Event Organisers Update

The newsletter for organisers of events.


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Event Organisers Update (EOU) is an independent information source published by the Society of Event Organisers (SEO). It incorporates Meetings File and is edited to higher standards than the inadequate ones laid down by the self-regulatory Press Complaints Commission (PCC)

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ISSUE 74 September/October 09

The Society of Event Organisers (SEO) which publishes this newsletter has moved to individual free membership, which can be taken up by organisers, venues, suppliers and agencies in the event sector.

All will receive all the SEO’s free newsletters, which can be unsubscribed at any time, as well as a 20% reduction on all qualifications, tutorials and conferences presented by the SEO. Supplier members, venues and agencies receive a 20% reduction on advertising rates.

To sign up for free membership go to www.seoevent.co.uk



The release of the Lockerbie bomber is causing some Scottish firms with a big American market to play down their Scottishness. Harris Tweed Hebrides has removed the word Scottish from its marketing campaign, and Walkers Shortbread has had some American customers threaten a boycott of its products over the issue.

Scotland has, until recently enjoyed a positive image at home and abroad, one that has helped its tourism industry and suppliers in its events sector secure valuable business. However that image has been tarnished by the bail-out of the Royal Bank of Scotland and the greed of Sir Fred Goodwin, the performance of Gordon Brown and the handling of the Lockerbie tragedy.


Every two days a hotel company goes bust, this usually due to banks refusing to lend on the decreased value of the properties. (Metro)

These are the findings of accountants Wilson Kennedy who point out that 53 hotel companies went bust in the three months to June. "The average UK hotel just isn't worth what it was in 2007" they say.


An employee of First Conferences breached their database rights and misappropriated their confidential information when setting up his own conference company in competition, the High Court has ruled. (Out-law.com)

Richard Braachi also attempted to pass off his new company as First Conferences by suggesting to speakers that his new conference was a follow up to theirs, and by transferring a domain name to his new enterprise. His breach of database rights was by copying contact and sales information belonging to First Conferences to his own email account between 2006 and 2008 and using this as the basis for his new business.


o A disinfectant spray that sanitises a room in 15 minutes is offered by Environmental Biotech, who say it is effective against swine flu and other Influenza A viruses as well as HIV, herpes, TB, bird flu and MRSA. Tel. 01621 892814

o An anti-bacterial pen is offered by the Right Ideas agency, who say it is effective against MRSA, C.difficile, listeria, salmonella, E.coli and others and has a British Standard specification. Tel. 020 8668 8991


Some Wetherspoon lodges offer low-cost meetings rooms as well as bedrooms.

Priced from £25 rental for a half-day hire and £40 for a full day these are located in Birmingham, Bridgend, Chesterfield, Glenrothes, Henley-on-Thames, Inverness, Kings Lynn, Monmouth, Tewkesbury and Wigan.


Leed's newest hotel is the City Inn, on Granary Wharf and five minutes walking from the railway station, which it overlooks.

It offers 333 light and fresh-styled bedrooms, including 20 Club rooms, 9 Junior suites, 6 suites and a penthouse. All rooms have power showers, very effective AC, comfortable beds and a pillow menu. Technophiles will love the Apple i-Mac computers which deliver the TV and radio, and the CD/DVD players backed with an extensive library. There is also free Wi-Fi, Skype and broadband available throughout the hotel. The meetings rooms offer 34 different combinations for 12-250 delegates, theatre-style.

Foodies will appreciate the City Cafe restaurant which serves, from what we sampled on a recent press visit, some tasty and innovative lunches and dinners, a standard carried through with memorable breakfasts. Drinks and food can also be enjoyed in the 13th floor Sky Lounge, with a large outside terrace and great views over the city, and beyond.



o For large events the 200-bedroom, five-star, seafront De Vere Grand Hotel has 8 meetings rooms for 80-800 The largest, the Empress Suite is divisible into four and has been purpose-built with advanced AV technology. All guests enjoy free Wi-Fi and broadband. www.devere.co.uk

o For smaller events where a relaxed nautical atmosphere could be a benefit the 71-bedroom Seattle hotel at the Brighton Marina has 3 meetings rooms for 50. DDR is £65 and 24-hour is £195. www.hotelseattlebrighton.com

o Back in the town centre and adjacent to the Royal Pavilion the Al Duomo Italian restaurant offers 2 meetings rooms for 35 and 45, some authentic and well-regarded Italian cuisine and a DDR of £24.50. www.alduomo.co.uk


Part of London's Trocadero in Piccadilly Circus is to be turned into a 500-room pod hotel, with 12 square metre en-suite bedrooms at a reported £70 a night.


