November Events

November

Week 1

Mon, November 01
Blast
Email Marketing Conference

Face it: No one reads your company e-newsletter. The average user spends a mere 51 seconds skimming one -- and needs only 90 seconds to unsubscribe. To prevent inbox irritation, "include short stories or bits of advice that are easily digestible," recommends Chad White, research director at Responsys and a veteran of the Email Experience Council, this London conference's sponsor. Design is also crucial. Newsletters lose a fifth of subscribers to layout and usability issues. And, please, don't spam your readers. "It's not about more email," White explains. "It's about smarter email." That's an idea we subscribe to. -- Austin Carr

Tue, November 02
Vote
Election Day

After pulling down millions in boardrooms, a number of former CEOs are spending gobs to get into government: Carly Fiorina from HP spent $5.5 million on the California Senate primary, Meg Whitman from eBay is making a $119 million bid to be California governor, and Linda McMahon of WWE pledged $50 million to wrestle her way into the Senate for Connecticut. Some argue a financial leg up is nothing compared with political-outsider appeal. "When you have people in Washington for 28 years," Fiorina has said, "how can they possibly know what is going on?" -- Rachel Arndt

Tue, November 02
Buffer
Streaming Media West 2010

Long relegated to the fringe, Internet-enabled TV sets are finally ready for prime time: Nearly 28 million will ship this year, up 125% from 2009, and electronics research firm iSuppli Corp. estimates that by 2014, 54% of flat-panel TVs will be Internet-enabled. But now that couch potatoes can readily access a web series, "the question becomes, How do we make them care?" says Jim Lanzone, CEO of Internet programming guide Clicker.com, who will speak at this L.A. event. Lanzone suggests a Yelp-like recommendation system, where viewers searching for, say, comedy would see episodes of online hit Between Two Ferns pop up alongside Curb Your Enthusiasm. "So many web originals are just as good as what's on TV," he sniffs. "We just have to level the playing field." -- Dan Macsai

Wed, November 03
Sneek A Peek
Ad:tech

Hotel advertisers buying space on travel sites? How very quaint. These days, ad buyers aren't targeting websites; they're targeting specific web users. Popular sites employ dozens of bits of tracking technology to gather insanely detailed (albeit anonymous) consumer data, which are then bundled up and auctioned off on so-called digital exchanges. Fans at this New York techie-marketing symposium, packed with presentations such as "Get Closer With Your Customers" and "Improve Your Marketing With Data," argue that ads making use of such info are more relevant to consumers. Detractors say it's akin to electronic espionage. Us, we're just trying to figure out why we keep getting served ads for sweatpants and teeth whitening. -- Brigid Sweeney

Fri, November 05
Enhance
Megamind

Ever leave a 3-D flick feeling as if you missed that extra dimension? Phil "Captain 3-D" McNally (and, yes, that's his legal middle name) wants to save the day. As DreamWorks's stereoscopic supervisor, McNally is obsessed with perfecting the third dimension and is thus the real star of this crisp $150 million animation about dueling aliens, featuring Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, and Will Ferrell. Just don't let him hear you call 3-D an "extra" dimension. "3-D is normal!" McNally says. "3-D isn't going away until we stop seeing with two eyes -- it's 2-D that's missing a dimension." -- Austin Carr

Fri, November 05
Pass Go
75th Anniversary of Monopoly

Monopoly may not have a technical monopoly on the game industry, but it's certainly ubiquitous: Hasbro has sold 275 million of the board games since its 1935 debut, which have bankrolled more than 1 billion players. Emboldened by the success of web and mobile versions -- not to mention Monopoly slot machines, video games, and McDonald's promotions -- Hasbro hopes to broaden its appeal with a Monopoly Facebook game and Monopoly Revolution, a circular, cashless version of the board game (teens with credit cards! Run!). "Wherever consumers are," says global brand leader Jane Ritson-Parsons, "that's where we want to be." Spoken like a true red-hotel tycoon. -- Dan Macsai

Sun, November 07
Construct
National Quality Education Conference

LEED -- certified schools are less taxing on the earth and have been shown to be healthier for kids. But if going green still feels like a luxury for strapped school budgets, the U.S. Green Building Council would like to talk another sort of green: "Eco-friendly schools generally save $100,000 a year on operating expenses, enough to hire two new teachers and buy 5,000 textbooks," says Rachel Gutter, director of the council's Center for Green Schools. If that doesn't grab the attention of the administrators gathered at this Chicago event, maybe the Sidwell Friends Middle School, in Washington, D.C., would. It rated Platinum, thanks to bamboo doors, floors recycled from Baltimore Harbor pilings, and cladding from 100-year-old wine barrels. -- John Dorman

Sun, November 07
Fall Back
Daylight Savings Time Ends

Sure, we get an extra hour of sleep today, but is it time to stop rolling our clocks back and forth -- for good? The U.S. adopted daylight savings time in 1918 to save energy during World War I and it worked -- for a while. But a new study finds that tricking time actually adds to electric bills. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, studied 7 million Indiana homes that had recently converted to daylight savings, concluding that the switch added $8.6 million to household electricity bills. The main culprit? Air-conditioning, which people blast after coming home from work because of that extra sweaty, sunlit hour.
-- Brigid Sweeney

Week 2

Mon, November 08
Pony Up
Conan

We all know Conan O'Brien is awesome. He has the hair, the Twitter, the Masturbating Bear, the five-year deal with TBS for Conan -- and now the ad rates. Thirty-second spots for O'Brien's show are going for $30,000 to $40,000, says David Levy, president of Turner Entertainment ad sales. That sets a record for late-night cable programming and puts Conan on par with the networks' late-night fare, which ad buyers estimate at $30,000 to $45,000. Next step: winning the ratings war, take two. -- Rachel Arndt

