Event Organisers Update December 2015 ISSUE 135 - 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.


A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on preventable food-borne diseases indicates that food-poisoning affects as many as one in ten of the world's 6 billion population every year, totalling 600 million, with deaths running at 420,000, or 0.07%

Many deaths are of young children, and most are among the poor in Africa and South-East Asia. Children under 5 account for 40% of poisoning cases and 30% of the deaths. Common killers are bacteria such as salmonella, along with viruses, parasites such as the pork tapeworm, toxins and chemicals, and the WHO has called for better inspections of foods at farms and factories and training of street food vendors, a common source of contaminated foods.


Nearly 200 jobs are being axed at Merlin Entertainment's Alton Towers theme park due to lower takings following the June accident on the £18 million Smiler extreme roller-coaster.

Five people were seriously injured, with two young women both losing a leg.

Merlin say that the accident, in which a car with 18 passengers in it smashed into a stationary one at 50mph was caused by human error in which controls that should have prevented the crash were over-ridden in error by a member of their staff. They plan to re-open the ride next year with some extra safety controls in place, and to continue selling it as safe fun to both the leisure and corporate markets.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have still to report.


Spending on live music concerts and festivals reached £2.1 billion this year, 45% up on 2010.

According to research company Mintel, who say that 40% of us go to a show at least once a year, the reason is an increased focus on live events as streaming has hit recording sales. Apparently 7% of us go at least once a month, and the surge in demand has been matched by an increase in ticket prices.

Also significantly more popular, to the tune of £80 billion are eating out, going to the pub and seeing films at the cinema, this last enjoyed by the 70% of us who see at least one film.


The number of new openings of London restaurants is at its highest level for 25 years.

This has been revealed in the 2016 edition of Hardens London Restaurants, the 25th, published last month. This rates around 1500 restaurants in the capital on their food, service and ambience, based on reviews from 6,700 contributors. Also noted is the continuing rise of Japanese cuisine, and the enduring popularity of Italian.

The guide continues to be popular as a useful business gift for companies to give to their clients. A recent survey for the corporate market identified the top 20 private dining rooms in London.


Organisers are being offered free food and drink to the value of their space booking at Newcastle United's St James' Park Stadium.

The offer, dubbed "Eat Your Suite" is made by the managers of catering at the venue, Sodexo Prestige Venues and Events and applies to rooms, suites or executive boxes hired for events between January and March 2016.

As an example an organiser paying £450 for a full day hire of the Sir Bobby Robson Suite, capacity up to 120, gets a credit for the same amount to spend on food and beverage.

0191 201 8525 email candb@nufc.co.uk


One of London's most thought-provoking venues offered for events is the Foundling Museum in Brunswick Square, which explores the work and history of the Foundling Hospital.

This operated as the UK's first children's charity, and the UK's first public art gallery due to the support given by artists, from 1739 when it's founder Thomas Coram was granted a Royal Charter to take in and care for unwanted children. At the time it was common for babies to be left on London's streets to die. And the mortality rate for under 5's was 75%, and 90% in workhouses.

Coram's Foundling Hospital compassionately provided somewhere babies could be taken and left by their mothers, many of whom had fallen on hard times, to be looked after The acceptance criteria altered over the years, and the tens of thousands of children, but an early stipulation was for the mother to supply with the child some unique token, such as a piece of writing, embroidery or customised coin or locket, so that the children could be identified to mothers who came back at a later date to claim them. Sadly very few did .Another was a later requirement for mothers to write and petition the hospital, supplying reasons why they were deserving of the charity offered, with preference being given to women with no means of support who had been deceived by promises of marriage from men. The museum has a collection of some of the petitions and tokens submitted, which make poignant and affecting viewing.

Well-known and wealthy men who supported the work of the hospital with their patronage, and brought in their rich colleagues and friends, included the composer Handel, and four armchairs in the second-floor Handel Gallery have built-in speakers where today's visitors can listen to his Messiah and other works. Also very active was the artist Hogarth, whose satirical cartoon Gin Lane drew attention to the common problem of alcoholism.

Today organisers can hire the Court Room, with what is claimed to be one of London's finest Rococo interiors, and which accommodates up to 40 for a dinner, or the Picture Gallery, hung with valuable paintings, which accommodates up to 100 for a dinner.

Tel 020 7841 3616 Web foundlingmuseum.org.uk


Those looking for a classy seaside venue in the North-West with an impressive space for corporate events will want to look at the independent Dalmeny Resort Hotel.

This overlooks the seafront at St Annes on Sea, a very British seaside town for families on the Lancashire coast a few miles south of very different Blackpool, and offers a modern, light and airy, high-ceilinged, white-painted Atrium Suite for conferences, presentations and dinners with a capacity around 180, depending on layout. One recent customer was a Porsche dealership that showcased its luxury cars there, offering test drives, and the suite serves as a fitting venue for the hotel's own party nights, with a variety of themes.

