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)

EOU is FREE and circulated monthly to more than 30,000 selected organisers and others interested in keeping abreast of development in the event industry (includes conferences, incentive travel, training events, etc.)

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ISSUE 79 July/August 2010

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



Our Government's plans to make everybody work longer before retiring raise some interesting issues for event organisers.

Are we ready to cope with more of the silver market at our events in years to come? Will our events address issues of poorer eyesight, hearing and mobility? Will our technology impress or confuse? Does the F&B need a makeover?

Just asking..............


Anthony Lee, 49, who claimed he could broker the sale of the Ritz hotel, has been found guilty of fraud through misrepresentation and is to be sentenced on July 27.

Lee relieved an interested buyer of £1million by claiming he was on personal and professional terms with the Ritz owners, Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay and pretended to be affluent when he was in fact a bankrupt.

The four-week trial at Southwark Crown Court concluded a two-year investigation by North Yorkshire Police.


Pre-tax losses of £8.2million to November 2009 have been posted by boutique hotel group Hand Picked Hotels, which has 17 properties in the UK.

Chief executive Julia Hands told the Daily Telegraph that the 2009 financial meltdown had hit the luxury hotel market hard but that she was confident that this year would be better.


P&O, the greedy and unethical former owners of Earl's Court and Olympia who had to be legally restrained a few years back from exploiting exhibitors with monopolies, are complaining that the Port of Dover is, er, exploiting them with its monopoly.

P&O Ferries chief executive Helen Deeble reveals that their nemesis, the Dover Harbour Board wants to increase its tariffs by 33% and describes this as an abuse of monopoly powers, adding that "We are at the end of our tether"



The exhibition industry needs to clean up its act with regard to kickbacks paid by contractors to exhibition halls, costs that are then reflected in the high prices charged by contractors to exhibitors.

This is the view of retired contractor Richard Armitage of display system Octonorm who told Exhibition News trade magazine:- "When you see a bill to wire up a stand to the mains that is greater than an annual charge for electricity for a four bedroom house it's becoming a little silly."

According to the US-based Centre for Exhibition Industry Research the global exhibition industry declined by 12.5 % in the last year, the biggest drop ever, by a factor of four times.


The Hilton in Chongqing, China has been closed indefinitely by police who found a brothel operating in the basement. They have charged 22 people with offences and say that their investigations have uncovered a chain of people involved in prostitution, including hotel managers, security guards, luggage carriers and receptionists.

Meanwhile Starwood Hotels and Resorts are pressing ahead with their lawsuit against Hilton which alleges theft of confidential information by two former Starwood employees. Hilton have tried to have the lawsuit dismissed but a US district judge has recently ruled that Starwood had presented sufficient evidence for the case against Hilton to proceed. (Caterer and Hotelkeeper)


Sponsors are sought for the Zeppelin flying over London in 2010 and 2011.

A six-figure sum is suggested and this year is the 80th anniversary of the R101 disaster, a product of government bungling that killed 48 people when the seriously unsafe airship, bound for India, crashed in France.

email rory.laing@skylarksystem.co.uk Tel. 0203 195 7299


A recent refurbishment and modernisation at the 115-bedroom, four-star Crown Spa Hotel, Scarborough has created a conference suite for up to 260, divisible into three, and a new penthouse floor of 24 rooms.

These complement the existing facilities which include four conference suites for 15-60, and an extensive health club with pools, sauna, gyms, and a range of treatments.

Day delegate packages are from £25 and 24-hour packages from £90, both prices inclusive VAT.



A new 129-bedroom hotel offering a mixture of three and five star facilities is planned for Southend Airport, opening in 2012.

The airport currently only offers flights to Jersey but is expanding to offer a range of European destinations by 2012


The newly refurbished Dunstable Conference Centre features a 1,000-delegate theatre with removable seating and a new sound and lighting system. There is also a 250-seat facility nearby.

Special opening rates are being offered.



A new 252-bedroom hotel is to open in 2011 at the Excel conference and exhibition centre in Docklands.

Funded by Excel's parent company in Abu Dhabi the Aloft London Excel is being launched by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.


One stylish new restaurant priced for corporate entertaining is Cafe Luc, which opened in early June at the top of Marylebone High Street and can seat 90.

With starters for £6 to £12, mains for £11 to £30 and desserts around £6 it is never going to be a bargain, but all the food we had at a visit a few days after opening was of the quality expected for the price, and staff were attentive and helpful. The only sour note that spoilt an otherwise positive experience for us was another diner who chattered loudly on her mobile telephone.




A recent letter in the Daily Telegraph struck a chord with Old Grit, being a list of all the negatives of the Victorian roll-top baths popular in some "hip" hotels.

