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 96 September 2012

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


One airport serving London could get a lot more customer-friendly with the news that airports operator BAA has lost a three year legal fight against a Competition Commission ruling that it had to sell off its Stansted airport.

BAA had tried to argue that Stansted and its other London airport at Heathrow served two different markets and that this did not therefore give them a monopoly position that was unhealthy for consumers. The Court of Appeal disagreed and last month it upheld the Commission's 2009 ruling.

BAA's chief executive, Colin Matthews now has to sell the airport in the market currently depressed by bankers greed, an aspect that will not please Spain's Ferrovial, which has a 39.4% share in BAA, nor the Qatari government investment fund that recently took a 20% stake for £900 million.

Some possible bidders for a piece of Stansted are Manchester Airports Group, South Korea's Incheon airport and Michael O' Blarney's Ryanair.


A coalition of feminist, labour and equality activists are calling for a global boycott of hotel chain Hyatt over claims that the group has replaced long-time employees with minimum waged temporary workers and imposed dangerously heavy workloads. (Ethical Consumer)

The boycott call follows staff speaking out publicly about what they see as mistreatment, and going on strike.



The results of a recent survey of food preferences amongst 2,000 adults by TV Channel Food Network will be of interest to event organisers catering for their delegates, although serious foodies might want to question some of the revelations.

o Meats dominated the top 10 of the 100 identified foods with bacon at number 1, chicken (confirming the serving of the much-criticised "conference chicken" as a good choice for most) at number 2, with steak at 4, beef at 5 and lamb at 6. These were followed by duck at 16, sausages at 21, the love-it-or-hate-it meat derivative Marmite at 35, black pudding at 36, pork at 37, chorizo at 39, turkey at 45, venison at 49, corned beef at 59, gravy at 80, pate at 86, spam at 92, goose at 93 and ham at 99. (Spam preferred to ham?)

o Favourite fish was salmon at 15, followed by prawns at 17, anchovies at 24, lobster at 28, scallops at 29, tuna at 38, haddock at 41, mussels at 53, mackerel at 56, sea bass at 57, sushi at 58, trout at 65, halibut at 68, kippers at 81, and sole at 91.

o With a yah-boo-sucks to haute cuisine baked beans headed the vegetable list at 9, beating asparagus at 16, artichokes at 18, aubergine at 31, mushrooms at 32, broccoli at 50, those much-maligned brussel sprouts at 71, butternut squash at 72, carrots at 73, (also at 94, this perhaps an error in the table) sweet potato at 76, cauliflower at 78, lentils at 82, onions at 85 and cabbage at 93.

o Healthy fruit is reassuringly popular with bananas at 8, and apples at 10. Thereafter it was strawberries at 17, apricots at 18, cherries at 26, blueberries at 33, mango at 42, raspberries at 43, grapes at 51, pineapple at 54, peach at 62, rhubarb at 64, blackcurrants at 66, oranges at 68, watermelon at 77, melon (other varieties?) at 84, pomegranate at 89 and cranberries at 96.

o Of the grains good old simple bread at 7 beat pasta at 13, cereal at 47, rice at 48, crumpets at 60, humous at 61, porridge at 63, noodles at 75, popcorn at 90 and couscous at 95.

o Salad selections put avocado at 12, tomatoes at 44, beetroot at 52, cucumber at 79 and, for dressing, mayonnaise at 83.

o Dairy items favoured were blue cheese at 20, eggs at 23, ice cream at 27, yoghurt at 46 and custard at 67.

o Nuts favoured were cashews at 25, almonds at 30, coconuts at 55 and peanuts at 87.

o Confirming the popularity of spicy-hot offerings the favoured spice was chilli at 22. Garlic followed at 34 with pesto at 88 and ginger at 97

o Those with a sweet tooth will understand that chocolate at number 3 is fairly predictable, and that their choice of a death-by-chocolate dessert will please most. Much further down the scale were sweets at 70, golden syrup at 74 and honey at 100.

Note. There was no entry for the number 40 position, perhaps another mistake. Some further food for thought was that mega-popular chips and crisps were not listed and nor was any variety of potatato. Also excluded were cod, plaice, peas and runner beans.


