBASH NEW YORK 21 West 38th St., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018 646.638.3600, fax: 646.638.3601 PUBLISHER Jacqueline Gould ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Lauren Stonecipher ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, NATIONAL VENUE GUIDE/ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, BIZBASH BOSTON Andrew Carlin ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Erica Fand ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Kristie Hudson




A vibrant new literary and cultural commons in the heart of the city


From the Editors

There’s A Better Way jobboard

The Best Job Board in the Business FIND JOBS / POST JOBS / GET BACK TO WORK

In January, a lighting designer invited me to a breakfast with a few other event industry friends at one of the best-reviewed restaurants in New York. I agreed—he’s always funny and insightful, and the food would be excellent— although, on the night before, when I calculated how early I’d have to wake up to trek from Brooklyn to the uptown restaurant, I’ll confess to grumbling to myself. When I arrived, I found beautiful food This New York event and—even better—terrific got us talking around company. In addition to the office. The dog the lighting designer, our lovers on staff liked hosts were a top-notch how Purina used mini caterer and an endlessly hedges to keep canine inventive designer, both guests separated as people I have enjoyed they tried its Chef meals with in the past. Michael’s line of The rest of the table of 11 gourmet pet food in February. More photos was a mix of producers are on and vendors I had met a few times and had been meaning to catch up with, plus others whose years under his belt, and they compared notes names and work I knew, but hadn’t actually met about their banks. Several producers commiserin person yet. ated over the tightening of credit—how much The hosts explained that even though they tougher it can be to charge several thousand work with different people all the time, there dollars worth of materials for a client. In this were lots of prominent people in the industry relatively ego-free zone, I was reminded that they somehow had never met. While, for some of the best people in the field—by my example, caterers encounter various designers sights—are also some of the nicest. (Funny how and rental companies on jobs, they rarely have those things can go hand in hand, isn’t it?) reason to talk to other caterers. But who better Connecting people who work on events— to compare notes with—if you can put aside across markets, industries, and experience your competitive feelings? levels—has been one of the founding principles So we chatted. They were all nice and smart, of BizBash since we launched 10 years ago. and occasionally a little braggy (what would you And we’re working on a new site that will help expect?), but more often candid. Everyone was people share information online in an even positive, even while acknowledging the rocky more direct way. economy. It would have been deeply ironic, For lack of a better description, this part in our gilded private room, over truffled eggs of will combine elements of the served by waiters summoned unusually early Huffington Post, Facebook, and Twitter to (the place isn’t normally open for breakfast), create a new platform to exchange ideas, tips, for anyone to admit to financial trouble—and commentary—whatever you want to pass along not especially smart if you didn’t want word to to colleagues. (And we won’t make you get up spread quickly. early to do it.) As we go to press, the project What I found most interesting was a certain is still in development, but I expect it might generosity of spirit as they shared lessons be live by the time you read this, or shortly learned. The host caterer, with a couple decades thereafter. Stop by and join in the conversation, of experience, sat next to a caterer with fewer won’t you? —Chad Kaydo


Conversation Starters



Pure Destination. Pure Passion. Pure Romance

Pure Challenge

Welcome to Eagles Nest, the ultimate business



Our spectacular 36,000 square foot clubhouse




backdrop to host your next business meeting.




gathering, a business presentation for up to 60 or a large conference in the Great Hall, we offer the perfect venue. Our attention to detail, first class service, exquisite cuisine and spectacular setting combine to make your visit unforgettable.

Eagles Nest, a seamless blend of Business and pleasure.

Pure Success

Pure Taste

Eagles Nest Golf Club Inc. 10,000 Dufferin Street, Box 403 Maple, Ontario L6A 1S3


Readers’ Forum

How do you recharge after a big event?

“By the time the post-event analysis and reports are done, so is my energy level. I recharge by taking a yoga class or going on a hike. I find that calming my mind, which both of these activities do for me, helps me recharge the batteries and hit the ground running sooner.”

“I usually try to take the day off to clear my head. That way, when I get back to the office, I’m able to focus on the post-event wrap-up that needs to be done, like final budgeting, deleting emails, and cleaning files.”

Cynthia Moricz de Tecso, president, Original Cyn, New York

Leila Marie Eid, assistant director of events, Northeastern University, Boston

“I like to treat my crew to a massage at the nearest spa or even just a good foot therapy soak and pedicure the next day. It does wonders for morale.” Suzanne Smith, owner, Suzanne M. Smith Designs, Orange County, California

“I buy myself a really amazing pair of shoes. Then I have a debrief with my team—hearing the feedback gives me great ideas for making next year’s gala even bigger and better.”


Monika Halarewicz, national director of special events, Outward Bound U.S.A., New York

“My team has a laid-back brainstorming session about what we loved about the party and need to repeat and what didn’t work. We find that a quick powwow is the fastest way to have a laugh, re-inspire each other, and recharge. Coffee helps, too.” David Turk, president, Indiana Market & Catering, New York

“As a fund-raising event planner, I can’t allow myself any fun, recharging luxuries until all the incoming money has been counted and acknowledged, all vendors paid, and results reported to the board. But once that is in process, I like to treat myself to a ticket to a fund-raiser that I don’t have to plan and enjoy the open bar.”

“I sleep! A hibernating-forthe-winter type of sleep. I pull down the shades, turn off my cell phone, and crash. Then I treat myself to a massage, lunch, and a few hours on the couch watching some frivolous show.” Jennifer Williford, senior development officer, Nontraditional Employment for Women, New York

Sharon Becker, assistant director of development, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, New York

“Three Bloody Marys and about 12 hours of sleep.” Burke Giblin, hotel sales manager, New York

“I do a survey of my clients and the people who worked for me. The feedback recharges me and makes me want to do better the next chance I get.” Gloria Goldman, director, A Pampered Affair, Washington

“I always like to come up with some kind of fun project or activity. In running an event, I continually use one side of my brain—the strategic, logistical, organized part. After the event is over, I like to tap into my creative side and schedule a fun date with friends—organizing a wine tasting, going to paint pottery, taking a sculpting or art class, attending a sporting event, or planning a pub crawl. It’s a great break from the monotonous event planning that had preoccupied me for the previous months.” Jenn Shetsen, event planner, Evergreen Partners, Warren, New Jersey

Compiled by CLAIRE HOFFMAN spring 2010 9

My Cool New Job


“My Design Assistant organizer bag ($99, assistantproductgroup. com, 513.522.4700) was created for interior designers, but I find it useful for my event design projects. The file folders have grid paper for a floor plan. There are also magnetic furniture pieces. It has pockets for business cards, receipts, swatch and lighting gel samples, and photos. It definitely makes a good impression and is a great tool.”

Jenny Abramson has been named the general manager of The Washington Post’s conference and events business unit. She has been at The Post for several years, working in sales management and sports advertising, as well as overseeing the sports marketing group. Abramson has previously worked at the Boston Consulting Group and Teach for America. In her new role, she will continue to serve as general manager of The Washington Post’s magazine, special sections, and TV Week group, and as publisher of FW.

“I find inspiration from traveling and reading. My new favorite book is How Now: 100 Ways to Celebrate the Present Moment by Raphael Cushnir. As meeting professionals, we are always in planning mode. It’s a great little book full of inspiration and practical advice—it reminds me how important it is to live in the here and now. I recommend taking it on the road and reading it often.”

Leslie Weekes, meetings manager, Association of American Universities, Washington

“I’m excited to extend The Washington Post brand into live forums. I think we’re uniquely positioned to bring together a wide variety of thought leaders to discuss the most critical issues of our day, and present it in a way that informs and engages our audience.”

Victoria Ascione, director of corporate meetings and events, Bacardi U.S.A, Coral Gables

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Tell us about your favorite new finds: Email us at



In May, Cort Event Furnishings (888.710.2525, will release its Endless Seating line, a modular alternative to traditional banquettes. The collection, which comes in black and white faux leather, is comprised of ottomans and curved and square seat backs that planners can conďŹ gure into serpentine or circular shapes to seat 20 to 200 people. Endless Seating will be available in the U.S. and for large orders in Canada. —Lisa Cericola


The Scout


For Rent

Cloths Optional There’s no need for linens with these eight dining tables. By LISA CERICOLA

Illuminated communal table, $350, available in New York from Jersey Street Furniture Rental (973.779.7444,

Wood dining table, $250, available in New York from Jersey Street Furniture Rental (973.779.7444,

Triangle dining table, from $385, available across the U.S. and Canada from Lounge22 (888.822.2011,

Nate dining table, $200, available throughout South Florida from Room Service Rentals (305.757.7500, roomservice

Cube Table Pattern, $350, available across the U.S. from Taylor Creative Inc. (646.336.6808, taylor Parsons dining table in brown ostrich, pricing upon request, available in New York from Party Rental Ltd. (201.727.4709,

12 spring 2010

Mahogany table, $350, available in New York, Washington, and Boston from Something Different Party Rental (973.742.1779,


Crowning Jewel, $345, available across the U.S. and Canada from Fresh Wata (323.951.0617,

Idea File

Pick Your Picnic


Resources for three types of corporate summer gatherings. By LISA CERICOLA • To-Go Ware’s colorful, reusable bamboo utensil sets, $6.15 for orders of 99 or fewer, (510.225.4045, dress up place settings, and staffers can use them at their desks when the party is over.



• Kitschy tiki drinks will get people in a party mood. Toronto-based Martini Club (416.778.9905, can make the Marikoriko, with rum, kiwi, mint, and lime; pricing varies. Alembic (202.558.2119, drinkalembic. com) in Washington can concoct hurricanes. Pricing starts at $100 for a consultation; on-site services are additional. • Barbecue-inspired passed hors d’oeuvres add a sophisticated touch but will keep guests sated. Design Cuisine (703.979.9400, designcuisine. com) in Washington makes mini BLT “cupcakes” out of corn bread. Calihan Catering in Chicago (312.587.3553, calihan serves tenderloin sliders with corn slaw.

• Add a summery vibe with a steel drum band, such as Los Angeles-based Nesta (310.666.3464,; rates start at $325 for a threehour steel drum soloist.

• Create a patio setting using lounge furniture with an outdoor feel. Props for Today in New York (212.244.9600, offers a beachy love seat for $450.

• A family-style spread makes for easy conviviality. New York’s Francis Louis Catering & Events (718.403.0033, frankies offers a threecourse meal including meatballs in marinara sauce and ricotta cheesecake for $37.50 a person.

• Hide a conference room table with a summery tablecloth like the Green Wave Organza, $20 for a 132-inch round, available in Toronto from ChairMan Mills (416.391.0400, chairman, or the Del Sol, $35 for a 90-inch square, available in the U.S. and Canada from BBJ Linen (847.329.8400,

DAY IN THE PARK • Offer a bird’s-eye view with a tethered hot air balloon ride. Central Florida-based Bob’s Balloons (877.824.4606, charges $500 an hour. Pennsylvaniabased Above & Beyond Ballooning (908.208.1869, will do balloon tethers throughout the Northeast for $1,250 per hour. Travel fees are additional.

• Hold a beer tasting. Through Beerology (, Toronto-based Mirella Amato educates people about Ontario’s craft beers. Guided tastings start at $25 per person. Washington Wine Academy (703.971.1525, wash now offers private beer tastings throughout the metro D.C. area, starting at $18 per person.

• Spice up a cookout with hot dogs and surprising toppings. New York’s AsiaDog (718.594.3254, piles on Asian condiments such as kimchi and seaweed flakes and Thai-style mango and cucumber relish. Franks, sides, and beverages run about $12 per person. Gastropod (, a Miami-based mobile restaurant in a vintage Airstream trailer, serves the Old Dirt Dawg, a short rib hot dog, with “stupid slaw” for $5 each.

• Branded folding chairs can be used as seating at the event and all summer long. Best Promotions (866.881.2378, bestpromo offers the classic striped beach chair, $20 each for orders of 36, plus a $65 customization fee.

• Keep kids (and adults) busy with a kitemaking station. Teambuilding Unlimited (510.845.3600, turns the activity into a competitive project. Facilitators are available throughout the U.S.; prices vary. Or, do it on the cheap with kits from a toy store. spring 2010 13

Samples from the Perfume Studio

Verified Person’s bus at the society for Human Resource Management Conference

How do you entertain guests on a car or bus ride? Whether it’s a group of editors riding to and from a product launch or a sales team headed out of town for a meeting, travel time is part of the experience, for better or worse. Here are ways to entertain or inform people, or just pass the time. Educating passengers about their destination is a popular and useful touch. “When we’re transporting a group of employees to the airport for an incentive trip to another country, we hold brief language classes that teach 12 basic phrases they can use in the country they’re traveling to. Some buses have video capabilities so you can show instructional videos; most have overhead audio so you can use language tapes; or you can bring an instructor on board,” says Dominic Phillips, president and executive director of Dominic Phillips Event Marketing (415.986.7449, in San Francisco. “Learning a language together helps employees get over a sense of initial awkwardness and serves as an icebreaker—they can test out their new phrases on each other.” On a similar note, Ronnie Davis, managing director of Great Performances in New York (212.727.2424,, uses videos in place of a tour guide. “We work with an outside agency to create a video that gives them information about where they are heading. We have done it for groups going to Ellis Island, West Point, and other historic locations,” he says. “The city is cracking down on alcohol on buses, so it’s not easy to do that anymore. This entertains everyone and is not a liability.” Games can work for certain types of groups, especially among passengers who might not know each other. “Guests can play a customized bingo game for fun prizes or a unique opportunity at the venue they’re heading to,” suggests Sarah Schnell,

A guest with Erik Estrada

senior program manager of Total Event Resources (847.397.2200, in Chicago. “You can customize the bingo board by changing the word or the numbers in the boxes to something unique to the attendees, such as a corporate logo or a product’s major buzzwords. Have an M.C. or host facilitate the game from the front of the bus, and the employees can play either alone or in teams with their seatmates.” Bringing entertainers on the bus can make a long trip more enjoyable. “For our corporate and nonprofit clients, we’ve hired fortune-tellers, mentalists, and one time we worked with a contortionist,” says Lynda Webster, founder and chairman of the Webster Group (202.237.0090, websterconsult in Washington. Other options include hand or neck massages by staff from a local spa, stand-up comedians, or trivia hosts. To raise brand awareness during the 2008 Society for Human Resource Management conference in Chicago, Verified Person, a Memphis-based background screening company, shuttled attendees to the event from their hotels on a charter bus instead of purchasing a booth at the show. “We rented a luxury bus from Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co. (773.648.5000, and wrapped it with our brand’s logo,” says Camille Gamble, vice president of marketing at Verified Person. “To create a conversation piece, we hired Erik Estrada to ride along on the bus with us. He autographed our marketing materials, offered passengers cold beverages, and presented a video about our company. For not very much more than having a booth at the show, we created a much bigger presence and grew our brand awareness at the same time.” —Jenny Berg & Lisa Cericola

D.I.Y. Perfume Workshops The Perfume Studio (917.449.1134, scent offers workshops that allow participants to create their own custom fragrances. Sue Phillips, who helped launch scents for Elizabeth Arden and Tiffany & Company, leads the workshops, explaining top and base notes and ACTI VIT Y providing historical tidbits on well-known perfumes such as Chanel No. 5. For a teambuilding approach, the sessions can also have groups design and market a product. Pricing starts at $135 per person, which includes the consultation and a 20-millilitre custom fragrance. Classes are available throughout the U.S. and Canada, with travel fees for events outside of New York. —L.C. Canvas palm trees

14 spring 2010

A GREEN ALTERNATIVE TO LIVE PLANTS For a tropical look without live foliage, the Canvas Nursery (800.226.3335, creates life-size palms, flowers, and other plants out of canvas. The botanicals can be painted for a realistic effect or left unpainted for DE COR a starker look. The plants are designed for indoor use only, but the fabric has been treated with a sealant to resist stains and moisture. Pricing starts at $39 for plants and $120 for trees and does not include containers such as pots or vases. Based in Fort Myers, Florida, the Canvas Nursery ships throughout the U.S. and Canada. A rental program will be available in South Florida later this year. —L.C.


