Meetings and Incentives—the Real Stars of the 2016 Oscars?

By Stephanie Davis Smith, February 29, 2016

Watching the Oscars Sunday night, it occurred to me that the meetings industry played a big part in the film nominees (and winners!) this year. In “Spotlight,” “The Revenant,” “The Big Short” and “Steve Jobs,” conferences and events in the association, faith-based, corporate and incentive segments were the scene-stealers of 2016.


Catholic Charities Gala Spotlight Movie Oscars 2016

Marty Baron at Catholic Charities Gala in “Spotlight.”

Winning Best Original Screenplay and top honors as Best Picture, “Spotlight” took a moment to (ahem) spotlight a faith-based, black-tie fundraising gala in Boston—the Catholic Charities Gala. In the scene, then-Boston Globe Editor-in-Chief Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) arrives to the event’s registration desk and the staff can’t find his name on the list. (I’m sure the planner wasn’t happy to discover this gaffe.) While the volunteer feverishly flips through lists, Peter Conley (Paul Guilfoyle), who is a top-ranking associate of the Roman Catholic Church, tells the woman behind the desk it’s OK and escorts Baron into the event. Baron meets up with Globe editor Robby Robinson (Michael Keaton) at a high-top table dressed in a beautiful linen, and they enjoy a lovely F&B selection and scope out the high-profile guest list.

“The Revenant”
Lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio and director Alejandro G. Inarritu were big winners, taking home Best Actor and Best Director, respectively. But wasn’t the film about a gorgeous incentive travel program gone terribly wrong? Montana and South Dakota—the film’s backdrops—until now have served as idyllic settings for incentive travel. Maybe the movie’s incentive planner should have looked into Montana’s The Resort at Paws Up or Triple Creek Ranch?


“The Big Short” photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

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