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January 2014 ISSUE 112

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.


Would your delegates or guests take kindly to being told that they would have to eat, by law, only vegetarian food at their event, be it conference, seminar, party or corporate hospitality?

Compulsory vegetarian food one day a week for all was an ill-advised proposal advanced at the end of last year by the once-mighty German Green party, and in a country of enthusiastic carnivores one that lost them a huge amount of support, some say more even than their equally daft support for sex with children in the 1980s. Since then support has dwindled to less than 10% of the vote.

Interestingly the idea of encouraging, not forcing people to go veggie once a week is a good one since modern vegetarian food can be very tasty, and with nil cholesterol, a lot healthier than meat at every meal.

One for our Vegetarian Society to pick up and run with?


The building of a new 13-storey, 275-bed, four-star hotel in Aldgate High Street, East London is being opposed by church groups and English Heritage.

The hotel is a £35million scheme by Chinese developers Dorset Hospitality International, one of Asia’s largest hotel groups, who want to demolish the Matrix office block currently on the site. Campaigners are concerned that the demolition and building works could damage the nearby 1,000 year-old, historically-important St Botolph’s  church, the 18th century work of Mansion House architect George Dance the Elder, and that the development, as proposed, would be too high for the historic location.

Our government has indicated that Britain should make it easier for the rich Chinese business community to operate here, for commercial reasons.


Meanwhile taxpayers are paying £300,000 for more than 100 asylum seekers to enjoy a nine-week stay at the luxury £125-a-night Amblehurst hotel in Sale, Cheshire, while their claims are being heard.

The booking, made by private company SERCO for the Home Office, has angered Trafford council members , as well as local residents who are concerned that the funds are being mis-spent by our government in this way, rather than put to better use supporting the UK needy.


Those organisers looking to lose the well-documented hassles offered by air travel into and around Europe and to check out the train instead can now use the new website of the old Rail Europe, recently expanded into more than30 countries and re-branded as Voyages-sncf.com.

The company say their new site takes the complexity out of booking train tickets to and around the continent



Another three responses to our working from home survey were as follows.

o  Commutes by train at annual cost of £3,000, says employer needs to be city or town based, that 50% of work could be done from home but unsure if they would do it if offered.

o Commutes by bus at annual cost of £816, says employer doesn’t need to be city or town based, that 90% of work could be done from home but unsure if they would do it if offered.

o Commutes by car at annual cost of £3,000, says employer does not need to be city or town based, that 50% of work could be dome from home but would not do it if offered.

According to government figures 678,000 people worked mainly from home in 2001, this figure rising to more than 1,000,000 in 2012.

More confidential contributions from readers welcomed.

Click here to take our survey.


A one-day appointments-based destination workshop for pre-registered organisers is being held on Thursday January 30th at the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, London, located in Portman Square, just off Oxford Street

Suppliers manning tables there include a large contingent of thirteen cities, hotels and destination management companies from Germany as well as suppliers from Australia, France, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Korea, Switzerland, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, UAE, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Italy, Canary Islands, Netherlands, Antarctica and UK, more than forty in all.

The day runs from 9.00am to 5.30pm, with organisers given a choice of 24 appointment times, and includes a one-hour networking lunch for all at 1.00pm.

More information and registration at moulden-marketing.co.uk


Featuring more than 250 UK and European attractions offering options to group travel and other organisers this exhibition takes place on Saturday January 25th at Alexandra Palace, 10.30am to 4.00pm, entry free.

Free coach travel from 50 UK pick up points is also offered to pre-registered visitors, subject to availability, and there are a number of show-only offers.

excursions.org.uk  or tel. 023 8062 5516


Being invited to press events does give us scribblers opportunities to view and experience venues that we might otherwise not know about.

Such an invite was recently received from long-haul airline  Cathay Pacific, on the occasion of it upgrading its fleet to the newest in the world,  adding more frequency and new routes to carry around 1 million passengers a month. Appropriately the venue chosen was Mr Fogg’s in Bruton Lane, Mayfair, a stone’s throw from where the famous explorer and talker about it Phineas.J Fogg used to live.

Here journalists and other similar top VIPs can be entertained in a large, comfortable and traditionally high-ceilinged bar area, up to 150 at a time standing, and treated to canapés and drinks – and very enjoyable were the cocktails, especially the moreish one with vodka, vanilla and chilli, wisely served with some quenching water, for wimps like us.