Ask BizBash


The Obamas’ first state dinner at the White House had 12 electric chandeliers from Frost adorned with freshly cut ivy by florist Laura Dowling.

Trend Spotted


In December, the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s gala for A Streetcar Named Desire sported a lush New Orleansinspired setting with potted plants, Spanish moss, and ivy by Fleurs Bella.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, Sprint’s press event included a moss-covered bar designed by Fresh Wata.

Moss-covered bars, potted plants, and other types of foliage decorated these six events. By LISA CERICOLA A Comcast-hosted event for the Television Critics Association tour in January featured a “botanical library” theme with bars trimmed in greenery, botanical-print textiles, and potted foliage by R. Jack Balthazar.

A Louis Vuitton launch in November transformed Saks Fifth Avenue with five kinds of moss, life-size trees, and other leafy plants from David Beahm.

In November, the Museum of Modern Art held its annual film benefit with decor inspired by honouree Tim Burton. SPEC Entertainment created Edward Scissorhands-style topiaries that formed a makeshift garden throughout the space.

ON BIZBASH.COM More photos and details from these events spring 2010 15

Strategy Session

A Man’s World

Ben Hindman

Guests on JetBlue’s Jamaica junket played on a zip line. Thrillist’s Internet Week 2009 bash filled M2 Lounge in New York.

The annual Thrillist pool party took to New York’s Grace Hotel last year.

16 march/april 2010

Ben Hindman, 24 and fresh out of Vanderbilt University, was running his own tour company in Washington, D.C., when a few friends got the idea to plan a networking junket for the people doing work that interested them—namely new-media entrepreneurs. Dubbed the Summit Series, the first in a nowregular string of destination events brought the founders of enterprises such as Facebook, Zappos, and Daily Candy to New Mexico for a weekend in early 2009. Also in attendance were Adam Rich and Ben Lerer, the duo behind Thrillist, a growing online newsletter targeting men ages 24 to 35 with frat-boy humor and discriminating recommendations since 2005. “Toward the end of the summit, there was a point where, I believe, a van got lost,” Rich remembers. “And everybody came back with stories about Ben and how he was beatboxing and telling jokes to keep them feeling positive. The thing that was compelling was that he wasn’t just managing every aspect of a complicated, junket type affair. He stayed aware of everyone’s attitudes and kept a positive attitude while enacting all of the logistics. That is what we try to accomplish with our own events.” Rich and Lerer didn’t hesitate. They offered Hindman a position as Thrillist’s national event manager on the spot. Two months later, he had sold his company and was living in New York, where he hit the ground running at his new gig. “In about seven months or so, we’d thrown 45 events all across the country, with more than 30 sponsors, in 10 different cities where Thrillist now operates,” Hindman says. Before bringing him on board, Thrillist didn’t host more than 15 events in its first three years. Hindman helped the company look past the alcohol brands that had already co-hosted smaller cocktail parties (Absolut, Canadian Club, and Patrón among them) to focus on tent-pole events sponsored by the likes of Gillette, H&M, Macy’s, and Trojan, even in the doldrums of the recession. As readership and event participation have grown, so has revenue. While competing with more established men’s publications like GQ and Maxim for marketing dollars—and fostering a reputation among ad buyers as the new promotional vehicle to try—Thrillist has seen its annual revenues approach $10 million. It has been profitable since its second year.

“Sponsors recognize the value of localized marketing, and you haven’t seen that go away,” Hindman says. “And it’s not just sponsors that have been eager to partner with us on these events. Venues, performers, and DJs are always approaching us to build relationships. I’m in a unique situation where my budget can be much slimmer because we have the power of voice.” That playfully masculine voice, which bestows recommendations for restaurants, clothing, and any other consumable, is what Hindman strives to inject into every event—whether they’re open-bar nights for readers or weekend junkets in exotic locales. “Before I joined the team, we had a thing called Jet Vegas,” Hindman says of a 2008 partnership with Jet Blue to promote a new campaign. The junket, not unlike the Summit Series, took influencers and entrepreneurs on a free flight to Vegas. “It went so well that Thrillist started working with brands to create more comprehensive offline promotions.” Happy customer Jet Blue approached Thrillist to organize a launch event for a new route to Jamaica and, after seeing them bring on Jamaican brands such as Golden Crust, Myers’s Rum, and Red Stripe for the New York launch party, decided it wanted to do another flight. Hindman rounded up 150 tastemakers—journalists, new-media personalities, and consumers—for what was billed as a mystery flight, taking the unknowing guests to a weekend in Jamaica. In addition to getting the media types to spend the three days sharing news of the trip online, the reader spots on the flight generated unexpected interest. More than 30,000 people entered a contest to participate in Jet Mystery, at a time when readership was just over a million. (It’s now at 1.5 million.) As he enters his second year on the job, Hindman is working on larger, more integrated events while maintaining a commitment to the more traditional reader parties that have been there from the start. In the works for the rest of 2010 is a plan to temporarily rebrand a Miami property as Hotel Thrillist in May and host a fifth anniversary party that incorporates elements of past events in New York this fall. “When I came on board, Ben and Adam told me they wanted to create an offline voice that complemented what they already had online,” Hindman says. “The voice of Thrillist resonates through each of the events we do and, more than that, there’s the embedded notion of access. You can get the newsletter letting you know you can make reservations at a new restaurant, and then, with our events, it’s never out of the question that any of our readers couldn’t come and be a part of them themselves.”


Ben Hindman gives e-newsletter Thrillist an offline life with parties that maintain the brand’s distinctive voice and boost advertiser exposure. By MICHAEL O’CONNELL

Spinach, ham, and Gruyère tarts, mini orange muffins with smoked turkey, strawberries with Devon cream and sugar, chocolate pots de crème with chocolate-covered coffee beans, and smoked salmon éclairs in a hatbox from Well Dunn Catering (202.543.7878, well in Washington

New on the Menu


Tarragon-crusted salmon with asparagus and lemon basmati rice from Stuart & Saladino Catering and Event Stylists (416.955.1360, stuart in Toronto

Box lunches can be satisfying—even impressive. Here are five ideas to keep attendees happy, whether they’re in a meeting or on the road.



Lobster rolls, fried chicken, Caprese salad, frozen chipwich, roasted corn, and mint-flavored water in a picnic basket from Callahan Catering (212.327.1144, in New York

Chef’s salad with ham and turkey, Mediterranean pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts, roasted vegetables, and lavender shortbread from J&L Catering (312.280.7900, in Chicago

Seared ahi tuna and soba noodle salad with wasabimiso crème fraîche, marinated cucumbers, and a vegetable summer roll with soy dipping sauce in a steamer basket from Someone’s in the Kitchen (818.343.5151, in Tarzana, California

ON BIZBASH.COM A directory of local caterers spring 2010 17

Fresh Face

Art of Communication Anyone can start a Web site or open a Twitter account, but Tatiana Read believes it takes time and understanding to use social media tools to their full advantage, especially in public relations. “You can’t do PR without thinking about it,” she says of social media, which she describes as a cornerstone of her new agency, Knot PR (416.532.9035, “I’m very aware of the culture, and I use it in my business practice. It’s about reputation and reputation-building. It’s about influence and communication,” says Read, who spent two years as a public relations associate with Faulhaber PR before launching her own firm in August. With her new agency, Read is using sites like Twitter and Flickr to the advantage of her firm and her clients. With more than 1,700 followers, Read is developing a strong

personal presence on Twitter and uses the account @knotpr to generate buzz about clients like Canadian-born, London-based designer Mark Fast. “So far, social media has been used to help disseminate messaging and make media relations run more efficiently. I expect to use social media more aggressively as part of my client strategy, beyond just spreading the word,” she says. “For instance, Knot PR is heading up @fastermarkfast, the new Mark Fast Twitter account, and consulting on social media strategy and managing blogger relations [for the designer].” Since launching, Read has worked with a number of food, fashion, beauty, and design clients, including the Il Fornello restaurant chain, Toronto designer Trish Ewanika, and design studio Rhed. In October, she partnered

with handbag and women’s clothing designer Jessica Tatiana Read at Jensen to promote Ewanika Boutique the launch of her new collection at Thrush Holmes Empire. “We toyed with the idea ‘Is it art or is it retail?’ and we created a fashion and art installation. We got a lot of great press,” Read says. The event generated coverage in publications like The National Post, Elle Canada, Flare, and Lush, among others. “She had a very professional service level and she took the time to understand my brand,” Jensen says. “Tatiana made sure things went above and beyond the expected. She secured the guest list and a lot of the sponsorships, and she made sure the right fit was there for the brand.” Photos from the launch event are

on Read’s Web site, which she’s treating like an interactive blog, rather than a static billboard. The site features PDF press releases and Flickr links to event photos. “It will have several different audiences. There will be a number of different streams. The media will use it for the latest press releases, but I also want it to be a resource for PR students,” she says, adding that she plans to foster discussions about industry trends. “People have said, ‘You don’t need to show them all your cards.’ But why not? It’s about accessibility and transparency.” —Susan O’Neill

PERKS AND RECREATION Here are new ways to entertain, feed, and treat summer associates and interns. Fun for a Good Cause As part of the Bonding for a Cause program it launched in March 2009, Teambonders (416.900.8386, team can assist groups with creating hands-on events that enable companies to support a charity or cause of their choice. Teams can opt to build bikes, go-carts, teddy bears, or children’s toys. Workshops, held on location, cost about $110 per person.

18 spring 2010

Dinner and Drinks A new restaurant from chef Paul Boehmer (with an accented spelling of his name), Böhmer Inc. (93 Ossington Ave., 416.531.3800, opened in February on the Ossington strip, beside the chef’s new gourmet food shop. The 4,000square-foot space is filled with custom furnishings designed by the Brothers Dressler; it seats 90 for dinner and holds as many as 150 for cocktails. A private dining room can accommodate 18. The menu focuses on local and seasonal fare.

In-Office Treats Opened by Lesley Mattina in October, OMG Baked Goodness (1561 Dundas St. West, 647.348.5664, can provide a selection of sweets for in-office or off-site meetings. The bakery offers items like pumpkincranberry sticky toffee puddings ($2.95 each), vegan chocolate mini cupcakes ($1.25 each), and a range of mini cakes in flavours like banana chocolate chip (2.50 each). Delivery is available. —S.O.


With her new boutique agency, Tatiana Read is using social media to engage the press, promote events, and attract clients.


An Art Deco Supper Club Modeled after Hollywood’s legendary Roosevelt Hotel, the Roosevelt Room is decorated in gold, brown, and black and boasts a white granite bar fronted with intricate metal panels and brass foot rails. The entertainment district supper club seats 120 or holds 500 for receptions, but smaller semiprivate events can take place behind metallic sheers. The club has a movable DJ booth, hydraulic tables in the V.I.P. area, and flat-screen televisions in every section. An exit through the building’s decommissioned elevator shaft leads to the smoking patio. (2 Drummond Place, 416.995.4381)



A Modern Conference Space A $46 million renovation has transformed the historic Automotive Building, which opened at Exhibition Place in 1929, into the Allstream Centre, dubbed the greenest and most energyefficient conference facility in Canada. The 160,000-squarefoot venue opened in October. The renovation included the building’s Art Deco exterior and tulip-shaped lighting, iron railings, and terrazzo floors in the lobbies. A 43,900square-foot, columnfree ballroom seats 3,000. The second floor has 20 meeting rooms

that can hold groups of 50 to 750 and five lounges, some with views of Lake Ontario. An underground walkway connects the venue to the Direct Energy Centre across the street. (105 Princes Blvd., 416.263.3000)

A Rosedale Bistro A Yorkville Wine Bar Italian restaurant Ciao Wine Bar, open in Yorkville since mid-January, is the latest offering from the Liberty Entertainment Group. Formerly Flow Restaurant & Lounge, the space covers 8,000 square feet over three levels. The lower level has arched brick walls, vaulted ceilings with wood beams, and vintage wine racks. An alabaster bar (equipped with two stone ovens) runs the length of the room, and local cured meats are encased in glass refrigerators. Stone and glass walls and custom butcher block tables fill the mezzanine, which has a floor-to-ceiling glass wine bar equipped with an Enomatic serving system. A street-level bar and lounge opens onto Yorkville Avenue. The restaurant seats 250, including 110 on the lower level. Two private dining rooms hold 18, and two patios will hold 60 in the warmer months. (133 Yorkville Ave., 416.925.2143)

Unfazed by history, Ed Ho, owner of Globe Bistro on the Danforth, opened Earth in an allegedly cursed Rosedale space last November. Interior designer Ron Nuhn used an earthy palette of dark brown and taupe, along with beams from an 1870s log cabin and recycled aluminum light fixtures. An open kitchen houses a wood-fired oven where chef Kevin McKenna regularly roasts whole suckling pigs. Earth, which is available for buyouts, is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. The main dining room seats 80, and a private room can hold 18. Two seasonal patios hold 50 and 23. Set menus are available for large groups. (1055 Yonge St., 416.551.9890) spring 2010 19



Closing Time To cap Advertising Week, Ad Women of Toronto hosted the ďŹ rst ever Ad Ball, an event the group is hoping to make annual.


