Event Organisers Update August 2016 ISSUE 143 - 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 Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union which represents staff at Southern Railways, claims that its members have been hit, spat at and offered death threats by angry commuters, with abuse of staff increasing "massively" over the last four months of the troubles.

The RMT have already encouraged walkouts over the changing role of conductors on trains and are calling for others over the planned closures of ticket offices. Meanwhile the rail company have reported massive levels of disruption and train cancellation caused by Southern drivers taking "sickies" for a few days, for which they don’t have to supply medical proof and for which they still receive their full pay.

Earlier this month Southern axed 326 trains from its daily timetable to improve reliability after reports that some commuters had lost their jobs due to the delays in getting to work. In June only 66.8% of trains operated by owners Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) arrived on time, making them the worst-performing railway company in the UK.

GTR own Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express.

Whilst no civilised human being would ever condone spitting at railway staff, assaulting them physically or issuing them with death threats the frustration that those who rely on the trains to go about their legitimate business must feel is completely understandable. And those who have lost their jobs over a dispute that is not of their making must feel especially bitter towards the RMT and its members. It is also completely understandable that those affected by the disruptions feel vulnerable, as pawns in the RMT's game, and as helpless strike fodder held to ransom by the union and its members.

It doesn't have to be like this. One function of the law is to protect the vulnerable and innocent, and those members of the public who have lost their jobs as a result of the selfish striking RMT members should be able to claim compensation from them through the courts. It is therefore up to a strong government to recognise that such selfish people are bad for society as a whole - and the recent pointless strike of around 300 conductors is said to cost up to £100 million - and pass laws to force the guilty to recompense the innocent victims of their selfishness.

Something to put to your MP? Something to inspire other governments to action?


A large majority of those reading newspapers were presented with arguments in favour of leaving the EU in the run-up to the referendum, according to Press Gazette.

The combined claimed circulations of national newspapers favouring Brexit was 6,755,480, against 4,993,934 favouring staying in the EU. The circulations of those not declaring was 2,733,504, making up a combined claimed circulation of 14,482,918.

For the record the bias and the circulations were:-


Daily Express       419,328
Daily Mail        1,545,473
Sunday Express      365,071
Daily Telegraph     498,474
Sun               1,716,361
Sun on Sunday     1,413,493
Sunday Times        797,280


Daily Mirror        785,717
London Eve. Std     900,175 Free
Sunday Mirror       709,495
Mail on Sunday    1,374,864
Observer            194,054
Times               436,692
Guardian            169,424
FT (UK)              63,178
Daily Record        172,699
Sunday Mail         187,636


Daily Star          513,233
Daily Star Sunday   316,224
i                   284,434
Metro             1,347,594 Free
Sunday People       272,019

Note. Some feel that free newspapers, distributed indiscriminately, will not have the same power to persuade as those people choose to pay for. Some circulations are boosted by copies being given to hotels. Some feel that the circulations of daily newspapers should be multiplied by six to correctly compare with the circulations of newspapers only published on a Sunday.

Note: The following piece was published in the Marketing Matters Jul/Aug 2016 ISSUE 51.


Brexit beneficiaries, due to the drop in the value of sterling against other currencies, have been UK hotels and attractions, especially in London which is now reportedly seen as a bargain destination.

Also contributing has been the reticence of travellers to travel abroad with their devalued pounds, and the terror attacks, persuading many Brits to take a "staycation".

According to the Tourism Alliance foreign visitors to London were 18% up, and British tourists 11% up on July last year. Online accommodation firm Airbnb saw a 24% uplift in London visits in the month after the referendum.


Lovers of the Art Deco style of decoration - said in its 1920/30s heyday to represent luxury, glamour and exuberance - will enjoy the decor of Hilton London Paddington Hotel.

The hotel was originally the brainchild of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and was called the Great Western Royal Hotel when it was built by the Great Western Railway Company (GWR) and opened as "London's largest and most sumptuous hotel" 162 years ago in 1854. Then it offered 115 bedrooms with singles from 2 shillings per night. (20 pence) This price increased over the years - to £105 a night in the 1990s - and more bedrooms were added, along with meetings facilities when it closed to undergo a four-year, £45million refurbishment in 1998 before re-opening as a Hilton 14 years ago, in 2002.

