Event Organisers Update September 2016 ISSUE 144 - 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.


Organisers booking speakers will know all about the dangers of content including racism, sexism, ageism or homophobia, and the capacity to offend and upset members of an audience. It is probably a good idea for speakers to avoid religion and politics too.

However, given a poor choice of speaker by cruise firm Cunard, organisers might want to add Brexism to the growing list of speaker no-no's, as ably demonstrated by Patience Wheatcroft. Ms Wheatcroft, a former editor of the Sunday Telegraph and the Wall Street Journal and now a peer in the House of Lords, was invited to speak to the paying passengers on a luxury Cunard voyage from Rome to Athens on the Queen Victoria last month. Unfortunately for Cunard, and Ms Wheatcroft's reputation as a speaker worth listening to, she chose to use the opportunity to attack the recent Brexit people's vote and to voice her determination to campaign for a second referendum, saying that she would do everything in her power to stop Britain leaving the EU, a determination shared by many of her fellow peers.

This, not surprisingly, annoyed the large proportion of the audience who had voted for the Brexit and some walked out, with one man standing up and asking what gave her, and the rest of the unelected House of Lords, the right to go against the will of the people. Others complained to Cunard about their choice of Ms Wheatcroft.

Since this, but presumably not related to it, there have been many calls in the press, and from the new Speaker of the House of Lords, Lord Fowler, for the "bloated" House to shrink from more than 800 unelected members to nearer 600. Doubtless those Brexit-backers on the Cunard cruise will be uncharitably hoping a former editor will be one of the casualties.

Meanwhile, Brexism. You read it here first.


The deaths of two teenaged men from suspected overdoses of drugs at the Fabric nightclub in Farringdon have resulted in the closure of the club by Islington council, at the request of the Metropolitan Police.

The request follows an undercover Police operation, carried out after the first death two months ago, where officers witnessed open use of Class A drugs and drugs being offered for sale. Some clubbers exhibited clear signs of drug use, including glazed red eyes and staring into space, and Police say staff intervention and security was "grossly inadequate" They say that fears for the safety of those attending the club prompted the need to act.

The substance that killed the two young men was a strengthened version of recreational drug 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) known as ecstasy (E) Deaths have been caused by increased body temperature and dehydration and it has been estimated to be used by one to three in 500 of the world's population between the ages of 15 and 64, about the same number who use cocaine, amphetamines and opoids. Its use is mostly associated with dance parties, raves and electronic dance music.


Running events is becoming increasingly challenging, it seems, going by three recent reported incidents this month at some UK venues.

o On September 1 the Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers, where five people were seriously injured last year, broke down, leaving 32 thrill-seekers hanging thrillingly upside-down for around an hour. This time no-one was hurt.

o On September 8 the pod climbing the new BA i360 tower in Brighton broke down, leaving 180 people in a private party, including a heavily-pregnant woman stranded half way for two hours. This was one of a number of breakdowns brought to you by the operators of the London Eye, although on this occasion Sir Richard Branson tastefully refrained from flying a balloon past emblazoned BRITISH AIRWAYS STILL CANT GET IT UP .

o A party boat on the Thames carrying 150 people caught fire and crashed into the Canary Wharf pier on September 11. All passengers from the Erasmus were safely evacuated.

Overseas the picture is equally worrying for those who put their trust in technology. In the French Alps near Chamonix 45 people had to spend the night in their broken-down cable cars 12,500 feet above the mountains before being rescued by helicopters. Cables becoming entangled in high winds was the cause this time - similar rescues of 200 people had to be carried out in May 2013 on the same ride when a cable car on fire caused a stoppage. Mind how you go.


Carrying one of the laser pointers popular with conference presenters and trainers could be a criminal act in future.

Because lasers shone into the cockpits of aircraft constitute a pilot hazard when landing the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) wants to make the carrying of a laser illegal, pointing out that there were four attacks a day with lasers in Britain last year.

It is not clear whether laser pointers would be strong enough to blind a pilot, but eye damage of animals and children has been reported as a result of their irresponsible use. A laser beam hitting a mirror also constitutes a danger when reflected.


The management of the new four-star Titanic-themed hotel at 30, James Street Liverpool, former offices of the White Star Line promises newlyweds "a fairy tail (sic) wedding" that is "an experience you will both remember for the rest of your lives".

This was certainly the case, it seems, for bride Sarah O'Leary and her husband Stephen who won't forget that on their wedding night last month the management's security staff escorted them back to their room in the early hours of the morning to open all the wedding cards in front of them and extract all the cash presents to pay the hotel's £500 bill. This was despite the couple being booked in for two nights and payment being promised for the following day.

The hotel is operated by the Signature Living Group, which also operates the football-themed Shankly Hotel in the city. The firm ambiguously claims on its website to have "an unrivalled level of customer satisfaction", although whether this is unrivalled by other rival Liverpool hotels because it is much higher, or much lower is not stated.