A tram or light-rail route along Oxford Street, originally considered too disruptive and expensive, is one option being considered from late 2018, when the new Crossrail system is in place.

This system will reduce the need, it is claimed, for buses travelling through Oxford Circus, said to be up to 280 an hour at peak times. The tram possibility is being looked at by the West End Commission, set up in the wake of the row over the parking charges that Westminster Council wanted to reach £4.80 an hour in the evenings and on Sunday afternoons. This would have added nearly £30 to the cost of a pre-theatre meal and theatre evening for drivers parking in the West End.

It is hoped that Oxford Street won’t suffer the same fate as Princes Street in Edinburgh where mistakes over the laying of the tram lines for the £700 million system have made a huge mess of the area and resulted in closure of Scotland's most famous shopping street to public transport for years, a disaster that is still on-going.


Described as "a classy bargain" by some of its overseas guests the family-run Irish-owned four-star Crown Moran Hotel in Cricklewood, North-West London offers 116 guestrooms that are considerably larger than most of London's four-star properties, and rates that include a full Irish buffet breakfast, also unusual for London hotels.

The hotel is a modern eight year old conversion of and addition to a traditional terracotta Victorian pub and the internal decor is cosy and complementary art-deco with dark wood clubbiness. Rooms have large comfortable beds, large wide-screen TVs, air-conditioning, tea/coffee facilities and good double-glazing to shut out the traffic noise from the busy main road outside.

There is one large function suite for up to 300 theatre-style, a suite for 120 and two boardrooms for 10. For after work leisure there is a 12-metre heated pool, a sauna and Jacuzzi, a large gym and a range of Spa treatments, as well as five bars and a restaurant. Day delegate rate is £58 and the 24-hour rate is £190, with both prices inclusive VAT, another unusual and welcome feature for those that can claim it back.

Tel +44 (0) 208 452 4175 www.crownmoranhotel.co.uk


One hotel offering a relaxing alternative for a small residential conference away from the hustle of York City is the Best Western Kilima Hotel, located around a 20-minute walk south-west from the centre.

Formerly a Victorian Rectory this offers 26 bedrooms, all en-suite and including some four-posters and suites, and a ground floor conference room for 14 delegates boardroom style, with natural light. On site is a leisure club with heated indoor pool, steam room and fitness centre, and the restaurant has a good reputation locally for its food, featuring local produce, along with the bar which serves locally-brewed ales.

Tel. 01904 625787 www.kilima.co.uk


Free warm chocolate chip cookies are given to guests on check in at the modern 13-storey Double Tree By Hilton Leeds City Centre hotel, formerly the City Inn, in the Granary Wharf area of Leeds.

Also offered are 333 guestrooms, inclusive 16 suites, all containing an Apple iMac TV with satellite channels and computer, tea and coffee facilities, lots of natural daylight from the floor to ceiling windows , air conditioning, laptop safe, hair dryers and free Wi-Fi. There are a total of 19 meetings rooms which can configure to 34 permutations to give spaces for 12 to 252 delegates theatre-style and there is a Skylounge rooftop bar for drinks with great views, and a fitness centre.

Tel +44 (0) 113 241 1000 www.doubletree.com


Those looking for a 500-capacty conference space in Leeds should view the grand Art Deco style Queens Ballroom at the four-star Queens Hotel, conveniently located adjacent to the railway station and overlooking City Square.

This is the largest of 17 meetings spaces, including the foyer for the Ballroom, a Palm Court for 200, eleven rooms for up to 100, three boardrooms for 6/8/14 and a further three possibilities for 80/80/150 using combinations of rooms.

The Queens offers 215 bedrooms, now all with free WiFi access, including Leed's only executive floor of 18 QClub bedrooms on the top floor of the hotel where there is a private executive lounge with complimentary food and drinks.

Tel. 0113 243 1323 www.qhotels.co.uk


Motorway service areas are probably not the first conference thought for organisers looking for venues for their events but two very accessible ones located definitely North of Watford are, in our experience, worth a good look.

o. On the M6 in Cumbria is Tebay South, which has just become the UK's first five-star facility, following an assessment by VisitEngland, which commended it for its cleanliness, customer service and quality food . The hotel, the three-star Westmorland located one minute away and with mountain views offers 50 bedrooms and six flexible meetings rooms for up to 120 delegates. On site there is an award-winning restaurant specialising in local produce and, for residential events the Lake District area offers lots of possibilities for pre and post event tourism and partner programmes.