These included the unusually high sides posing high levels of risk in getting in and out, invariably coupled with a lack of grab-handles, the discomfort of actually lying in one and the fact that there is nowhere to put one's toiletries, glass of bubbly or pinot noir, or wee dram of single malt.

Someone should ban them, if only on health and safety grounds.


Those looking for ammunition to slam high prices in London and the South might want to note some deals available in the rather pleasant little town of Otley, Yorkshire, sadly infamous as the home of the Yorkshire Ripper.

A town-centre pub, the Bay Horse was recently serving hot beef or pork sarnies for £1, and the tea shop down by the river was selling large mugs of tea for 30p.

Are we ripped off down here or what?


"Don't trust the train operating companies" is still good advice, in Old Grit's experience.

o Buying a return ticket at Milton Keynes for Birmingham OG was charged the Virgin fare of £16, and not told about a £7 London Midland ticket for the same journey, until he asked.

o An altercation with a tattooed guard on the East Coast Mainline route over the fact he was unable to produce proper photo ID, in breach of his company's own regulations, resulted in the tattooed one calling in one of the train operating company's poodles from the British Transport Police farce to impartially get him off the hook

Ah well........

OLD GANNET'S MUNCHINGS (mostly fishy this time)

o To Halibut, an excellent fish restaurant in Buckingham to enjoy the soup of the day, Cullen Skink with herb toast and a luxury fish pie containing halibut, smoked haddock and salmon and served with a mix of leeks, sweet potato and samphire, all for £12.50 off the TDH lunch menu.(Three courses for £15) Other starter possibilities included Arbroath Smokie, two rock oysters and prawn and squid ceviche, with mains including seabream fillet, kedgeree and langoustine and crab ravioli. The dinner TDH has similarly fishy treats at two courses for £19.95 or three for £24.95. www.thehalibut.co.uk

o Good to note that The Magpie Cafe fish restaurant in Whitby, Yorkshire, which has been in the Good Food Guide for 30 years, is still keeping up its standards. On a recent visit on a hot day the cold sample platter of fish and shellfish (£12.50) was a good choice, as are the boiled new potatoes, firm, yellow and waxy. Large portions of fresh, high-quality food are the style here, and it's worth booking to avoid the inevitable queues. www.magpiecafe.co.uk

o England's best fish and chippie for 2010 is the Great British Eatery, located at Broadway Plaza, Birmingham, its claim based on its being placed third in the Fish Friers Quality Award for the UK, behind two in Scotland. Chips are cooked in beef dripping for taste and prices for fish and chips run from £3.50 to £6.00 with a choice of mashed or jacket potato, or bubble and squeak, and a range of side dishes..Oven-baked or grilled fish is also possible and you can eat in or take-away. www.greatbritisheatery.co.uk

o Also at Broadway Plaza is the Dragon BBQ, an eat-yourself-to-a-standstill unlimited 40-item Asian-fusion buffet with an additional option to sit at special BBQ tables for up to four and cook your own food from the 20 items offered on the recessed gas-fired hotplate in the centre. There is also a fondue option. Old Gannet was especially impressed with the Korean kimchi and Japanese kelp on the buffet, the octopus, squid and greenlip mussels on the barbecue, and the large range of desserts offered. www.flaming-dragon.co.uk

Note. Old Gannet visits all establishments anonymously and pays in full for all food and drink.


From Grahame Smith

I am alarmed at your Old Gits Diary.

In my business if I allowed the chaos and disruption to customers that the managers and directors of BA have, I would be sacked. It is the managers job to manage, they have totally failed to do this and all the blame rests solely on them. You have to ensure that staff are happy to provide the customers needs, a basic function of management.

So, you Old Git, rid your self of your biased views and your old political alliances, and tell the truth.

Grahame Smith

Editor's response

Oh dear. So Old Grit is wrong in his view that the striking BA cabin crew are a bunch of spoilt brats who should count themselves lucky to have a job when so many are currently losing theirs? For his part he is happy to continue to advocate being downright nasty to the BA cabin crew who deliberately screwed up people's lives to line their pockets but will be excluding those who defied their union and reported for work-he believes they are called "scabs"-and those sensible new staff BA have recruited who are happy to do the job for a few less valuable perks.


o The Society of Event Organisers now has 503 members, representing corporate, association and charity organisations as well as event suppliers and venues. Most are based in the UK.

o Member offer

A special 20% discount is offered for 2010 to SEO members booking events at The Enterprise Hotel, Earls Court, London. This is 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 is made subject to availability and also applies to food served in the hotel's 15/25 restaurant, which features carefully prepared, authentic and competitively priced Asian dishes as well as a European range.