Complementing the Atrium is a range of four meeting rooms for 35/70/100/200 delegates theatre-style and four boardrooms for 10/10/10/18. Bedrooms include front-facing luxury doubles with proper baths in the bathrooms and large balconies for relaxed alfresco dining and sundowner drinks overlooking the beach, weather permitting. The breakdown of bedrooms is 49 doubles, 3 triples and 61 family rooms - 40 for 4, 12 for 5, 8 for 6 and 1 for seven - making 113 in all.

Leisure facilities at the Dalmeny include two restaurants, two bars, a 20 metre indoor heated pool and splash pool with overlooking lounge, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, squash court, aerobic studio, gym and cinema. And for golfers there is the world-famous Lytham Golf Course very close.

Tel 01253 712236 Web dalmenyhotel.co.uk


Birmingham is the most popular destination outside London for corporate events, for the seventh consecutive tear.

This is the finding of the 2015/2016 seventh annual British Meetings and Events Industry Survey (BMEIS) carried out among 500 British event organisers from the corporate and not for profit sectors.

It also emerged that, in choosing a destination for an event, access, location in the UK and value for money were the most important criteria.


A survey of the top ten Westerns by the American Film Institute (AFI) revealed that George Stevens's Shane, completed in 1952 and released in 1953 was the third best, behind The Searchers and High Noon at positions one and two. For fans of the genre the other high scorers were Unforgiven (4), Red River (5), The Wild Bunch (6), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (7), McCabe and Mrs Miller (8), Stagecoach (9) and Cat Ballou (10).

For Shane popular male star Alan Ladd played the laconic and kindly gunslinger with a mysteriously violent past, a soft spot for kids, a keen sense of injustice and a talent for stylish and accurate shooting and lively fist-fighting. The action takes place in beautifully photogenic Wyoming where the homesteaders he stays to help are being chased off their land by violent cattle barons and a seriously psychopathic hired hit-man called Wilson, played convincingly by Jack Palance. Those in great support include Van Heflin as the homesteader who gives Shane a job, Jean Arthur as the homesteader's wife, who definitely likes Shane but not his gun and Brandon de Wilde who plays the homesteader's son Joey, who grows to idolise Shane and who gives the film, which became a template for many to follow, some human focus.

Ladd sadly died in 1964, aged just 50, after taking an accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol for his insomnia. Two years previously he had been found uncurious in a pool of blood and with a bullet wound near his heart, which could have been a suicide attempt. Despite this he went on to play, in 1963, the washed-up Tinseltown cowboy, Nevada Smith, opposite George Peppard playing the ruthless Jonas Cord in the trashily entertaining soap about the early days of Hollywood, The Carpetbaggers. Based on the Harold Robbins novel and released in 1964 it was one of the most popular films of the year and one that Ladd died before he could see.

Film trivia fans will want to know that Ladd was wary of guns and is seen to blink as he blasts two of the baddies in the final shoot-out. Jack Palance was equally wary of horses and a scene where he mounts one is actually filmed footage of him dismounting, played back in reverse. Ladd's son David played a tiny and uncredited non-speaking part of a little boy in Shane, before going on with his own career as an actor (playing opposite his Dad in the 1958 The Proud Rebel, playing parts in 1960's TV westerns Wagon Train and Gunsmoke and playing the drug pusher Sonny in The Wild Geese in 1978) and later a producer.

And Ladd's final moving scene in Shane when, injured, he says goodbye to Joey before riding off into the sunset was undermined on the set by De Wilde who tried to make Ladd corpse as he was saying his tear-jerking lines to him by sticking out his tongue and crossing his eyes. This was an ad-lib performance that reportedly caused Ladd to call to the boy's father "Make that kid stop or I'll beat him over the head with a brick" De Wilde then stopped.

Shane has been released in a Blu-ray edition, which further enhances the stunning landscape shots, by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema series, and includes audio commentaries and a 24 page book.


Those ten, twenty and thirty somethings who are an enthusiastic part of the social media and selfie generation will probably not share the views of seventy something actor Harrison Ford, who puts it all down to an unhealthy self-obsession. "What is a culture that obsesses over a number of 'likes', or followers one has on social media? It's a disaster" he opines." Do I think our youth can make a difference in the world? No. Too self-obsessed. They have no desire to seek the truth. Self-obsession is devouring our need to find answers".

One can assume the blunt-talking Ford's remarks will get millions all of a twitter, and not generate thousands of vital Facebook friends for him any time soon.


One of the world's largest events, the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio next summer could be hit by some nasty bugs.

