Event Organisers Update March 2016 ISSUE 138 - 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.
ALTON TOWERS PROSECUTION
The accident, where a car carrying passengers smashed into a stationary car on the same track left five people with serious injuries, including two young women who suffered leg amputations. After a nine-month investigation HSE say they are satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to bring a prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act, and that this will be in the public interest.
The company will appear at court at Newcastle-under-Lyme in April and faces, if convicted, an unlimited fine. Any individuals held responsible could face up to two years in prison.
SAFER AIR SHOWS?
The CAA have warned that events will not be able to go ahead unless organisers comply with the new regulations, which include enhanced risk assessments and tougher checks on the health and experience of pilots.
HI-TECH VENUE IN SHOREDITCH
However the high ceilings and mostly white walls create an airy feel, with the main room accommodating a total of 140 theatre-style and divisible into two with a folding wall and then offering a conference room for 85 theatre-style and an adjoining foyer area. The areas have their own entrance in nearby Ebenezer Street and there is a small interview room that could be for speakers or the organiser, a small kitchenette and three toilets, including one with disabled access. They are supported with a sound system, fast 200mb wired and Wi-Fi internet and dimmable lights, and are available to hire any time, day or night.
Tel: 0207 770 6282 Web: canvas-events.co.uk/venues/615
Ommegang honours the visit of Charles Fifth to the city in 1549 and two colourful processions in the Grand Place are taking place from 9.00pm on the evenings of July 5 and 7 featuring more than 1,400 actors, as well as horses, music, flag-waving and tossing and staged fights between stilt-walkers, some several storeys high. A medieval village and tournaments are offered in the Brussels Park from 12.00 midday to 9.00pm on all three days.
A LOOK AT FRYSLAN
For organisers of events Fryslan has a good range of venues available, as we discovered from our recent trip there, including one of the largest in the country, situated just outside Leeuwarden, the capital city of the province. This is the WTC Expo centre which has seven exhibition halls of 2,000 square metres to 10,260 square metres, and a conference centre with 13 meetings spaces for 25 to 750 delegates theatre-style, and two boardrooms. Adjacent to the centre and with a direct connection is the modern 4-star Westcord WTC hotel with 143 bedrooms, some long-stay apartments and, for those who like to gamble, the next-door Holland Casino. (See Foodie News April for review of one restaurant here, plus others sampled in Fryslan.)
In Leeuwarden is the modern Harmonie centre which has three halls suitable for theatrical and musical performances and accommodating 250/450/1,000 theatre-style and two meetings rooms for 60/100. There are also two foyer areas, one on the ground floor which can cater for 550 for a dinner and 1250 for a reception, and one on an upper floor which holds 80 for a dinner and 175 for a reception. This last was used by our hosts at Holland North to present a workshop with 13 suppliers of event activities possible in the area, including sailing and other sports, and safely walking across the Wadden Sea to one of the offshore islands, when the tide is out. Another very original idea is to go out on a fishing boat with a skilled eel fisherman and learn how to catch, smoke and eat your own eels, for our money one of the top fishy tastes Holland offers, along with the herring of course.
Our stay there was at the newly-refurbished four-star Post-Plaza Grand hotel, a centrally-located imaginative conversion of a former large post office and sorting centre with many of the original features retained for interest. The ground floor Grand Cafe occupies the old sorting area and features a large poster from the 1981 remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice, with Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson. There are 82 non-smoking bedrooms in a number of styles featuring flat-screen TVs, tea and coffee facilities, laptop safes and free Wi-Fi, and many have baths for extra comfort. For events there are 5 meetings rooms totaling 800 square feet of space. Another hotel visited was the five-star country-house style Landgoed Lauswolt, a Bilderberg property located between Leeuwarden and Groningen and around 40 kilometres from each. This offers 65 bedrooms, five meeting rooms for up to 180 and is next door to an 18-hole golf course.