Restaurants set up food stations throughout the Fermenting Cellar.

Week End

Dancers from Flirty Girl Fitness performed a burlesque routine.

Stylists from Blo Dry Bar and makeup artists from Murale offered touch-ups to guests. Fashion Television’s Jeanne Beker hosted the inaugural Ad Ball, which featured a fashion fetish theme and two runway shows.

22 spring 2010

A new ball closed Advertising Week with fashion and burlesque shows.

To promote its first-ever Ad Ball, which adopted a “Fashion Fetish” theme at the Fermenting Cellar January 29, Ad Women of Toronto planned a photo competition and conducted Local advertising executives a search at local ad agencies to find the advertising modeled fashions from Harry Rosen industry’s King and Queen of Kink & Couture. during a fashion show. Representatives from Narrative Advocacy Media, which handled PR for the event, visited agencies across the city with a variety of fashion and fetishthemed accessories and invited employees to dress up and pose for a chance to win the title. Visitors to the event’s Facebook page could vote for the winner prior to the gala, which capped the second annual Advertising Week. Sarah Hart and Andrew Yeung Sin Hing of BBDO Toronto won the title. “Ad Women of Toronto now has over 200 members, so we decided to throw a gala and attach it to Advertising Week,” event manager Stacey Farber said. “We’re hoping it becomes an annual event.” The benefit for Dress for Success Toronto and the Ad Women’s mentorship programs drew more than 400 guests. The evening included a runway show hosted by Fashion Television’s Jeanne Beker that featured looks from Andy Thé-Anh and menswear retailer Harry Rosen, modeled by ad industry executives. The evening also included a performance by singer Anjulie and music from DJ Kaje. Five restaurants—Buca, Gusto, Nyood, Lobby, and Merci Mon Ami—and Daniel et Ad Ball—A Fashion Daniel Event Creation & Catering Fetish set up food stations. Servers offered Milagro tequila specialty cocktails. Additional Staffing, Venue The Fermenting Cellar 5th Element Events dressed the Audiovisual Production, space in hot pink and black furnishDecor, Lighting, ings from Contemporary Furniture Production, Staging Rentals and constructed a vinyl5th Element Events Burlesque Dancers Flirty covered runway in the centre of the Girl Fitness main bar area. A six-by-eight foot Catering Buca, Daniel et picture frame held a stretch fabric Daniel Event Creation & screen, which provided a backdrop Catering, Gusto, Lobby, Merci Mon Ami, Nyood on the stage and was used to create Entertainment Chair-man a shadow effect for the burlesque Mills, Contemporary show. “It’s a good way for us to push Furniture Rentals Inc. the envelope,” said 5th Element Fashion Show Monarch Events Group president Aaron Kaufman. Hairstyling Blo Blow Dry Bar —Susan O’Neill



Wind Mobile sponsored a hot pink and black V.I.P. lounge furnished by Contemporary Furniture Rentals.

The fund-raiser included a V.I.P. dinner for 120 guests in the Henry N. R. Jackman Lounge.

The party took place on four floors of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

event. She called on Rose Reisman Catering to prepare a paella bar and a selection of Spanishinspired tapas and enlisted actors with the improv troupe the National Theatre of the World to portray an interpretation of the opera’s famous love story. A tarot card reader, inspired by a scene in the second act, entertained guests, and Latin dancers from City Dance Corps performed flamenco and The Canadian Opera Company paid tribute salsa routines. The highlight of the entertainment to Carmen with a Latin-inspired gala. included a rendition of Carmen’s “Habanera” by mezzo soprano Lauren Segal, accompanied by the For “Operanation 6: Habanera,” held TorQ Percussion Quartet. “We wanted to be able to TORONTO February 26 at the Four Seasons offer an operatic experience to the guests, but it’s Centre for the Performing Arts, the Canadian Opera always a challenge to Company showcased Carmen with an evening of do that in a cocktail Canadian Opera entertainment and food inspired by the opera. setting,” Jarvis said. Company’s “We like to try, when possible, to connect our The event, intended Operanation Benefit theme to the operas that we’re doing,” said Sarah to entice young After-Party Venue The Jarvis, the company’s special events manager. patrons, was moved Spoke Club “Carmen is the most identifiable character in the from its regular fall Catering Rose Reisman history of opera, so it was a no-brainer for us. And of date to accommodate Catering Entertainment TorQ course, with her character come all the other amazthe company’s 60th Percussion Quartet, The ing elements of the opera that we can tie into—the anniversary event, held National Theatre of the Spanish location, the food and drinks, the music.” in November. For the World, City Dance Corps Jarvis worked with a volunteer commitfirst time this year, all Flowers Forget Me Not Flowers tee co-chaired by Ingrid Chao, Fayaz Dossa, and Operanation attendees Furniture Rentals Andrew Rosemarie Umetsu to plan the event, which drew 120 had the opportunity to Richard Designs guests to a V.I.P. dinner and 1,000 attendees for the receive a 50 per cent Rentals Chair-man Mills, Latin-themed party afterward. discount on a ticket to Haven Furnishings Venue Four Seasons Centre Jarvis played up various elements from a future performance. for the Performing Arts Carmen—set in Seville, Spain—throughout the —Susan O’Neill


Spanish Influence

Mezzo soprano Lauren Segal performed a rendition of “Habanera” from Carmen. A Spanish cheese bar served Manchego, Majorero, and Tetilla cheeses.

Servers offered sangria and mojitos.

Guests posed for pictures at a photo booth from Hello! Canada. spring 2010 23

Gucci’s Icon-Temporary, a sneaker store with a collection co-designed by Mark Ronson, stopped in the design district for two weeks.

Santigold headlined New York-based Deitch gallery’s annual party, which took place in a tent on the beach behind the Raleigh hotel.


New York-based public art organization Creative Time commissioned Los Angeles artist Pae White to design Art Basel’s 40,000square-foot Oceanfront exhibit area.

Art Stars

Art Basel Miami Beach wrapped up in early December after four days of exhibitions at the Miami Beach Convention Center and nearly a week of satellite fairs and sponsored parties around the city. By D. CHANNING MULLER

Synchronized swimmers performed at a 1930s-themed party Maybach and David LaChapelle hosted at the Raleigh’s pool.

At Converse’s Art Is for Everyone party at Awarehouse, guests filled in a paint-by-numbers design.

Veuve Clicquot used champagne boxes to create the lighting fixtures on display in its exhibition area inside Design Miami’s 35,000-square-foot structure.

To launch its newest A8 model, Audi called on EventStar to create a 45,000-square-foot temporary structure on the sand north of the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.

ON BIZBASH.COM More photos and details from Art Basel events

24 september/october 2009



Toronto / The Liberty Grand / September 28, 2010

Your Event Canvas Is Always Changing Join us for a singularly inspirational and creatively productive day celebrating the “art of the events” at the BizBash Toronto Expo. Longtime curators of the innovative and outrageous, BizBash feeds all your needs with a unique perspective on trends and all things fresh and new for meetings and events.

Find Out More at BIZBASH TORONTO EVENT STYLE AWARDS New this year! Online submission process makes it easier than ever to be recognized for your event work. Entries accepted July 14 – August 31.

EXHIBITOR INQUIRIES Call 416.425.6380 or email

Dunhill During New York Fashion Week, Dunhill used laser cut aluminum panels to recreate its founder’s ancestral home in a meatpacking district warehouse.

Pop Culture The combination of cheap spaces and tight budgets has been a boon to the beloved pop-up—here’s a look at how brands have used them in recent months.


The B.C. Dairy Foundation Milk pushers in Canada preached the necessity of dairy last fall with a series of Vancouver “Weak Shops” showcasing fake products for people with no energy—chair pants, wallet walkers—and suggesting that a glass of milk would do them just as well.

Nau Sustainable label Nau wanted a New York retail presence during the holidays, but rather than create just a store, the label decked its venue with repurposed decor and fixtures and built a stage and bar to make it an event space with a community-center vibe.

Diet Coke

ON BIZBASH.COM More photos and details on these and other pop-up events

26 spring 2010

In Boston and New York, the soft drink pushed food pairings with an automat full of health-conscious snacks to complement the thousands of bottles of beverage it passed out to locals.




Max Fish To capitalize on the out-of-towners looking for a familiar watering hole during Art Basel Miami Beach, locally based O.H.W.O.W. Gallery teamed up with New York dive bar Max Fish to create a Southern outpost of the 20-year-old venue, with four nights of drinks, performances, and plenty of branded merchandise.

Hello Kitty Japanese brand Sanrio celebrated 35 years of its popular Hello Kitty character by renting L.A. gallery Royal/T to host a temporary café, shop, museum, and event space.

Where the Wild Things Are


Last fall, Warner Brothers filled Space 15 Twenty in Los Angeles with elaborate costumes, set elements, and branded swag to promote its film adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book.

Following the success of a media-only pop-up in the fall, the online marketplace opened a consumer holiday pop-up store decorated with items bought on the Web site.

Target The retailer’s 2009 holiday outing featured three walk-up temporary stores in busy shopping hubs in New York, Washington, and San Francisco, all festively festooned and filled with cheap gift suggestions.

Clinique and Teen Vogue The partners kicked off an online marketing push by offering complimentary makeup styling and professional portraits at 10 college campuses and urban hubs across the country; recipients were encouraged to post the branded photos to social media sites. spring 2010 27

Potted herbs and tins of tomatoes filled with bread sticks topped two long tables covered in red and white gingham that flanked the main bar, which Heintzman decorated with Tag Vodka bottles and tomato tins bearing the Scavolini logo. “We have more than 600 pounds of tomatoes in cans. The Monk Lounge featured a PubliIt was very important to us that all of this food not Air inflatable dropped ceiling and a go to waste, so it’s all being sent to Good Shepherd The Interior Design Show opened with an sculpture of an organic coffee tree. [Ministries] afterwards. So decor becomes a donaItalian-themed kitchen party for 5,000. tion,” Heintzman said. Queen Street band the Calrizians performed To kick off the 12th annual Interior at the entrance to the show, and DJ Jojo Flores TORONTO Design Show, held January 22 to 24 played at the main stage and inside the Monk at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, organizers Lounge, where House & Home Media hosted a V.I.P. played up the “Ultimate” theme for this year’s event reception. The space, named for the jazz pianist and hosted 5,000 guests at an opening night party and composer Thelonius Monk, was designed by on January 21. “It’s an Italian home-kitchen party on a Rhed design director Match Restaurant served big scale,” event producer Del Terrelonge and creIDS 10 “Ultimate” risotto balls at a catering Marion Heintzman of ated by Templar, the Opening Night Party station on the show floor. Heintzman Productions development corporaCatering, Venue Metro said of the event, which tion behind the Templar Toronto Convention was sponsored by Dekla, Hotel Toronto, slated to Centre Catering Magic Oven, Scavolini, and House & open this spring. Rodney’s Oyster House, Home Media. The show, presented Cantine Restaurant In the main stage by the Chicago-based and Bar, Aphrodiziacs area, Heintzman built a Merchandise Mart Catering, Bagel World, The Cupcakery, La Bruschetta, 24- by 16-foot appliProperties Inc. and sponAme, Ferro Bar Café ance rack and hung it sored for the first time DJ JoJo Flores above the bar to display by Rado, returned to its Flowers Heintzman kitchen items like platoriginal home after being Productions Media Relations, PR ters, strainers, oven held at the Direct Energy Heintzman Productions decorated Faulhaber PR mitts, graters, measuring Centre for several years. the main bar, sponsored by Scavolini. Production, Rigging Spirit cups, and garlic strands. —Susan O’Neill Event Productions


Not-SoLittle Italy

Rumball also noted that organizers intentionally broadened the pool of models. “There was a hot demand from our female guests to see a lot more of the male models,â€? she said. To meet that demand, Erika Larva of Monarch Twilight and Sherlock Holmes inspired Events outďŹ tted the men in looks from the fashion show at the Book Lover’s Ball. NorthBound Leather for a racy scene inspired A runway show featuring male models by Spartacus and vintage designs from Farley TORONTO dressed in skin tight—and somewhat Chatto for a segment based on Sir Arthur kinky—leather straps and skirts isn’t what one would Conan Doyle’s The Complete Sherlock Holmes. expect at a library beneďŹ t. That was exactly the Once the novels were selected, Larva, who point at the Book Lover’s Ball, according to Heather also produces runway shows during LG Fashion Rumball, president of the Toronto Public Library Week, matched designers to the story lines. Foundation, which presented the ďŹ fth annual beneďŹ t It took about 200 people—30 models, A scene inspired by Sir Arthur at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel on February 11 28 dancers, a production crew, a hair and Conan Doyle included vintage “People are astonished by the professional makeup team from Donato Salon + Spa, and looks from Farley Chatto. caliber of the event. This isn’t what you’d expect several stylists—to produce the eight-act The ďŹ nal scene, a tribute to Vikas from the library, and that’s exactly what we want,â€? show, presented on a 70-foot runway surrounded Swarup’s Slumdog Millionaire, Rumball said of the fashion show, which is the fund- by dinner tables in the hotel’s Canadian Room. An included a Bollywood-style raiser’s main attraction. oversize book served as the backdrop. “The characters performance to the song “Jai Ho.â€? “We always look for different themes and try come right out of the pages of the book,â€? Larva said. to capture the mood,â€? Rumball said of the selection “We take a book and tell the story in a three-minute process for the novels to segment.â€? —Susan O’Neill Book Lover’s Ball be showcased on stage. Draping Micki’s “This year we wanted Fashion Show Production to show the breadth Monarch Events Group and variety of what Flowers San Remo Florist people are reading and Linens Around the Table Audiovisual Production, interested in.â€? Featured Decor, Event books included Twilight, Management, PR David Rocco’s Dolce Vita, Solutions With Impact Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Catering, Venue The Fairmont Royal York Hotel and Slumdog Millionaire. Dining tables surrounded the 70-foot runway.