Also enhancing the event was a Scissor Artist, one of only a handful in the country, producing quick silhouettes of some of the guests (ours was satisfyingly flattering) for them to take away.

Cathay Pacific PR  Daisy.Pratt@Mccann.com
Venue mr-foggs.com
Scissor Artist theshadowcutter.co.uk


Buttonlites are small, powerful and safe plastic LED lights, around the size of a 50 pence piece, with a built-in non-replaceable battery that lasts up to 48 hours. They are used to provide atmospheric and romantic party lighting, to safely light up the insides of paper lanterns, to hang on trees and to enhance floral displays, so useful things to have around for events since they can be switched on and off and reused again, up to 48 hours and assuming guests dont pocket them as a useful light to find keyholes, perhaps after a drink or three.

Buttonlites come in four effects - warm white, cool white, candle flicker and colour changing (red/green/blue) - and any quantity and mix of effects up to 99 can be supplied for £1.33-£1.66 per light plus £4.95 shipping cost for next day delivery. Cartons of 100 mixed cost from 95 pence -£1.20 per light and master cartons of 800 lights of one type from 80 pence to 95pence per light, with free shipping




February 11/12 2014 Exhibition. Event Production Show, Earl's Court 2

February 13 2014 Workshop. LiveTECH, The Crystal, Royal Victoria Dock, E16



Readers may remember a piece in the April issue of this much-loved newsletter about a Hamburg-based publisher, TVV, which sends out unsigned electronically generated letters to companies around the world worded to look like an official request for an organisation's VAT number, based on an obligation they say is to comply with "changes in the economic package"  (STILL SCAMMING)

It's all a scam designed, as we and trading standards officers have said, to trap the unwary who don’t read the small print into committing their organisation to spending up to £3,000 over four years on an arguably useless entry alongside those of doctors and dentists in a very general on-line directory.

The publishers of this newsletter received one and Old Grit, taking a press trip to Hamburg in November last year decided to pay the company a visit. TVV operate from a large serviced office complex in the Northern suburbs of the city and are fully geared up to receive irate customers, judging by the speed at which office doors leading off the small reception area were hastily closed when we asked to speak to the managing director, and the very short time it took for a very tall and broad gentleman, who had "Security" written all over him, to stride swiftly in and politely demonstrate his bone-crushing handshake. "That's not our managing director" OG was told, an aspect OG had rather gathered from the fact that she was called Ulrike Ertl, and she wasn't keen to meet customers in her offices.

Accordingly we passed a few minutes talking to a pleasant and suspicious female clerk, watched by bone-crusher, before taking our leave without establishing anything about this Hamburg firm we didn't already know, that is don’t be stupid enough to deal with them. And anyone planning a personal call might want to take in a couple of heavies of their own.

OG would be interested to know if any reader has any experience of TVV, and/or the UK law firm that doesn't mind getting its hands grubby chasing money for them, for publication 


OG was tickled to hear about a lunchtime seminar being staged by the Meetings Industry Association (MIA), this entitled Maximising Wine Sales in a Banqueting Environment and presented by Robert Manners of Berry Brothers and Rudd.

Naturally this information could be most valuable to organisers looking to minimise their wine consumption and costs in a banqueting environment and looking for some tricks of the trade to be wary of.

Given that the MIA has claimed to have event organisers among its hotel and venue members it will be interesting to see if they will be letting any of them attend to see how their expenditure on plonk is being cleverly maximised by venues..........



o  A recent press trip to Hamburg came with tasty opportunities to sample three of the four restaurants at the five-star Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten (see December issue for hotel review) Leisurely breakfasts are a treat at the Condi with an extensive continental buffet including smoked fish, cold meats, Bircher museli and the hotel's own jams, followed by a selection of dishes including, as well as eggs any way you like, one with spicy shrimp and a roast beef with remoulade sauce. The Doc Cheng's offers authentic Euro-Asian cuisine and features a signature Japanese dish of a mixed sushi and sashimi starter as well as the famous spicy Vietnamese Pho noodle soup served with belly pork, chicken or shrimp, Thai curries and  Szechuan marinated beef with king prawns and shii take mushrooms.