Tel. 01539 624351 www.westmorland.com

o. Further south and on the A1 near Bedale and Northallerton is the Lodge at Leeming Bar which has always had a good reputation for serving generous Yorkshire portions of good local food. A simple ham-n-eggs lunch enjoyed recently included two enormous slices of thick-sliced ham, and a former favourite dessert of Yorkshire Pudding with ice-cream, which works but shouldn’t, will hopefully be reappearing soon. The Lodge offers 29 bedrooms and meetings facilities for up to 100 delegates, and again the North Yorkshire area offers those booking residential events a variety of pre and post conference tourism options and programmes for partners.

One charming, and for some of us nostalgic, option could be a scenic trip on the Wensleydale Railway, which runs 16 miles from Leeming Bar Railway Station west to Redmire via Bedale and Leyburn, and then a connecting vintage bus on to Castle Bolton, Aysgarth Falls, Hawes and Garside.

Tel. 01677 422122 www.leemingbar.com
Tel. 08454 50 54 74 www.wensleydalerailway.com


Those organisers running events around the Mediterranean are invited to apply for free places on a destination showcase of luxury hotels in the area, the Med Hotel Forum.

This takes place on Thursday 13th September at The Venue @ Shoreditch Village at 186 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 and comprises a morning session from 8.30am to 11.30am, and an evening session from 6.00pm to 10.00pm. Places are limited, with a limited number of London hotel rooms available the night before and the night of the event.

Applications by email to johngallery@greatpotential.co.uk or telephone 0845 838 6338


The new NFP Events exhibition takes place on Tuesday 25 September at the Business Design Centre , Islington, London, and focuses on events for the not for profits sector. Entry is free and there is a programme of free seminars.



o The Group Leisure and Travel Trade Show takes place September 19-20, NEC Birmingham. www.leisureshow.com

o The World Travel Market exhibition takes place November 5-8 at Excel, London. www.wtmlondon.com


Sad to see that those booking, and paying up front, to exhibit at events are still falling foul of the ease with which traders can keep their money and not deliver on their promises, and all perfectly legally.

Latest one to note in this regard is a Mr Danny James Brewster (26) from Sleaford in Lincs who promoted, through his company Future Entertainment Ltd what was heralded as Lincolnshire's largest music festival, The Future Festival. This was due to run in July but was cancelled in March with those who paid deposits for pitches still trying to get their money back. Brewster is unsympathetic, saying that he will not be standing behind the debts because the money was not paid to him but to his limited company, which he says has failed, and has in any case been sold, aspects that he says allow him to walk away from the debts "legally and lawfully"

Checks at Companies House made by Old Grit show that Future Entertainment Ltd (Co. No. 0737 7005) was set up by Brewster 2 years ago as 3LT ltd, changed this name to Echo Security Ltd a year later and to Future Entertainment Ltd a month after that. The company is still active, with Brewster as the sole director and is currently two months overdue in submitting its first set of accounts.

Brewster is of course right when he says that he has done nothing illegal. It is not against the law to fail and take the money of others down with you, and as yet Brewster has not, according to Companies House records, started up another business under a different name, to repeat the exercise, again a perfectly legal though ethically questionable activity. All creditors can do is consider a county court action against Brewster's company, which could be throwing good money after bad even if they get judgement, since they will then have to pay again to try to enforce it, in the event of non-payment.

It's a tough world out there.


o Shed a tear, gentle reader, for the poor old industry dinosaurs like Old Grit, being left behind in the technology race. According to the American Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and reported in Conference News our delegates of tomorrow will not want to learn from our nifty powerpoint presentations and certainly not from anything as Neolithic as lecture programmes.

Quite what will be floating the boats in the oceans of the future is unclear, although mobile phone apps are reportedly a strong contender. No doubt this will be quickly advancing to fulfil OG's utopian, or dystopian vision of the Brave New Meetings World where delegates are simply sent a nuclear-powered ten-zillion googabyte memory stick that is inserted into an orifice and switched on.



o Some very fine dining was enjoyed by OG in August as a guest at Dunsley Hall Hotel, near Whitby, Yorks.