Book ’Em




Best in Show It’s hard to overstate the impact of the Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest trade show of its kind. This year’s attendance held steady, drawing about 120,000 attendees to Las Vegas amid an optimistic mood. Here’s a look at 10 standout exhibits from the show’s sprawling halls.


The C.E.S. show floor can be dizzying, and Samsung’s exhibit took that fact to its literal extension. Mirrored ceilings created a kaleidoscopic look that allowed showgoers to see themselves and the crowd from multiple unusual angles.


Panasonic built a theater into its crowded exhibit, which encompassed individual areas for many of its products. Multiple screens showed off its 3D technology.

The entrance to LG’s dramatic booth beckoned guests with bright wraparound screens made from three panels. Sleek white cabinetry marked the displays, and white panels overhead glowed with LED patterns. Sparks Los Angeles created the exhibit.

30 spring 2010


C.E.S. continues to be a forum where big brands come to entertain at dozens of offshoot events.

Miscrosoft’s round booth kept attendees flowing inward. Curved banners displayed the logo overhead, and a band of colourful LEDs cast a warm glow.

Broadcasts from NBC Universal’s booth included a Today segment and live shots for CNBC, MSNBC, and NBC stations.

Sprint hosted an event in a Venetian ballroom to announce its exclusive deal with Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless. Attendees visited demo stations set up as individual vignettes. Fresh Wata provided the decor for the four vignettes, which included a park with trees and concession stands, a dorm room with a cafeteria, an office, and a living room with a 16-foot-wide fireplace and a hexagonal video screen.

Polaroid brought in Lady Gaga, who it recently named creative director of a specialty line of products. Other in-booth activities included an exhibition of fine art photography and live celebrity portrait sessions by photographer Maurizio Galimberti. Samsung held a product launch for 700 journalists at the Venetian. Working with Cheil Communications and Barkley Kalpak Associates, S&M Display built a custom set that lowered to reveal three skinny new TV models then glided out into the audience.

2LK Design designed and the Taylor Group built the Intel booth, where LEDs illuminated fabric boxes in undulating, colourchanging patterns.

ON BIZBASH.COM More photos and details from C.E.S.

Wired set up a media lounge at Society Cafe Encore for about 500 guests. Director of brand and strategy Maya Draisin tapped Precision Event Group to produce, design, and manage the event. The space included three themed stations: “recharge,” with Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy shots, something called Perky Jerky, and candy; “refresh,” with fruity waters and smoothies; and “rejuvenate,” with Bloody Marys, trail mix, and homemade granola bars—all catered by the venue. spring 2010 31

Around the Globes

Although it probably came as no surprise to guests of In Style and Warner Brothers’ 11th annual after-party that the stars of the studio’s film The Hangover celebrated their best comedy win at the January 17 event, they probably did not expect to see a performance by the Dan Band, which makes a brief cameo towards the end of the film. “We’re at the [Beverly Hilton’s Oasis Courtyard] every year, and we have to strategize ways to make the party different so that it’s inspirational,” said Kelly Austing, In Style’s manager of creative development. Part of that strategy was to collaborate with Thomas Ford, who has worked on the event since its inception, to create an urban penthouse by lining the courtyard with images of high-rise buildings and hanging a 24-foot-wide crystal chandelier.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe awards always inspire some of the most production-heavy parties of the year. Here’s a look inside a few of the week’s biggies.



Lionsgate The studio took to the Beverly Hills Hotel on the night before the Globes, hosting a party to fete its nominees—including Precious and Mad Men—produced by Benarroch Productions. DJ Mr. Best spun for the celebratory crowd. Gold cloths from Wildflower Linen and white flower arrangements of ranunculus and roses from Collage Floral Design topped tables for an Old Hollywood look.

Summit Entertainment NBC Universal/Focus Features The Beverly Hilton swarmed with the guests and staff of at least six major parties on Golden Globes night, and among the big-name returnees to the event landscape this year was the NBC Universal/Focus Features party, presented by Cartier, held beneath a clear-roof tent on the top deck of the hotel’s garage. Under the financial and creative direction of staff from the NBC Universal ON BIZBASH.COM entertainment divisions involved—including NBC Universal’s Hollace Davids, NBC’s Francine Spray, and Focus Features’ More photos and details from Golden Carlotta Florio—Angel City Designs created an updated take on old-school discotheques. Globes events

32 spring 2010

Town & Country supplied white, modern-looking rental seating indoors and black and white furnishings outdoors for Summit’s party, produced by Chad Hudson.


In Style/Warner Brothers

Discover Incredible Venues All in One Convenient Source HBO HBO’s party at Hilton restaurant Circa 55 and its adjoining pool area had an informal theme of “sparkle, shimmer, shine.” HBO vice president of special events Eileen Rivard produced the celebration with longtime design partner Billy Butchkavitz. Partly inspired by the space race and James Bond movies, the look included Sputnikinspired chandeliers and sculptures and a wall of copper paillette drapery around the perimeter.

BizBash’s 2010 National Venue Guide g New Spaces p Makes Finding a Breeze

• Research More than 800 venues • Check out our editors’ picks for hot new spaces, nightlife, and business entertaining • Find out what’s changed since last year in 18 event markets • Complete contact/booking info • The only source you need to select the perfect venue

In Style Beauty Lounge In Style presented its beauty lounge at the Four Seasons, where guests came for a range of pampering services. Caravents designed the space, which included a tent draped in luxurious white material for a feminine look.

Order today! $24.95 Call 646.839.6835 or email (additional S/H rates apply if mailed outside of the U.S.)

Locate the best venues for meetings and events in: Atlanta


San Diego

Atlantic City

New Orleans

San Francisco


New York City

Washington, D.C.





Las Vegas


Los Angeles


Cruise Ships Golf Courses Toronto

Get direct access to the National Venue Guide online by visiting

Fox On Globes night, Fox—all six of its divisions—took its party for about 700 to Craft. 15/40 Productions handled the production and design, including creating chandeliers from Edison light bulbs that hung over bars, echoing the existing bulbs in the restaurant’s space.

VENUES: It’s never too early to reserve space in the 2011 National Venue Guide! Contact Robert Fitzgerald at 646.839.6840 or now to lock in the lowest rates of the year!

21 West 38th St., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018 646.638.3600

Boston Chicago Las Vegas Los Angeles Miami/So. Florida New York Orlando Toronto Washington

A carved wood bar under a white neon installation offered cocktails and draft beer in the game room.

The new store was covered in a giant orange tie.

Japanese artist Makoto Tojiki created an art installation of an LED horse—a nod to the brand’s heritage—with thousands of fiber optic lights aglow in Hermès orange. The game room housed vintage pinball machines, billiards, and Ping-Pong tables.

34 spring 2010

Mad Men


The 3,000-square-foot library had an aged plank wood floor, 20-foot ceilings, full-height factory windows and a wall of shelves stocked with 8,000 hand-dyed books.

has limited rigging capability during winter due to the roof’s snow load, so everything had to be anchored to the floor. KCD built independent truss structures for each room to support the scene, lighting, and audio elements. The six-day construction— Hermès created a lavish, masculine more than a year in the planning—needed to be world for guests at the opening of its dismantled and removed in just 12 hours to accomMadison Avenue men’s flagship. modate a show the following afternoon. Each of the makeshift rooms (at least 3,000 square feet in size) hosted its own distinctive decor, After a peek at the world’s first dediNEW YORK cated Hermès men’s store on Madison activities, performances, and menu from caterer Olivier Cheng. The wood-paneled library was stocked Avenue on February 9, the venerable French luxury with 8,000 hand-dyed books, the game room housed goods house treated guests such as Katie Holmes, vintage pinball machines and pool tables, and the Martha Stewart, and John Slattery to an after-party travel room was designed to mimic a shipping pier at the Park Avenue Armory. with various stations of global fare. PR and event production firm KCD Worldwide “We focused on a masculine element of food worked in conjunction with production designer as it was meant to evoke the feeling of the Hermès Stefan Beckman, Hermès senior vice president of man,” said Cheng, whose team prepped the food over communications Susan Anthony and special events a week’s time. “We were director Jessica Zaganczyk, along with their respecHermès Men’s Flagship definitely thinking food tive Paris-based colleagues, to transform 20,000 Opening square feet of raw space into the Hermès man’s ulti- more masculine in feel … Audiovisual Production mate leisure spot, with four vignettes: a travel room, no salady things.” ADI Group As for the jazz club, a library, a game room, and a jazz club. Catering Olivier Cheng the focus of the room was “The Hermès man loves to travel and explore Catering and Events Design Stefan Beckman Inc. a stage, where pianist new things,” Anthony said. “It was a global celebraBarry Harris, French group DJ DJ Coleman tion for us, and we just really wanted to offer our Lighting Bernhard-Link Venus Gets Even, and local guests this unique lifestyle experience.” Theatrical Productions band Locksley entertained Lighting Design Jules A. “It was a complex event to produce because we Bowie with several sets throughhad to create the four independent environments,” out the night—before the PR ID Public Relations said KCD vice president of creative services Keith Production KCD Worldwide Baptista. Roughly 25 percent of the furnishings were remaining guests moved Security GSS Security to the venue’s atrium, custom made. “Each room had to have very specific Services Inc. Staging Creative Engineering, where DJ Coleman lured appeal for the audience with different soundtracks Kadan Productions Inc. stragglers onto the dance that could not interfere with the adjacent room.” Venue Park Avenue Armory There were also technical obstacles. The Armory floor. —Jim Shi


INSIDE EDGE BizBash Expo & Awards Returns With New Focus on Creativity

Join BizBash on September 28 at the Liberty Grand, as we reveal a new expo format that expands upon our signature event while focusing on creative design and collaboration. All the wonderful trademarks of a BizBash Expo—including a full conference program, hall of fame induction ceremony, keynote speaker, and the BizBash Event Style Awards— 3 Visit will still be there, enhanced by larger tradeshow for updates and display areas, that give exhibitors to sign up to be notiďŹ ed when more to collaborate with industry registration opens in mid-June. partners on new ways to inspire you 3 To reserve your spot on the expo and 1,500 of your peers. Don’t miss oor, contact Stephen Sinanan it! Mark your calendar for a day of at 416.425.6380, or email creative inspiration that will get you moving all year long.

BizBash Hosts Inaugural Toronto Advisory Board at Windsor Arms A cross section of Toronto’s top event professionals convened as BizBash Toronto’s inaugural advisory board meeting on March 9, 2010, hosted by the Windsor Arms hotel. The new group gathered to discuss top-of-mind issues and signiďŹ cant trends within their market, and ďŹ nished with a cocktail reception in the hotel’s Prime steak house. To view the full list of Toronto advisory board members, visit about_us.php.

BizBash Kicks Off First Florida Expo on April 28 Florida event professionals are abuzz with excitement for BizBash’s Florida Expo at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center—most notably for the morning keynote by design and lifestyle expert Colin Cowie. This will be one of many highlights during a spectacular day of exhibits, entertainment, and education about events.

Keynote speaker Colin Cowie will discuss the importance of customer service and bringing greater value to today’s events Keynote presentation by KARLA Conceptual Event Experiences

3 For event details and registration information, visit bizbash


BizBash’s DeďŹ nitive Guide e to Toronto’s New Venues

<M<E KJ D<< K@E> J D8I B<K@ E> JKPC < JKI8K<>P @;<8 J





M^WjĂ&#x160;iMehj^?j5 M^[h[jeIYh_cf WdZ

M^[h[je Our upcoming issue is loaded with venue solutions for Ifbkh][_dJeZWoĂ&#x160; i8kZ][ji L[dk[ plannersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the Toronto Venue Directory will quickly become =k[hh_bbW H[fehj CWha[j_d] your essential guide to the hottest M^WjĂ&#x160;iD[m" M^[h[jeIjW][ M^W jĂ&#x160;iE Ijkdji_d,9_j_[i f[d_d]Iee 3 To subscribe, call M^Wjje8eeaDe d" spaces in the G.T.A. As in every m ,*&FbWY[i\eh <WdYo;djhÂ&#x192;[i" 646.839.6835 or  ;l[djiC[[j_d] issue, planners ďŹ nd new catering 9^[Wf:[ii[hj i C_n#WdZ#CWjY^C[dkii subscribe online options and rental products, in M_d_d]WdZ:_d_d] at Ikcc[h7iieY_W  addition to these features: j[i :kh_d]j^[:emd jkhd subscribe. â&#x20AC;˘ Holiday Party Ideasâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 3 To advertise, never too early to be thinking contact Stephen about whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s appropriate these Sinanan at days for holiday parties. 416.425.6380. â&#x20AC;˘ Invitationsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Find creative ideas for invites that will ďŹ ll up a guest list without draining your budget. 3 Ad Deadline: â&#x20AC;˘ Gift Ideasâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Discover new gifts that send the right message. May 19, 2010 TO_5.2_cover.jb.FINA

L5.indd 1

TOP 100

EVENTS Year after year, these gatherings keep Toronto—and their respective industries—buzzing. Here’s a look at the biggest hits on the city’s annual calendar. By SUSAN O’NEILL Although there were some notable absences from the local event scene in 2009—Fashion Cares took a hiatus—Toronto continued to host an array of festivals, parties, and fund-raisers that created buzz, set trends, and attracted crowds despite the tough economic climate. The 16th annual Venetian Ball garnered record numbers, drawing more than 1,500 guests (almost double the 2008 attendance), and the inaugural P&G Beauty Awards gala made its mark at the Carlu. Although many events are still finding their footing this year, the ON BIZBASH.COM Innovators’ Ball and the Rally for Kids With Cancer have climbed in our Reports from many annual rankings, and others, such as the Pencer Brain Trust Gala and the of these events Green Living Show, have made the list for the first time.

