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April 2013 ISSUE 103

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). 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.


Those considering travel to India will currently have a perception that the country is unsafe, especially for female travellers.

This follows, understandably, from recent press coverage of two very violent and horrific rapes in the country, one last year where a young woman died after being attacked on a bus in Delhi by a group of men, and one a few weeks ago when a Swiss tourist camping in a forest in the Datia district was raped by six men in front of her husband.

A few days after this a British backpacker staying in a hotel in Agra, the site of the Taj Mahal, jumped from the window of her second floor room to escape what was claimed to be an attempted rape, unproven at the time of writing, by the hotel manager.

The incidents have significantly reduced the number of travellers to India, especially women, but violent crime happens everywhere. Last year a student in Nottingham was dragged into a park, raped and badly injured as she was walking towards her home to meet her mother, who was driving to pick her up. The young woman had been thrown off the last bus because she was a few pence short of the £5 fare. The nice bus driver refused to let her off the small amount, or to wait while she went to the cash point to get it, and no nice passenger on the bus came forward to lend or give her the tiny amount of money, an incident that did little for the reputations of Nottingham people and even less for its bus drivers.

A few weeks after this two policemen in a patrol car in Nottingham refused to give a young woman, who was on her own and drunk, a lift back to her home and safety. She was murdered later that night.

So does any country have a truly caring society?


Currently targeting organisations in the events sector with very expensive and arguably useless entries in a very general internet business directory is the Hamburg-based publisher TVV.

This stands for Tele Verzeichnis Verlag GmbH, a scam operation that makes its money from gullible business types who don’t read small print carefully enough. The firm are currently supported by our own Royal Mail, which makes money from the mailings TVV send out, mailings worded to trap the unwary into thinking they are helping to update TVV's database "The UK Corporate Portal" to comply with European VAT legislation. Those daft enough to sign the form and fax it back (or send it post-paid and give our helpful Royal Mail another little earner) find out, when the invoices arrive by Royal Mail, and threatening letters if they don’t cough up, that they have committed their organisation to pay £797 every year for three years, or a total of £2,391. If they forget to cancel the order three months from the end of the three year term the nice people at TVV will bill them for another year at £797, or £3,188 in total, and TVV reserve the right to design the entry, charge for this not stated.

It is truly surprising that organisations still fall for this one but they obviously still do, and keep TVV, Royal Mail, and TVV's caring UK solicitors in funds, the last by chasing up those who don’t pay and all of them living off people's mistakes.

Don’t let them live off yours.


Organisers wanting to stage an organised pub crawl, or a boozy stag or hen party, might need to move fast if Brighton is the lucky location chosen.

Council chiefs there want to impose a ban on such events in order to help tackle the town's alcohol crisis, which is responsible, they say, for 100 hospitalisations of drunks every week, 100 deaths a year and a bill of £100 million for the taxpayer.


The Ibis Hotel at Luton Airport is considering "appropriate" compensation to a couple who had to abandon their 11-day holiday in Turkey after they were stuck in the hotel's lift for two hours.

As they were leaving at 4.00am to catch their flight the lift jammed between floors and the couple were repeatedly told by the hotel reception that a lift engineer was "on the way". As time wore on with no lift engineer materialising they became increasingly concerned about missing their early morning flight and eventually called the fire brigade, who got them out but not in time to catch the plane.

Another couple stuck in the same lift with them were able to catch their slightly later flight.


Those enjoying the freedom that a self-catering option can provide will want to know about these facilities at the four-star, 170-bedroom Canadian-owned Sandman Signature Hotel, Newcastle.

Here 70 of the bedrooms have fully fitted kitchens which include a large fridge, microwave, two-ring ceramic hob, toaster, kettle, dishwasher and washing machine. Also in the room are ironing boards and irons and a large safe for the secure storage of lap-tops. There is a range of self-catering room types - junior, twin, family and executive suites, corporate studios and accessible suites - to suit a range of budgets and needs.

The Sandman also offers, for those who haven't the time, a complimentary shopping service with items from Waitrose ordered by 9.00 am delivered by 6.00pm and billed at prices paid. Our own stay featured a short walk around the corner to Newcastle's excellent Chinatown and a tasty visit to one of the three rather good buffet choices. For fans of football, as well as food, Newcastle United Football Ground is opposite the hotel.



A workshop showcasing Alicante is being staged for UK event organisers and agents by the Alicante Tourism and Convention Bureau at the Melia White House Hotel, London, on Thursday April 25 from 6.00 pm.