Tue, November 09
Read
Decision Points

Tue, November 09
Keep Reading
A Fistful of Rice

The August IPO of Indian microfinance giant SKS attracted $354 million from investors -- and bitter criticism from Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, who told the Associated Press that the offering was "pushing microfinance in a loan-sharking direction." So it's not surprising that Vikram Akula's engaging account of founding SKS is a vigorous defense of what he calls "my unexpected quest to end poverty through profitability." Turning a not-for-profit making small loans to village women into a commercial venture was, he says, the only way to raise enough capital to make a difference in India, where 75% of the population live on less than $2 a day and "poverty is a part of the landscape, as natural and unchanging as the vast Deccan plains and the flow of the Ganges River." -- Denise B. Martin

Thu, November 11
Relieve
Veterans Day

Six of every 1,000 Americans are veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and nearly one in five of them have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. Soldiers battle social stigma and a shortage of good mental-health care, says Terri Tanielian, co-leader of the Rand Center for Military Health Policy Research. But the number of treatments is now on the rise, from intensive music-therapy programs to anesthetic nerve blocks that have been used to soothe pain and reduce heat flashes during menopause to, yep, even psychedelics. The FDA and DEA recently cleared a pair of South Carolina scientists to test treating soldiers with MDMA, aka Ecstasy, which may allow patients to mentally revisit their traumas without intense fear. -- Rachel Arndt

Thu, November 11
Tour
G-20 Summit

When heads of state fly into Seoul this week to talk finance, they'll no doubt also tour the nearby brand-spankin'-new Songdo International Business District. The $35 billion development is one of the world's priciest, and it's no wonder: Architectural powerhouse Kohn Pedersen Fox (of Las Vegas's Mandarin Oriental) designed this man-made island cum free-trade zone. Slated for full completion by 2015, Songdo not only focuses on the future -- sustainable design and ultramodern high-rises -- but also pays homage to global architectural glories of the past, touting look-alikes of Central Park, the Sydney Opera House, the Venetian canals, and the boulevards of Paris. So make yourselves at home, presidents and prime ministers. It's good for the Seoul. -- Lillian Cunningham

Sun, November 14
Marvel
Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark

When U2, Marvel Comics, and Julie Taymor team up, big things happen ... not always in a good way. Investors pull out, stars bail, dates are postponed, and Chinese Democracy comparisons abound. But after two troubled years, Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark should open on the Great White Way as the most expensive Broadway show ever, at an estimated $50 million. Taymor, the first woman to win a Tony for directing, for Disney's $4 billion cash cow The Lion King, has said Spidey will have to rival Simba's success to last. But for cast members, opening excitement seems to trump longevity fears. "Wow, man," Reeve Carney, who plays Spider-Man, tweeted during rehearsals. "It's finally happening!!" We can hardly believe it either. -- Suzy Evans

Week 3

Mon, November 15
Share
National Philanthropy Day

Mon, November 15
Bet
Global Gaming Conference

Both the gambling industry and the federal budget could soon catch a multibillion-dollar break when Congress considers a bill legalizing online gaming. The bill faces opposition, but a growing pot could tempt Congress to join the game. Insiders expect online gaming to grow 50% by 2015. That would mean $67 billion for the industry in just five years, earning the government a $30 billion vig over that time. Now, on the other hand, more than $5 billion in gaming revenues depart the U.S. for foreign shores annually. The organizers of this Las Vegas expo are betting on the transition, prepping brick-and-mortar-casino execs on everything from payment processing to online security to navigating legal waters should HR 2267 pass. -- Clay Dillow

Tue, November 16
Globalize
The Sourcing Summit

"Does your father make your shoes? Do you milk your own cows? No? Then you're outsourcing," says Martyn Hart, chairman of the U.K.'s National Outsourcing Association, which gathers in London for this annual conference, working, in part, to improve the reputation of outsourcing. "People think it means job loss, but it actually creates jobs because companies become more efficient, which generates more wealth." He's not kidding. According to McKinsey Global Institute, for every dollar of corporate spending Americans outsource to India alone, the U.S. economy gains $1.14. No word on whether McKinsey's research was outsourced. -- Stephanie Schomer

Sat, November 20
Play Hard
Notre Dame vs. Army

On this day, the longtime rivals will meet for the 50th time, and as part of the Fighting Irish's off-site home-game program, they'll become the first teams to toss the old pigskin at the new Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx. Single seats to the game are selling on eBay for $800 (!!!), but watching the Notre Dame marching band performance in Times Square that weekend is free -- for everyone but Notre Dame. "The band is 400 members strong, and we're bringing all of them," says Mike Seamon, assistant VP for university events. "That cost alone is nontrivial. But the band is part of the glue that bonds our community, and the benefits outweigh the costs." Let's hope they play like champions today.
-- Stephanie Schomer

Sat, November 20
Play Nice
E-Game Revolution

Before you write off the months you logged playing a dwarf in World of Warcraft, consider this: As the audience for video games has grown in 50 years -- from zero to hundreds of millions -- games have transformed how we learn, socialize, and relax. "Now you can play with people around the world, instead of just in your neighborhood," says Jon-Paul Dyson, director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, which hosts this Rochester, New York, exhibit. "Just as we don't talk about people being nonmovie watchers or movie watchers, we'll come to a point where everyone will be a gamer of some kind." Hear that, dwarfboy? You're not alone. -- Michael Silverberg

Week 5

Mon, November 29
Soar
Future of Air Transport Conference

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