Dinner started with some tasty canapes and an amuse-bouche of a powerful and fragrant wild mushroom soup with a soft-boiled quails egg. A mixed plate of lamb delicacies, including some pink-cooked fillet and very tasty sweetbreads, made a substantial starter, with a main of a plate of equally pink-cooked duck breast complemented with a parcel of juicy confit of leg and spring cabbage. The cheese board was a choice of seven from around fifteen perfectly kept pieces with such well-regarded varieties as the punchy Lincolnshire Poacher, the soft and very cheesy Munster, which always tastes better than it smells and some rightly-famed creamy Yorkshire Blue from the local Shepherds Purse Cheese Company, which also makes the equally famed Mrs Bell's Blue, for many a creamier and sweeter variety, and both wonderful with sweet biscuits.

Tel. 01947 893437 www.dunsleyhall.com

o Those for whom heaven is a slab of succulent beef steak are very well catered-for in the kitchen of the Best Western Crown Hotel at Boroughbridge, Yorks.

For OG the sirloin he was given on a recent August visit ticked all the most important boxes, having been cut thick, and with a sensible amount of the most tasty fat left on - and even more of this guilty pleasure wouldn't have spoilt the experience - and cotaining more fat marbling in the meat, a sure proof of age, and flavour. To finish it off the meat had been hung for 30 days and then perfectly cooked rare and served with the essential Colmans English mustard - and some chefs rub their steaks with mustard powder before grilling - and some equally obligatory anchovy essence in the form of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. Good to note then that the managerial staff here are foodies and told OG "We pay a bit more for our steaks to ensure the quality." It shows.

Tel. 01423 322328 www.crownboroughbridge.co.uk


o The SEO is launching three one-day courses in 2012, based in London. These are ORGANISING BETTER CONFERENCES, MARKETING YOUR VENUE FOR EVENTS and HOW TO WRITE A PRESS RELEASE. All will be priced at £195 and information on dates can be supplied by emailing to peter.cotterell@eou.org.uk All three courses can also be run at your premises, dates by arrangement.

o The Society of Event Organisers now has 710 members, representing corporate, association and charity organisations, as well as event venues and suppliers. Most are based in the UK.

o A new in-house training offer for any dates in 2012 is being made by the SEO on its Certificate in Conference Organisation (CCO) qualification. For SEO members only this can be delivered as one-to-one tuition at delegate's own premises for a fee of £725 plus second-class rail travel and budget accommodation for three nights, if needed. There is no VAT as the society has deregistered and additional delegates can attend for £75.

For venue members of the SEO the offer is also made on the Certificate in Conference Venue Marketing (CCVM) qualification.

Free sign-up to SEO and details of both qualifications is at www.seoevent.co.uk To discuss dates email to peter.cotterell@eou.org.uk or telephone 01767 312986 

o Member offer

A special 20% discount is offered for 2012 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


BAA's chief executive Colin Matthews tells the press "The fact is that we have lost Stansted because we greedily and stupidly exploited the monopoly. We behaved like bankers and we are sorry. All customers visiting our Heathrow operation in the next 12 months will get a free voucher for £50 to be spent in our shops, by way of recompense. To fund the vouchers I and my board of directors will be taking an 80% pay cut and working an extra 20 hours a week for the next twelve months We want to set a good example to the business community, not a bad one, and thereby feel proud rather than ashamed of our company".......... Pilots circling Stansted have to divert to avoid a large herd of flying pigs.......... Danny Brewster reveals what his company has spent his exhibitor's money on.......... Millions register for a new surgical operation to have a memory stick port fitted at the base of their skulls to allow information to be transmitted directly to their brains. Universities and training establishments close down in their thousands as consumers buy memory sticks containing degree courses that can be downloaded into a human brain in less than ten seconds, thus saving years of work and drinking. Newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations go into liquidation as advertisers flock to book slots on the sticks. Governments consider buying slots for political indoctrination.......... and much, much more..........



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


This is published in every issue of Event Organisers Update and the cost to suppliers, based on a headline, forty words of text and contact details, is £95 for one year (twelve issues) or £65 for 6 months (six issues) Costs are being kept low to encourage small suppliers to participate.

