Archive for the Events Category

Town & Country Presents New York New York

Posted in Events on December 8, 2011 by Bright Lights

Last night I attended the Town & Country event for the release of New York New York, a book of amazing photographs by Harry Benson with text by Hilary Geary Ross.  The book showcases prominent society doyennes, politicians and movie stars in New York from the early 60’s to today.

Harry Benson is a scottish-born photojournalist known for his contributions to Life magazine.  He has photographed every US President from Eisenhower to Obama.  Hilary Geary Ross is the Society Editor for Quest and Q magazines.

The event was held at the majestic event space of the Hearst Tower on the mezzanine level.  This was my first time inside the Hearst Tower and was delighted to see how the Historic Landmark base of the building is very much on display.  The six-story, cast-limestone façade of the original landmark building meets glass and steel support beams in what is truly a work of art in its own right.

The well-dressed crowd shmoozed and mingled throughout the night while checking out the large framed photos from the book.  Some of my favorites are shown below.  These photos capture a moment in time and in many ways have grown in significance over time.

Al Pacino and Diane Keaton filming the Godfather outside Radio City Music Hall

Chevy Chase - East Hampton, NY

Mayor Michael Bloomberg riding the subway

The event was filled with beautiful people who were most likely watching their figure, which translated into more hors d’oeuvres for me and my +1.  All in all, it was a charming event and I met some delightful people.  I look forward to many more events in the Hearst Tower in the coming years.

Bright Lights, Big City.

Social Media Week Closing Party @ District 36

Posted in Events on February 11, 2011 by Bright Lights

From February 7th – 11th, New York City hosted Social Media Week.  The conference was established in 2009 by Crowdcentric Media LLC as a means to connect people, content, and conversation around emerging trends in social and mobile media.

The week’s activities, hosted by industry leaders, focused on five categories or Content Hubs: Arts & Culture; Science & Technology; Business, Media & Communications; People & Society and Entertainment, Gaming & Sports.

Every night this week, these titans of social media met to discuss the days’ events, network, and have a few drinks. The final day of the conference (February 11th) ended with a closing party held at District 36 located at 29 West 36th Street.

The event space was three levels with the basement level reserved for the step and repeat walls, while the 1st floor and 2nd floor were hopping with great tunes, comfy couches, and a large dance floor.  Signage boards were scattered throughout the event to build awareness for the impressive sponsorship of Social Media Week.  There were many prominent sponsors such as Nokia, Pepsico, Youtube, AOL, Google, and many more.

The closing party featured cocktails sponsored by Macallan, and Macallan made its presence known with mini-bars and lively interactions.  In addition, there were tasty tacos provided by Korilla BBQ.

As one drink turned into six, courtesy of the open bar, the dance floor filled up with hot media mavens and Tweeting hipsters.  Update Facebook, do a shot.  Update Twitter, do a shot.  Check in to Foursquare, chug a beer.  This group put the social in Social Media and they certainly knew how to party.

The night featured a performance by Chiddy Bang, and the DJ kept the crowd moving and shaking all night long.  While the party was crowded, the large space provided for dark corners where folks could have a few minutes of privacy and solace.  I’m not saying that this crowd was getting frisky, but after 10 drinks it wasn’t off the table.  After a long week of building connections, building contacts, and building rapport, I’d venture there was some poking going on outside of Facebook.

Thank you, once again, to Crowdcentric Media for a fantastic lineup of events all week long.  Social Media Week has a tremendous relevance that continues to expand, and I expect that next years lineup will be even better.  Keep it social New York.  And remember, if you don’t report it on Twitter, it didn’t really happen.

Bright Lights, Big City.

Advertising Week – Facebook Generationext Wrap Party

Posted in Events on October 1, 2010 by Bright Lights

While Advertising Week technically ends on Friday (October 1st), the social scene culminated on Thursday evening with Facebook’s Generationext Wrap Party.  While originally scheduled be held at the Wollman Rink in Central Park, the party was moved (due to weather) to the Roseland Ballroom.

The party started at 9pm and guests were greeted with the Facebook logo everywhere you looked.  Large flatscreen TV’s were showing Facebook trivia with questions such as “How many friends does the average user have?” or “How many hours a week does the average user stay on Facebook?”

Around 10pm, Cirque du Soleil put on a short but amazing performance.  The performers were clearly limited due to a lack of space as compared to the Wollman Rink.

After the performance, the crowd hit the dance floor as Kanye West’s ‘Good Life” invigorated the good looking advertising elite.  From the tasty appetizers to the Facebook cookies, the event was well run and some good clean fun.  It was a tremendous way to close out a week of thoroughly enjoyable panels and events.

Advertising Week (Sept 27th – Oct 1st)

Posted in Events on October 1, 2010 by Bright Lights

It’s that time of year when 60,000 Mad Men and Mad Women gather in New York City for Advertising Week.   In its seventh year, the events, speakers, and parties have been top notch.  Sponsorship and product placement abound, I had the opportunity to attend several panels and events throughout the week.

AOL Buzz Bar

Mapquest Station

Special thanks to the public relations firm Sunshine, Sachs & Associates for all of their assistance and coordination throughout the week.