To register email to Alicante@latinamarketing.com


The 192-bedroom Marriott Paris Champs-Elysees is the only five star hotel on the world-famous Parisian avenue, and a haven for well-heeled Americans staying in the city.

The 1914 building was originally the HQ of luxury luggage maker Vuitton and the ornate frontage of the original shop, featuring gold leafed wrought iron balconies has been retained, and some bedrooms have luxury luggage themed fittings. The conversion includes a glass-roofed atrium lobby and an inner terrace which transforms into a covered and heated garden for winter events.

On the bedroom side there are 105 Deluxe rooms of 30-37 square metres, 55 Executive rooms of 40-49 square metres, !3 rooms and junior suites overlooking the Champs-Elysees of 40-50 square metres and16 Parlor suites of 65-70 square metres. Those wanting something bigger can choose from two sixth and seventh floor suites overlooking the avenue, one of 75 square metres and one of 120 square metres and both with views of the Eiffel Tower, and the nearby Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. There is also a Presidential suite that faces into the atrium and offers a spacious 170 square metres.

For events there are six main meetings rooms comprising a ballroom for 300 theatre style, divisible into two for 220/60, and rooms for 35/20/20/8/8. There is also a terrace accommodating 150 for a reception and 100 for a banquet, a 70-cover restaurant and a 50 cover atrium bar.

Tel. +33 1 53 93 55 00 www.marriottchampselyees.com


From Alan Jenkins
Love your publication and keep sending it to me.

And I totally agree re. Mash Media !

Alan Jenkins



To the Houses of Parliament, for a very useful industry function showcasing York.

Things got off to a bad start when, on arrival, everyone had to queue outside for a long half-hour to go through the essential security checks, without any shelter. A helpful policeman tells OG "Everyone attending events here has to queue like this". Fair enough, but luckily on the day it wasn't raining, sleeting, hailing or snowing as some might well have given up. Our nice politicians should think about cutting their expenses to fund a cover over the queuing area, thus making their very special venue a bit more visitor-friendly, and warning those paying a lot of money to run events there that their guests should allow for a long wait in their timings.

After this it definitely got better with a nice afternoon tea and an interesting tour before a short walk to the Intercontinental Westminster Hotel for some helpful networking with 21 York venues, attractions and suppliers, and a very tasty Yorkshire themed dinner. And all this without the pleasure of the company of the usual handful of top industry freeloaders, flotsam that hosts VisitYork4meetings told OG they had been vigilant in excluding.


Old Grit is still trying to figure out what he has written that has upset editor of Conference News Paul Colston, and his boss at Mash Media, Julian Agostini so much. Regular readers will know that Colston, possibly the messenger for Agostini, told the organiser of the CHASE charities and association exhibition: "We don’t like anything Peter Cotterell writes, or the way he writes it", and demanded that the aforesaid cuddly, lovable and popular scribbler be removed from a media panel session at the show, one that "sector personality" (self-description) Colston had agreed to serve on. When this childish demand was refused sector personality Colston failed to show up for the session.

Looking back the only communication OG has had with Mash Media in the last year or so was last April when he spotted that the publishers had unwisely allowed some exhibitors to post unedited comments about an exhibition featured in Exhibition News, and one described the organisers as "despicable crooks". OG pointed out to Colston that this was potentially libellous, since it was very difficult for Mash Media as publishers of the accusation to prove and could leave them legally and expensively exposed. The usual test for libel is that the accusation is untrue (or cannot be proven) and that it "lowers the person in the estimation of right-thinking members of society" something that "despicable crooks" would tend to do. Colston was duly grateful that OG had taken the time and trouble to point it out and the accusation was removed by Mash Media. Could it be that Agostini doesn't like his editors helped in this way?

Meanwhile another publishing cock-up by Agostini's team, and blamed on a "technical error" happened last month around the recent Confex events industry exhibition when Mash sent out a promotional email which implied that it had come from Centaur Exhibitions, organisers of a new rival events show (The Meetings Show, July 9-11, Olympia) and that Centaur were endorsing Confex, neither of which was true. Accordingly Mash then sent round two amusingly grovelling emails to all the recipients of the original one apologising firstly to Centaur and then to Confex organisers UBM.

Oh dear............



o Old Gannett much enjoyed the Chinese dishes, from the new menu, given to him recently at the Clary's restaurant in the Aspers casino at Westfield Stratford City, and tried the house special, a varied set menu at £35 per person and ideal for a special treat.