At the beginning of last year Hilton London Paddington opened the adjacent GWR Tower, its 56 premium GWR tower rooms contributing to the hotel's 419 guest rooms and suites on the site. These break down into 182 double, 52 double de luxe, 25 double executive, 11 twin, 39 family, 19 family superior, 4 king junior suites, 20 queen suites, 8 terrace suites, 1 executive terrace suite, 56 GWR tower rooms and 2 king Hilton suites (Tower suites) For those who like to lie back, soak and daydream every room has a bath. Guests staying in the Tower have their own private lift and access to the private Tower Lounge where a full breakfast is served along with complimentary food and refreshments throughout the day. Organisations can hire the whole of the Tower for their functions.

For meetings the 18 rooms and combinations start with the two small ones in the Executive Lounge, which accommodate six each and can be hired by the hour. Then, also on the ground floor there are three rooms for 18, one for 60 and one for 70, all theatre-style and all with natural light. Upstairs on the first floor are the largest rooms comprising one boardroom for 16, which holds 20 for a banquet, seven rooms with theatre-style capacities for 18, 24, 27, 30, 32, 32, 48 and two ballrooms for 140 and 350 which can be used separately or together, the largest offering a pillar-free, high-ceilinged and chandeliered space. All conference and event rooms had a makeover three months ago with new carpets, ergonomic chairs and multifunctional tables.

T: +44 (0) 20 7850 0500 web: paddington.hilton.com email: events.paddington@hilton.com


A disused area near to Old Trafford in Manchester is to be the site for a new, football themed luxury hotel fronted by former Manchester United footballers Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.

Hotel Football is planned to be a five-star property comprising 200 rooms and 153 one, two and three bed apartments


We hear police in Spain are cracking down on organisers of parties afloat after a series of sex scenes on a party boat appeared on a porn website. Police are now intercepting boat excursions from Magaluf and San Antonio, Ibiza to check the crew for inebriation and ensure captains are minimising risk of drunken passengers are not injured when disembarking. All passengers are also being searched for drugs.

The boat parties have become popular since new rules governing street drinking and stag parties ashore were introduced.



21-22 September
Venues and Events Live exhibition, Old Billingsgate, London EC3.
web: venuesandevents.co.uk

19-20 October
Showman's Show for outdoor events, Newbury Showground.
web: 10times.com/the-showmans-show


Those who enjoy the slapstick artistry of the great silent films will enjoy the massive slice of movie history presented in a collection on Blu-ray of thirty-two films made by one of the stars of the silent era.

Offering more than twelve hours of viewing BUSTER KEATON-The Complete Short Films 1917-1923 starts with The Butcher Boy, which is the first glimpse cinema-goers had of Keaton and his acrobatic and slapstick talents ninety-nine years ago. Also starring is the ex-Keystone cop Roscoe Conkling Arbuckle, known as "Fatty" on account of his girth, a name he hated. Arbuckle was in fact very graceful on his feet, and equally acrobatic for his considerable weight and refused to get cheap laughs by getting stuck in chairs and suchlike. And he also demonstrated some very clever knife tossing in his first film with Keaton, and, without special effects got a large butcher's cleaver to embed upright in a wooden bench when he casually flipped the cleaver from the other side of the room.

Ten more of the films feature Arbuckle in front of the camera up until 1920 and these include The Hayseed, The Cook, Out West, The Rough House, Coney Island and His Wedding Night. As readers will know, in 1921 Arbuckle was implicated in the death of aspiring actress Virginia Rappe, who died of a ruptured bladder during a party thrown by Arbuckle at the St Francis hotel in San Francisco. Some accused, without proof, Arbuckle of raping her, his weight causing the internal damage. In fact, after three trials Arbuckle was acquitted in 1922 by a jury that took six minutes to find him not guilty, five minutes of which was spent drafting him a formal apology for the injustice that had been done without a scrap of evidence. Counted amongst those who assumed Arbuckle's guilt, and said so loudly and publicly was cowboy actor William S Hart who imbued the characters he played with honour and integrity. After his acquittal Arbuckle supplied Keaton with the idea of parodying Hart in a film portraying the honourable character he portrayed as a bully, thief and wife-beater. Keaton, equally annoyed with Hart produced The Frozen North in 1922, another historic short film included in the collection, along with a highly-acclaimed one from 1922 that Arbuckle wrote but did not appear in, Daydreams.

BUSTER KEATON - The Complete Short Films 1917-1923 was released at the end of last month on Blu-ray by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema series. As well as the thirty-two Keaton films the pack contains audio-commentaries, a video essay, new versions and alternate endings for some films, an audio recording of Keaton at a party in 1962 (he died in 1966,aged 79) and a 184-page book containing essays, discussions and notes on each film



Sad to note what many see as the world's greatest event tarnished by the doping scandals and the fallout that have defined this year's Olympics in Rio.

