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GSK 2016: The Linkedin Influencer Event

GSK16_linkedIn While It isn’t for everyone – by invite only – it mostly consisted of 22-32 yr olds listening to 45 yr olds tell them what is the next big thing in business, social media, disruption techniques, etc.  Just as a note: people over 45 – actually have MONEY to spend.  how many 24 yr olds do outside of Silicon Valley?

As a member of traditional media, I was excluded from some of the closed events like the impromptu “blogger” news meet up. While I understand totally their disdain for “old” media since we’ve done such a crappy job of covering actual news and most of the networks have become one long infomercial for the presidential candidate that shall not be named in case he manifests, we can still report what is news worthy and what is just a fad.

The problem with the Linkedin model is while it is the best platform for business, they fail to differentiate between a lone person on a job hunt (at 29.00/month to be a premium member) and someone who has a job – therefore income and can afford the 29.00 a month. So there are 1000’s that are left behind – once again.

My takeaways from this event:

  • If you are an intern – you get to do social media and get paid to attend this conference while still making less than what one pair of shoes the paid speaker is wearing.
  • The Aria is still a beautiful hotel but their convention space leaves a lot to be desired.
  • The trade show area was mostly apps and analytics

The parties were worth the time it took to schlep from valet to the trade show area.

Phoenix: APWA 2015 Congress & Expo

APWA is the American Public Works Association, and the APWA International Public Works Congress & Exposition has always drawn thousands of public works professionals from all over the world. When it comes to public works, one size apparently does not fit all, so defining the term can be problematic. Even APWA members have trouble arriving at a common definition; because of the multi-faceted, ever-evolving nature of public works, we may never arrive at a comprehensive idea of what PW quintessentially is. Yet Public Works is the heartbeat of any city, developing and maintaining buildings, roads, water systems, solid waste handling and administration. The people who work in PW are solving some of the toughest problems faced by our communities, our country, and our world. The gathering also provides public works departments with much-needed community outreach resources. There were more than 125 technical and professional development sessions presented by experts and industry vendors. The thing about Public Works? Well, when you do it in Public, it has to Work…. #APWAExpo #PWX

Boston: Specialty Libraries #SLA2015

SLA stands for the Special Libraries Association. You didn’t have to be wearing heavy horn-rimmed half-moon spectacles to get in, but it certainly helped — the bifocals would have enabled studious delegates to stay focused on what the show had to offer. So what kinds of people would you have been rubbing shoulders with at SLA? Oh, you know the type: Information Professionals, Collections Managers, Research/Intelligence Professionals, Information Center Managers, Knowledge Managers, Web Developers, Information Analysts, Consultants, Content Managers, Educators, Content Rights Managers, Library/Information School Students… all those serious folks who care about “Connecting People and Information”, like it said on the banner over the registration desk. They’re trained in information research, knowledge management, data analysis and presentation, and they know your organization, your market, and your mission. Okay, we’re declaring amnesty on overdue library books all this week… #SLAIETLIP

Trade Shows: Portland – BrewExpo America 2015

Hey, listen, I’ll buy you a beer in Portland.  BrewExpo America is the premier trade show for Craft Brewers, and it claims to be the only industry event that serves brewpubs, breweries, and wholesalers alike.  With 600 vendors all in one location, BrewExpo is foamy, thirst-quenching kind of a place to shop for products and services for brewery or brewpub. The trade expo is geared to providing a show environment that allows exhibitors and buyers to work on profitable business relationships, and helps brewing and brewery restaurant professionals encounter the latest and best products and services industry vendors have to offer. The conference is quite the social event, with 10,000+ brewing industry professionals enjoying craft brews together.  In fact we challenge you to point a camera there at any time in any direction and fail to get a shot with less than two people with beer glass in hand.  Cheers!  #craftbeer #cheers

Beyond The Booth: We are Growing!

Two new additions to the Gem Communications Empire!

Our new “Everything you wanted to know about the Hospitality Industry” Blog:  The Daily Dunkin

Hospitality includes:  Arts & Entertainment, Broadcasting, Food & Beverage, Gaming, Hospitality Design, Tourism & Travel, Event Planning

Because we are road warriors – we’ll be adding curated Tour guides from Jauntful.  We are starting with Las Vegas and have published 2 so far.

These will be our common theme areas for the 11 major cities that we cover plus some individual guides for things like “Our favorite Secret Spots” NYC or Best Craft Breweries in Portland.

You can follow us – Beyond The Booth


Vegas: CinemaCon Day 2: Universal Studios

Day 2 of CinemaCon2014 kicked off with a breakfast presentation about alternative content such as the Broadway, Lincoln Center and various other live musical events collectively known as “Event Cinema” and why the members of NATO should utilize it.

