Social Media Week, Nightlife Disrupt Panel, and Tonight’s Launch Party

So while most of the free world is in a NYC Fashion Week frenzy, some other folks have stuck in another week. Social Media Week is upon us and apparently I am social media. I know this because my good ol’ friend Michael Gogel and his pal Vikas Sapra have asked me to be on a panel. The Nightlife Disrupt Panel is described as follows:

"The nightlife industry has only recently started to utilize social media tools. Many currently use it to broadcast events, parties, and causes; however, few are harnessing social media’s ability to engage their audience. These digital tools lift the veil from nightlife, increase transparency, and disrupt the role of exclusivity. Will exclusivity be replaced by experience? Will we become content producers – live-streaming our events and big-name DJ sets? How will we adapt to this new environment?"
Disrupt is right. They want me to show up at this thing at 11am. That’s way too early for nightlifers, especially during Fashion Week. I’m going to just stay up and hit up Starbucks, Stumptown, and down a Redbull or three. Redbull is livestreaming the panel so I think I’ll be able to score some. Other panelists include Steven Rojas  – GrandLife Hotels, Social Media Director, Mick Boogie –, DJ, and my boy Michael Gogel: Nightlife Week, PPX World & Permanent Guestlist, Founder. Vikas will moderate. I looked up this Social Media Week thing and found out it’s a big deal taking place in over 20 different cities. I read this:
  • "…Reflecting the global impact of social media – and its role as a catalyst in driving cultural, economic, political and social change in developed and emerging markets – Social Media Week is one of the world’s most unique global platforms, offering a series of interconnected activities and conversations around the world on emerging trends in social and mobile media across all major industries. In just under three years, Social Media Week has expanded to 21 cities, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Sao Paulo, Rio De Janeiro, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Istanbul, London, Paris, Rome, Milan, Glasgow, Berlin, Moscow, Beirut, and Hong Kong. Starting in 2012, SMW is adding Tokyo, Singapore, DC and Miami.
  • Annually, SMW attracts more than 60,000 attendees across thousands of individually organized events, with half a million connecting to the conference online and through mobile.
  • “Social Media Week does not disappoint. It is a real-world manifestation of some of the best that new technology has to offer – ideas, strategies and insights shared by the people who are shaping the future” Ellen McGirt, Senior Writer, Fast Company.
  • “Social Media Week is a truly global phenomenon—showcasing borderless brands and communications, via the power of social media. We are proud to have been an integral partner—with PepsiCo employees contributing to discussions and idea exchanges on three continents and there, demonstrating the depth and breadth to which digital media is permeating our company.” Bonin Bough, Global Director of Social and Digital Media for PepsiCo.
I will be there on time for sure but might look a little more disheveled than usual. Michael Gogel tells me he’s about to launch another week-long conference/convention thingy. Let’s hope he doesnt overlap with these two thingy weeks! Please pick another week, Mike, and schedule panels for the late afternoon. I asked him all about it:
"I’ve been working for over a year now planning to launch Nightlife Week in the near future. This panel sets great precedence and a taste for what is to come, and I already know that I would love to have you back with me at that time. Nightlife Week‘s goal is to help build strong localized business to promote commerce and tourism through seven days and nights of on-site and off-site events, seminars, shows, awards, tastings, concerts, cocktail parties, brunches, product launches with a series of deals, discounts, and special offers. There are terrific financial implications for the city, small businesses, and all neighborhoods to promote themselves and grow revenue."
I will attend the official public launch event taking place at Pranna, 8-11pm tonight, sponsored by Radeberger, Medea Vodka, and Summerstage with music by Carsonicboom. Founded by Brian Kantor, a former BlackBook sales exec and pal, and produced by other former BlackBook alum and pals Kelly Bruce and Jessica Fafara of the newly formed New Regime Group. UPlanMe is a "social calendar" that takes your social media Likes and auto-populates your calendar with all the events you’d want to know about, based on your interests. Brian is a bon vivant and a treasure to talk to and I love that he’s launching this thingy.
This panel thing might be a big deal. DJ Rekha mentioned it to me as I stopped and chatted with her outside of Peels yesterday. For more info on the panel, here are two websights to check out: and
There are some other pertinent panels with industry panels also happening the same day which you can find on the websites. The event is tomorrow, Thursday, February 16 at the Dominion Theater, 428 Lafayette Street. Here’s the other stuff that’s going on in case you’ve heard enough from me.
10:00am – 10:45am
A Conversation with Nick Jonas, moderated by Jason King
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Nightlife Disrupt: Social Media’s Impact Moderated by Vikas Sapra, DJ and @NYNightlife – Anonymous (virtual panelist)
Michael Gogel: Nightlife Week, PPX World & Permanent Guestlist, Founder Steve Lewis – BlackBook Magazine, Nightlife Correspondant Steven Rojas – GrandLife Hotels, Social Media Director Mick Boogie –, DJ
SPIN presents: “Music criticism is dead, long live music criticism.”
Can 140-characters do justice to journalism?
Chris Weingarten – Editor, Spin Magazine
5:30pm – 6:30pm
Translation Presents Connectivity: Discovering The power of social communities in music Moderated by Marcus Collins, Director of Social Engagement at Translation LLC
Panelists include:
Constantine Roussos (dotMUSIC Initiative Leader) Angela Yee (Morning Show Co-Host for Eminem’s Hip-Hop Radio Station on Sirius) David Sonenberg (Owner – DAS Communications) TBA
7:00pm -8:00 pm
“I Know The DJ: How Social Media Has Fueled the Explosive Growth Of EDM in America”
Moderated by Zev Norotsky of Elektro Magazine
Eddie Dean (President Pacha New York)
Lee Anderson (AM Only)
Laurence Lui (Astralwerks)
Justin Kleinfeld (Rephlektro)
DJ Junior Sanchez
8:00pm – 10:00pm
MIXER AND COCKTAILS w/ DJ Performance by Junior Sanchez – presented by Elektro Magazine