An interesting venue for a visit, since it's an integral part of life in the low-lying Netherlands is the Woudagemaal pumping station, built to pump water out of Fryslan fields and the largest steam-powered pumping station in the world, now one of only ten UNESCO World Heritage sites in the country. Those who love looking at old steam engines will be in their element here, and others can enjoy the educational show-round and interesting 3D film about the station's operation, something that needs to be operated a few days a year. Those with personal experience of the recent flooding in the UK may wonder if we haven't something to learn here.
Note: Our press trip was organised by Holland North. Organisers who would like to see what the North of Holland can offer and are interested in a hosted trip can contact Jant or Inez on 00 31 (0) 58 250 20 21 or email to email@example.com
SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED IN AMSTERDAM
These are located just east of Amsterdam Central Railway station, a short stop or two on tram 26 for those using public transport, and a few minutes in the hotel's bookable free shuttle bus. For those driving there is a large, guarded underground car park. The hotel itself is next door to the Amsterdam Passenger Terminal and offers 408 guestrooms and suites, many with impressive views over the city or the river and including rooms on the 19th and 20th floors which give access to a well-stocked Executive Lounge area. All rooms have mini-bars, laptop safes, iron and ironing board, hair dryers, climate control, pillow menu, satellite on-demand TV and 24-hour room service. Our 19th floor room, where we enjoyed two comfortable nights had a large comfortable bath, big fluffy bath towels, a sensible shower screen that split and folded back so that we didn't have to clamber into the bath to switch on the taps, a Nespresso machine and kettle and a mini-bar with enough spare space for some personal drink and food items one acquires in Holland.
For events of all kinds organisers have a huge and impressive choice of 47 spaces and combinations, offering capacities from 8 boardroom to 1200 theatre-style, and spread across the hotel itself as well as two concert venues and the Amsterdam Passenger Terminal, all adjacent to the Movenpick and bookable through them. More than 20 spaces will accommodate up to 50 delegates, another 20 can hold 51 to 250 and five hold 300/400/450/710/1,200 across a variety of decors and styles.
See also our review of the food at Movenpick in our February issue
GRACE & FAVOUR
Retaining the trademark wall-to-wall innuendo and double entendres of the original, Grace & Favour looks at what happens when five members of the old Grace Brothers department store team inherit a country house hotel, instead of a cash pension from their deceased former employer, and decide to run it for an income when they discover they are not allowed to sell it. The two series star John Inman as the campy Mr Humphries, who, when free, is given a comely farmer's daughter Mavis Moulterd (Fleur Bennett) as a love interest, Wendy Richard, who took time out from her Eastenders commitments to reprise her naive cockney Miss Brahms, Frank Thornton as the haughty Captain Peacock, Nicholas Smith as the bumbling Mr Rumbold and Molly Sugden as the pompous Mrs Slocombe, whose remarks about her beloved cat Tibbles raised titters on both sides of the Atlantic when she referred to it innocently (?) as her pussy. Also appearing is their former employer's attractive last squeeze, Jessica Lovelock (Joanne Heywood), outrageous female magistrate Celia Littlewood (Diane Holland, the deliciously snobby dancer from Hi De Hi) and Maurice Moulterd (Billy Bowden) the home farm's crude and jolly yokel farmer. Both Are You Being Served (69 episodes) and Grace & Favour were written by David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd, also the writers for the hit 80s sitcom 'Allo, 'Allo!, and Lloyd has a cameo part in one episode of Grace & Favour.
The film location for the hotel, dubbed "Millstone Manor" was Elizabethan Cotswolds Manor house Chavenage House, located 1.5 miles north-west of Tetbury in Gloucestershire, also known for being "Candleford Manor" in the BBC's Lark Rise to Candleford and "Trewith House" in a new adaptation of Poldark. It has also featured in The House of Eliot, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Cider With Rosie and Dracula, and it has a long history which includes a curse on one owner, Nathaniel Stephens, who was struck down with a fatal illness after agreeing with his relative Oliver Cromwell, who visited Chavenage, to support the arrest, trial and execution of Charles 1. Stephen's body was allegedly carried off by a spectral black coach and horses, driven by a headless coachman. Today it is still reputed to be haunted, despite Cromwell's room being exorcised, but event organisers unafraid of ghostly goings-on can hire a range of five period-style rooms with a total capacity of 300, including a ballroom for 100 for dinners and other corporate events.