The it was right into the Keynote of the Day:   State of the Industry. All presenters proclaimed it Good! Strong! Healthy! (and someone from the audience shouted out – Thanks to Obamacare bringing down the house) Former CT Senator Chris Dodd – Chairman of the MPAA said he will continue to push Congress to pass SOPA – and spoke of his ongoing efforts to encourage theater owners to use new technology to deliver their content thus keeping up with the market. There was some panel discussion on a subject very close to my heart and the reason I actually stopped going to movies: Cell phone usage. Touching on the recent murder of the texting dad at the theater as an outlier, the cons of cell blockage noted that use of cell phones inside the theater could create excitement and buzz for the movie on social media while those who were pro blockage argued that it causes too much interruption to those who are actually looking for a “phone free zone” – it was suggested that multiplex theaters might want to implement a “quiet zone” or special no cell showings of movies. Still nothing was resolved and I shall continue to wait for Netflix and OnDemand.

It was Universal Day at CinemaCon and they delivered their slate of upcoming films starting with the trailer for “Neighbors” with Seth Rogan that opens next month but has already been screened at SXSW a few weeks ago.  They also offered a full screening later today.

Universal trucked out their stars to get the buzz going on many anticipated films for 2014-2015:  Director Angelina Jolie was there for her upcoming biopic “Unbroken” the story of 1936 Olympic runner Louis Zamperini and his survival of the Japanese P.O.W. camps.  Jeff Daniels appeared for the 20 years in the making sequel to “Dumb & Dumber To.”   Other sequels were Ted 2, Pitch Perfect 2, Fast & Furious 7 (see below for trailer)  & Jurassic World.  Some new original content (or perhaps just some sassy remakes) were “Lucy” a SciFi staring Scarlett Johansson; “Get on Up” the James Brown biopic starting The Help’s Octavia Spenser as his mother

Here are the trailers of the movies I actually am looking forward to:

The Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West – Spoiler alert on the cameo! Quite frankly I was expecting Ron Perlman to do the voice overs.

Fast & Furious 7:  So long Paul Walker. I’m anxious to see how they work around his death using the footage that was shot already.

Minions and no it is not about TeamBeyond-The-Booth – but it should be!

and finally the 1st look at probably the most anticipated movie of 2015, so far anyway,  50 Shades of Grey  Collectively known as #FSoG – I mean the every surface of Caesars was covered with the backside of Christian Grey so it was good to see what the hype was all about. Full Disclosure: I didn’t read the book.  However I am a huge fan of Seattle so I look forward to seeing the scenery.

We spent the afternoon on the trade show floor – mostly at the concession stands! Big Score? White Castle gave out Crave Boxes! Why hasn’t White Castle opened in Vegas yet? What are you waiting for?

Since its inception as recently as 2011, CinemaCon has become the largest and most important annual gathering of cinema owners and operators from around the world, and the eyes and ears of the worldwide motion picture theater industry were focused on the proceedings.  Professionals dedicated to Cinema Exhibition, Film Distribution or Production, the Equipment or Concession fields, and absorbed with Marketing, Advertising or the burgeoning field of Social Media Networking, or indeed the design, construction or financing of movie theaters or the exciting world of digital cinema… they were all there for their big-screen moment.  They came to witness the latest, most innovative technological advances in theater equipment, and the newest, most scintillating offerings from the concession world—everything they needed, in fact, to satisfy the demanding needs of today’s sophisticated moviegoer.  I’m ready for my close-up now, Mr. deMille….  #CinemaCon




Vegas: CinemaCon 2014 – Day 1 – Paramount

The annual schlep to Vegas for NATO (National Association of Theater Owners) collectively known as CinemaCon (formerly known as ShoWest) kicked off today with a series of seminars and previews.

We started with a meet up of long time pals from my previous life in entertainment including my former accountant and lawyer, who were trying to entice me to get back into craft services. Unlikely but I do love hanging out with them. Boosts my ego that I’m actually still relevant while living in the cultural desert of Las Vegas.

Our 1st (and little did we known only) panel was the Rotten Tomatoes vs. Audience where critics assured the full room of theater owners and “industry” personnel they were still much in demand even while lamenting the loss this past year of long time critic Roger Ebert.

We then proceeded to wander the hallways to find the opening night reception where every available surface was skinned. Including the elevator doors with a nice teaser portrait of Christian Gray.

After a cocktail, we all trooped en masse to first previews of the night brought to us by Paramount. Being a huge fan of the comic book/high fantasy genre I was excited to see the 3 big block busters coming to a theater near you:  Hercules – with The Rock, Transformers: Age Of Distinction with Mark Wahlberg taking over for Shia LeBouf who is otherwise occupied, and the big one for the under 30 set: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – scoring the most skinned surface at the show. Several other clips were shown – Hot Tub Time Machine 2  (did anyone see part 1?)  and a 3D SpongeBob Squarepants and the new more somber Adam Sandler/Jennifer Garner film: Men, Women and Children. Christopher Nolan was on hand to pump us up for his Interstellar starring the very hot-star-of-the-moment but absent from CinemaCon – Matthew McConaughey.

Line of the night was from Duane “the Rock” Johnson (does anyone ever call him Duane?) who quipped: “Happy to be at the 1st night of ComicCon”  which later lead Marky Mark to say “I actually thought this was an episode of Wahlbergers” referring to his family show & business in Boston.

After 1.5 hours of Paramount Pump up we adjourned to dinner called “Taste of Vegas” showcasing the many restaurants of Caesars.