First up were four different hors d'oeuvres comprising some tasty deep fried chicken, soft shell crab, some prawn ha gao dim sum and juicy and generously endowed prawn toasts. The seafood continued with a course of baked jumbo tiger prawn with a choice of garlic, ginger and spring onion or black bean sauces, and the last was an excellent choice. For mains you get four dishes - pan fried chicken in a sweet and tangy mango lemon sauce, some very tender and sweet-sauced mandarin fillet steak, spicy chicken with prawn bamboo rice and stir-fried mixed vegetables, all of which left very little room for the sicilian lemon cheesecake, OG's choice from the dessert menu. "It's a lot of food to eat" is an accurate observation and, given the quality, certainly not a complaint.

Another set menu here at £30 per head includes crispy duck and pancakes as a second course and five main course dishes of lamb fillet, scallop, chicken, beef and Chinese greens. Those on smaller budgets can choose from 15 Chinese starters from £3.95 to £7.20 and 25 mains from £8.50 to £15.95, including some big plates of noodle/rice dishes for £8/9, and Clary's also offer a 30-item European menu, making it worth a visit even if you don’t gamble.

Tel. 0208 536 5636 www.aspers.co.uk


o One of OG's little food weaknesses, jolly strange to some, are pickled walnuts. As fans will know these are picked and pickled before the shells have set and make a tasty and piquant accompaniment to salads and cold cuts of meat, as well as an excellent ingredient in casseroles, especially those made with a nice fatty piece of lamb, such as shoulder, where the piquancy performs the same balancing function as mint sauce.

The International Food Exhibition (IFE) at Excel was a good opportunity to taste new food products and at this year's event the family firm of Bennett Opie, founded in 1880, was exhibiting its range of pickled items, including their very moreish version of the above, and kindly gave OG some samples to take away and try, including pickled walnuts with rich ruby port. These were sweeter than the original recipe, but equally tasty, and could give pickle virgins a soft and smooth introduction to the perversion. Foodie tip from OG? When you've eaten the walnuts don’t throw the juice away - it makes great flavouring for casseroles, an alternative to mint sauce with lamb and a wonderful salad dressing. Enjoy.



o Foodies, like Old Gannet, who like to try regional dishes when in a region could try the Taste of North East selection offered at the Sunderland Marriott Hotel and served in the Promenade Restaurant, overlooking the seafront at Seaburn.

Generously given a small portion of a number of specialities to try OG can report that the starter of Pressed Pork Head Terrine delivered a seriously porky hit with some delightfully sinful fat and a crunchy piece of crackling to go with the sweet apple sauce and feel guilty about. Probably healthier was the delicately smoky flaked haddock with potato and onion in the Pan Fried North Shields Smoked Haddock Fishcake, suitably paired with a soft boiled hen’s egg and watercress salad.

In OG's view there isn't a better tasting fish in the sea than bream and the main course here just has the fish simply pan fried to let the flavour speak for itself, and served with buttered potatoes, curly kale and bacon broth. Also full of flavour, and proving that a little fat has a lot to do with it was the Confit of lamb, tender enough to cut with a fork, unusually complemented with a pear puree and served with minted peas, fondant potato and a thyme reduction.




Please complete this survey if you have attended, in 2013, an "educational" seminar at an exhibition, or session at a conference that turned out to be a sales pitch, and you feel that others should be warned.

Click here to take our survey: STOP THE SALES PITCHES



Those whose organisations attend exhibitions as exhibitors might be interested in another title, Exhibitor Update, being published from this month by the Society of Event Organisers (SEO).

This is free, is published every two months and available at www.seoevent.co.uk after Tuesday 16th April 2013

One click subscribe: Exhibitor Update


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 777 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 2013 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



Hamburg-based scammers TVV admit:"One of our most lucrative areas is the UK, with Germany, where people know us, as the least profitable" TVV's UK solicitors confirm this and reveal how much their involvement with debt-collecting for TVV has damaged the image of the UK legal profession.......... Eastbourne prospers, and shakes off its reputation as God's waiting room, as hundreds of parties of young people on organised pub crawls, stag and hen parties move after a ban by Brighton. A spokesperson comments:"I can’t stop because I'm late for the weekly Yard of Ale Challenge, but this is just the sort of thing we need to project Eastbourne as a dynamic, youth-friendly, happening town"......... Insurance companies rush to exclude "being stuck in hotel lift and missing flight" as a valid basis for a travel insurance claim.......... David Cameron explains; " There is no shelter for our valued guests queuing to visit the Houses of Parliament because we can’t afford to be accused of another cover-up".......... and much, much more..........



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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