Event Organisers Update September 2015 ISSUE 132 - an independent information source published by the Society of Event Organisers (SEO).

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Event Organisers Update

The newsletter for organisers of events.


The deaths of eleven members of the public at the Shoreham Air Show has finally persuaded our Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that it is probably not a good idea to have aeroplanes doing stunts over land areas where people might be. Accordingly acrobatics over land by vintage jet aircraft have now been banned in Britain, for the time being at least.

The PR department at the British Air Display Association (BADA), whose members make money from air shows, has been quick to attempt a positive spin on the tragedy, claiming inaccurately that the last time any members of the public were unlucky enough to be killed at a UK air show was nearly 63 years ago in 1952. This was the year that a de Havilland jet broke apart in the air at the Farnborough Air Show killing the pilot and observer on board, and the crashing parts, in particular one engine that broke in half, then killed 29 spectators on the ground. In fact six passengers and their pilot also died at the Biggin Hill Air Show in 1980, 35 years ago, when a Douglas Invader, attempting a rolling climb, crashed in a valley, very close to a housing estate. So much for PR.

Since the 1952 tragedy members of the British general public have been lucky enough to be somewhere else on the ground on the many times when planes from British air shows have dropped out of the skies and killed their pilots, including recent crashes at Shoreham in 2007, Bournemouth in 2011, Old Warden in 2012 and Old Buckenham and Oulton Park earlier this year. And in the fifty year period 1957-2007 there were more than twenty similar UK air show crashes that killed aircrew, including one in 1958 at RAF Syerston when all four aircrew died in their disintegrating Vulcan, with debris also killing two air traffic controllers and a fireman on the ground. In some of the crashes it is known that pilots deliberately steered away from areas where people might be gathered, though one in Duxford in 2003 came down very close to the busy M11, killing both aircrew but nobody else, luckily.

Britain hasn't been the venue for the world's worst crashes at air shows, in terms of number of fatalities. In 2002 a crashing Russian fighter killed 77, including 28 children, at Lviv in the Ukraine, after its pilots had safely ejected, to receive prison sentences for negligence. In 1988 in Ramstein, West Germany, 67 spectators and three pilots died after three aircraft from ten collided and crashed trying to execute a complex and dangerous manoeuvre to entertain the crowds. And in 1972 in Sacramento 22 people, including twelve children died when an aircraft crashed into an ice-cream parlour.

However it was in Britain that another air show crash persuaded our CAA to amend its rules on protecting members of the public, like the Shoreham tragedy has, and this was the one at Biggin Hill in 1980 as above. Following the deaths of the six non-aircrew on board the CAA barred the carrying of passengers on aircraft in air shows.

Wonderful thing, hindsight, but wouldn't some foresight at the CAA save more lives?



o Some pocket-friendly hotels in the USA are showering guests with freebies, according to the International New York Times.

Keep-fitters are catered for at the £100 a night B Ocean Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with free yoga and zumba classes, while the keep-fatters are kept happy at the four New York boutique hotels in the £130 a night Library collection with free breakfast, wine and cheese reception, afternoon tea, coffee, cookies, fruit and bottled water, along with a free pass to any New York Sports Club for those who want to work it all off. All also offer free Wi-fi.

And at the £110 a night Attwater Hotel in Newport, R.I. there's a free all-day service of breakfast scones as well as free iPads in the rooms.


o Meanwhile one freebie a female Travelodge guest at their Oxford Wheatley hotel didn't appreciate being showered with was the camera hidden behind a bathroom ceiling vent and pointing into her shower.

Harmony Hachey, 23, photographed the camera in the vent for proof and then alerted staff, who traced a USB cable from the camera to the caretaker's closet in the main hallway,. Although the device did not appear to be working the police were called to investigate. Hachey has since been told by Travelodge that the privacy of their customers is "a matter of the highest importance" to them and that the camera was there for "maintenance".

Found any maintenance cameras in your hotel bathrooms recently?


o The Holiday Inn in Hull is reviewing its policy after a 22-year old Romanian graduate was refused a hotel room she'd booked online, on suspicion of being a prostitute.

Alecsandra Puflea complained to the Humberside Police after she was reportedly told by the Holiday Inn receptionist "I'm sorry, but we don't accept Romanians" The hotel had begun screening female guests, claiming that some Romanian women had been using the rooms for illegal sexual purposes. Ms Puflea, a graduate in criminology told the media "I was very embarrassed. Not all Romanians are prostitutes, it is a very small percentage"


Organisers looking for a five-star golf venue in Portugal, perhaps away from the Algarve, will want to check out the Hotel Quinta da Marinha Resort. This is located in a rural setting just outside the very pretty coastal town of Cascais, 25 kilometres west of Lisbon, in an area that has been dubbed "Portugal's Beverly Hills".

