Event Organisers Update November 2016 ISSUE 146 - 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 thought-provoking piece about networking in Conference News by one of its columnists Richard John caught our eye.

"Cut to the chase" proposed that much time at event industry networking sessions could be saved if organisers of such events used matchmaking software to identify what each delegate was actually looking for, and published this information on delegate's badges, so that delegates didn't waste valuable time networking with people who couldn't supply what they wanted.

Leaving out the software it is an intriguing idea to simply give delegates bigger badges and allow them to write their needs on it, perhaps after the words LOOKING FOR..... Thus those after employment could write " A job" and those looking to employ could write "Employees". Those with a venue, product or service to sell could write "Customers for my venue/product/service" and those organizing an event could write " A venue/product/service for my event", though at some networking sessions we've attended such delegates could be mobbed by takers. Event industry PR's could write "Publicity for my clients" and event industry journalists could choose between "Gossip", "Scandal" and "Anything free".

Worth a try?


Another malfunctioning themepark ride has made the headlines, following the Smiler crash last year at Alton Towers.

This time it's at Dreamworld on Australia's Gold Coast where a raft on the Thunder River Rapid ride flipped over when it was travelling on a conveyor belt throwing two children clear and killing two men and two women. Tragically the children thrown clear saw their mothers die.

The park is operated by Ardent Leisure which has suffered criticism for wanting to reopen a few days later and for using PR-talk that they had "reached out" to the victim's families, which they hadn't.

Over the last ten years the park has won a clutch of awards from Queensland Tourism, for what it's worth.


The four star 53-bedroom Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter was completely destroyed by fire last month, which was thought to have started in the adjacent fine art gallery. Everyone was safely evacuated and 120 firefighters battled to save it.

It was the first property in England to be called a hotel, back in 1769, and hosted such notables as Admiral Nelson, Franz Liszt, Beatrix Potter, Thomas Hardy, Clark Gable and Gary Cooper. Paintings destroyed in the Castle Fine Art Gallery included works by Bob Dylan and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.

The hotel's current owner Andrew Brownswood, who bought it in 2003 for £4.5 million has pledged to rebuild it.


A dispute over building works that ran three months behind schedule at the Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch forced a Leeds construction company into liquidation. (The Business Desk)

The £35 million turnover company, Bay Construct Ltd, was incorporated in 2011 and went into liquidation last month with a loss of 95 jobs.


The Richmond Hotel Liverpool, in the city's business district and a short stroll from Lime Street station, is independently owned and was converted from the head office for Merseytravel three years ago, though local folk still occasionally pop in to inquire about bus passes. The Grade ll listed building dates back to 1906, and the hotel is part of the Best Western Premier Collection.

The 130 rooms are grouped into 52 apartments containing 2, 3 or 4 rooms, so individual rooms and/or apartments can be booked. All the rooms are individually designed and for those who like a traditional soak all the rooms have full-sized baths, some with showers over and some with separate shower stalls. All have large comfortable beds, good reading lighting and 41" flat screen TV's, as well as safe for lap tops and a comfortable work station. There is complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel. Larger suites have kitchen areas for self-catering with cooker, washing machine, toaster, iron and ironing board and fridge with real milk in. Those wanting a room with a view can select from one of eight on the top floor which have good vistas of the city. Rooms are priced from £79 to £300.

For events there are two rooms - the William and Kane Suite which will comfortably hold 160+ theatre style and 150 for a banquet and Florentyna's for 30 theatre style and 24 for a banquet.

The R Bar and Brasserie offers a changing menu of classic and thoughtful dishes and accepts the Tastecard discount dining card offering 50% off the food bill at selected times.

Tel. 0151 236 1220 Email reservations@richmondliverpool.com Visit www.richmondliverpool.com


Organisers looking for exclusive use of elegant conference rooms in the heart of historical London will want to know about Trinity House, on Tower Hill in EC3 and adjacent to the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the Thames.

With the atmosphere of a stately country mansion and furniture, paintings and 1790's decor to match Trinity House is a Grade 1 listed building that is part of England's maritime history, today operating as the working home of the General Lighthouse Authority as well as the headquarters of the Corporation of Trinity House, a registered charity that provides aids for maritime navigation as well as funding for cadetships and donations to other maritime charities. Past Masters of Trinity House, from its first in 1514, have included Admirals, Vice-Admirals, Captains, Earls, Dukes, Colonels, Barons, Baronets and Viscounts, along with the Rt Hon William Pitt and diarist Samuel Pepys. The current Master is HRH The Princess Royal KC KT GCVO who took the post in 2011 after her father, HRH The Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GBE had held it since 1969, a 42-year tenure making him the longest serving Master.