First the Russians are exposed for wholesale cheating on drugs tests, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) courageously refuses a blanket ban on their athletes for fear of upsetting that nice Mr Putin. Then some of the Kenyans are caught warning their athletes, for a cash bribe, of impending drugs tests, which are supposed to be secret, so that they can have a swift detox and come up clean. Then the organisers of the Paralympics show the IOC how to behave and ban all Russian athletes from their events.

Now it appears that there is another performance enhancing substance that many athletes are already using called beta-hydroxybutyrate which is taken as a supplement in an energy drink and which releases a keytone compound that muscles burn for energy. Because this keytone can be produced naturally in the body, by adjusting the diet, the World Anti-Doping Agency refused, in 2011, to add the substance to its list of banned substances. Which means for athletes that if they are not knocking the stuff back they are competing at a disadvantage.

One day, not so far ahead, we'll be giving the devalued Olympic gold medals to the supplements..........


Blame the Brexit seems to be the latest game in town and particularly popular with our banking friends, who rather wanted to stay in the EU to better fill their boots.

One recent player is the overpaid head of Lloyds Bank, Antonio Horta Osorio, who trousered £8.5 million last year and who claims his sacking of 30,000 staff and closure of 200 branches can be squarely blamed on the "uncertainty" caused by the vote to quit the EU.

On what Lloyds will do with all the money they are saving Horta Osorio isn't saying, though popular opinion says it will go to paying ever more generous salaries, bonuses, pensions and expenses for Osorio and his directors, rather than improving customer service or donating to charity.

One thing it will most definitely not be spent on is more overseas conference jollies for Osorio, like the one he took in June this year at the swish Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Singapore where he ran up a rather high bill of £3,276, of which £450 was for room service and mini-bar. Unbeknown to Osorio some photographers from the Sun newspaper were also in the hotel and claimed to have taken several pictures of a blonde lady who was not his wife emerging form his hotel room. Naturally the Sun mistakenly assumed the lady was not in there to discuss international banking and even mis-spelled their headline covering the front page story as "LLOYDS BONK".

Tut tut..........


o If unlimited pizza and prosecco for £22 a head sounds like a good deal to you then head for the Sway Bar at the top end of Great Queen Street, near Holborn Tube station, London.

The Limitless Tuesday offer has to be pre-booked and is running every Tuesday night till Tuesday September 27. Timings are from 5.00pm to 10.00pm and diners have 90 minutes to scoff and quaff. There are ten different thin-crust pizzas on offer and these include toppings such as pepperoni, chorizo, ham, goats cheese, chicken and tuna, in various combinations, with one favourite of chicken, chorizo, rocket and chimichurri sauce tipped by reviewers from the Metro. Those looking to evaluate the £22 charge will want to know that pizzas are £9 and bottles of prosecco £16 (Happy Hour price)

Sway is also available as an event venue with 5 rooms giving a total capacity of 1,000, and is charged out on a drinks consumption basis.

0207 404 6114


o For a light, tasty lunch just a short step from Harrods and Harvey Nicks in London's Belgravia we can recommend the Lowndes Bar and Kitchen at the Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel at 21 Lowndes Street.

Using our trusty Tastecard to get 50% off the bill we sat outside in the sunshine and enjoyed a crayfish and avocado salad with a cucumber carpaccio and Marie Rose sauce, and a small plate of sweet grilled scallops with spicy sliced chorizo sausage in a honey and mustard glaze. Both dishes were £11 each giving a total discounted price of £11 for the meal.

0207 858 7223


o Soft red wines from Merlot grapes, and blends with them, are expected to become more acceptable to wine snobs, after twelve years of much the same disparagement as Chardonnay has received.

The very funny 2004 film Sideways has been nominated as the culprit. This featured a wine sophisticate whose top red tipple was Pinot Noir, and who threatened to walk out of a restaurant "if anyone orders Merlot" Accordingly sales of the easy-drinking and populist Merlot were hit as the Pinot prospered.

Now supermarkets such as Lidl are investing in premium quality soft Merlot wine balanced with punchy Cabernet and Shiraz retailing between £8 and £12 a bottle and hoping customers will drink what they like, rather than what others say they should like.

Meanwhile those who find wine snobbery amusing can pick up a second-hand DVD of Sideways from entertainment exchange firm CEX for a very unsnobby 50pence, (they were showing 391 copies in stock at time of writing) and enjoy with a glass of, er, Merlot.


o Those looking to cool off in the Soho area with a pint or two of cold lager - without falling over - can visit the very traditional Sam Smiths of Tadcaster White Horse pub in Rupert Street and sup the Alpine Lager.