36 spring 2010

Entertainment Industry Events 1. Toronto International Film Festival This star-studded 10-day affair attracts thousands of movie industry types and more than 1,000 members of the international media and is surrounded by plenty of parties. More than 300 films from 60-plus countries screened in 2009, and organizers expanded free programming at Nathan Phillips Square. The 35th annual festival takes place September 9 to 18. 2. North by Northeast Music & Film Festival and Conference More than 625 indie bands participate in NXNE, a five-day festival that includes industry workshops, a conference, and a film festival with 40 movies. For the event’s 15th outing in 2009, organizers added more performances in public spaces like Union Station, for a total of 50 venues. The 2010 event takes place June 16 to 20.



The MuchMusic Video Awards

est home show. The event, which attracts close to 160,000, took place February 19 to 28 at the Direct Energy Centre. 4. Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Since its inception in 1922, the Royal has become the world’s largest indoor agricultural and international equestrian The Canadian competition. The 88th annual fair, which includes National the Royal Horse Show, will take place at the Direct Exhibition Despite the shaky Energy Centre from November 5 to 14. 5. Toronto Sportsmen’s Show After 63 years economy, more at Exhibition Place, Canada’s biggest fishing than 1.3 million and outdoor show moved to the Metro Toronto people—includConvention Centre from March 17 to 21. The event, ing President which attracts 125,000 visitors featured more than Bill Clinton, who 450 exhibitors and events like the Big Dog Air Show addressed a and the Yamaha Riding Academy for Kids. crowd at BMO 6. Toronto International Boat Show The boat show Field—marked sailed into the Direct Energy Centre from January 9 the end of to 17 with more than 1,500 boats and hundreds of summer with a booths showcasing the newest engines, electrontrip to Canada’s ics, and marine accessories. The show attracts more largest fair in than 90,000 visitors annually. 2009. This year’s event runs August 7. Canadian Gift & Tableware Association Gift Show The Toronto International Centre and the 20 to September Toronto Congress Centre hosted this popular show 6 at Exhibition from January 31 to February 4. The gift show draws Place, with an air Ridgeway and Johnson Grand more than 16,500 retail buyers and 930 exhibitors. show on Labour Illusion and Escape Show The fall show takes place August 8 to 12. Day weekend. 8. Interior Design Show Canada’s largest contem2. Canadian International Auto Show A new vision porary design event, held January 21 to 24 at the in the automobile industry was the theme for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre showcased prodexhibition February 12 to 21 at the Metro Toronto ucts from more than 300 exhibitors along with a Convention Centre. The event—which showcased design challenge that saw four teams create their 1,000 new vehicles and displays about hybrid, visions of the ultimate space. advanced diesel, fuel cell, and electric models— 9. Cottage Life Show With 475 cottage-related kicked off with a gala reception honouring former exhibits, this show—held in the spring and fall at Formula 1 driver Carroll Shelby, who was inducted the International Centre—aims to provide consuminto the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame. 3. National Home Show With more than 700 home ers with everything they’ll need for their lakeside retreats. The spring show is set for March 26 to 28; and garden exhibitors showcasing their wares and the fall edition takes place in November. the Eurodale Dream Home, this is Canada’s larg-

Trade Shows & Public Exhibitions 1.

Gene Simmons

10. One of a Kind Show and Sale More than 800 artisans showcased their wares—gourmet food, art, fashion, toys, crafts—at the 2009 Christmas show. In 2010, the Direct Energy Centre hosts the spring show from March 31 to April 4 and the Christmas show from November 25 to December 5.

11. Green Living Show [New to the List] This three-day expo, set for April 23 to 25 at the Direct Energy Centre, includes some 400 exhibitors and attracts more than 20,000 consumers. Attractions include a green business forum, the Earth Run, farmfresh fare, and the Green Toronto Awards, hosted this year by Ed Begley Jr.

4. Hot Docs International Documentary Festival

March’s event, held for the first time in the capital Founded in 1993, Hot Docs presents more than 150 region, at Ottawa’s Canada Aviation Museum. The documentaries from Canada and around the globe. date and location for this year’s 30th annual awards In 2009, the film festival attracted more than 2,000 have not been finalized. delegates and kicked off with a gala at the Royal Dora Awards Ontario Museum. This year’s event is set for April 29 Named for to May 9. Dora Mavor Moore, 5. The MuchMusic Video Awards MuchMusic opted these honours to forgo its annual MMVA party in 2009, but more reward the creators than 6,000 fans surrounded four outdoor stages at of theatre, dance, the intersection of Queen and John Streets for the and opera produc20th annual broadcast. Performers included the tions in 35 categoJonas Brothers and Lady Gaga. The show returns in ries with a bronze June. statue designed 6. Canada’s Walk of Fame Last year, inductees by sculptor John Canadian Music Week This industry event honoured at an award ceremony at the Four Romano. The 31st includes a conference, a trade show, award presenta- Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts included Kim annual awards, tions, a film festival, and a music festival with more Cattrall, Blue Rodeo, and Howie Mandel. Organizers held in 2009 at than 500 bands. The 2009 lineup included Burton hosted the second RBC-sponsored ball, attended by the Winter Garden Cummings and a keynote address by Gene Simmons close to 1,000 guests, at the nearby Sheraton Centre Theatre, are schedof Kiss. This year’s event will honour Platinum following the ceremony. Details for the 2010 event uled to take place Blonde, Gary Slaight, and radio legend Roger Ashby. were unavailable at press time. June 28. The locaCanadian Music Week was scheduled for March 10 7. Genie Awards These honours for the best in tion was not set at to 14 at more than 45 downtown venues. Canadian film saw Amal take the top award at last press time. Winner Raven Dauda


3. spring 2010 37

Benefits 1. Canfar’s Bloor Street Entertains More than 800 guests attended a series of 23 simultaneous dinner parties, prepared by Toronto’s top chefs and hosted in boutiques and galleries throughout Yorkville, on November 25 for the 14th annual benefit to support Canfar. An after-party at the Royal Ontario Museum attracted close to 2,000 guests. This year’s event takes place November 24. 2. Bell Gala The 18th annual Bell Gala adopted a fairy-tale theme for the 2009 event, which gave more than 1,800 guests (including 100 celebrities) the chance to see performances from artists such as Our Lady Peace and headliner Natasha Bedingfield. This year’s benefit takes place October 14 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. 3. Massive Party The redesigned Art Gallery of Ontario hosted its fifth annual Massive Party for a sold-out crowd of more than 1,600 guests in April 2009. Riot police wielding billy clubs, models dressed as hippies, and installations from contemporary artists like David Armstrong and Jay Isaac added to the “Massive Uprising” theme. The benefit returns to the A.G.O. on April 8. 4. Toronto Public Library Foundation’s Book Lover’s Ball The fifth annual gala, held at the Fairmont Royal York on February 11, featured a literaryinspired runway show and drew more than 600 guests, including 50 of Canada’s top authors. 5. Design Exchange Black and White Gala The museum honoured BlackBerry maker Research in Motion at the 2009 benefit, which adopted a “Commotion” theme and featured a Tron-inspired laser show. The 2010 event date had not been set at press time. 6. Villa Charities Foundation’s Venetian Ball [Up From 15] Organizers of the 16th annual Venetian Ball, held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, drew a record crowd of 1,500 guests (up from 800 in 2008) and used elaborate decor to recreate the Piazza San Marco at last October’s gala, which featured a surprise performance by Frankie Valli. The 2010 event takes place October 16. Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery’s Power Ball The Power Plant marked the 11th anniversary of this ball with a performance by the Toronto Roller Derby and installations by artists such as Paul Zingrone, who created a car crash with two donated Oldsmobiles. Power Ball 12 takes place on June 3.


38 spring 2010

8. Brazilian Carnival Ball Oversize teddy bears filled the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for the ball, held to benefit the SickKids Foundation in April 2009. The 43rd annual event drew more than 1,600 guests. The event returns to the M.T.C.C. on May 8 to benefit Toronto East General Hospital. 9. Boobyball Created by social club the Society in 2002, the Boobyball drew a crowd of 1,200 guests to Atlantis in October for its eighth annual celebration, a cruise-themed evening in support of Rethink Breast Cancer. Details for the 2010 event had not been confirmed at press time. 10. Ontario Science Centre’s Innovators’ Ball [Up From 19] More than 1,300 guests attended the centre’s “Femme Fatale” fund-raiser, for the first time sponsored by LG Electronics Canada, in 2009. Renowned chef Susur Lee created the menu for the third annual gala, which took a cue from the centre’s “Science of Spying” exhibit. This year’s ball, “An Evening of Magic and Enchantment,” is May 6. 11. The Rally for Kids With Cancer Scavenger Cup [Up From 17] More than 20 luxury car owners paired up with celebrity navigators for the second annual rally, which expanded to Los Angeles and Miami in 2009. Held in September, the two-day event includes a cocktail party, brunch, scavenger hunt, and gala, and is held in support of the SickKids Foundation at the Hospital for Sick Children. The 2010 event is scheduled for September 24 and 25. 12. Pencer Brain Trust Gala [New to the List] Last year, organizers of the ninth gala in support of the Gerry & Nancy Pencer Brain Tumor Centre called on Bill Fulghum to fill the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex with eye-popping colour for a benefit dubbed “Simply Chic.” The 2010 fund-raiser takes place May 26. 13. Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary Gala [New to the List] Earth, Wind & Fire performed for a crowd of 750 in a room filled with more than 100 mirrored balls at the auxiliary’s May 2009 benefit, which adopted a ’70s theme and raised $500,000. The gala returns to the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place on May 25. The band Chicago is slated to perform at the Windy City-themed gala.

14. National Ballet of Canada Gala [New to the List] The ballet company adopted a “White Hot” theme for its fourth annual fund-raiser at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in June 2009. More than 1,800 guests were treated to a performance by principal dancer Chan Hon Goh prior to an onstage V.I.P. dinner for 500, catered by Mark McEwan. The 2010 event will adopt a Russian theme at the Four Seasons Centre on June 8. 15. Grocery Foundation’s SuperGala Jerry Seinfeld and KC and the Sunshine Band entertained guests at this benefit for Kids Help Phone and the foundation’s Toonies for Tummies campaign on January 30. The event, held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, drew more than 4,000 guests. 16. Children’s Aid Foundation Teddy Bear Affair More than 840 guests raised $1 million for the foundation at 2009’s swing era-themed benefit, held in November at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Breakfast Television’s Dina Pugliese and Kevin Frankish co-hosted the evening, and singer Matt Dusk performed. The event takes place in November. 17. Look Good Feel Better Ball The Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association Foundation hosted its 18th annual ball at the Fairmont Royal York in November 2009. The gala, which attracts 700 guests annually, has raised more than $8 million to support women with cancer since its inception. Details for the 2010 event had not been confirmed at press time. 18. Reach for the Rainbow’s Crystal Ball This gala returned to the Toronto Congress Centre North in November 2009 for the 23rd annual ball, which adopted a fantasy theme and featured a performance by Mary Wilson of the Supremes. The venue will host the 2010 event on November 20. 19. Yee Hong Foundation’s Dragon Ball The foundation marked the arrival of the Year of the Tiger with the 21st annual Dragon Ball, held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on February 6. The event, which attracted more than 1,500 guests, has raised more than $17 million for the foundation over the years. 20. Queen Street Unmasked In October, the third outing raised close to $600,000 for the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health redevelopment project. The event included a series of private dinners at restaurants and galleries along the Queen West strip, followed by an after-party at Maro in Liberty Village. Details for the 2010 event were not available at press time.



Art & Design Events 1. Luminato Last year, more than one million

people attended this L’Oréal-sponsored citywide arts festival, which encompassed more than 150 events, including a waterfront performance by Cirque du Soleil and a gathering of more than 1,600 guitarists in YongeDundas Square. The fourth installment takes place June 11 to 20.

2. Scotiabank Nuit Blanche The fourth iteration of this all-night art party offered close to one million attendees the chance to get in on the action with a number of interactive exhibits, including carnival rides on Bay Street. More than 16,500 people also took advantage of the new Night Navigator mobile app. The next Nuit Blanche is scheduled for October 2. 3. Art Toronto This year marks the 11th anniversary of this modern and contemporary visual arts event, scheduled for October 28 to November 1 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. In 2009, more than 18,000 people attended the fair, which included an opening night benefit for the Art Gallery of Ontario. 4. Doors Open Toronto Last year, a recordbreaking 250,000 people attended the 10th anniversary edition of this free citywide celebration of architecture, which included 175 venues, like the Old Don Jail and the mayor’s office at city hall. The 2010 event takes place May 29 and 30.

Marketing & Advertising Industry Events 1. Canadian Marketing Association Awards The

7. Strategy Agency of the Year Awards In 2009,

association gave Subaru Canada the top prize in 2009 for its work on the launch of the Subaru Forester. The awards, which recognize results-based marketing in 10 categories, attracted more than 600 entries last year. The 2010 gala is scheduled for November 26. 2. Bessie Awards Presented by the Television Bureau of Canada and the Broadcast Executives Society, the Bessies have recognized the best in Canadian TV commercials since 1963. DDB Canada’s “Must Drink More Milk” campaign took home Best of Show during a presentation at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in May 2009. This year’s award ceremony is scheduled for June 3 at the Royal Conservatory of Music. 3. Marketing Awards Gala Marketing magazine presents this annual event, which recognizes achievement in television, radio, and print advertising. In 2009, the jury examined 1,725 entries in 33 categories. Best of Show went to Leo Burnett of Arc Worldwide for the “Share Our Billboard Campaign.” The gala takes place June 9 at the Varsity Cinemas. 4. Canadian Public Relations Society Ace Awards Cohn & Wolfe and Toronto Hydro-Electric System Ltd. were the big winners at the 60th anniversary awards last year. The 2010 event is set for April 28 at the Berkeley Church. 5. National Advertising Benevolent Society Gala A fund-raiser for marketing and media professionals suffering from illness, injury, or financial difficulty, the NABS gala marked its 25th anniversary in May 2009. The 2010 gala is scheduled to return to the Kool Haus on May 11. 6. The Cassie Awards Presented by the Institute of Communication Agencies and held on January 28 to coincide with Advertising Week, these awards recognize the most business-effective advertising campaigns in Canada. This year, organizers honoured SunChips with the Grand Prix at a gala held at Arcadian Court.

