San Diego

Eaters' Delights in Dowtown San Diego

I recently spent a weekend in San Diego checking out some major hotel renovations (more on this in our Winter issue), visiting Balboa Park, and eating. Lots of eating. Coming from Los Angles, one of the things I appreciate most about San Diego’s culinary scene is the wide variety of restaurants packed into the compact Gaslamp Quarter and other parts of downtown. That closeness means if you have groups staying at one of the convention hotels they can easily walk to any of scores of restaurants.

Two New Hires for Fairmont Austin

Thomas J.W. Voss has just been appointed managing director of the 1,048-room-Fairmont Austin, opening the summer of next year. He will be responsible for overall operations, performance and strategic direction for the newest and largest Fairmont hotel in the U.S.

With more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Voss has held a number of positions, including executive roles with Starwood Hotels.

Whova Takes the Work Out of Networking

Developed by a San Diego tech team that spun off from UC San Diego, the Whova app is designed to boost networking and contact swapping at events and conferences of any size. It offers a platform that connects organizers, attendees and sponsors before, after and during an event. With Whova, eventgoers can plan who they want to meet before the event; a superior strategy to relying on randomly bumping into people. During the event, Whova provides real-time notifications on updates like room changes or reminders that cocktails are being served.

Living Centerpieces Grown in Oakland

Centerpieces don’t get any more sustainable than the Garden-in-a-Can from the Oakland-based company Back to the Roots. The cans or mason jars of flowering basil, dill, sage and cilantro were used as table decorations at a San Francisco entrepreneur summit sponsored by Inc. Magazine, at a forum of the nonprofit Social Venture Network held in a San Diego hotel ballroom and, not coincidentally, at the wedding of the brother of the company’s co-founder Nikhil Arora.

BloomBooth Brings an Adaptable Photo Option to Events

Nathan Flatt, a Sacramento mechanical engineer, and Justin Straub, a marketing and business strategy guru, quit their day jobs last year to concentrate full time on BloomBooth, an innovative collapsible photo booth that is picture perfect for event planners (Straub has since sold his share to Flatt). The mobile contraption can be wheeled into a venue on a utility cart and unfolds into a full-size booth equipped with camera, computer and printer.

Meet Brynne Frost, Destination Concepts inc.

Event producer Brynne Frost, founder and CEO of Destination Concepts inc., has built a roster of Fortune 500 clients by never saying ‘no.’

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