For lovers of mouth-watering flavour combinations the Jahreszeiten Grill has a large selection including foie gras terrine with greengage, lobster cream soup with aged cognac, beef carpaccio with lemon vinaigrette, truffle and rocket, and fried sweetbread with marinated crayfish tails, turnip and asparagus  Fish lovers can enjoy turbot, lobster, monkfish, scallops, Dover Sole and Ossietra Imperial caviar, and meat appetites can be satisfied from a range of beef, venison, lamb and pork cuts quickly cooked on an 800 degree celsius grill, as well as a two-course meal of crispy duck breast and leg, calf's liver with onions and mashed potatoes and the ultimate carnivore treat, steak tartar mixed to order at the table with fried potatoes.



o  Belgian cuisine in London is now on offer at the latest outpost of the 120 year-old Leon de Bruxelles chain, based at Cambridge Circus in WC2 and accommodating up to 300 covers.

It's mussels, of course, an 800-gram portion served in a metal cocotte with seven different sauces, unlimited twice-cooked fries with mayonnaise and tomato ketchup dips and a glass of matching beer for £12.50-£15.90, but there are nine starters including Belgian smoked eel,(£6.50) a seafood platter of mussels, calamari, king prawns and smoked haddock for two,(£12.75) and a charcuterie board of Belgian salami and meats (£8.95), with the extra £2.50 option, for those who prefer to be told when they are eating horse, of sliced smoked Filet d'Auren (horse) There are twelve other non-mussel mains from £10.50-£16.50 - our pan-fried lemon sole with basil mash and green beans at £12.75 was a good experience to follow some mussels with - and a range of fifteen sweet things, such as Belgian waffles, crepes and speciality coffees for £3.50-£6.50.

Those looking for a bargain can choose between a prix fixe menu of two courses for £15.50/three for £18.50, and an express lunch of two courses for £7.95 or three for £10.55. Even more savings on the above dishes can be made by those with a Tastecard discount card giving 2 for 1 deals Sunday to Thursday.



o  Some of London's best street food, in Old Gannet's view and for those who like authentic Brazilian cuisine, is available at Brazil By Kilo, based in the upstairs market on the west side of Charing Cross Road, at 55-57.

As well as the Brazilian take-away by weight options offered at bargain prices to hungry students there is a sit-down unlimited offering from a buffet of twenty dishes of meat, poultry, fried fish, rice, beans and salads for £9.49. Included in this on the day we visited was a very moreish fejoida, the national Saturday lunch dish of Brazil derived from an old slave recipe and containing wonderfully fatty pork rib and black beans. It was actually better than the stuff OG ate when in Brazil on account of the pork pieces being soaked by the chef over here to get rid of all the preservative salt favoured in hot countries and then cooked for several hours until the meat fell of the bones. Also authentic, but possibly not for everyone was a lovely mild and sweet casserole of solid chicken hearts, usually just served grilled, that was enough all by itself to get this lover of soul food looking forward to going back.

Tel 07808 859590


Future reviews of those restaurants and hotel restaurants accepting Tastecard will be flagged up.



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



The German Green party launches the country’s first vegetarian sausage range, described by critics as “The wurst thing they’ve ever done, Ho Ho Ho”………. The new Chinese hotel in Aldgate gets the go-ahead. A government spokesperson says “You can’t let an old church stand in the way of progress, and good friends of ours making money”………. SERCO comment “The booking commission we got for the asylum seeker’s luxury accommodation package had absolutely no influence on our decision to spend £300,000 on it”……….Ulrike Ertl of Hamburg scam publisher TVV reveals how much she makes from UK companies whose staff are impressed by official-looking documents, who don’t read small print properly and who don’t check exactly what it is they are signing an order for………. Royal Mail also reveal how much they are knowingly pocketing from the scam………. And so do TVV’s UK-based solicitors………. 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 Exhibitor Update for all those who exhibit. eou.org.uk

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

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

o Marketing Matters (MM) for those working in marketing. 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 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 409579 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 seoevent.co.uk


Specializing in cabaret shows and close up Magic for galas, charity events, weddings, & corporate events Le Magician Dean Metcalfe is a master manipulator perfector of his own spectacular close-up Magic, performances worldwide, see website for live showreels and more details visit www.lemagicianilluminaire.com


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 web: 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 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. associationnews.org.uk

Charity Matters
For those working in charities. ezinematters.com

Marketing Matters
For those working in marketing. 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 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 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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