FirstGroup, the Aberdeen-based company which bought the American Greyhound Lines budget bus company in 2007 has launched an hourly service from Victoria to Portsmouth and Bournemouth from £1 plus 50pence booking fee.

The chief executive of FirstGroup is Moir Lockhead.


This is the new name for the Event Show, which better reflects its exhibitors, and visitors, according to its organisers.

It takes place February 2-3 2010, in the Grand Hall, Olympia, London.



o The Society of Event Organisers (SEO) now has 370 members, gained since moving to free membership in October 2008. Members represent corporate, association and charity organisations, as well as event suppliers and venues. Most are based in the UK.

o Member offer

A discount of 20% is offered to SEO members booking events at The Enterprise Hotel, Earls Court, London, a three star property with 100 bedrooms and capacity for up to 100 delegates, space divisible into two. Current rates are £79.50 for the day delegate and £229.50 for the 24-hour.

The offer runs until the end of 2009 and is also made on food served in the hotel's 15/25 restaurant, which specialises in carefully prepared and competitively priced Asian dishes. There is also a European menu.

Contact Kripen Dhrona or Christopher De Saram 020 7373 4502, email info@enterprisehotel.co.uk, visit www.enterprisehotel.co.uk



Those visiting the Brit Oval for a spot of cricket and booze must be confused by the badly-written Ground Regulations for the venue, imposed by the ground authority, Kensington Oval Ltd.

Clause 19 states that metal cans are a prohibited item, and may not be taken into the ground.

Clause 4 states that on some match days four 500ml metal cans of beer/lager may be taken in.

Question is, were the good folk at Kensington Oval Ltd drunk when they drew up their regulations? Cricket fans should be told.


Lap-dancing is now a routine part of a corporate night out, according to women's rights group the Fawcett Society, with employers knowingly paying for staff to entertain clients in lap-dancing clubs. Apparently most clubs actively target the corporate market, with the banking sector and the legal profession being big users, and most clubs will issue receipts for the sexual services made out to something else, to fool HMRC.

It's not just bent MP's that fiddle their exes, then?


Are those who know about indigestion trying to tell us something?

Old Grit notes a recent survey in the Daily Telegraph which claimed that our favourite desserts, in descending order, were apple crumble and custard, strawberries and cream, profiteroles with chocolate sauce, chocolate fudge cake and ice cream and lemon meringue pie. Healthy fresh fruit salad did not figure.

The survey was funded by indigestion remedy Gaviscon Double Action.



The following is a transcript of a letter sent to Moir Lockhead, chief executive of FirstGroup

Moir Lockhead
Chief Executive
FirstGroup Plc
395 King Street
AB25 5RP

September 19 2009

Dear Mr Lockhead

I recently received a penalty fare from your company, First Capital Connect (FCC) which I have paid. I now believe that there was a strong element of deliberate deception from FCC in the process.

The FCC inspector imposing the penalty told me that I could appeal to an organisation calling itself the "Independent Penalty Fares Appeals Service" (IPFAS) which he said was independent of the train operating companies. This claim is also made on your penalty fares leaflet and on your website.

In fact, as I found out when I wasted time and money appealling IPFAS is the trading name of London and South Eastern Railway Ltd. According to Companies House records this was incorporated in August 2003 and the first and senior director appointed was Keith Lawrence Ludeman, in July 2005. As well as holding this position Ludeman is also the "CHIEF EXECUTIVE - RAIL COMPANIES" for your trade association and paid mouthpiece, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and has been since August 2003. .In addition he has also been, since December 2000, the managing director of train operating group Govia, which incorporates train operating companies Southern, London Midland, and Southeastern.

These connections undermine your claim that IPFAS is "independent of the train operating companies" and present it as a misleading lie.