A new Leeds venue where adult games can be played between consenting couples is planned to open in a former warehouse in Armley. (The Business Desk)

The club for swingers - couples keen to swap husbands and wives on a temporary, and sometimes a permanent basis - will provide, according to its developers "a discreet, clean, safe and controlled environment for like-minded adults to meet and potentially engage in legal sexual activities, within the private rooms provided" Objectors say it will encourage criminal activity such as drug use and payment for sexual services.

Not the sort of place you'd want to suddenly bump into a neighbour, relative or work colleague, then?


Those with a liking for American modern art will want to know about the latest retrospective at the Tate Modern, London.

This features more than 100 paintings and drawings from the 2,000 plus produced by artist and American icon Georgia O'Keeffe (1897-1986) and is spread across 13 rooms in the gallery. Here are some examples of her huge canvasses of flower pictures, some of which critics said were depictions of female body parts. ("Black Iris lll" from 1926 being one obvious example - not shown) Nude photographs of O'Keeffe taken and published by her mentor, lover and then husband, New York photographer Alfred Stieglitz didn't help her denials that there was anything sexual in her work, and she always hated the interpretation, declaring "When people read erotic symbols into my paintings they're really talking about their own affairs".

As well as her much-admired flower paintings O'Keeffe produced some striking New York cityscapes, some colourful landscapes of nearby Lake George where she spent many summers with Stieglitz, as well as of the rugged countryside of New Mexico, and the animal bones she found there, where she happily spent so many of her last years. One appreciative visitor to the Tate told us "Georgia O'Keeffe's approach to art was fascinating. She was obviously driven and dedicated to exploring her techniques and use of colours. I loved the flower paintings displayed and was impressed to see the way that she took her environment and made a series of pictures of simple things like the black and white rocks and the desert valley".

The exhibition runs until October 30 2016.


Sir Winston Churchill described Stanley Kubrick's black and white 1967 anti-war film Paths of Glory as "A highly accurate depiction of trench warfare and the sometimes misguided working of the military mind".

"Misguided" is certainly one word to describe the minds of the French Army leaders in WW1 who ordered an attack they knew was impossible on a well-defended German position, and then, to save face when it failed, inflicted on three randomly selected soldiers a farce of a court-martial. After which they had them tied to stakes and shot for cowardice. One of the three had been seriously injured in a fight the night before the firing squad and was unconscious on a stretcher, but woken up by having his cheek pinched so that he could face the hail of bullets. Another accurate word to describe the minds depicted at the top of the French Army chain of command is "psychopathic".

Of course, it is a tribute to Kubrick's artistry that his bitingly satirical film makes viewers angry at the futility of war and the insane mind-sets of those who wage it, as it is meant to. But the acting is spot on too, with Adolphe Menjou and George Macready playing the mad masters and Kirk Douglas impressing as the Army Colonel who reluctantly carries out the madness.

The unusual and powerfully emotional finale shows a crude attempt by the Army to dehumanise the German enemy as a young, attractive German girl they have captured is dragged onto a stage in a bar in front of soldiers, before they are told they are going to the front, and humiliated by the pitiless compere, to the jeers of the men. The strategy backfires when the girl is told to sing and sings a German folk song The Faithful Hussar, which tells of a soldier going to war. His love falls ill after a year and dies as he rushes home, a tragedy that chimes with the soldiers, who know the tune and start to sing along, their jeers turning to tears in what is likely to be their last taste of humanity before they perish in the trenches. A German actress and painter styled Susanne Christian, real name Christiane Susanne Harlan, played the part and by the end of the film's shooting had become director Kubrick's wife, until his death 41 years later in 1999. Today Christiane Kubrick is a highly successful painter of fresh, colourful still lifes and floral works, much sought after by collectors.

Paths of Glory was released this month on Blu-ray as part of Eureka Entertainment's Masters of Cinema series. Special features include an audio commentary version, new video interviews and a booklet featuring Kubrick.


Amusing and inspiring to see Private Eye magazine reminding Lord Rothermere's Daily Mail group, which includes exhibition organisers DMG Events group and conference organisers Euromoney, of the inadvisability of tossing stones around when you live in a glass house.

A recent Daily Mail editorial pointed out the links between Lord Mandelson and the regimes of Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe and asked "Is there any oppressive, dictatorial regime Mandelson won't do business with if the price is right?"

Fair question, but one Lord Rothermere and his events team should ask themselves when they organise Euromoney conferences and DMG Events exhibitions in Saudi Arabia, and other countries with deplorable human rights records, such as Kazachstan, when the price is right, of course.

A well-known saying involving black pots and kettles comes to mind.


Squaremeal Venues and Events magazine, which recently ran an events exhibition in London has asked visitors to join them in lobbying for the re-opening of the Fabric nightclub, closed after the recent deaths of two male teenagers there from suspected drug overdoses.