DDB Canada took home the top honours at this Strategy magazine-hosted award show, produced by Brunico Communications Ltd. Details for the 2010 event had not been finalized at press time. 8. Marketing Hall of Legends Gala Chip Wilson, founder of Lululemon Athletica, and Home Depot president Annette Verschuren were among those honoured at the January 25 ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. This year marked the sixth anniversary of the event, presented by executive search firm Mandrake.

Fashion Events

9. R.M.B. Crystal Awards Vancouver-based agency Rethink took home the $10,000 Best in Show prize in 2009 for its work on a Mr. Lube radio advertising campaign. This year, the Radio Marketing Bureau award ceremony returned to the Fairmont Royal York Hotel on March 11, during Canadian Music Week. 10. Canadian Media Directors’ Council Annual Conference Looking ahead to the next decade was the focus of this conference for media and advertising professionals in 2009. The 2010 conference, scheduled for April 8 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, is titled “Channel Changers: Culture, Content & Congestion,” and will focus on breaking through in a cluttered media marketplace.

3. Buy Design The sixth annual gala for the

Windfall Clothing Service drew 450 guests to the Fermenting Cellar in April 2009 for a space-themed event promoted on Twitter by a character named LG Fashion Bustle’s presentation BuyBarella. The 2010 benefit, dubbed the Spring Week After Social, will take on a “Dirty ’30s” theme at the four seasons at Fermenting Cellar on April 10. Nathan Phillips 4. P&G Beauty Awards [New to the List] The inauSquare, the gural awards, held at the Carlu on October 29 and Fashion Design hosted by actress Nia Vardalos, recognized talent in Council of Canada moved to the Canadian beauty, grooming, and fashion indusKing Street West try with awards in 12 categories, including best for the presenta- magazine cover and hair stylist of the year. Details tion of the spring for the 2010 event, sponsored by Procter & Gamble, were unavailable at press time. 2010 collections in October. The shows take place in the spring and fall. The next event runs March 28 5. Mode Accessories Show More than 600 exhibitors showcased their spring/summer collections to April 1. at the Doubletree by Hilton from January 31 to 2. T.F.I. New Labels Barbie is sponsoring Toronto Fashion Incubator’s 17th annual New Labels compe- February 2. Show producer Two Plus One Group tition in 2010. The winner of the six-month contest Inc. will host the fall show at the same venue from August 8 to 10 and a winter show at the will be announced at the Elle Canada Gala at the International Centre on October 3 and 4. Carlu on April 24.


5. Whodunit? OCAD Mystery Art Sale [New to the List] Last year, the Ontario College of Art and Design launched its eighth mystery art sale, the institution’s signature fund-raiser, with a gala attended by 500 guests. The sale features the work of 1,500 artists and takes place at the college in November. spring 2010 39

Food, Wine & Hospitality Events

Taste of the

7. Danforth

Sponsored by Pilaros, the threeday Greektown 1. Toronto Wine & Cheese Show This three-day street festival event, which draws 25,000 people, marks its 27th showcases Hellenic year this spring. The Metro grocery chain returned food, culture, and as the lead sponsor for the show, which took place music and marks at the International Centre from March 19 to 21. its 17th year in 2010. The festival returns to the Danforth during the second week of August. 8. Cuvée Gala Held in Niagara at the Fallsview Casino Resort, the gala kicks off Cuvée weekend and is known as the Oscars of the Ontario wine industry. This year’s event took place February 19, with proceeds going to the Niagara Community Foundation. 9. The Drinks Show This consumer event, founded by the team behind cocktail catering company the Martini Club, has grown to include more than 100 brands since its inception in 2004. Last year, the tasting moved to Polson Pier. The 2010 event returns to that venue on July 9 and 10. 10. Eat to the Beat More than 60 female chefs created sweet and savoury treats at the 2009 edition of this foodie fund-raiser, held at Roy Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival This Thomson Hall in support of Willow Breast Cancer festival, which marked its fifth anniversary in Support Canada. The 2010 event returns to Roy 2009, has raised more than $6 million for the Thomson Hall on October 5. Toronto Western & General Hospital Foundation. 11. Picnic at the Brick Works Last October, more The 2009 event included the biannual live wine than 1,100 people, including chefs, farmers, and auction, with rare lots from 90 winemakers. vintners, gathered at Evergreen Brick Works for the Details for the 2010 event were unavailable at third installation of this celebration of local food press time. to benefit Evergreen and Slow Food Toronto. The 3. Toronto Taste Last June, 50 local chefs, Mark McEwan and Michael Smith among them, cooked event takes place October 3. for guests in the Village of Yorkville Park at this fund-raiser for Second Harvest. The event raised more than $425,000 and drew 1,250 attendees. The 20th anniversary Taste takes place at the Royal Ontario Museum on June 13. 4. The C.R.F.A. Show The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association Show (the new name for the amalgamated Canadian Food & Beverage and Hostex shows) includes 1,200 exhibits and a series of free business seminars offering advice to improve profitability. The 2010 show was held March 7 to 9 at the Direct Energy Centre with chefs Susur Lee, Lynn Crawford, and Donna Dooher participating. What’s on the Table This fund-raiser 5. The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo This event brings together top chefs to raise money for the attracts 36,000 people and provides the opporStop Community Centre’s anti-hunger programs. tunity to sample more than 1,500 wines, beers, The event, which features food stations from chefs and spirits from around the world. Last year, Portugal was the country of focus. The next show like Donna Dooher and Jamie Kennedy, returns to Wychwood Barns for its sixth installation on takes place from November 18 to 21 at the Metro November 3. Toronto Convention Centre. 13. The Beer & Cocktail Show This show returns 6. Niagara Wine Festival Canada’s largest wine to Downsview Park for its fifth outing from June 4 festival includes more than 100 events such as to 6. The three-day event, which includes cocktail winery tours and tastings, artisan shows, and demonstrations and a talent show, attracts about seminars. The 59th festival takes place from 10,000 attendees. September 17 to 26.



40 spring 2010

Media & Literary Events 1. Scotiabank Giller Prize Gala Linden

MacIntyre’s novel The Bishop’s Man was awarded the $50,000 prize in this prestigious juried competition for Canadian fiction last year. The 16th anniversary Giller gala returns to the Four Seasons Hotel on November 9. 2. International Festival of Authors This literary gathering, held at Harbourfront Centre, consists of more than 60 events, including the opening night benefit for PEN Canada (which promotes freedom of expression) and closing night readings by Giller Prize-nominated authors. The 2010 festival takes place in late October. 3. Idea City Conference Last year, a NASA project manager and a laughologist were among the 50 presenters who addressed a sold-out crowd during this Moses Znaimer-produced conference, dubbed “Canada’s premier meeting of the minds.” The 2010 conference takes place from June 16 to 18 at the Isabel Bader Theatre on the University of Toronto campus. 4. The Canadian Journalism Foundation Awards Gala 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer, a Toronto native, received a special tribute, and Governor General Michaëlle Jean presented Joe Schlesinger with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the foundation’s 12th annual gala last June. Peter Mansbridge hosts the 2010 gala at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel on June 10. 5. MagNet—Canada’s Magazine Conference MagNet, which attracts around 1,000 publishers, editors, and advertising representatives, is Canada’s premier public policy, professional development, and networking conference for magazine professionals. Presented by four industry associations, the conference is set for June 1 to 4. 6. National Magazine Awards Gala Last year, the National Magazine Awards Foundation recognized excellence in Web-based and online-only magazines for the first time. AlbertaViews took home the award for magazine of the year. The 33rd annual gala is scheduled for June 4. 7. International Press Freedom Awards This gala, presented by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, recognizes foreign journalists who regularly face obstacles in order to get the news out. Recipients honoured at the December gala, held at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, included Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and an Iranian journalist and women’s rights activist. Details for the 2010 awards had not been confirmed by press time. 8. Word on the Street Festival This literary festival—also held in Vancouver, Halifax, and Kitchener—marked its 20th anniversary in 2009 and included an appearance by Margaret Atwood, who headlined the Bestsellers Stage. The event drew more than 200,000 attendees and included some 250 book and magazine exhibits. The 2010 event will take place on the lawn at Queen’s Park in late September.



Festivals, Parades & Holiday Events floats, 22 bands, and 180 celebrity clowns. The parade takes place in mid-November. 4. Toronto Jazz Festival TD Canada Trust has extended until 2014 its title sponsorship of this festival, which features 1,500-plus musicians performing in more than 350 concerts. Last year the Shuffle Demons attempted to set a Guinness World Record for the largest saxophone ensemble at Nathan Phillips Square. The event takes place from June 25 to July 4. 5. Toronto Fringe Festival The city’s largest performing arts festival, which turned 21 in 2009, included performances in nontraditional venues Scotiabank Caribana Festival This two-week and an expanded FringeKids! program last year. The festival, which includes calypso concerts, an art festival, from June 30 to July 11, includes more than exhibition, and a parade of more than 11,000 150 shows in 25 venues across the city. performers dressed in jeweled costumes and 6. Cavalcade of Lights This monthlong festival, feathered headpieces along Lake Shore Boulevard, presented by Scotiabank, returned to Nathan attracts more than one million people annually. The Phillips Square for its 43rd year from November festival begins in mid-July. 28 to December 31. Festivities included the light2. Pride Week Last year, Pride Toronto won its bid ing of Toronto’s official Christmas tree and weekly to host World Pride 2014. This year, the nonprofit concerts with performances by Steven Page, Matt organization marks the 30th anniversary of Pride Dusk, and Fritz Helder & the Phantoms. The event Week, one of the city’s largest arts and cultural gets under way in late November. festivals. The festival gets under way June 25 and 7. Beaches International Jazz Festival Fifty musical concludes with the Pride Parade on July 4. acts lined a two-kilometre stretch of Queen Street 3. Santa Claus Parade More than half a million East for the festival’s three-day Streetfest, which viewers line the streets of Toronto for the Santa drew close to one million people in 2009. The event, Claus Parade, which celebrated its 104th year in which includes performances in Woodbine Park and 2009 and adopted a new route designed to pass Kew Gardens, workshops, and a marathon, marks Yonge-Dundas Square. The parade included 24 its 22nd year July 16 to 25.


8. WinterCity Festival Sponsored by RBC, the festival returned for its seventh year from January 29 to February 11. The two-week event included themed skating parties at Nathan Phillips Square, arts events at local institutions, and the Winterlicious prix-fixe dining promotion at 150 restaurants. 9. New Year’s Eve in Nathan Phillips Square More than 40,000 people gather outside city hall to ring in the New Year at this event hosted by (and broadcast live on) CityTV. In 2009, TV hosts Gord Martineau, Tracy Moore, Kevin Frankish, and Dina Pugliese led the 25th annual countdown. 10. Scotiabank BuskerFest [New to the List] This four-day street festival to benefit Epilepsy Toronto marked its 10th anniversary in 2009 and kicked off with the inaugural BuskerBall fund-raiser at the St. Lawrence North Market. The festival has raised more than $1 million and is the largest of its kind in North America. The next event takes place from August 26 to 29.

Sports Events

Leetch, Luc Robitaille, and Steve Yzerman— were honoured at the 1. RBC Canadian Open Australian Nathan Green induction ceremony in took the title at the 2009 Open, which attracted November. The event a crowd of more than 100,000 to Oakville’s Glen included a live broadcast Abbey Golf Club. In 2010, 156 of the top players from the Allen Lambert on the P.G.A. Tour will tee off at St. George’s Golf Galleria and a cocktail and Country Club for the 106th championship, reception. Details for presented by the Royal Canadian Golf Association. the 2010 were not set at The tournament takes place July 19 to 25. press time. Honda Indy 8. Baycrest International Toronto The Pro-Am Hockey Nascar Canadian Tournament Hockey Tire Series, Canada’s enthusiasts ages 25 and only national racing older can team up with championship, will Queen’s Plate Last year, Sam-Son Farm’s Eye former N.H.L. greats to raise funds for Alzheimer’s be part of Honda of the Leopard won the title at the 150th running of research at the fifth annual tournament, May 6 to 8 Indy race weekend at York University’s Canlan Ice Sports. the Queen’s Plate, the first jewel in Canada’s Triple at Exhibition Place 9. Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon [New Crown of thoroughbred racing and the longest July 16 to 18. to the List] A record 3,000 participants ran the 3. Rogers Cup Elena Dementieva of Russia captured continuously run stakes race in North America. The 2009 race, with another 17,000 taking part in the 2010 event takes place at Woodbine Racetrack on the title at the Rexall Centre in 2009. This year, the accompanying half marathon and five-kilometre women are headed to Montreal, while the top play- July 4. run. The 2010 event, part of the Canada Running ers in men’s tennis hit the courts at York University. 6. Toronto Marathon The Goodlife Fitness Toronto Series, takes place September 26. The A.T.P. Tour stops in Toronto from August 7 to 15. Marathon, the city’s oldest, is set for October 17. More than 10,000 runners covered the 42-kilometre 10. N.C.A.A. International Bowl American college 4. Telus Toronto International Dragon Boat Race football returned to Toronto on January 2 for a Festival More than 120,000 visitors are expected to route from Mel Lastman Square to Queen’s Park game between the University of South Florida in 2009. The race benefits the Princess Margaret watch 5,000 athletes from 180 teams compete in Bulls and the Northern Illinois University Huskies. Hospital Foundation. the 22nd annual festival, presented by the Toronto Thousands of fans filled the Rogers Centre to see 7. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Chinese Business Association at Toronto Centre the Bulls defeat the Huskies 27-3. and Gala Four hockey greats—Brett Hull, Brian Island on June 19 and 20.