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

o Member offer

An additional 10% discount is offered for 2010,making 30% in all, to SEO members booking the four-day Certificate in Conference Organisation (CCO) qualification course. This is hosted at 16, Park Crescent, London on August 24/25/26/27 and November 10/26 December 3/10.

Free SEO sign up at www.seoevent.co.uk


New estimates reveal that in ten years time more than 40% of delegates to conferences will be 60+ ................P&O apologises for unethically exploiting exhibitors with monopolies at Earl's Court and Olympia and offers full compensation, with interest................P&O's belated action is welcomed by exhibition industry sources. A spokesperson comments:- "This is the first step towards a much-overdue clean-up and a more transparent industry, but you can't quote me"...........Hilton deny any knowledge of prostitution at their hotels............Hip and trendy Victorian roll-top baths are removed from hip and trendy hotels as guest health and safety, and comfort, start to take priority over being hip and trendy..........The British Transport Police farce explain how the money they are paid by train operating companies persuades them to breach their code of conduct with regard to impartiality.......... and much, much more.............



Chateau des Vigiers is located near Bergerac in the Dordogne area of South West France and only 1 hour from Bordeaux. The Chateau is quite unique with wonderful architecture, a fabulous setting amongst 450 acres of gardens, vineyards and a spectacular 27 hole golf course. Our warm welcome, the luxurious comfort of our rooms, and the consistent high quality of our cuisine, make this the perfect environment for your Incentive trip. We have a total of 87 bedrooms and 7 meeting rooms. "The Relais", situated 200 metres from the Chateau, offers 40 bedrooms with its own Conference facilities, swimming pool, gymnasium, breakfast room and bar. This can be privatised for your exclusive use.

The area is perfect for sampling wonderful wines (not to mention our own wine estate) and tours and tastings can be organised. For something really different we can go hunting for truffles in the local truffle farms! With everything from rowing on the Dordogne River to private dinners at a traditional farmhouse, the area offers something very different and memorable.


RESERVATIONS : +33 (0) 553 61 5000
Email us at bienvenue@vigiers.com
Visit our website at www.vigiers.com


Delegate Select provides versatile EVENT REGISTRATION, DELEGATE NETWORKING, DAY PLANNING and COMMUNITY software as an affordable, fully-hosted, web-based service to organisers of conferences, exhibitions and networking events.

If you have not visited our website recently, please take a moment to do so. The services we can offer have expanded significantly. Take a look at the “Client Services” page, www.delegateselect.com/clientprojects.html to see the many different ways in which clients are using our software.

Contact Graham Simon if you would like to arrange a demo.

Tel: 020 8429 7340
Email: eou@delegateselect.com
Visit: www.delegateselect.com


The Society of Event Organisers (SEO) have announced dates for their qualification courses in event organisation in 2010, all hosted at 16, Park Crescent London.

o The 4-day Certificate in Conference Organisation (CCO) on August 24/25/26/27 and November 19 and 26, and December 3 and 10.

o The 8-day Diploma in Conference Organisation (DCO), for delegates who hold the CCO, on August 3/4/5/6/10/11/12/13.

o For those marketing a venue to the sector the Certificate in Conference Venue Marketing (CCVM) on August 17/18/19/20.

All course fees are subject to a 20% discount for SEO members. Free sign up and full details at www.seoevent.co.uk

Tel: 01767 316255
Fax: 01767 316255
Visit: www.seoevent.co.uk


New for the 2010 holiday season is our one bedroom apartment in a quiet residential area of Kato Paphos in Cyprus, approximately 15-20 minutes walk to the harbour and main bar and restaurant area.

The sandy beach of Coral Bay is a mere bus journey or drive away from the beautiful bustling and newly enhanced harbour. However, 5 minutes walk from the apartment is a small shop and very reasonably priced restaurant.

The apartment is on a small complex with its own swimming pool; our apartment’s veranda overlooks the pool. Also available is a private roof terrace which is accessible from the veranda by a spiral staircase, for sunbathing, reading a book or just relaxing.

The apartment is approx 15 minutes drive from the Paphos Airport and approx 1 hour from Larnaca Airport. This is a great base to hire a car and tour the wonderful countryside of Cyprus.

Prices start from: £200.00 per week depending on the time of year. For more details visit: www.apartment-paphos.com or email enquiries@apartment-cyprus.com


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 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


Newsletter, promotion, event invitation or just staying in touch?

We can provide a low-cost, effective solution, tailored to your needs.

Our bulk rates are as low as 0.3p per email, or £3 per thousand.

email: mark.ely@sg7.biz


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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