For organisers the suite of five rooms on an exclusive hire basis comprise the Library which accommodates up to 130 theatre-style or on round tables and 180 for a reception, the Court Room for 80 theatre-style, 60 on round tables and 130 for a reception and the Pepys Room for 45 theatre-style, 30 on round tables and 50 for a reception. The luncheon room can take 20 on round tables, 40 for a reception and 18 boardroom-style, while the Reading Room takes 10 on round tables, 20 for a reception and 12 boardroom-style. Rates for the exclusive use on Weekdays range from £1100 for a Breakfast Meeting (7.00 - 11.30), £1900 for Midday (11.00 - 15.00), £3,300 for a Reception slot (18.00 - 21.30) and £4,300 for a full Evening (18.00-23.00) A Half day is £2,900 (8.00 - 15.00) and an All day is £3,900 (8.00 - 17.00). On weekends a 6-hour slot on a Saturday is £5,350, on a Sunday is £6,500.

Those booking Trinity House can also book tours of the property, with the history of the paintings, artefacts and statuary, as well as a team-building treasure hunt around the immediate historical area and a breakfast, powerboat ride on the Thames and Champagne lunch package.

Tel. 020 7481 6931 Email. venue.enquiries@trinityhouse.co.uk Visit www.trinityhouse.co.uk/events-at-trinity-house-london (short film to view)


Also in the area is the Grange City Hotel, located opposite Trinity House in Coopers Row and with many of its 307 guest bedrooms offering views of the historic Tower of London and Tower Bridge, along with the Shard for modern contrast. For those who love their history and archaeology the hotel site also features the largest remaining undamaged piece of London's Roman Wall, a 30-metre run that was 9 ft thick at the base and 20 ft high when built around AD 200. Today the top half is a section that was added in Medieval times.

Ladies are especially catered for here with a number of the Executive rooms designated female-friendly and incorporating a backlit make up mirror, extra shelving, long-corded hairdryer in bathroom with sunken bath, variable height shower and range of bathroom toiletries and beauty products. For security and peace of mind there are personal doorbells, chain locks and spyholes on the doors. Other Executive rooms are designated as Club rooms, giving express check-in and 24-hour access to the Business Lounge, with complimentary food and drink items. Also available are five exclusive top floor suites, with large separate lounge and sleeping areas and a kitchen, and the Presidential Suite, large enough to be used for meetings of 30 and private dining.

For larger events there is the Auditorium which can accommodate 500 theatre style and divides into two, the Beauchamp for 100, also divisible, the Crown for 120 and the Wakefield suite for 40 which divides into four rooms for 6 boardroom. All rooms are on the first floor, have natural daylight and come equipped with flat-screen LED monitors, WiFi and digital projectors.

The Grange City also boasts a private health and fitness club with a 25-metre swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, large gym and Ajala Spa with treatment rooms. Golf players can enjoy the on-site virtual golf facility.

Tel 020 7863 3700 Fax 020 7863 3701 Email: city.events@grangehotels.com www.grangehotels.com


Free networking sessions for anyone in the events industry are held by Citizen Event at the Grace Bar and Restaurant, 42, Great Windmill Street, London, W1D 7NB on the last Friday of every month.

There is normally no organised programme but October's session featured a speaker from health and safety consultants FPL who warned that organisers should always ask themselves how what they have done will sound in court, whether it sounds like enough and how it would look if a barrister read out their company's profit margins.

Sessions,which have been staged from April last year run from 08.30 to 11.30 and normally attract an average of 70 delegates, with overt selling discouraged and beverages, pastries and biscuits supplied.

Email charlotte@citizenevent.org


Another good exhibition for those wanting to keep up with food trends is Lunch, held at the Business Design Centre, Islington in September and focussing on food to go.

At this year's presentation we sampled some Up & Go liquid breakfast, made from skimmed milk and oats. Apparently a 330 ml carton of this replaces a bowl of cereal with milk, and though it was pleasant to drink we personally prefer our big breakfast bowl of home-mixed museli with oat clusters for crunchy contrast. It is , however a growing trend for thrusting young types, especially in Australia, to ditch the bowl of traditional cereals in favour of something they can eat or drink whilst driving, perhaps with a mobile phone in the other hand, so who are we to carp?

