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February 2014 ISSUE 113

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.


Police in Jamaica shot and killed 245 suspects last year as part of a zero-tolerance approach to gun crime, crime that saw more than 1,000 murdered in the same period.

Powerful gangs have taken over neglected inner-city areas there, according to the police, but there have been concerns over the high rate of extra-judicial killings carried out and accusations that the police have planted guns on the bodies of some of those they have shot, to justify their actions.

By January 13th this year Jamaican police had shot another 13 suspects.


Those organisers of hospitality buying touted tickets for sport or theatre events this year could find themselves seriously out of pocket and embarrassed as their valued clients are refused entry.

For this year's World Cup it has been estimated that up to £15 million worth of illegally re-sold tickets from hundreds of web-sites will be touted in Britain alone, with the holders being barred from entry because they are not the registered buyers. Money spent on hotels and transportation will also therefore be wasted.

And theatres are also planning to bar touted tickets from resale websites, on the grounds that they have been illegally resold, commonly at huge increases on the face value. Theatre tickets with a face value of £35 are being touted at £2,000. and two ballet fans arrived at a performance of Giselle last month to find that the £150 touted tickets they held had a face value of £5, and were for standing space only. 


A Slovakian event organiser working in Moorgate has been jailed for 12 months for her part as a "bride" in a 2011 fake wedding ceremony designed to get the Moroccan student "groom" an illegal extended stay in the UK after his visa had expired.

The scam came to light when the Moroccan wedding fixer, Mourad Nabil, 43, was arrested for housing benefit fraud in 2012 and a search of his house in Borehamwood turned up crib sheets containing persoal details of the couple for them to memorise in preparation for the ceremony.

Petra Tatalova,32, had worked in the UK for 10 years, was said to have paid for the wedding at Barnet register office and to have had no financial benefit from the scam. Jailing her for 12 months Judge Stephen Gillick said that it was clear Nabil had a "malign Svengali-like influence" over her. He told her "Why you became involved only you know. You have put all you have achieved in complete jeopardy".

Nabil was jailed for two years, and the "groom" Zakariah Azzouzi, 24, given 21 months and told he would be deported when he had served his sentence.


Any hotelier or developer out there looking to add another hotel to their portfolio might want to talk to the folk at Newark Showground, Notts.

Here there is a nine-acre site available two minutes from the A1 and five minutes from Newark's two rail stations and town centre, and the plan of the showground management is to work with a suitable partner to erect and run a 150-bedroom, three-star unit, with facilities for meetings, and benefitting from the numerous large exhibitions and conferences currently held there, as well as future events planned.

Contact Adrian M Johnston, Chief Executive, on 01636 705796 or email adrian@newarkshowground.com


Those organisers looking for some elegant splendour of yesteryear for their events will want to know about the newly-restored Landmark London hotel, originally opened in 1899 as The Great Central Hotel and one of the very few surviving railway hotel monuments to Victorian opulence.

Centrally situated in front of Marylebone station the five-star Landmark offers 300 guestrooms, all large by modern London standards and this figure including 50 suites in five different sizes, styles and prices, and a Presidential Suite. Bedrooms come as Superior, Deluxe, Executive, Corner Executive and Family. All rooms have big, comfortable beds with excellent reading lights above, Italian marble bathrooms, 42-inch digital TVs with 70+ channels, tea and coffee facilities (Nespresso machines in the suites), individually controlled AC, safes and refrigerated mini-bars. 

For events there are eleven rooms including two ballrooms, one for 568 divisible into two and one for 380, as well as rooms for 220 and 200, two for 70 and three for 36, (all capacities theatre-style with front projection) as well as a boardroom for 10 and an interview room for 6. Most have natural daylight, high ceilings and original design features, and all have the Wi-Fi that is available throughout the hotel.