If, as an organiser you know of any good suppliers you feel other organisers should know about please forward this issue on to them, or refer them to the SEO website at www.seoevent.co.uk




Located in London and Birmingham, Computec AV cater for all your rental requirements. Equipment available includes LCD/Plasma screens, PA systems, Projection Equipment and Lighting. Also in-house we have our Set Creation company specialising in staging, bespoke set design and build. Tel 020 8807 2002, Fax 020 8807 3818, email: sales@computecgroup.com Web: www.computecgroup.com


Quality event catering services for private & corporate functions using the finest ingredients in delicious & creative menus that can be tailored for any occasion, taste & budget. We work with quality venues in & around Warwickshire, inc. Compton Verney. Telephone: 01926 311208 Enquire in-store at Aubrey Allen, 108 Warwick Street, Leamington Spa ,CV34 5DB Email: events@aubreyallen.co.uk Visit our website: www.aubreyallenevents.co.uk


The Society of Event Organisers, SEO, offers a four-day qualification course, the Certificate in Conference Organisation (CCO) running in Central London three times a year, and which can also be presented at your premesis - dates by arrangement. Contact Peter Cotterell Tel. 01767 312986, email peter.cotterell@eou.org.uk visit www.seoevent.co.uk


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 www.sg7.biz

Mocha offer a complete film and motion design service to corporate, association and charity event organisers, venues and others in the event sector. Mocha also offer a 10% discount to readers of this publication and visitors to www.seoevent.co.uk - just quote "SEO". Tel: 0151 706 0761 email: hq@mocha.tv Web: www.mocha.tv Vimeo:http://vimeo.com/user4995482/videos


Association News
For all those who associate. www.associationnews.org.uk

Charity Matters
For those working in charities. www.ezinematters.com

Marketing Matters
For those working in marketing. www.ezinematters.com


Hard-to-find small office units in town centre for 1-6 people. Priced from £125 per month plus rates and electricity. Any length of lease. Tel.01767 312986 or email to peter.cotterell@eou.org.uk


LCI offers conferencing with an ethical edge in Leeds City Centre. Five Rooms (Max 90 people) with Smartboards, loop systems, WIFI. Disabled access. LCI supports community/voluntary groups by offering significant discounts. Very close to railway & bus stations. Contact Moira or Wendy on 0113 245 4700 or email conferencing@leedschurchinstitute.org


Our pleasant boardroom is available for full or half day meetings. It seats 14 people, boardroom-style, or can be arranged to suit your needs. Catering and equipment is available on request. We are conveniently located just off City Road. Call Claire/Nora on 0207 324 0750; fax 0207 324 0760; email: enquiries@keyring.org; address: 27, Corsham Street, London, N1 6DR

The classical regency terrace at Park Crescent, near Regents Park includes number 16, which offers seven beautifully appointed meetings rooms, all with natural light and modern facilities, for up to 60 delegates, and a dedicated team to ensure event success. Tel. 020 7612 7070, Fax. 020 7612 7078, email.enquiries@16parkcrescent.co.uk visit www.16parkcrescent.co.uk .

A range of four meetings spaces for 4-120 delegates, plus a networking space for up to 120 , and all with natural light is offered at Hub Westminster, within the Grade ll listed building of New Zealand House, Haymarket,London. Tel. +44 20 71486 720 email events@hubwestminster.net visit www.hubwestminster.net/space or for online enquiry form www.bit.ly/hubwestminsterspacehire


The 100-bedroom,three-star Enterprise Hotel is located in Kensington, close to Earls Court tube and offers the Earls Suite for 100 delegates, which is divisible. Contact us for a tour, with an Asian or European lunch in our 15/25 Restaurant. Contact Kripen Dhrona 020 7373 4502, email info@enterprisehotel visit www.enterprisehotel.co.uk


The Society of Event Organisers, SEO, offers a four-day qualification course, the Certificate in Conference Venue Marketing (CCVM) running in Central London once a year, and which can also be presented at your premesis - dates by arrangement. Contact Peter Cotterell Tel. 01767 312986, email peter.cotterell@eou.org.uk visit www.seoevent.co.uk

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