The annual White House Correspondents Assn. dinner has for some time been veering more toward a Hollywood vibe and less to a buttoned down D.C. spirit: Stars parade down a red carpet, reality personalities preen for attention and, although it is a press event, some A-listers actually try to avoid talking to the media. So it is a natural that the gifting suite would enter the picture.
GBK PR, which specializes in celebrity gift suites, particularly those in advance of many award shows, announced that it would host a “thank you lounge” for “distinguished celebrity delegates” attending the dinner. Its co-host will be the Creative Coalition, the advocacy org that is sending Sharon Stone, Tim Daly, Patricia Arquette, Tiffani Thiessen, Justin Long and Tracy Morgan, among others.
The dinner, on April 27, is just one part of a weekend of events, most of them hosted by various media outlets, as well as a pre-dinner garden brunch benefit hosted by Tammy Haddad, Hilary Rosen and other well-known D.C. insiders. Among the new events this year: Thomson Reuters and Yahoo! are hosting an April 28 brunch featuring dishes from Bravo’s Top Chef. In previous years car companies and liquor companies, among other firms, have co-sponsored events.
The weekend is not just a marketing opportunity but a lobbying one. On April 26, the day before the dinner, the MPAA and Microsoft are teaming to host a day long seminar on technology and creativity, with former president Bill Clinton the keynote speaker. Last year, Google, which often finds itself at odds with Hollywood studios, hosted a party with the Hollywood Reporter at the W Hotel, although the search giant declined to host an event this year.
The Thank You Lounge will be open on Friday and Saturday of the weekend. The exact location was not disclosed but available by RSVP.
The latest rundown of dinner guests, via Deadline Hollywood, is here.
This year’s entertainment at the dinner will be Conan O’Brien.