Apparently tests by AP news agency indicate that levels of human waste in the waters of the Olympic Lagoon and Marina are 1.7 million times what would be deemed "highly alarming" in the US, this due to the hundreds of millions of litres of raw sewage being pumped into the bay by the environmentally aware there.. Apparently just three teaspoonful of eau de Rio is enough to cause infection.

If you go, and get your face splashed don't lick your lips..........


It will be interesting to see if the billionaire owner of Turnberry Golf Club in Scotland, Donald Trump, ever gets to be US President on the strength of his suggestion that all Muslims should be banned from entering America.

This, he says, is to address terrorist fears, so we can all be assured that he is not simply looking to make political hay and collect votes out of the bigotry and xenophobia in the land of the free. Nor that the next stage is to nuke anyone with a funny name and a beard.

Sadly for all those who say his hate preaching rules him out of the White House it should be remembered that he has been preaching in America, where anything can and does happen, and that it worked for Hitler.


o To Mommi, a Japanese/South American fusion restaurant that opened earlier this year at 46/48 Clapham High Street, a few minutes walk from Clapham North tube.

First stop was the Kazbar at number 50 for their Happy Hour offer of pints of ice cold Fosters lager at £2.50, a bargain in London. Then to Mommi for their special offer of half-priced food and a tapas-sized portion of some very tasty slow-cooked crispy belly pork pieces (chicharrones) in a sweet BBQ sauce (£4/£2) Next, and a treat for this sushi fan was a beautifully-presented Chirashi Sushi with a mixture of raw sea bass, salmon and tuna on a bed of rice with a tangy house tartare sauce and garnished with Ikura, the beautiful rose-coloured salmon eggs with a salty taste and a good deal of omega 3.(£5.50/£2.75)

Our choice off the Ceviche South-American selection was a bit disappointing after this since, for our taste, the flavours of the salmon, sweet potato and orange combination were seriously overpowered by the acidic citrus, red onion, coriander and lime juice it was cured in, and still awash in when it was brought to the table. (£7/£3.50)

Much better was our last choice of perfectly grilled octopus, meltingly soft and tender and served on a bed of purple potato mash with the sweet BBQ sauce that had enhanced our starter so well.(£9.50/£4.75)

Mommi offer nearly 50 different dishes, and an 8-dish sharing selection for 2 for £12 each on Mondays, and other weekdays before 7.00pm

Tel 0203 814 1818 Web WEAREMOMMI.com


o It isn't often one gets tasty and authentic oriental cuisine at a British hotel, but the Bugis Street Brasserie Singaporean-Chinese restaurant at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington is one happy example we've found, especially agreeable as they accept the Tastecard for dishes at half price.

Our personal favourite there is the very generous bowl of Singapore Laksa soup, a lovely creamy slurp of chicken, seafood and thick vermicelli in a not-too-spicy coconut broth, which can do for lunch for many.(£9.50/£4.75) However we've also enjoyed the simple salt and pepper spicy fried squid ((6.50/£3.25), the mixed seafood dish of king prawns, prawns, squid and mussels with red and green peppers in a sweet black bean sauce (£13/£6.50) and the classic chicken satay with 6 skewers of chicken and a peanut sauce for dipping.(£6/£3)

Bugis Street, named after the seafaring merchants of Singapore offers more than 70 authentic dishes, including a range of rice and noodle based favourites

Tel 020 7872 2888


o A recent stay in Lancaster unearthed another Tastecard bargain at the friendly and family-run Meeting House Restaurant, between the railway station and the town centre, and trading for four years under the current management.

Here we were kindly allowed to have a tapas-style dinner of four starters for the price of two and tucked into a creamy leek and potato soup with home-made bread (£5.50), a big slab of slow-roasted pork belly, cooked crispy and served with mild and non-fatty black pudding and apple puree (£6.50), a generous pot of mild chicken liver pate, laced with sherry and served with tangy red onion marmalade and toasted bread (£5.75) and some small mussels out of their shells and doused in a very creamy cumin and cherry tomato sauce, and more homemade bread (£6.25).

Nice food, nice people and nice prices.

Tel 01524 848049 Web meetinghouserestaurant.co.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.


Merlin Entertainments announce the all safety checks on their roller-coasters will in future be carried out by robots. A spokesperson says; "With our targeting of the lucrative corporate market next year we can't afford any more human errors that maim people"... Self-obsession becomes the new rock and roll as sales of selfie sticks go stratospheric... A spokesman for the city of Rio drinks a cup of seawater from the Olympic Lagoon on prime-time television to prove how safe it is. Shortly after the transmission he is found dead, clutching his stomach... Top speaker presentation for 2015 is "Why we must embrace diversity" by Donald "Adolf" Trump... 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 26,000 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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