Complementing all this are two bars, the picturesque Winter Garden restaurant set under an eight storey glass roofed atrium with soaring palms and a Spa and Health Club offering a 15 metre, chlorine free, indoor heated pool, saunarium, Jacuzzi, steam rooms, four treatment rooms with ESPA and VOYA treatments and a fully-equipped gym.

Viewing highly recommended. The Landmark London is a member of Great Hotels of the World Luxury Collection. Tel 020 7380 3658  Visit ghotw.com/landmark-london 


The four-star Deluxe Crowne Plaza in Central Nottingham offers 210 modern bedrooms with individually controlled air-conditioning, comfortable beds and work spaces with Wi-Fi, for which an extra charge is made. Prices are from £80 B&B. Included are 20 Club bedrooms on the top floor offering access to a club lounge serving a complimentary breakfast, hot drinks and snacks all day and canapes with unlimited beer and wine after 5.00pm. Those top business types selfishly taking bottles back to their rooms should note that they are being watched.

There are seventeen meetings spaces across three floors, with the ground floor Royal Suite accommodating up to 400 theatre-style, three other rooms for 100/70/50, three for 40, five for 30, three for 15 and one boardroom for 6 and one for 14, this last with leather chairs and a 50-inch plasma screen. Some rooms can be merged to provide larger spaces. For event delegates there are two dedicated conference cafes with unlimited refreshments, and a range of leisure options including an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, spa, gym and beauty salon.

Organisers committing to events of 100+ are invited to visit for a free food tasting to decide the menus.

Tel 0115 936 9900  crowneplaza.com/cpnottingham


Two more responses in. One respondent commutes by car, bus and bike at an annual cost of £800, the other by car for £1500. Both say that 50% of their work could be done from home, that they would relocate to home if offered the chance and that their employers did not need to be city or town based.

More confidential contributions from readers welcomed.

Click here to take our survey.


Feb 18/19  Yorkshire Hotel Show  York Racecourse 
01904 349477  yorkshirehotelshow.co.uk

Feb 24  Open day at IOD  116, Pall Mall, London 
020 7451 3216  116pallmall.com/open_day

Mar 10-16 International Magic Festival  South Tyneside 

Mar 12/13 Best of Britain and Ireland exhibition  NEC Birmingham 

Mar 12/13  International Confex exhibition  Olympia, London 
020 8971 8282  internationalconfex.com

April 8  Conference and Hospitaity Show  LUFC, Leeds 

May 14  Academic Venue Show  ILEC, London 



Seems our government are prepared to kiss the feet of anyone with money these days. Hard on the heels of kow-towing to rich Chinese business types from one of the World's most oppressive regimes comes a suck-up to another one, Mugabe-tainted Zimbabwe.

Apparently some of our Robert's chums, rich from the proceeds of corruption and human-rights abuses, are being wined and dined by our Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) who are happy to turn the Nelson's eye to such tiresome details and introduce them to British business types with similarly flexible ethics where the making of much moolah is concerned.

It is of course good to know how responsibly our FCO spends our money. And absolutely no base to the concern that Mugabe will just wait till our gullible Brits have deposited their dosh there before invoking his "indigenisation" laws and forcibly possessing all their assets..........


Old Grit does harbour a sneaking sympathy for one Virginia Giovanni, formerly employed at the budget 11-room Georgian House townhouse hotel in Glasgow, which sells rooms for £20-35 a night

Giovanni spotted a robust posting on a well-known and trustworthy review website that allows anyone to anonymously review hotels and restaurants they haven't actually experienced. This posting gave her employer's establishment a one-star rating and asked "Would I stay there again? Only if the horses from hell dragged me there" to which Giovanni responded with "Thanks for your money, sucker. Long may the idiot line continue"

Another brave and anonymous reviewer who branded the continental breakfast "Cheap, horrible and horrid" was advised "If you want a good breakfast, go to the Hilton and pay £100 a night. You pay little, you get little", advice that missed the possibility of not paying £100 per night, using the Georgian House for accommodation only, buying a good hot buffet breakfast in any one of dozens of places around, taking the continental offering home to feed to the birds and still being quids in.