5. spring 2010 41

Break the Meeting Mold Many meetings face the same old problems. But inventive planners and new technologies are creating innovative solutions. Here are ideas for keeping attendees energized and on task. By LISA CERICOLA

Beat the Afternoon Blahs

ON BIZBASH.COM Comprehensive directories of meeting venues in nine cities

42 spring 2010

“During our training sessions we like to have quiz games after lunch that double as networking and teambuilding. We usually try to mimic game shows like Family Feud or Wheel of Fortune by using whiteboards or index cards, or by having attendees make buzzing noises. To raise the stakes, we have offered a prize of one extra paid personal day to the M.V.P. of the winning team or lunch in the executive dining room with a department head for the entire winning team. I find it to be a very successful way to recap earlier lessons, informally assess knowledge gained by attendees, and energize people in the afternoon.” Clifton Pierre, corporate coordinator, financial services firm, New York


To boost attendees’ energy during meeting breaks, Sentry Centers (730 Third Ave., 888.730.7307), a new New York-based conference centre with eight meeting rooms, a rooftop terrace, four executive dining and function spaces, and an in-house kitchen, offers a mix of house-made sweet and savory snacks, including mini burgers, fried granola balls, yogurt and berry parfaits, crudités, and chocolate-dipped marshmallows.

Gifts That Won’t Get Left at the Hotel “For some conferences I hired a photographer for the entire trip to capture photos of the guests, which relieved them of having to remember their cameras. At the end, we sent them a CD with the images. Another time, the photographer pulled about 20 photos of each guest and we put them in digital frames that played a slide show when they got back to their hotel rooms. It was very personal and memorable.” Dawn Cooper, corporate events manager, Toshiba America Medical Systems, Chicago


“We usually try to shoot for two or three gifts with the same cost and allow our guests to choose which one they want. We’ve offered things like Bose stereo systems, blenders, a whiskey and vodka set. When they get back to their rooms, there is a sheet of paper with photos of the items, and attendees can check off what they would like and where they would like it shipped.” Tracy Wallach, senior meetings and special event planner, Southeast Toyota Distributors L.L.C., Deerfield Beach, Florida “Many speakers travel a lot, so we’ve given them business travel kits that include a wireless mouse, flash drive, and extension cord. We’ve also done shoe bags, as well as travel alarms. However, I prefer gifts that keep on giving. I’ve had a tree planted in a speaker’s name. We are all becoming so much more environmentally astute that no one finds fault with this, and I’ve received great feedback.” Annette M. Suriani, director of meetings, Meetings Management Group, McLean, Virginia

Let Attendees Set the Agenda Content-heavy meetings and conferences, by nature, are passive experiences. But some audience members might want to do more than sit quietly and take notes. At “unconferences,” attendees lead and go to sessions around a theme or purpose. There is no set agenda; participants create a schedule together on the day of the event. “Lots of people are freaked out by the word unconference, but people are already doing the same thing online,” says San Francisco-based unconference designer and facilitator Kaliya Hamlin ( “On blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, no one from a committee is telling people what to speak about or when. Unconferences bring what is online into the face-to-face world.” Here are a few things for planners to keep in mind.

Un-Conference, a one-day gathering on social media co-hosted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum The PodCamp Foundation’s digital in Washington, Amelia Wong, media unconference in Boston production coordinator for the serve as a lounge where people can museum, put critical information on a have a cup of coffee and continue a blog for participants. She recommends discussion.” explaining how the format will work, what attendees can expect, and what is expected of them. “Have an online space Don’t overlap preprogrammed and where participants can fill out profiles open sessions. Some planners may want and encourage them to browse these to ease into unconferences by including before the unconference,” Wong says. an open block of time within a scheduled meeting. If you do decide to do this, Emphasize interactions over Hamlin warns against “parallel tracking,” presentations. “Unconferences are or scheduling programmed sessions at the same time as open sessions. “It fails about talking to people rather than at them. Instead of ‘Here’s another every time,” she says. “It can be hard for PowerPoint,’ we try to emphasize people who are used to traditional events conversations,” says Whitney Hoffman, to take the leap into unconferences, but owner of Philadelphia-based Hoffman when you do it, do it all the way.” She Believe in the wisdom of the attendee. Digital Media ( suggests having scheduled morning Although some planners may be wary of and director of operations for the sessions, followed by an open afternoon inexperienced people taking the stage, PodCamp Foundation’s digital media session where participants can decide the Hoffman says the format often uncovunconferences. agenda. ers up-and-coming talent. “Just because Small roundtable discussions are someone doesn’t have a New York Times a popular format. “We gave people The “law of two feet” rules. If a bestselling book doesn’t mean they don’t the chance to give five-minute projpresenter disappoints, attendees are have something to contribute,” she says. ect demos—lightning talks—during free to walk out of sessions. Ideally, there “We’ve learned that a CV is not always lunch, which kept that hour lively should be multiple seminars going on the best starting point for value.” and prevented grandstanding during at one time so people can move around sessions,” Wong says. until they find something useful. “If you Prepare attendees in advance. To encourage networking in are not learning or contributing, it is Although agendas are not preset, hosts between sessions, Hoffman creates your responsibility to respectfully find should give people a sense of what to spaces where people can congregate. some place that you are. Follow your own expect. When planning the Conscience “I usually rent an extra room that can passion at an unconference,” Hamlin says.

Connect People Before an Event Social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook can help attendees see who will be at an event and get conversations started before they even get there. Lindy Dreyer and Maddie Grant, co-owners of SocialFish (202.741.9372,, a Washington-based consulting firm specializing in social media strategies for associations, offer tips on how to integrate social media into event registration. Go where your attendees are already gathering. Well before the meeting begins, find out what tools they are already using, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social space online. On the registration form, ask them to name the sites they use and include their usernames.

Communicate what you’re doing and why. Once you’ve decided the right sites to focus on, tell attendees early and often about what you’ve set up and why. For example, if you have a LinkedIn group, a Facebook event page, and a Twitter account and hash tag for the meeting, add prominent links to each on the meeting Web site. Put the links in your registration confirmation emails. Invite the most connected, motivated attendees to be the champions for your social media efforts and ask them to spread the word. Prepare your speakers. Make sure they know what you’re doing, especially if you have an active Twitter hash tag. Some speakers may be social media savvy and able to help people connect and market the event

to their fans. For the rest of your speakers, offer to walk them through your social media efforts, and provide a Twitter monitor to keep track of the hash tag during their session, in case of questions or feedback. Consider going private. Companies such as Groupsite (410.715.1400, group and the Social Collective (703.234.7910, set up private social networks, which offer a more branded, custom environment. Creating any private social network—one that people actually use—is hard work, but it may enhance connections, especially when the attendees need to discuss topics they wouldn’t feel comfortable posting on a public site or that the host company doesn’t want leaked. spring 2010 43

Make Virtual Meeting-Goers Feel Included

Prevent People From Skipping the After-Party “By holding the cocktail hour in the same space as the conference, we don’t have to worry about finding another venue, and it enables us to sell additional sponsorships. We transform a breakfast or lunch area into a cocktail space with dim lighting, a DJ, lounge seating, and signature drinks. We try to make the atmosphere loungey so people can spend an hour relaxing and talking about what they learned while unwinding with a drink. You will always get people who bolt the second a meeting ends, but there’s not much you can do. Other people will think, ‘I’m tired, but I could use a beer and I’m here already, so why not?’” Lauren Minardo, conference director, Advertising Age, New York

Breakfasts That Aren’t Boring

Social Media Week’s kickoff press conference in New York always repeated, that board work is in real time on the remote students’ screen, and that they are called on to participate,” DeFeo says. She also recommends adding extra virtual sessions in addition to the keynote and main sessions. “A live chat with a panel of executives or other experts creates takeaway value for the audience and emphasizes the idea of your live and virtual events being almost interchangeable.” To hold everyone’s attention and avoid confusion, Rathenberg says shorter 15-minute sessions are better than 90-minute presentations. Virtual meeting attendees like swag, too. Rathenberg suggests sending welcome kits with T-shirts or other branded items, or providing a catered lunch in a central location.

Mini breakfast of steelcut Irish oatmeal with berries; quiche lorraine with crème fraîche; sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit sandwich; and a cheddarpotato cake with pork belly, poached quail egg, and sabayon from Lorien Hotel and Spa in Alexandria, Virginia (1600 King St., 703.894.3434)

A custom-made smoothie with strawberries, bananas, oranges, soy protein, and honey from Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel (606 Congress St., 617.338.4111)

44 spring 2010


A party during Advertising Age’s Creativity and Technology Conference in New York

Sure, hosting meetings via a Web-based platform instead of in a hotel can save attendees travel time and money, but staring at a computer screen can also make them feel disconnected. Joerg Rathenberg, senior director of marketing for Unisfair (866.354.4030,, says virtual meeting platforms should make attendees feel like they are there in person, with the ability to collect contact information from other attendees, respond to questions via chat and polls, and interact with each other in other ways. “The environment should encourage them to explore, learn, and connect,” he says. “Attendees should not be jumping from one pop-up window to the next. Chat, polls, messages, and other components should all be part of the same platform, not a mash-up of different providers.” To improve individual sessions, Paula DeFeo, senior vice president and managing director of logistics for Jack Morton Worldwide (212.401.7409,, suggests training speakers, presenters, and moderators to acknowledge the camera and address virtual attendees as if they were in the room. “We ask that questions are

Boost Networking Time


Part of the value of faceto-face meetings is getting people into the same space to meet and interact. To keep attendees from using breaks just to check their email, Four Seasons Hotels in Chicago (120 East Delaware Place, 312.280.8800) and Las Vegas (3960 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702.632.5212) offer “BlackBerry breaks.” During the 30-minute recess, attendees leave their PDAs at a charging station provided by the hotel and spend time talking over a menu inspired by the berry itself— items include ginger duck breast with blackberry compote served in chilled cucumber cups, blackberry citrus smoothies, and blackberry strudel.

Keep Speakers on Track As a way to encourage conversation, more meeting planners are inviting attendees to use social media to comment about meetings as they take place, so they can share ideas and let organizers know what’s not working. For example, attendees using Twitter are invited to tweet comments about a session as it happens by using a preset hash tag for the event. The hash tag unites all of the comments in one place so attendees can follow along on laptops or phones. Planners can even project these live social media streams—called back channels—on a screen behind presenters. Although back channels can open a floodgate of snarky comments and off-topic chatter, they have positive benefits as well. Josh Jones-Dilworth, founder of Austin, Texas-based public relations and marketing firm Jones-Dilworth (jones-dilworth. com), handles PR for the South by Southwest Interactive Conference’s Accelerator event, where attendees actively contribute to a back channel during sessions. “The value is primarily peerto-peer communication, not just a moderator or speaker controlling a one-way conversation. The audience

A panel of speakers at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference can interact with each other,” he says. This can be a little scary for planners, but it can help, too. “The real benefit of these things—which few people talk about because it’s still kind of new—is the benefit to the organizers and speakers. Such streams create a real-time focus group for the talks and panels. It’s an easy way for audience members to

Frozen hot chocolate, oatmeal brûlée, and “banana splits” from Loews Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada (101 Montelago Blvd., 702.567.6000)

ask questions, but more important, it is a great way for speakers to adapt on the fly,” Jones-Dilworth says. “More and more we’re seeing speakers, both solo and on panels, monitoring these streams during their talks as a way of gauging reactions, and steering the conversations and content in a direction that reflects the will of the audience.”

House-smoked bacon, chicken-apple sausage, Canadian bacon, and herbgarlic sausage from Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (540 North Michigan Ave., 312.836.0100)

Oatmeal station with caramelized apples, dried fruit compote, golden raisins, brown sugar, and cinnamon-almond preserves from Montage Beverly Hills (225 North Canon Drive, 310.860.7800) spring 2010 45

The Directory A selection of resources from our comprehensive online directory of event and meeting suppliers and venues

New Venues


In a space that once served as a boiler room, Buca is an Italian restaurant on King Street West with high ceilings, exposed brick walls, dark floors, and bare lightbulbs. A wine bar holds 38 and can be booked as a private room. The entire venue holds as many as 102 and is available for buyouts. (604 King St. West, 416.865.1600)



This hotel opened in September. The $36 million Victorianthemed hotel offers 13,000 square feet of event space in the Grand Victorian conference centre. The facility includes a tiered presentation room with theatre seating, an executive boardroom, a garden view event space with access to a rooftop terrace, and a ballroom with 26-foot ceilings and crystal chandeliers. Restaurants include the Regal Lounge and the Regent. The hotel also offers a business centre, a fitness centre, a spa, and an indoor pool. (175 Derry Road East, 905.364.9999)

Three galleries available for private events make up the interior of this former industrial space. The Royal LePage and J.S. McLean galleries feature 30-foot ceilings and lighting on an adjustable grid system, while the Canadian Tire Gallery has 10-foot ceilings. (231 Queens Quay West, 416.973.4949)


Italian restaurant Ciao Wine Bar, open in Yorkville since midJanuary, is the latest offering from the Liberty Entertainment Group. The space, formerly Flow Restaurant & Lounge, covers 8,000 square feet over three levels. The restaurant seats 250, including 110 on the lower level. Two private dining rooms hold 18, and two patios will hold 60 in the warmer months. (133 Yorkville Ave., 416.925.2143)


This 16-storey hotel, designed by Architects Alliance, is slated to open in the King West Village neighbourhood in May. The hotel will feature 102 guest rooms, a 150-seat signature restaurant operated by New York-based Scarpetta, a rooftop pool, a 40-seat screening room, conference and event spaces, and a fitness facility with a yoga studio. (550 Wellington St. West, 416.640.7778)


Dolce Social Ballroom is the latest venture from nightclub own- INDEPENDENT EVENT SPACE er Travis Agresti. In the King West neighbourhood and designed ALLSTEEL RESOURCE CENTRE by the California-based firm Mr. Important Design, the venue The Allsteel Resource Centre, an 8,000-square-foot design showroom in the brick boiler house of the caters to the 28-and-over crowd. The 6,000former Toronto Carpet Factory in Liberty Vilsquare-foot club holds 560 on the main floor, lage, opened in late 2007 and became availwhich features a brass ceiling treatment and able for private events in August. The space origami chandeliers. A 280-seat rooftop patio 60-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, and was scheduled to open this spring. (647 King Take a Group Bowling has 20-foot leaded glass windows. The reception St. West, 416.361.9111) In November, sisters Ljuba and POP NIGHTCLUB area in the building’s original smokestack Open since February in the space formerly offers views of the venue’s three levels. (90 Branka Nikolovski, the owners known as Fluid, Pop Nightclub is the newest Fraser Ave., 416.588.6200) of All Star Interactive, a bowling TORONTO REFERENCE LIBRARY venture from club owner Moses Sabatino. alley in the city’s east end, The Toronto Public Library’s new event cenThe venue, designed by Irfan Bukhari, holds opened the Danforth Suite, a tre opened in the Toronto Reference Library 700 and is divided into two rooms—a bright2,000-square-foot event venue in September. The 5,000-square-foot space, ly coloured dance club and a more subdued equipped with 12 bowling on the second floor, overlooks the Rosedale lounge with a retro feel. (217 Richmond St. lanes. The second-floor space Valley. Glass walls divide the venue into West, 416.593.6116) SAMOVAR three areas, including a primary event space has a lounge area with dark Rumen Dimitroff, the man behind Rasputin that holds 460 for lectures and 360 for seated leather furnishings, a bar, Wi-Fi and the original Pravda Vodka Bar, opened a dinners. (789 Yonge St., 416.393.7193) Internet access, and televisions new Russian-inspired lounge called Samovar for visual presentations. The MUSEUM in August. In Cabbagetown, on the second venue can accommodate MZTV MUSEUM OF TELEVISION floor of a heritage building that once housed groups of up to 130 for bowling Broadcaster Moses Znaimer opened the the Laurentian Room, Samovar specializes in and teambuilding sessions. MZTV Museum of Television in a new locapremium vodkas, absinthe, and champagne. tion on Queen Street East in mid-July. The The venue, filled with dark wood and a maCatering is available and the museum, which charts television history hogany bar that dates back to 1935, is availspace holds 80 for seated dinand houses an extensive collection of televiable for private events. The space holds 140. ners. (2791 Eglinton Ave. East, sion sets and memorabilia, is available for (51A Winchester St., 416.925.4555) 416.261.5011) private events. The space holds as many as BOWLING ALLEY 100 people. (550 Queen St. East, 416.599.7339)

Where to...


