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.
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.
DEATHS SHUT NIGHTCLUB
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.
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.
POINTERS UNDER THREAT
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.
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.
FANCY SEEING YOU HERE, BOSS
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?
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.
PATHS OF GLORY
"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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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...
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