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January 2013 ISSUE 100

Event Organisers Update

The newsletter for organisers of events.

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.)

If you have any views on how our newsletter could be more useful to you please e-mail us at info@eou.org.uk



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.


Two men who set fire to event venue Chilford Hall, Linton, Cambs, in July last year have been convicted of arson being reckless as to whether life was in danger. They will be sentenced on February 8th and have been told to expect a substantial custodial term. (See original story in EOU July 2012, TWO CHARGED WITH ARSON AT CAMBS CONFERENCE VENUE)

Thomas Richardson was a barman and porter at the venue for seven years until he was sacked in July 2009 on suspicion of stealing alcohol and drinking on the job. Prosecutors at Cambridge Crown Court claimed he was "obsessed" with the venue and that he set fire to it, causing an estimated £5 million in damage, and attendance of 60 fire-fighters, as revenge. The police were tipped off on the night of the fire by Richardson's then girlfriend that he and friend and neighbour, Mark Hall, were planning the attack.

Both men blamed each other for starting the fire, and both will be subject to psychological reports ahead of sentencing.


The winter vomiting bug (norovirus) infected more than 300 passengers out of 1843 on a 10-day P&O cruise to the Baltics in December.

Passengers affected were quarantined in their cabins and barred from going ashore in an effort to contain the virus.

Cruise ships and conferences are both ideal environments for the spread of the Noroviruses, being environments where large numbers of people congregate for periods of several days. They spread easily by contact, in contaminated food or water or via contaminated objects or surfaces. Symptoms include sudden nausea, projectile vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, aching limbs and a raised temperature, and begin from 12 to 48 hours after becoming infected. After one or two days most make a full recovery, although it can be fatal and the very young and elderly can need hospital treatment for severe dehydration.

There is no specific treatment, although sufferers should drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, rest and eat dry toast or crackers if hungry. They should also quarantine themselves until they have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours and for at least three days if involved in the preparation or serving of food.


London's Ritz Hotel faces the prospect of being the subject of action by anti tax avoidance group UK Uncut after a BBC report revealed that the hotel, joint owned by the Barclay brothers, had not paid any corporation tax for the last 17 years.

UK Uncut feel it is an outrage that large businesses and the very wealthy dodge millions in tax while vital services such as the NHS, benefits and rape crisis centres face the axe. However one Ritz visitor put a common, if increasingly morally questionable point of view, telling the press: "If what they are doing is not illegal, then they are not doing anything wrong".



2013 - The Start of the Sugar Revolution
You know the feeling you get every now and then when something comes along and you think “Why has nobody thought of that before?”

Well that feeling is here now with the introduction into the UK of a unique, new product that you see regularly abroad but not in this country until now.

Sugar Swizzle Sticks

What are they? 100% natural raw South African crystallised cane sugar on a stick, ideal for all types of hot drinks. Just watch the reaction of friends, work colleagues, conference delegates, hotel guests, partygoers, restaurant diners or wedding guests when they see something they will be talking about for weeks.

The Sugar Crystal Company of Cape Town now has a UK office and they can supply wholesale and retail packs to:-

*Hotels   *Restaurants   *Conference and event venues   *Tea rooms   *Retail chains   *Supermarkets   *Wedding planners   *Event organisers   *Party organisers

They are supplied in catering packs of 100 individually-wrapped amber or white sticks, retail packs of 10 amber, white or mixed and counter top boxes of individual sticks.

Tel: 01420 564190 email: info@sugarcrystalco.co.uk www.sugarcrystalco.co.uk


Organisers favouring high-class hotels in top UK resorts will be interested in the four-star St Georges Hotel, located on the Promenade at Llandudno, North Wales and the first luxury hotel to be built in the town, back in 1854.

Much improved and extended since then the hotel today offers 75 air-conditioned bedrooms, including some premier rooms and suites and many with balconies overlooking Llandudno's bay. For events there are five main rooms, the largest with high ceilings and fabulous Wedgewood plasterwork, accommodating up to 14/16/40/150/250 delegates theatre-style.

From now until May 1 St Georges is offering a winter leisure break tariff of £198 per person based on three nights bed and breakfast accommodation for one delegate in a basic twin or double room.(£66 per night) Upgrades of rooms are available from £10-70 and a two-course dinner in the hotel's rosetted restaurant for £25 a night.

Tel: 01492 877544 email: info@stgeorgeswales.co.uk Visit: www.stgeorgeswales.co.uk


Four free seminars for event organisers are being offered as part of the seminar programme at CHASE 2013, the exhibition for charities and associations, Business Design Centre, London, February 12th and 13th.

These focus on event profitability, fundraising, negotiation and press relations.




