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Setting the Stage for Akamai Edge 2014

If you create the stage setting and it's grand, everyone who enters will play their part.

That was the motto of Morris Lapidus, architect of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, which will play host to Akamai Edge 2014 in October.
As if a packed conference agenda featuring exciting keynotes, panels, tech sessions and host of networking events aren't enough, Edge will take place with one of the country's iconic hotels as a backdrop. While I guarantee there's more than enough on the schedule to keep attendees busy, it's certainly worth a few minutes to take in the historic surroundings as you make your way around the conference and hotel. To help, following are a few interesting facts to note during your time at the Fontainebleau and Edge:

FB Lobby.jpeg
The below mentioned bow ties, staircase and chandeliers feature prominently in the Fontainbleau lobby.

  • The Fontainebleau opened in 1954 as the largest hotel in Miami Beach with 554 guest rooms. The property now offers 1,054 rooms.
  • Lapidus was known for wearing bow ties, designs of which can be seen incorporated into the lobby floor and, more abstractly, in the design of the hotel's main pool as a tribute to the architect.
  • The Fontainebleau's original "staircase to nowhere" did in fact have a destination along with a rather specific purpose. The two-story, floating flight of stairs originally led to a coat check. Women were intended to take an elevator up to the coat check area before descending the staircase as part of a grand entrance.
  • The three elaborate lobby chandeliers were designed by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, known for his role as the artistic consultant behind the Beijing National Stadium, a.k.a. the Bird's Nest, which was built for the 2008 Olympics. Marking Weiwei's only permanent installation in the United States, each chandelier costs $1M and is 16 feet in diameter (something to bear in mind as you pass underneath).
  • The hotel's ultra-chic LIV nightclub is the former home of La Ronde supper club, which hosted performers like Frank Sinatra and other members of the Rat Pack.
  • The Fontainebleau claims numerous film credits, having served as a location for productions such as the James Bond movie, Goldfinger, Jerry Lewis' The Bellboy, Scarface, The Bodyguard, The Specialist, and who could ever forget Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach.
Edge promises to be a busy event, as we've created a very full itinerary designed to help you maximize your time in Miami and get the most out of your partnership with Akamai. By all means, though, do give yourself a moment to enjoy the unique surroundings that we hope will only add to your Edge experience.

Taking a cue from Morris Lapidus, we've worked hard to stage a phenomenal conference and the setting is no doubt grand. We're very much looking forward to the part that you'll play during Akamai Edge 2014.

Chris Nicholson is a senior public relations manager at Akamai.