Sadly for fans most of the cast of Are You Being Served/Grace & Favour have now passed away, John Inman in 2007 from hepatitis, aged 71, Wendy Richard in 2009 from breast cancer, aged 65, Molly Sugden in 2009 from heart failure, aged 86, Frank Thornton in 2013 from natural causes whilst asleep, aged 92 and Nicholas Smith in 2015 from a head injury after a fall at home, aged 81. Billy Bowden died in 1994 from a heart attack, aged 79 and Diane Holland in 2009 from bronchial pneumonia, aged 78.
Grace & Favour is being released by Eureka Entertainment on May 23 as a 4-disc, 6-hour DVD set.
OLD GRITS DIARY
However the last nail in the travel industry's coffin of credibility was hammered home by revered review website TripAdvisor, which gave the Imperial Mumbaba, closed since the atrocity last June its coveted Traveler's Choice award last month, quickly withdrawn when their stupidity was pointed out...
Reasons for the sales failure are increased competition, a hike in stamp duty for second homes,(which the sellers have offered to pay) and the "uncertainties" caused by the possibility of us coming out of the EU, fully supported by, er, Boris again.
Now the 453 bedroom, 28 storey "insensitive intrusion" into Hyde Park is to get a makeover "to reduce the visual impact" of one of London's 50 highest structures, a process that will partially close it for up to two years and produce a more curvy and less angular skyscraper. A new landscaped area on the front will also make a more aesthetically pleasing entrance, for any VIP's that want to enter.
It is hoped that one is now jolly grateful...
Apologies to artistic readers for our mis-spelling of Art Nouveau as "Art Noveau" in the piece on the Sainsbury Centre and the Alphonse Mucha exhibition.
The Centre was also running an excellent 30-minute DVD at the event on the life and works of Mucha, available to buy for £15
A correction has been made to the website archive
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.
From Joan O'K
In the latest edition, a comment worried me tremendously. Please do not heed Jennifer McBeth's indignation by stopping pointing out high risk areas. I am truly grateful for any warnings you can give women travelers. Sometimes you can't really tell enough about a particular area by simple observations as troublesome areas can have lovely pockets which might generate a false sense of security based on appearances alone. It isn't always obvious that just a block or two away the entire atmosphere is radically different so I always appreciate an informed heads-up. Smart travelers know that all the data you collect will eventually prove helpful and that forewarned is forearmed.
Unfortunately for our Jen McBeth, she sounds like a naive college girl. I do hope she doesn't have to learn the hard way that crimes against women are a global issue and not an issue that conveniently just for her "lies elsewhere."
The original comment:
From Jennifer McBeth
Please do not send any more issues to (email address). I’m deeply offended by your statement ‘permanent no-go areas for women’. I’m a woman. Nothing is going to stop me from going anywhere I please. Do not spread fear. It is not healthy or constructive. The issue lies elsewhere and telling women they’re in danger is not the answer.
Enthusiasm for supplying white knuckle ride experiences at theme parks fades as the cost of tragedy sinks in… organisers give up air shows as too costly to put on safely… A spokesperson for the travel industry comments: "Of course discounted holidays to iffy destinations carry a greater risk of being killed. What do the stupid grockles expect? Safety always costs"… London mayor Boris Johnson explains why his support is so often the kiss of death… The Queen buys the Hilton Park Lane and has it demolished… Topping the speaker charts as the Most Motivational Sport-Related Presentation is "Fair play" by Maria Sharapova... 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:
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To book email firstname.lastname@example.org
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