UPlanMe Celebrates Launch During Social Media Week

For the past few days, BlackBook has been attending events for Social Media Week 2012. Yesterday’s panels included "The Future of Sharing," "How Street Style Blogs Affect Retail and Design," and keynote presentations from Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance, and Chris Kaskie, President of Pitchfork Media. It wasn’t until last night that we finally had a chance to wet our feet in some SMW nightlife. With a full roster of after-parties set to end this year’s event on a high, or at least drunk note, these next few days will entail boozing and schmoozing of the networking type.

Last night’s UPlanMe Launch took place at Pranna, an upscale lounge and restaurant in downtown Manhattan. We meant to hit up the Instagram NYC Community Party at Tribeca Grand Hotel, but by the time we got elsewhere, reports were flying in via Twitter that it had been filled over capacity and didn’t have WiFi. We stayed at Pranna and got ourselves a drink, chatting with UPlanMe Co-Founder and former BlackBook Senior Account Executive Brian Kantor.

"What UPlanMe strives to do," Kantor said, "is to take everything in our users busy lives that they’re interested in, all of the events and everything in their schedules that’s going on from their favorite bands to TV shows, restaurants, bars, all your favorite brands, and put it directly into your account here." Kantor and colleague Sean Barkulis started the website in 2011.

As the "Pandora for your social life," the UPlanMe website provides users with a personalized calendar based on their interests, suggesting events that UPlanMe’s "Busy Bee" selects individually.

Partnered with Medea Vodka, Radeberger, and Summerstage at last night’s event, UPlanMe has additional services for businesses seeking to directly communicate events to their consumers, and offers analytic and demographic information straight from the site.

"So when you need to find a new shirt for an event that you have tonight," Kantor said, "You can go to your UPlanMe calendar and see all your favorite brands, saying well these 5 brands are having in-store events today, I should go check them out, or I want to stay home with my significant other tonight and just watch TV, which of my favorite shows are on?’"

In the spirt of SMW, Kantor discussed with us the uniqueness of each online platform, acknowledging that there’s really no such thing as "typical" in the world of social media.

"Facebook is all about communicating with your friends, and Twitter is essentially the new global news organization. We focus on capturing our users while they’re in the act of planning their lives."

Industry Insiders: Carter Reum, Spirit Savvy

What do you do? My brother and I own an alcohol company called VeeV, the first Acai spirit. We launched it 14 months ago in Los Angeles and since then we’ve just been distributing it around the country. Before we launched, we decided that we would donate a dollar from every bottle back to a project called Sustainable Acai Project, so we partnered with a non-alcoholic acai drink company, and we donate a dollar directly back to the farmers to ensure kind of a sustainable and organized farming of acai and make sure it’s “wild harvested” to protect the rainforest.

Where do you go out? My favorite restaurants in this city are probably, hands down, the BLTs. I love all the BLT concepts — prime, steak, fish — and they’re all very different. The one consistent thing is that you’re going to get great food and a fun atmosphere there. It’s very high-end without being stuffy. My other favorite place in the city to go out at night is the Eldridge … if you can make it past the doorman, it’s a hell of an experience inside. There aren’t a whole lot of people in there, but it seems to be good people and fun people — anyone who’s in there seems to have a good time. My favorite place in LA is this place called Crown Bar … they’ve got good cocktails and a very fun and classic environment.

Are you and your brother big drinkers? Not any bigger than the next person. We definitely spent a lot of time in the nightlife stuff in New York, and just going to Columbia we were around it a lot. Now I own the copyright of social alcoholism. And now when you’re drinking by yourself in the morning, and your friend judges you, you can say, “Screw you I’m saving the Brazilian rainforest. What have you done today?”

What’s something that people might not know about you? I’m a certified sushi chef. I figured I might be broke after college if I didn’t end up getting banking job, and I eat sushi twice a day, so I figured my best shot was to learn how to make my own sushi if I ever went hungry. I took classes at the New York Culinary Institute, and I actually have the highest certification of a sushi chef outside of Japan that you can get.

Favorite cocktail? It’s a VeeV cocktail at a new restaurant called Pranna. It’s my favorite because the cocktail is as good as it looks. It’s called the Butterfly Whisperer, and is a beautiful green color and garnished with a floating rose petal. The cocktail has VeeV, Hendrick’s Gin, and kiwi. It’s amazing!!

What are you doing tonight? I’m going to have dinner at either Craft or BLT, then bounce around to a few of my favorite spots like starting for a cocktail at the Randolph then hitting the Eldridge, Goldbar, and Cain Luxe for some action.