Event organisers are invited to apply for places on a buyer's trip to venues and attractions in York, Scarborough and Whitby, staged by Great Potential Marketing and Management. The programme, which includes an educational presentation, starts after lunch in York on Thursday February 21. It includes dinner and overnight accommodation in York on the 21st, and breakfast, lunch and overnight in Whitby on Friday the 22nd, departing after breakfast on Saturday 23rd.Transportation will be provided from and back to York Railway Station, and partners are welcome to attend.

Contact: John Gallery Tel: 0845 838 6338 M 07967 032623 email johngallery@greatpotential.co.uk Visit: www.greatpotential.co.uk


Given that our caring train operating companies have just introduced a round of inflation-busting fare increases for the tenth year running- and this with the excuse of upcoming "improvements" - it will be interesting to see how much longer screwed travellers are prepared to go on being victims.

Of course the most screwed of all are commuters who need the trains to get to work five days a week and have no alternative to being the highly lucrative captive market that keeps the train companies in funds. Next up are business travellers who pay grossly inflated sums to make last minute decisions to travel between our cities, and least screwed of all are the leisure travellers who can choose wether to travel or not, and by which means, and can book dates in advance.

For the growing number who would like to see the fortunes of the train operating companies dwindle to the healthy point where they are forced to start treating travellers like valued customers, rather than revenue fodder, there are some encouraging signs that at least a few business customers, though nowhere near enough yet, and mostly from the ranks of the self-employed, are spending their money more wisely.

The device of buying tickets in two or more stages along the journey route has been well documented, as has that of using a slower and cheaper route with a different train company, where these exist. Less well known is that it is sometimes cheaper to book to travel further, buying tickets for stations beyond the one needed. It is also not so well appreciated that advance purchase tickets, when not bought on the internet, are bought from agents who are on commission and who will always quote the worst customer deal first. Those who persevere and make it clear that a booking will only be made if the price is right for them have found that, lo and behold, there are some far cheaper fares available after all.

Of course it may well take some re-thinking by travellers before any real inroads can be made. Those travelling regularly to a city for business may be able to advance-purchase specific dates months ahead, at huge savings over the on the day fare, and then fit appointments around them, rather than the expensive other way around And companies employing the travellers could look at ways that savings made by employees on their travel costs could be shared with the employees making them, a departure from the on-expenses culture that could be highly liberating for both parties.

It would be, Old Grit believes, A VERY GOOD THING if 2013 was the year that business travel, at least by train, turned into a thrifty buyer's, rather than a greedy seller's market. Question is can we make it happen?

A happy and prosperous 2013 to all our readers


o Fish lovers, Old Gannet can vouch, will enjoy the treats on the 50-item menu at The Brasserie, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Liverpool.

For starters a very local dish is Southport potted shrimp, (£7.25) here served with toasted ciabatta and some tangy piccalilli. The shrimp are the tiny sweet brown shrimp, actually the grey crevettes gris which go brown when cooked and which have an intense flavour complemented with the butter, salt and pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg added in the potting process. Also memorably good were the scallops, sweet and just seared and served with a cauliflower and horseradish puree (£8.50).

Staying with the fish the sea-bass fillets here are served in unusually generous portions and with tasty crushed herb potato, tart red cabbage and dill sauce, (£17.95)and the equally substantial pan-fried salmon comes with egg noodles, wilted greens and a sweet and savoury soy, honey and sesame dressing. (£14.25)

Other fishy treats on the menu but not tried were chorizo and prawn linguini (£12.50), a prawn and pea risotto (£11.95) and a king prawn and chili stir fry (£15.95) A report on the meat courses on the upcoming new menu is planned for later this year.

Tel: 0151 234 8000 email: ged.janssen@cpliverpool.com Visit: www.cpliverpool.com


o More rather good fish was sampled recently at Ruthin Castle in North Wales where some very delicate, sweet and tasty brill, simply roasted, and served with poached saffron potatoes, asparagus spears, crospy parma ham and bearnaise sauce was enjoyed. As readers will know, brill is a flatfish, sometimes dubbed the poor man's turbot, to which it is related. It is growing in popularity, possibly due to its similarity in taste, if not texture, and its lower price than turbot, halibut or sole. (home cooks note)

Those for whom surroundings are an essential part of the enjoyment of a meal will probably enjoy Ruthin's atmospheric restaurant, Bertie's, named after Queen Victoria's eldest and wayward son, who was crowned Edward VII but due to his indulgent, hedonistic and gay - in the traditional sense of the word - lifestyle with his many affairs with professional beauties of the time was admiringly nicknamed "Edward the Caresser" Today diners can reflect on the fact that much of his networking was conducted at Ruthin Castle, possibly right where they are sitting, with such as actress Lillie Langtry and mother of Sir Winston Churchill, Jenny Jerome. And all this while drinking copious quantities of whisky, brandy, champagne and fine wines supplemented with up to five full meals a day to soak it all up.