Billboard presents: Under the Hood of “Unstaged”   (9/27)

This was a panel discussion led by Bill Werde who is the Editorial Director of Billboard Magazine.  John Legend, ?uestlove of The Roots, and Spike Lee were in attendance.  American Express has sponsored a new concert series called Unstaged where concerts are live-streamed and directed by notable directors who bring their cinematic skills to the equation.

John Legend, ?uestlove, and Spike Lee

John Legend & The Roots participated in the most recent Unstaged performance (directed by Spike Lee) on September 23rd and they had an candid discussion about the direction of the music industry, their new Album Wake Up!, and why Unstaged offers a unique perspective to experience a concert.  For those that don’t know, Wake Up! features eleven evocative songs (pulled from the soulful music of the 60’s and 70’s) touching on subjects like political empowerment and civil rights.  John Legend mentioned how refreshing it was to make an album that was all about the music and said that it was refreshing to not have to ask the question “am I singing too soulfully for mainstream radio?”  When asked about popular radio music today ?uestlove added that “if you try to enlighten (the public), you are basically just turning them off.”

Advertising Week Opening Gala   (9/27)

The world of advertising is no stranger to the open bar.  As expected, the Opening Gala was nothing short of spectacular.  The party was held at the Minskoff Theatre which has amazing views overlooking Times Square.  Further, there were plenty of interesting specialty drinks like the Red Devil with a glowing ice cube.

Overlooking Times Square

AOL - Red Devil

Billboard Amp’d Up!   (9/27)

Following the Opening Gala, the Ad crowd loosened their ties and let down their hair for an amazing night of music, and of course more open bar.  The Harlem Gospel Choir got the night started by getting the crowd to stomp their feet and feel the love.  Bruno Mars was the next to perform and he gave an inspiring performance of his hits like “Just the Way You Are,” “Billionaire,” and “Somewhere in Brooklyn.”

Bruno Mars

The headlining act was (of course) John Legend & The Roots.  One highlight of their performance was an epic guitar solo by Kirk Douglas of The Roots.  Susan Sarandon was in attendance and it was rumored that Jay Z and Spike Lee were there as well.

John Legend

John Legend & The Roots

After the show, I caught up with Kirk Douglas to compliment him on his amazing performance.  We spoke briefly and I can honestly say that he is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.  One overzealous fan interrupted our conversation yelling out “my uterus has your name on it” and “I want to have your babies.”  If I had a nickel for every time someone yelled that out to me, I wouldn’t have any nickels.

Times Talks:  Oliver Stone interviewed by New York Times columnist David Carr (9/29)

Oliver Stone is a man who has an opinion.  That is exactly why this interview was such a treat.  He spoke about Wall Street 2, his view of George W, and touched on where the U.S. economy is heading.  One audience member asked if he felt any sense of responsibility for making greed “sexy” in the original Wall Street movie (1987) with statements like “Greed is good. Greed is right.  Green works.”  Oliver Stone responded by saying that he did not feel any sense of responsibility because Gordon Gekko goes to jail at the end of the movie.

Oliver Stone and David Carr

When discussing the de-regulation of the banks he remarked how Reagan repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, Clinton went along with it, and George Bush Jr. had no interest in actually running the country.  Never a dull moment with Olly.

AT&T Connects – Networking Event   (9/30)

AT&T and the Advertising Club hosted a nightly networking event all week long.  I attended the Thursday night party at the Aspen Social Club in midtown Manhattan.  The event was a fabulous opportunity for Ad Week attendees to share stories and get to know each other.  What better way to get to know your colleagues than with a beer in hand?  For the many thousands of attendees who flew in just for Advertising Week, this was a great way for them to make connections.  Who knows, maybe even a few love connections.

Aspen Social Club

Aspen Social Club


Fashion’s Night Out

Posted in Events on September 22, 2010 by Bright Lights

On September 10th, New York City celebrated Fashion’s Night Out (FNO).  Anna Wintour is the architect behind the event which has branched out to over 100 cities and 16 countries.  While this is only the second year of the event, retailers and customers alike considered it a huge success.

Kourtney Kardashian at QVC

I started my night at the Versace party, sponsored by Ciroc Vodka.  I spent the next couple of hours at the QVC party where the Kardashian Sister’s new like K-DASH made its debut.   Kim Kardashian and family (Kourtney Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Scott Disick) were in attendance to promote the line.  Also in attendance were Kelly Rutherford (Gossip Girl), Melania Trump,  and Isaac Mizrahi among others.

Isaac Mizrahi at QVC

Kelly Rutherford at QVC

I finished the night at Armani where Bar Rafaeli was made a guest appearance and took photos with the public.  I shared an elevator with Jay Manuel (America’s Next Top Model) to the third floor where the Armani was hosting a VIP.

Bar Rafaeli at Armani

Fashion’s Night Out is a great opportunity to step into some stores that you otherwise would not.  Most stores have FNO sales so this could be your opportunity to purchase high end goods at low(er) prices.  Lets not forget that FNO is a spectacular opportunity to shmooze with some beautiful people and enjoy a great evening of free drinks.

If you missed the event, be sure to stop by next year.

Bright Lights, Big City.