I note that our government has already expressed serious misgivings about the unsavoury way penalty fare appeals are handled, an aspect that does you, your group, the train operating companies and their trade association, ATOC, no credit. In particular there is concern that the "independent" appeals service are also your debt-collectors. (see Select Committee on Transport, Fifth Report) I would also draw your attention to the fact that FCC's last managing director, Elaine Holt, lied to me about important court matters during an unmeritorious legal action against me, one you sensibly aborted. Given all this it is not unreasonable to conclude that your organisation, FirstGroup is overdue for an integrity makeover, something you have denied in the past.

Accordingly I am writing, in the first instance, to request that you refund the additional penalty of £19.60 I paid, something I believe any decent and ethically run company would want to do, and to do this within 21 days of the date of this letter.

Yours Sincerely

Peter Cotterell


Office of Fair Trading
Office of Rail Regulation
Lord Adonis, Department for Transport
Consumers Association (Which?)


The strapline DEFINITELY NOT SCOTTISH starts to appear in advertising campaigns......... Cricket fans visiting the Oval are allowed to bring in all the alcohol they want, as long as it isn't held in any kind of container whatever........ Bent MPs fiddling their expenses move to make lap-dancing non tax-deductible, except for MPs and HMRC......... Moir Lockhead, chief executive of FirstGroup explains why his firm, and his trade association cannot be trusted.......... and much, much more.............



The Society of Event Organisers (SEO) has moved to individual free membership, which can now be taken up by organisers, suppliers and agencies in the events sector.

Members will receive all the SEO’s free newsletters, which can be unsubscribed at any time, as well as a 20% reduction on all qualifications, tutorials and conferences presented by the SEO.

To sign up for free membership simply go to www.seoevent.co.uk

The list of events for 2009 includes:

o Tutorial – How to write a press release, October
o Tutorial – How to be much more creative, October
o Certificate in Conference Organisation November/December
o Conference – Delegate Agenda, October
o Regular members-only Networking Forums


The Enterprise Hotel is an excellent 3 Star hotel in the heart of Kensington, close to Earls Court tube station, with 100 well appointed rooms.

The Earls Suite can accommodate 100 people or can be split, for smaller functions.

The Function Rooms offer a bright contemporary space ideal for any type of event, from conferences to parties with,
Natural Light
Street Access
Climate Control
Convenient Transport Links
Licensed for Civil Weddings
Choice of Asian and European Menus.
Visit us, and experience out great hospitality for yourself. Please call us to organise a tour with lunch and take in the ambience of our great hotel.

15-25 Hogarth Road
Tel: 020 7373 4502
Tel Int: +44 20 7373 4502
Fax: 020 7373 5115 or 020 7373 2578
Fax Int: +44 20 7373 5115 or +44 20 7373 2578
Email: info@enterprisehotel.co.uk
Web: enterprisehotel.co.uk


Mocha is an award-winning creative team working with clients in the corporate, association, charity and government sectors. We use film, video, dvd and cd-Rom to create cost-effective solutions for internal and external communications, marketing, sales, public relations, promotions, tenders and bids, and from conception through filming, editing and production.

Recent projects have included filming large conferences and events, promotion of venues, video installations and corporate documentaries and films.
Contact us for an initial no obligation discussion.
Tel: 0151 706 0761 Fax: 0151 706 0762
e-mail: info@mocha.tv
Visit: www.mocha.tv


o International Event Organisers Update (IEOU) for those running events overseas. www.seoevent.co.uk

o Incentive Travel Update (ITU) for users of motivational travel. www.seoevent.co.uk

o Association News (AN) for all those who associate. www.associationnews.org.uk

o Charity Matters (CM) for those working in charities. www.ezinematters.com

o Marketing Matters (MM) for those working in marketing. www.ezinematters.com


A 150-word announcement costs from £72 in this section of Event Organisers Update (EOU) and reaches 30,000 organisers.

To download full details and a booking form visit www.seoevent.co.uk

Alternatively telephone 01767 316255 or fax 01767 316430.

Edited and distributed by:

Society of Event Organisers
29a Market Square, Biggleswade, Beds. SG18 8AQ
Tel: +44(0)1767 316255 Fax: +44(0)1767 316430

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