Thirteenth century Ruthin Castle is also known for its medieval banquets, or Jester's Feasts, popular for corporate events for up to 120 and including medieval costume for guests (by advance arrangement) music, entertainment, a naughty jester and castle tours.

Tel: 01824 702664 email: banquets@ruthincastle.co.uk Visit: www.ruthincastle.co.uk


o Foodies can feel in safe hands in the Grill Room at the four-star Quay Hotel and Spa, Deganwy Quay, North Wales, where some distinctly five-star cuisine can be enjoyed, as Old Gannet did recently.

The amuse bouche set the standard - a piece of slow cooked pork that delivered a real piggy hit and was accompanied with some mild and sweet black pudding and sweet apple foam. Stand-out starters included a pot of local mussels, cooked till just opened and served in a creamy sauce with crusty brown bread to enjoy all of it (£8.95), and tasty crab croquettes with sweet-pickled cucumber, tartare hollandaise, tempura caper berry and baby herbs. (£9.95)

For the 28 day aged steaks from nearby Conwy the chef uses a Bertha, a charcoal-fuelled oven that cooks the meat very quickly at a very hot 450 degrees F (230 degrees C), which seals in the flavour. Recalling a bad experience in a London steakhouse where a perfectly good piece of meat was ruined with a fashionable but bitter black criss- cross charring Old Gannet ordered a rib-eye from the choice of eight with some misgivings but he needn't have worried. The meat had seared rather than charred and was soft, succulent and full of flavour and came with some solid and meaty flat mushrooms that were almost as good to eat as the steak. (£26.95)

Dessert (£7.50) was a selection of award winning dairy ice-creams and sorbets, again from Conwy, and favourites were crunchy toffee apple, creamy tirama siu and, best of all a seriously tangy lime.

As well as the extensive 70-item main menu the Grill Room also offers a six-course tasting menu, with four of the courses complemented with a well-chosen wine, for £60. One example seen was smoked duck, monkfish, loin of Welsh lamb and apple crumble, with an amuse bouche, coffee and petit fours.

Tel: 01492 564100 email: reservations@quayhotel.com Visit www.quayhotel.co.uk

Note: Old Gannet ate as a guest at all of the above.


February 7th
Visit Essex for Business Venue Showcase at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Docklands, 3.00pm - 7.00pm. Contact Carol Jolly Tel: 01245 435152 Ext 53152 email carol.jolly@essex.gov.uk

February 8th-10th and March 29th-31st
Organiser's visits to Sunderland Football Club at the Stadium of Light. February trip includes match against Arsenal and March trip the match against Manchester United. Sorted PR ltd. Tel 0191 265 6111 email bernice@sortedpr.com


o The Society is now in a position to let out its offices at 29a Market Square, Biggleswade, Beds, SG18 8AQ for any tenancy period up to 80 years.

There is one large office on the first floor of around 350 square feet and suitable for 6-8, available from around £300 per month. On the second floor are two offices, suitable for 2/3 people in each, a storeroom area (which could accomodate 1/2 people) and a bathroom/toilet, totalling around 350 square feet, and available from around £250 per month for the whole space. (or could be split)

Please call Peter Cotterell on 01767 312986, or email peter.cotterell@eou.org.uk to arrange a viewing

o The Society of Event Organisers now has 735 members, representing corporate, association and charity organisations, as well as event venues and suppliers. Most are based in the UK.

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


Owners of the Ritz Hotel, the Barclay brothers, pledge to voluntarily pay £170 million to HMRC out of Ritz profits, to make up for paying no corporation tax for the last 17 years.......... On behalf of its members the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) apologises to the British public for ripping them off every year with fare increases. A spokesperson tells the press: "What our members have done is perfectly legal but definitely morally questionable in the current economic climate. All fares are now being cut by 50% for 2013 and we hope this will go some way to restoring our customer's trust in us".......... Large herds of pigs are spotted flying over the offices of ATOC.......... and much, much more..........


This issue of Event Organisers Update features the first ANNOUNCEMENTS boxes in the editorial section. Text only ANNOUNCEMENTS can be run once for new products, new venues, venue refurbishments, new packages, organiser's trips, and industry showcases, receptions, seminars, conferences and exhibitions likely to be of high interest to event organisers.

Sizes, when printed out on an A4 page, and prices of ANNOUNCEMENT boxes available are:

One fifth page, 45mm x 170mm £200
One quarter page, 60mm x 170mm £250
One third page, 85mm x 170mm £325
One half page, 120mm x 170mm £400

To book email peter.cotterell@eou.org.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


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


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 .


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.co.uk 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

Edited and distributed by:

Society of Event Organisers
29a Market Square, Biggleswade, Beds. SG18 8AQ
Tel: +44(0)1767 312986

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