Whatever, Giovanni's pithy postings, for which she posed as the hotel's manager, did not win the support of the owner, who dismissed her and apologised to all the guests.

OG can’t help feeling that, whilst the PR industry might not be falling over itself to snap Giovanni up, a glittering career in honest journalism quite possibly awaits her.


One is jolly amused to hear that top Hollywood director Michael Bay was so risibly hamstrung when his teleprompter malfunctioned during a presentation he was giving for Samsung televisions at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show.

Bay -  director of well-regarded four-star movies such as Bad Boys, The Rock and Transformers, good three-star offerings such as Armageddon and The Island and two-star turkeys such as Pearl Harbour, and sequels Bad Boys ll and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - was reportedly completely thrown by the crash of the technology and, after only two minutes on stage, apologised to his audience and walked off, perhaps muttering "Armageddon outa here" (old Spike Milligan joke)

It does seem to OG that Bay has defined the difference between speakers - who know their stuff and who would have made a joke about it and won the hearts of the audience by carrying on -  and  presenters, who have so little commitment to, or knowledge of what they are saying they need the teleprompter to remember it, and are therefore dead if it breaks down, a category that many politicians fall neatly into. And a good event organiser would not have wasted a good film director by having him do an autocue presentation about televisions that a junior from Sansung could have done, but by having him interviewed by a good moderator about something more interesting, like his favourite TV dramas, or actors, and why.

After the cock-up on the technology front Bay commented candidly "I guess live shows aren't my thing". They could be, Michael, they could be.



 o  To historic Cliveden in Berkshire and an enjoyable sampling of the Modern French fine dining menu of new chef André Garrett, who opened André Garrett at Cliveden in November last year. Garrett had been Head Chef at Galvin at Windows at the London Hilton on Park Lane for eight years, and has also cooked at the Landmark London and the Guy Savoy in Paris, after achieving the Roux Scholarship in 2002.

The roast game consomme "Guy Savoy" with Jerusalem artichoke cream, a mini cep brioche and game canapes was a flavourful choice from six for the first of our three courses, though the mackerel tartare with smoked eel, cod roe and English caviar would have won with this fish-lover if he hadn't chosen as a main course the Cornish seabass, filleted and cooked around the backbone with squid, clams, potato gnocchi and a parsley sauce. The other five choices included a Dover Sole, a fillet of beef with smoked bone marrow and a saddle of venison.  For dessert, again from a selection of six, the slow-cooked Cox's apple with raisin puree, rosemary caramel and walnut ice cream was a very moreish collection of flavours, complemented with a glass of a sweet champagne-style cider, which would have also been great with a pork dish.

A three-course meal here is £65, to include coffee and bon-bons, or there is a three-course Market Menu for £28, coffee and bon-bons £5 extra. The new restaurant is based on the ground floor of Cliveden and in the luxurious surroundings of the country house hotel which was once the home of Lord Astor. Those around in 1961 may recall that it was also at the swimming pool here that a former minister for war met a young showgirl and kicked off the John Profumo/Stephen Ward/Christine Keeler scandal, currently the subject of a new musical from Andrew Lloyd-Webber, so plenty of interest here.

Tel 01628 668561 clivedenhouse.co.uk


o  One Paris haunt of the rich, famous and infamous we enjoyed a lunch in recently was Brasserie Lipp, on the classy Boulevard Saint-Germain.

This is a place dripping with history and art-nouveaux, and our Thursday Plat du Jour cassoulet, served to our table bubbling and steaming in a few minutes was a great choice at euro 23.  This rich and slow-cooked Toulouse peasant speciality of meats and haricot blanc white beans (the ones in our baked beans) in a tomato, onion and garlic stew delivered large pieces of pork, duck confit, tender mutton and chunky Toulouse sausage, and came with a generous basket of bread for dipping, a carafe of cool and clean Paris tap-water and the inspiration to try cooking it at home soon. 