The magazine, which sells advertising to nightclubs, has suggested that event organisers send an email to London mayor Sadiq Khan to "let him know you're against the closure".

Wonder if the deep thinkers at the mag's publishers, Monomax Ltd, would feel the same way if it had been their sons or daughters who had died there?


Sorry to note that problems with the computer system at the Travelodge, Euston, were resulting in guests checking in being given rooms that were already occupied recently.

One couple however, having found a man in their bed came back down to reception to report it, and were given a sincere apology, a room without a man in the bed and a free dinner on Travelodge fo the inconvenience. So all's well that ends well.


o Meat lovers will appreciate American barbecue restaurant Cattle and Co, which opened earlier this year in Chalton Street, just off the Euston Road, between Kings Cross and Euston stations.

A shared sample meal we had there recently started with some very sweet and tasty bacon meatballs with bourbon (£7) and these were followed by a Pork Combo of fall-apart St Louis pork ribs, tender pulled pork, slaw, barbecue sauce and fries (£13.50) and a meltingly good 10 oz Angus rib-eye steak served with garlic butter, sweet beer and honey onion rings and chunky chips. (£24) For desserts we shared a creamy cheesecake of the day and a tart spiced apple and rhubarb crumble with whiskey custard (both at £6.50).

Other goodies on the menu we left for another time included Angus short ribs, hickory smoked on site for 12 hours and served with pickles, sauce and rosemary fries (£22), smoked half chicken with sauce, slaw and sweet potato fries, seven different burgers from £8.50 to £12 and, for those seriously hungry moments, the Cattle Platter of St Louis pork rib, beef short rib, smoked chicken, honey and beer onion rings and fries. Those on budgets will be pleased to know that Cattle and Co accept the Tastecard discount dining card, which halves all the food prices shown.

Tel 020 7693 7278


o Another good place to know in the Euston area, if food quality is more important than decor is Roti King, located at 40, Doric Way NW1 1LH, a scruffy area up the East side of the station.

The reliable Harden's London Restaurant guide has it right when it reports "Nothing prepares you for the simply wonderful Malaysian rotis, freshly made in front of your eyes at this 'tiny' and 'in-no-way-pretty' basement". Rotis, as fans of the cuisine will know are unleavened flat breads made from stoneground wholemeal flour, also called chapatis and originating from the Indian sub-continent, though also popular in the Southern Caribbean and parts of South Africa. Here they come with a variety of savoury and sweet fillings for £3-5.

Also available is an authentic Singapore Laksa spicy coconut soup and a range of Malaysian noodle and rice dishes, all for under £10. Cash only, no reservations.


o The recently-refurbished Steam Bar at the Paddington Hilton was a good watering hole to try a selection of brandies and American whiskies recently.

Of the cognacs, all at 40% ABV, we gave top score to the Remy Martin XO, with the Remy VSOP just behind and the Martell and Courvoisier VS just behind that, Top marks for the four bourbons and Tennessee whiskies went to the Woodland Reserve and the Maker's Mark Red, both at a powerful 45% ABV, with the Jim Beam White and the Jack Daniels, both at 40% ABV, just behind.

Thanks to the barman there who demonstrated that using the wrong end of the spirit measure dropped around a quarter of a measure (two teaspoons), and enough for a tasting of strong liquor, into the glass.


o The small but quality selection of four tap beers at the friendly bar at the above Cattle and Co restaurant was impressive, as was the touching sign outside during the recent bout of hot weather "We have beers as cold as your ex's heart".

The clean and pure Italian Peroni (ABV 5%, £5 a pint) and the powerful Czech Pilsner Urquell (ABV 4.5%, £5 a pint) will be well-known to serious cold beer drinkers but they also have a hoppy Blue Point toasted beer from New York (ABV 5%, £5 a pint) and, our personal favourite, Angry Orchard cider, also from New York, which we found sweet, intensely appley and thirst-quenchingly refreshing. (ABV 5%, £4.90 a pint).


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.


Speaker agencies delete speakers from the bloated and unelected House of Lords after the negative Cunard experience with Patience Wheatcroft... Management of the St James Street hotel, Liverpool, hold an auction of wedding presents confiscated from newly-weds who failed to settle their bill as soon as presented. A spokesperson confirms "This is all part of the Signature Living Group's unrivalled fairy-tail wedding experience they will remember for the rest of their lives"... An event organiser is promoted after she spots her boss going into a swingers club in Leeds... Deep thinkers at trade publishers Monomax explain their reasons for lobbying to keep venues with a known drug culture open, and advertising... A couple finding both a man and a woman in their bed on checking in at Travelodge are offered a free dinner and a free breakfast too... In an exhaustive national customer survey by Primark several young women deny having slept with Usain Bolt... 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. 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.)

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