The hotel has its own 18-hole, par 71 Robert Trent Jones course with driving range, pitching area, putting green, equipment hire and pro teacher for lessons and clinics. For those who like to play on more than one course there is another one adjacent, one in nearby Estoril a few kilometres away and four more within 20 kilometres. On-site for golfers are 40 one and two-bedroom villas with the option of self-catering.

Within the hotel are 188 modern air-conditioned rooms and ten suites, all offering baths/showers, balconies, with some overlooking the course, cable TV, mini-bars, safes and internet access, including some non-smoking and disability-adapted rooms. For events there are 16 areas and combinations for 16 to 450 delegates theatre-style, most with natural light and with the largest divisible into five. In addition most of the spaces can be used for cocktail receptions and buffets, along with the restaurants and a separate Hunting Lodge, Clubhouse and Atlantic Pool area. For leisure there is a health club with an indoor swimming pool, sauna, Turkish bath, tropical shower with aromatherapy, Swiss shower and treatment and massage rooms. Outside is another large pool and tennis courts.

Prices for single occupancy of a double/twin room start at 135 euros inclusive all taxes (£98.50 at conversion of 1.37) with the 24-hour rate at 265 euros (£193) and a day delegate rate of 65 euros (£47)

(For our review of the Rocca Gourmet Restaurant see Event Organisers Update issue 129 June)

Hotel Quinta da Marinha Resort is a member of Great Hotels of the World Luxury Collection. Double room rates from EUR 155. For more information or to book, please visit or call. Web: ghotw.com Tel: 020 7380 3658


Organisers wanting to get their delegates doing something physical, or cerebral, for purposes of serious team-building or just serious fun have a number of options we explored on our recent press trip to the Belgian capital, courtesy of visitbrussels.

o Action Team Training have a large number of activities that can fill a half or whole day and which present problems that can only be solved, or an obstacle course that can only be completed, if delegates work together. Some have to be explored in the dark, some with half of the team blindfolded but most will get the brain cells, and the adrenalin going. laurent@actionteamtraining.com


o Urban Gaming sets up trails across cities with quiz questions that have to be answered before teams can move on, and all recorded on a tablet that turns a city into a participative board game. Delegates can learn about the city as they play, and stops at suitable eating/drinking holes for refreshment can be built in for extra appeal (We paused for some deep thought at the well-known Delerium Tap House, with hundreds of brews on offer) xavier@urbangaming.be


o Laurent Gerbaud is an artisan Belgian chocolate manufacturer who runs chocolate-making courses for groups. Delegates don protective plastic and, after an instructive introduction to the art of the chocolatier, are given a chance to decorate their own favourites as the chocolate is cooling in the mould using selections of ingredients to give sweet, sour and savoury flavours (our personal favourite was very tart dried gooseberries) before chilling their creations to take home sales@laurentgerbaud.be


Claims that some restaurants and groups keep service charges that diners believe are shared among the waiting staff have sparked calls for changes in the practice of tipping.

Under fire in the media has been French chain Cote, who refute the claims, but the row has focused attention on tipping. On the one hand are those who say that the waiting staff are underpaid by their employers for what they do and rely on the generosity of restaurant customers to make up their wages with tax-free cash tips. Others say that the restaurants should pay their staff better and not rely on them being compensated for their employer's meanness by their customers.

Food guide publishers Hardens are campaigning to ditch tipping on the grounds that us Brits really hate tipping but put up with it, that it is not the practice across Europe and that some restaurants profitably exploit the confusion by filling in credit card slips with a service charge added but the total left blank to encourage diners to add more, as well as imposing "optional" service charges that are anything but.

Meanwhile some pragmatic diners have found that telling waiting staff "knock the service charge off the bill and I'll give you a cash tip instead" produces agreeable results.


Event organisers are invited to join a complimentary three-day, two night familiarisation trip to Leeds, the Leeds Big Sleepover 2015.

This takes place Thursday 8 to Saturday 10 October, organisers are welcome to bring colleagues, partners or clients and there will be opportunities for individual inspections of chosen venues as well as a programme of hosted meals and entertainment.

Applications to Web: leedsbigsleepover.co.uk


Those interested in the broadcast media, whether to praise them for broadcasting without fear or favour or to condemn them for manufacturing news and for bias toward the sensational, will find Medium Cool a thought-provoking film.

This is ultimately set against the backdrop of the protests, and subsequent Chicago police rioting and mindless brutality at the city's Democratic National Convention of August 1968, and features the attacks on journalists and camera operators by police who were keen not to be identified. As it turned out they needn't have worried since police violence had gone unpunished before in the Windy City, and it was to be no different this time, even if the whole world was watching.