Also on the menu are nearly 30 starters from 7 to 25 euros - 110 if you just must have 30 grammes of oscietre caviar - around 20 mains from 21 to 41 euros and a selection of cheeses and desserts from 8 to 12 euros. House wine is from 18.50 euros a bottle.

Those who like to use their mobile phones in restaurants are, sadly of course, banned from the Brasserie Lipp, as are those wearing shorts, which will, for some, be two more good reasons to go. There is an attractive function room upstairs for 20/30

Tel 0033 (0) 1 45 48 53 91 


o  Given the deservedly bad image some hotel restaurants have it was a pleasure to sample and note the high quality of the Asian-fusion offerings of the Chino Latino restaurant at the Park Plaza Hotel in Central Nottingham.

We sampled more than twelve dishes here but for us the undisputed star was the salmon nigri sushi, a generous slice of raw, soft and fatty fish overhanging the warm and soft mouthful of sushi rice and dipped in our own mix of salty soy sauce and spicy hot wasabi horseradish, but the same perfect salmon in the sashimi mix of raw fillets ran it a close second.

A superb guilty pleasure on the hot selection was the meltingly tender pork belly with sweet hoi sin sauce, sweet apple kimchi and "pig popcorn", a kind of oriental scratching, but the Tenkasu mixed fish roll with salmon, tuna, halibut, avocado and some spice was also excellent, as was the steak, mushroom and pickled green mustard sui mai from the dim sum section, and a perfect miso soup.

Exotic and home-made fruit sorbets made a light and refreshing finish and we gave top marks to the memorably honey-fragrant lychee, with ginger, guava and mango as tasty runners-up. We missed trying the black cod with spicy miso and baby water cress, their signature dish according to the very knowledgeable staff.(next time)

According to the 2014 issue of the independent and trustworthy Harden's UK Restaurant Survey of more than 3,000 establishments there is "stunning food always" at the Nottingham Chino Latino. There are also Chino Latino restaurants at the Park Plaza Riverbank and Plaza on the River in London, and the Park Plaza Leeds.

Tel 0115 947 7444  chinolatino.eu


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



From Jane Callow
To Whom It May Concern,

I usually have a quick scan through this update and have a wry smile at the scams it exposes but I was most disappointed in this issue in the ‘Foodie News’ section to read an article recommending a restaurant that serves foie gras. The production of this food is cruel and, in my opinion, should be banned. Please don’t promote products or companies selling them that rely on animal cruelty to be produced.

Kind regards,



Editor's response
Hi Jane and thanks for your email.

I don't feel that mentioning that a restaurant serves foie gras is "promoting" it. I do agree that there is cruelty involved in its production in France, cruelty that is illegal in the UK, that puts an increasing number of people off eating it.

However there are now ethical alternative fatty goose and duck liver products, produced by exploiting the bird's natural tendency to gorge on whole grain just prior to what would be its normal migration time and double its liver size with stored fats, rather than having hormone-stuffed polenta forced down its throat to enlarge the liver by eight or nine times, which currently accounts for 97% of the foie gras produced.

If restaurants, hotels and retailers selling the cruel stuff had enough of their customers withdrawing their support until the ethical alternative was stocked and supplied things could change very quickly.

Over to you, and take a look also at the cruelty involved in frogs legs, halal meat, white veal, sharks fin soup, boiled lobster and crab and Barbary duck, all served in the UK.

Thanks again

Peter Cotterell
Event Organisers Update



Police in Jamaica advise that no tourists have been shot yet.......... corporate hospitality functions using resold tickets for shows are cancelled as theatres refuse to honour them.......... The Foreign and Commonwealth Office apologise to forcibly seized British companies that it encouraged to invest in Zimbabwe, for which the increasingly rich Mr Mugabe thanks them.......... Virginia Giovanni starts writing for Event Organisers Update.......... Michael Bay dumps the teleprompter and becomes one of America's top speakers.......... 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

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