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Special Events Blog

Who’s News for May 3, 2024

Special Events industry news

Venue News

Thompson Hotels and Dream Hotels, two of Hyatt’s signature lifestyle brands, announced the launch of some new, exclusive meetings and events offers. Known for their expertise when it comes to all things culinary, beverage, nightlife, and events, both Thompson Hotels and Dream Hotels offer unique settings for events that are designed to encourage connection and blend style, design, history, and local inspiration. Whether you’re planning a corporate retreat or event, conference, large-scale celebration or intimate social gathering, these exclusive offers provide planners with added value and unique opportunities and incentives for their customers. Live through June 30, 2024.  

People on the Move

Destination Toronto today announced the appointment of Andrew Weir as President & CEO, effective May 1. Weir has been an integral member of the leadership team at Destination Toronto for the past 18 years, most recently as Executive Vice President. A proven leader in Toronto's tourism industry, Weir has served on numerous boards across the industry, including Destination International's DMAP Board and as Chair of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) from 2021-2023. Weir is recognized as a passionate advocate and prominent voice within the industry. In his most recent role as Executive Vice President, he led strategic partnerships between the tourism industry, broader business leadership and government, laying the foundation for the continued growth of the visitor economy and its contribution to the region. Prior to that, as Chief Marketing Officer, Weir championed an organizational transformation to align sales and marketing through powerful brand storytelling. 

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, the premier Arizona desert resort located at the base of the McDowell Mountains, welcomes Jesse McDannell as Executive Chef. In his role, McDannell will oversee the dining experiences at the resort as it completes a $110 million renovation and transformation to a Grand Hyatt property. After graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts from the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, McDannell began working with Hyatt in July 2006 as a Corporate Management Trainee at Grand Hyatt DFW in Texas. McDannell has also served as Executive Chef at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead in Atlanta as well as the opening Executive Chef at the Grand Hyatt SFO, which was recognized during his tenure as the Top Airport Hotel in North America by SkyTraxx. 

Hot off the Press

Emily Coyne Events, a leading luxury event planning firm based in California, announced an opportunity for one lucky non-profit organization. Thanks to a generous donation from a client, the firm is offering a charity the opportunity to host an event, complete with event planning services, in the summer of 2024 at the prestigious Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, California. The offer is valued at $225,000, which includes event venue, catering and beverage services, tax and service fees, and full event planning, design, coordination and execution by Emily Coyne Events. This extraordinary gift will be bestowed on one lucky organization that is available to hold their charity event in the summer of 2024. Known for creating bespoke, high-end events for discerning clients, Emily Coyne Events looks forward to partnering with one non-profit organization to host a one-of-a-kind fundraising event on a beautiful California property. 

Europalco, the largest provider of solutions for events and shows in Southern Europe, recently transformed Lisbon's iconic MEO Arena into a realm of sensory delight for the Generali Tranquilidade (one of the largest non-life insurers in the Portuguese market) annual meeting event. Europalco deployed the L-ISA system from L Acoustics for the first time in Portugal to create an immersive sound experience. The event was organised by agency Desafio Global and marked an important milestone in the rebranding of the Tranquilidade brand under Generali Tranquilidade. Europalco implemented an impressive range of audio visual technologies, scenography, and furniture, turning the MEO Arena into an immersive sanctuary for the 3,000 attendees, including employees and business partners from across the country. In collaboration with Desafio Global, the aim was to create an event where sound played a key role in captivating the audience. 

Products on the Market

The start-up Native Spaces, founded by Tanya Bencheva-Vigier in 2018, is a rental platform offering over 1,500 exclusive and atypical event venues. Private homes, boats, hidden gardens, or museums, it makes available singular venues, often closed to the public. With a strong tech focus since its creation, the platform is equipped with tools that make the process as easy as possible for its users. Since its launch, Native Spaces' business has grown considerably. Today, the start-up has organized over 500 events, doubling its sales by 2022. The company doesn't just put private individuals in touch with the hosts. It also offers support in organizing events, providing access to a network of trusted partners. Caterers, DJs, photographers or even babysitters: all needs are anticipated to guarantee the best possible experience. Learn more at  


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