Prior to all this however the film intelligently builds the case for and against the media as a news camera crew covers incidents around the city and raises the usual questions of how far they should go in depicting scenes of violence, how much behaviour is altered and spontaneity orchestrated when the cameras are turned on and pointed and how much is encouraged and manufactured by the journalists to get a dramatic story with pics.

Medium Cool was written and directed by cameraman Haskell Wexler, stars Robert Forster and Verna Bloom and was released in 1969 praised as " a penetrating look at America's continuing fascination with sensationalism and violence" and "American Cinema at its very best" It was released at the end of last month in a dual-format Blu-ray and DVD format by Eureka Entertainment as part of their award-winning Masters of Cinema series. Included is an audio commentary by Haskell Wexler and others, excerpts from documentaries, a demonstration by Haskell Wexler of the cameras he used to shoot his film and an infomative 28-page booklet on the facts behind the police brutality featured.

Diary Dates

o Thursday September 10. Open Day at Barbicn, London.
Email: events.rsvp@barbican.org.uk

o Wednesday September 18, 18.00 - 20.30. Open evening with South Bank Venues, London. London Marriott Hotel, County Hall.
Email: events@southbanklondon.com

o Wednesday September 23/Thursday September 24. Square Meal Venues and Events Live exhibition, Old Billingsgate, London EC3.
Web: venuesandevents.co.uk

o Thursday October 1 clic+2015 conference, Robinson College, Cambridge.
Web: robinson.cam.ac.uk/clic+2015

o Thursday October 8 to Saturday October 10, Leeds Big Sleepover Familiarisation Trip.
Web: leedsbigsleepover.co.uk

o Monday November 2/ Thursday November 5 World Travel Market exhibition, ExCel, London.
Web: wtmlondon.com


There is, of course, a place for humour in presentations, even business presentations (and some might say especially) but it needs to be selected carefully so as not to offend anyone in these modern times Comedians might be able to get away with political incorrectness, especially if a known part of their act, but those presenting to business audiences need to carefully consider if any of their material they think is funny is going to be deemed racist, sexist, ageist, body-facist, homophobic, xenophobic, blasphemous or simply gratuitously tasteless by some of their listeners.

It's the perception of the listener that counts, not the speaker, and one gentleman making a presentation to a business audience recently found this out the hard way when his comments had some of his listeners shaking their heads in disbelief, and a few walking out. His mistake? To use mimicry of the speech of racial types such as Oriental, Indian and African-American to illustrate some differences in business approach. These impressions were something he doubtless felt added some colour and harmless amusement, a view that was clearly not shared by some of those he was trying to impress, and perhaps sell to.

Funny thing, humour...


Those who hate theme parks can indulge their cynicism at Dismaland, Weston-Super-Mare, a satirical, subversive and seriously tasteless take on the saccharine genre by anonymous artist Banksy and friends.

Open until September 22 this features such sick delights as a Cinderella hanging dead out of a crashed stagecoach with paparrazi snapping away - a real treat for fans of the late Lady Diana, that one - and police boats that compassionate visitors can steer around a filthy pool and view models of unlucky migrants drowning. And these along with the Grim Reaper driving a dodgem car that's nothing to do with the recent nasty accident at Alton Towers of course, attendants paid to look miserable and hand out helium balloons sure to become valuable collector's pieces proclaiming artistically I AM AN IMBECILE and the best of all for some literati, a fire pit stoked with books by local top fiction/perjury spedialist Jeffrey Archer. And much, much more, all for a bargain £3.00.

All that's missing is Tinkerbell and Peter Pan sitting on Sir Jimmy Savill's lap looking happy - but hey, there's always next year...


o We enjoyed the samples of dishes we were recently given to try at the restaurant of the Five Arrows Hotel at Waddesdon, near Aylesbury.

The hotel is part of the Rothschild Estate, now in the care of the National Trust, and the restaurant has been awarded two AA rosettes for its impressive cooking. The dinner menu, with some weekly changes, offers five starters and we can vouch for the hot smoked breast of duck, tender and cooked pink and paired with a creamy chicken liver mousse (£7.50), the sweet bouillabaisse fish soup with roasted red peppers, also creamy and flavoured with saffron (£7.50) and the generous slab of meltingly tender hickory-smoked salmon with beetroot, orange, pickled cucumber, marinated fennel and horseradish foam (£7.95) Also very tasty were the warm, soft and crusty breads, including a memorably savoury one flavoured with caraway.