This is a lowish 2.8% ABV with lots of flavour nevertheless and is also known as "Fatman" on account of the jolly rotund chap on the logo. And, for those watching the pennies it's just £2.50 a pint (£1.25 a half) and also very refreshing in hot weather with a lemonade top.


1) From Paul Tarlton
Hi Peter,

Enjoyed your latest missive as always. Having just returned from a European break to Madeira and, as one of the many “over 55s” who have condemned the British Youth to the hell of democratic government by voting Brexit, I was encouraged by the views of a young Dutch couple I met on the trip who applauded our decision. They weren’t racist or particularly worried about immigration (in fact a mixed race couple), they weren’t xenophobic and certainly weren’t uneducated. They simply wanted a representative and accountable government.

On a lighter note, if you are visiting Madeira, I recommend you take your own pepper mill as freshly ground black pepper seems to have missed this island!

I do have some hotel and restaurant recommendations if you are planning a visit.

Aa always, Paul

Editor's response
Hi Paul, and thanks for that. In the mounting battle between brave, anonymous business leaders and their lawyers, and the majority of the electorate it would be good to see the people win for a change and prove that we really do have a democracy that others can respect. Let's hope.

Always happy to get tips on Madeira hotels and scoff as we are due another visit there.

Fancy that place at Shepherd's Bush in our latest Foodie News for some damn good dim sum?

All best


2) From David Bittleston, DJB Exhibitions
Subject: Drivel

Your latest newsletter has managed to alienate up to 48.3% of your readers. It is opinionated, badly written drivel. Well done.

I quit.

Editor's response
Hi David and thanks for your amusingly petulant email.

Since neither of us have any way of knowing whether my readers voted in the referendum with the same result as the rest of the electorate (a small majority for leaving the EU) we cannot say how many, like you, have been "alienated" by reading something that didn't accord with their opinion. It could be far higher than the "up to 48.3%" you claim, but so far you are the only one I know about. Unsubscribe from the opinionated, badly written drivel and read someone else's if it makes you feel better. It's free anyway and you can always access it on our website, also free, if you get withdrawal symptoms and brain atrophy from only reading drivel you agree with.

Whilst writing I note that you claim on your website that your company, DJB Exhibitions has been trading "for 20 years", yet a check at companies house shows that your company was incorporated in December 2012, three and a half years ago, and that you resigned from this in November last year.

Everything OK?

Kind regards
Peter Cotterell


2) From Veronica-Mae Soar
Subject: Feed back as requested

My particular interests are in anything impacting on the wider environment = bearing in mind that the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment not the other way around. Our mental and physical health, sense of well being and happiness are all dependent upon a healthy environment, not on the FTSE.

What was going to be the "greenest government ever" turned out to be a farce. Now things look even starker under the new regime. Financial help for householders, schools and village halls to install solar has gone by the board and dozens of installers have gone bust. For the fourth year running the air quality in London has been well below acceptable international standards. Now the DECC had been disbanded and a shadow of it has been merged with some business committee.

There is no guarantee that when the Divorce is Absolute our government will retain the many EU rules and laws which currently protect our environment - and the loss of EU grants and subsidies which helped us stay relativity green and pleasant are unlikely to be covered by a government whose mantra is "growth".

On the plus side, one village (Balcombe) has already kicked the potential of local fracking into touch and the whole village has gone solar via crowd funding, now a second village is doing the same.

is that enough to be going on with?

Veronica-Mae Soar (MRS)

Editor's response.
Thanks Veronica, and happy to publish your thoughts on the Brexit. There's a new book out by futurist speaker Gerd Leonhard that might interest you, called Technology vs. Humanity.

Peter Cotterell


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.


A new UK referendum backs laws that provide compensation from trade unions and their members to members of the public suffering damage and/or loss from strike actions... anti-brexit travel and tourism magazines covering the in-bound market now switch to a pro-brexit stance to please their readers... Party boats in the Med are prevented from docking back in Magaluf and San Antonio until all passengers and crew have sobered up and dried out... Kenya snatches the gold from Russia in the Synchronised Doping. Putin condemns "the cheating and corruption that is killing sport"... Antonio Horta Osorio confirms that a blonde lady was in his hotel room to discuss international banking. He tells the press "We were exploring a variety of deposit strategies and positions"... 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: 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: 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 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. Tel: 01462 896679 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: 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 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 23,000 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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