A $46 million renovation has transformed the historic Automotive Building, which opened at Exhibition Place in 1929, into the Allstream Centre—dubbed the greenest and most energyefficient conference facility in Canada. Inside the Princes’ Gates, the 160,000-square-foot venue debuted in late October. A 43,900-square-foot, column-free ballroom seats 3,000 under a ceiling design inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. The second floor has 20 meeting rooms that can hold groups of 50 to 750 and five lounges. (105 Princes Blvd., 416.263.3000)


Munge Leung is designing this 41-storey hotel and condominium project—a partnership between INK Entertainment and Lifestyle Developments. In the entertainment district, the project will feature a 24-hour café, two restaurants, and a rooftop pool. A sales centre opens in June. (56 Blue Jays Way, 416.869.9444)

46 spring 2010



Ed Ho, owner of Globe Bistro on the Danforth, opened Earth in November. Interior designer Ron Nuhn used an earthy palette of dark brown and taupe, along with beams from an 1870s log cabin and recycled aluminum light fixtures. The main dining room seats 80, and a private room can hold 18. Two seasonal patios hold 50 and 23. Set menus are available for large groups. (1055 Yonge St., 416.551.9890) FRANK

Executive chef Anne Yarymowich and chef de cuisine Martha Wright offer contemporary dishes with a focus on sustainable farming and slow food at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s new restaurant, Frank, named after architect Frank Gehry. The restaurant seats 130, and a private dining room can accommodate functions for as many as 35. (317 Dundas St. West, 416.204.2712) LE PAPILLION ON THE PARK

After 35 years as partners in the original Le Papillon on Church Street, Paul and Danielle Bigue—together with son Stephane— have opened Le Papillon on the Park. The restaurant, which offers a selection of French and Quebecois dishes, seats 125 and is available for buyouts. A rooftop terrace holds more than 130 in the warmer months. (1001 Eastern Ave., 416.649.1001) ORIGIN

Chef Claudio Aprile opened his second eatery in March. The corner spot, once home to a flower shop, holds 90 and has a wraparound patio for 75. A private room with a terrace holds 20. Aprile, known for his molecular gastronomy approach to cooking, offers a raw bar and modern global cuisine. (107 King St., 416.603.8009) RODNEY’S OYSTER HOUSE

Rodney Clark opened his first Toronto oyster house in 1987 and later moved it to its current location on King West. Personal messages from Hollywood celebrities and athletes, written on oyster shells, line the walls of the 150-seat dining room. A private dining room seats 20, and the outdoor Oyster Garden opens in the summer. (469 King St. West, 416.363.8105) ROOSEVELT ROOM



The Telus Centre for Performance and Learning, an extension to the Royal Conservatory of Music’s headquarters, opened in September. The centre includes music studios, wired classrooms, and a library. The Conservatory Theatre rehearsal hall holds 160 for dinner and 200 for cocktails, and the 1,140-seat Koerner Hall is suitable for music performances, lectures, and conferences. Mazzoleni Hall has permanent theatre seating for 237. Meeting rooms and workshop spaces can hold groups of 12 to 69. (273 Bloor St. West, 416.408.2824)


Gianfranco Loponte (of Vivoli) opened Calisto Restaurant & Lounge, an Italian eatery inspired by a Roman cave of the same name, in July. The restaurant is available for private bookings and holds as many as 210 guests. The main floor can accommodate 110 and the lower-level lounge, complete with a dance floor and DJ booth, holds 100. (647 College St., 647.351.7576)

Modeled after Hollywood’s legendary Roosevelt Hotel, the Roosevelt Room is decorated in gold, brown, and black and boasts a white granite bar fronted with intricate metal panels and brass foot rails. The entertainment district supper club seats 120 and holds 500 for receptions, but smaller semiprivate events can take place behind metallic sheers. (2 Drummond Place, 416.995.4381)


Shamrock Bowl, which originally opened in 1952, hosted a grand reopening in early October following an extensive restoration. The venue offers five-pin bowling in a retro 12-lane bowling alley and is available for corporate events and teambuilding activities. (280 Coxwell Ave., 416.406.2695)


Rosewater Supper Club reopened in September with a new menu and a more contemporary look. Dark oak tables fill the dining room, and the bar is now faced in blue glass. The entire venue holds about 375 people: The main dining room seats 110 or holds 200 for receptions; the mezzanine seats 70 and holds 100 for receptions; the Supper Club seats 110 and holds 160 for receptions; and the White Room seats 20 and holds 50 for receptions. (19 Toronto St., 416.214.5888)


Boss Bloor Street, the new flagship location from Hugo Boss, is a 12,000-square-foot, three-storey boutique that includes an event space on the third floor. The space, which holds about 150, has windows overlooking Bloor and a terrace with a view of the courtyard at the rear of the building. Boss Bloor Street opened in December. (83 Bloor St. West, 647.449.2677)

Michael and Guy Rubino partnered with INK C.E.O. Charles Khabouth to open Ame in August. The 5,000-square-foot restaurant includes a private dining room for groups of as many as 30, a main dining area that holds 100, and a Japanese lounge and sake bar that holds 50. In January, Ame launched a cocktail cooking school which can accommodate up to 10 people per sesReports on sion. Participants learn how to make cocktails like the Smoked Apple Cobbler and the Gin Kim-Chi Toronto’s newest during the lesson, led by a mixologist. (19 Mercer event spaces St., 416.599.7246)



Designed to feel like a private sitting room, the Cabinet is second-storey hair salon and gallery space on Queen Street West. The venue, owned by stylists Emma Rose and Alex MacDonald, holds as many as 150 for receptions and is available for select private events. (577 Queen St. West, 647.344.3132)



Special Advertising Section

Black Creek Pioneer Village Enjoy our outdoor Pavilion in the heart of the Village, or our Pioneer Patio overlooking our beautiful valley. Exceptional outdoor settings and creative catering services make Black Creek an ideal location for hosting your small or large outdoor functions. Alternatively, we also offer wonderful indoor options.

Outdoor Venue Directory

1000 Murray Ross Pkwy., Toronto, ON M3J 2P3, Canada T: 1.416.736.1740 Service Area: Greater Toronto area

Island Yacht Club

Mariposa Cruises

Escape to a picturesque and private Island for your summer retreat. Minutes from Toronto, the Island Yacht Club boasts a newly built modern facility, and selection of delicious menu options. Beyond the clubhouse: heated outdoor pool, tennis courts, volleyball and spectacular grounds. We accommodate groups of 20 to 300.

Mariposa Cruises has built one of the largest hospitality cruise operations in Canada. We are an established leader on the Toronto waterfront; offering corporate events, private charters and narrated tours. Our fleet of seven unique ships varies in size and style to accommodate groups of 20 to 575 passengers for any special occasion.

264 Queen’s Quay West, Suite 504, Toronto ONT M5J 1B5 T: 1.416.203.2582 Service Area: Greater Toronto area

207 Queen’s Quay West, Box 101, Suite 425, Queen’s Quay Terminal, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5J 1A7 T: 1.416-203-0178 T: 1.866.MAR.POSA F: 1.416.203.6627 Service Area: Toronto, Ontario

To advertise in BizBash advertorial directories, please contact Robert Fitzgerald at 646.839.6840 or

Help Us, Help You Are you working with a new supplier or venue? Help us maintain our online resource directory by passing along your favorite event vendors. Resource Directory

Send info to: Include company name, contact, address, email, phone & type of business

Contact Robert Fitzgerald, 646.839.6840 or

Ted Kruckel

If you must burden the morning meal with business, follow these rules. When the BizBash editors suggested I write about entertaining at breakfast, I thought I could file my shortest column ever, just one word: Don’t! Does anyone besides me remember the era of “power breakfasts”? The idea was that you got a heavy hitter to meet you at some hotel, preferably with “Regency” in the name, and showed up all spit and polished at 7:30 a.m., ready to work the room. This unfortunate trend really took hold in the late ’80s and didn’t shake until the ’90s, and boy, was it miserable. Putting aside the hassles of getting up extra early, having to look your best before it was scientifically possible, and having to share a meal (and worse, conversation!) when all you wanted to do was grump and read the paper, there was the all-day power-breakfast hangover. This malaise was brought on by too much coffee and an overactive mind, so the whole time you sat there hearing about your colleague’s son’s clarinet lessons (it was bad form to bring up serious business until tons of personal data had been mined, a nod, I suppose, to the idea that you were giving up private time), your mind was racing with obligations and deadlines you could be meeting back at the office, if only you hadn’t scheduled this

godforsaken morning meal. And when you got to your desk, it was just 9 a.m., and your co-workers arrived all bright and cheery and wanting to start the day with their hemming and hawing. Honestly, it felt like quittin’ time would never come. But I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit that not only did I buy into this ridiculous ritual, I tried to capitalize on it with a series of morning events hosted by legendary editor Clay Felker, then of Manhattan, Inc. (Sigh.) He would interview some power broker in front of a crowd, and to make it really onerous, it was my big idea to host each one of these at some mind-blowingly important site, like the top of the World Trade Center or the balcony of Grand Central Terminal. This was before cell phones, so instead of ringing to find out why the sound guys had missed their 5 a.m. call time, I would just pace, smoke, drink coffee, and swear. But sometimes a breakfast event can’t be avoided. If you’re hosting a three-day conference, some people vie to be the breakfast speaker, believing that people pay more attention first thing in the a.m., which is only true of people who have nothing to do in the p.m. Trade shows also sport a lot of egg-based entertaining, busy schedules and all.

1. Buffets were invented with breakfast in mind, I’m almost sure, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have tons of staff on hand to pour coffee and juice, and even proffer seconds of bacon (why not!) at table. 2. Anyone who hosts a breakfast and doesn’t provide newspapers, even if it’s only USA Today, is an infidel, pure and simple. 3. Name tags: Are you serious? Ditto assigned seating.

the only choices are whole milk and half-and-half. Warning: These skim folks can get pretty ornery over this issue. I know—I am one. 8. If you serve both bready (pancakes, French toast) and eggy dishes, eventually, someone will put syrup and eggs on the same plate, which is nearly as gross as morning ketchup. By instructing the waiters to offer side plates when they see this happening, you are helping everybody. 9. If you are going to the expense of an omelet bar, why not have the cooks make fried and over-easy to order as well? And make sure you let people know there is an alternative to the chafing dish of scrambled.

4. Very few people are qualified to speak at breakfast. The morning orator requires one part wit and two parts brevity. If you are not super sure about both, you are risking the start of a very bad day for the whole room.

10. For so many reasons, fully crisp bacon is the only way to go. Also, the giant difference between fresh pepper and pre-ground is made more clear with eggs, yet so many people feel it’s okay to get away with shakers at break5. A lot of people subscribe to the notion fast. Have at least one grinder on hand that there’s nothing like some really for those who know. energetic music, say Bruce Springsteen 11. I’m okay with paper napkins at or Jay-Z, power-pumped into the rafters, breakfast, and in fact often prefer to get a crowd going early in the mornthem. Have some on hand even if ing. These people should not be allowed you’re at a swanky establishment. to plan morning events. 12. R.S.V.P. numbers for breakfast have 6. You may like ketchup with your the greatest margin of error for many eggs. But do you like it enough to risk reasons. Plan carefully for both high offending the whole room, for whom and low turnout. the sight of ketchup in the morning is 13. It’s not very green, I realize, but I … oh, never mind? Just keep the Heinz want coffee to go in a paper cup, not hidden. If someone asks, say the host is allergic. a mug or a cup and saucer, even if I’m staying on property. Little water bottles 7. It amazes me how many establishon the way out are also nifty, and I ments don’t offer skim milk in this day always grab one. and age. If you are a skim milk drinker, 2 ON BIZBASH.COM Bonus breakfast joke! Q. What do the French say at breakfast? percent just doesn’t Ted’s latest event cut it. Worse, often A. One egg is an oeuf! dispatches

Where Ted Likes Breakfast In New York, the Royalton Hotel’s long, dark lobby provides the business breakfast goer time to get his or her act together. Brasserie 44’s calm and cool tables complete the vibe.

48 spring 2010

I always feel like I’m in an I Love Lucy episode when I’m at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge. Maybe Eve Arden will walk by!


Breakfast of Chumpions

So if for some reason you can’t abide my one-word admonition above, here are a few things I have learned about hosting a special event in the early hours.


Toronto Spring 2010  

Features: Special eetings Report Toronto's Top 100 Events The Best Ideas From Big Events

Toronto Spring 2010  

Features: Special eetings Report Toronto's Top 100 Events The Best Ideas From Big Events