From the choice of seven mains the tender pan-fried cannon (back fillet) of lamb paired with some slow-cooked and juicy pulled lamb shoulder, tapenade, broad beans and fragrant rosemary jus (£19.50) was an impressive combination of flavours, as was the very soft and white pan-fried breast of guinea fowl with a braised leg, spring cabbage, bacon lardons, mashed potato and thyme jus (£17.95) the pan-fried fillet of chunky salmon-like sea trout with warm potato, spring onion and a pea shoot and creme fraiche salad (£17.50) and the salmon and hake fishcakes spiced up with balsamic glazed aubergine, courgette and red onion salsa and a tangy red pepper dressing (£14.95)

To accompany our mains we decided that, given the excellent name of Rothschild in matters of wine, a glass or two from the hotel's Rothschild collection of nearly forty possibilities should go down rather well. Deciding to save a sampling of their outstanding Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1986 at £2,000 a bottle for a future treat we plumped instead for a Rothschild wine at the other end of the price spectrum, their Chilean Mapu Sauvignon Blanc 2013 at £17.50 a bottle, or £4.25 for a 175ml glass, and found its ripe citrus bouquet and pink grapefruit palate delightfully agreeable for drinking on its own or with the food.

Given the choice of five desserts and a selection of cheeses (from £6.95 - £8.50) we went for the lighter option of the Five Arrows selection of ice-creams and sorbets (£6.95) and chose a tart and refreshing rhubarb sorbet and an aromatic Tonka bean vanilla ice cream. Apparently the Tonka beans, growing on trees that can live for 1,000 years in South America and Africa, contain complex aromatic coumarin which imparts flavours of vanilla, sour cherry, coconut, clove and liquorice to sweet and savoury dishes, and is also used in perfume manufacture and some tobaccos in the USA. Its use in food however is restricted in some countries because ingesting large quantities can cause haemorrhage, liver damage and heart paralysis. In some occult ceremonies the beans are believed to be capable of granting wishes, so now you know.

Web: waddesdon.org.uk


o So now it's official - natural saturated fats found in meat and dairy products, consumed in moderation of course, carry no increased risk of heart disease, diabetes or stroke. This U-turn on dietary advice has been prompted by a survey carried out in Canada which emphasised that it is the trans fats used to make margarines, biscuits, cakes, crisps and other popular snack foods that are the real killers, carrying a 34% increase in risk of death, according to the report published in the British Medical Journal.

So those who like a juicy shoulder of lamb, ribeye steak, duck, cheese, pork scratchings or a bit of butter on their bread or potatoes can go on enjoying the tastes while ditching the crisps, biscuits and margarines.

The U-turn by the medical profession has strong echoes of the one they executed a few years back when they took eggs off the danger list for those watching their cholesterol. The diet charts doled out by doctors with stern warnings about eating eggs had been helpfully produced for them by a margarine manufacturer's PR department.


o Good quality food in a different style was also enjoyed last week at the modern Refectory Restaurant at Norwich Cathedral, where they had just started offering two for one dishes to holders of Tastecards.

The homemade tomato, basil, sweet potato and butternut squash soup with rustic granary bread (£4.25) was a tasty blending of flavours. Soups change daily and can also be served with gluten-free rolls. Mains included a fiery lean minced beef chilli that could also be gluten-free and that came with fluffy white rice, garlicky garlic bread and a big dollop of very creamy and cooling sour cream (£7.75) And also excellent was a seriously tasty and non-salty ham hock terrine which could also be gluten-free and which came with a large toasted granary bloomer. (£7.45) The wonderful flavour of the shredded ham hock will be familiar to those foodies, like this one, who boil their own gammon hams to get all the preservative salt out, and impressive too was the sweet and mildly tangy home-made piccalilli served with it, which was a moreish mix of onion, tomato, celery, cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli, courgette, red and yellow peppers, fennel, turmeric and the essential wholegrain mustard. For vegetarians, and not tried by us this time was a roasted, marinated vegetable and haloumi sheep's milk cheese stack comprising a colourful combination of green courgette, red pepper and black and tan aubergine layered with the sunny yellow haloumi (£7.45)

The cake selection, like all the food above, looked and tasted homemade and this certainly included one of their giant half-a-housebrick-sized made for sharing with at least one other person slabs of solid, moist and fruity bread pudding. (£1.90)

Web: cathedral.org.uk


The SEO is carrying out an on-going survey to identify what criteria in venue selection are most important to event organisers from the corporate, association and charity sectors.

Results will be published in the Event Organisers Update, Charity Matters and Marketing Matters newsletters.

Click here to take our survey.


Acrobatics over the sea by aircraft performing for entertainment are banned by the Civil Aircraft Authority after a vintage jet crashes into a boatload of migrants off Dover... Healthy sales are enjoyed by a new adult DVD title, TRAVELODGE BABES... all males and females are barred from booking rooms at the Holiday Inn, Hull after prostitutes of both sexes are found to be operating in the rooms. A spokesperson says "It's the only way we can stamp this out"... Restaurants start to waive service charges for diners who order and collect their own food from the kitchens... a tasteful tableaux of a vintage jet crashing into a boat full of migrants is quickly removed from Dismaland... popular Gary Lineker OBE apologises for making money out of encouraging people to eat lethal crisps... 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




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 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

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

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