Meanwhile the use of the Indian spice mixture called chai continues to grow as an added taste for tea, coffee and other beverages.Traditionally based on a mixture of ginger and cardoman and formerly just added to black tea, chai (origin of the British word char for tea) is now also likely to contain other ingredients such as cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel, peppercorn, nutmeg, mace, cumin and turmeric and allspice. Chilli chai liquid breakfast, anyone?

The days of crisps being just plain with a little blue bag of salt as an optional addition are long gone though with the passion for all things retro they could come back to join the hundreds of new flavours now on the market. Some of these are offered by Savoursmiths crisps who have truffle and rosemary, champagne and chilli and parmesan and port to tickle the tastebuds.

Last but not least for this fan of Japanese cuisine and all things sushi we loved the seaweed snack from Welsh firm Selwyns. This is made from top grade nori from Japan, pressed into wafer-thin, feather-light sheets and triple roasted with a number of additional flavourings. Our clear favourite was the simple but highly effective sea salt and vinegar combination, which for us added to the strong taste of the sea experience, but they also have coconut and chilli and honey and sesame. Healthy eaters will want to know that there are only a dozen calories per pack and that nori is stuffed with vitamins, minerals such as calcium, omega 3 and iodine.


Those who admire the dramatic and cinematically lit art of the Italian painter Caravaggio can enjoy a current exhibition, Beyond Caravaggio running at the National Gallery, London until January 15 2017.

Wanted for murder and dying in mysterious circumstances in 1610 at the age of 38 Caravaggio has been described as "mad, bad and dangerous to know" The fact that he painted a number of homo-erotic pieces, such as fruity boys, clothed and unclothed, with come to bed eyes and no female nudes convinced many of his sexual orientation, this not detracting from the power and depth of his paintings with their boldly highlighted subjects against pitch-dark backgrounds. The exhibition shows how many talented others were influenced to the point of imitation.

Tickets are £16, including a voluntary donation. www.nationalgallery.org.uk


One of the truly riveting and under-rated political thrillers of the 70's, Twilight's Last Gleaming, deals with the reasons why the truth about American involvement in the war in Vietnam was kept from the American public. It features a fictional war hero and renegade USAF General (Burt Lancaster) who breaks out of prison with a small group of convicts to capture an ICBM missile silo he helped design, threatening to fire its nine Titan nuclear missiles at Russia and start WW3 unless the President (Charles Durning) tells the American public the truth, suppressed for years, about why so many had to die.

This one did poorly at the box office when released in 1977 (perhaps people don't want the truth?) but has since grown into a cult hit since as questions have been asked about Vietnam and because an appreciation has grown over the years of the plausibility of the clever plot and the likely and ruthless reaction of the US military, embodied by Richard Widmark, to the subversive challenge from one of their own Its promotion was also hampered on release by all the split screen shots that dramatically worked to show things happening simultaneously but were difficult to put on video tape, now no problem for DVDs.

The film's title is taken from the words of the US National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner which begins: "Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light / What so proudly we hailed as the twilight's last gleaming", a reference that works for a film about a public being kept in the dark. For this viewer it was also a joy to see the three leads together at the height of their powers, and now sadly no longer with us - Lancaster, who died in 1994 aged 80, Widmark, who died in 2008 aged 93 and Durning, a king of character actors, who died in 2012 aged 89. We'll be watching it again, to see the reality of the "land of the free, and the home of the brave".

Twilight's Last Gleaming was released last month by Eureka Entertainment in a Dual Format DVD and Blu-Ray presentation and as part of its Masters of Cinema series. It is directed by Robert Aldrich and the package includes a feature-length documentary, Aldrich Over Munich, about the making of the film in Bavaia, as well as a 39-page booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Neil Synyard and an interview with Aldrich in 1977.


January 23-25 2017 Great Hospitality Show NEC Birmingham

January 28 2017 Excursions Alexandra Palace, London

February 22-23 2017 Business Travel Show Olympia, London

April 12-13 2017 Venue Expo EICC Edinburgh


Intrigued to note that bent Lloyds bank employees took part in a fraud that siphoned millions from Lloyd's business customer accounts.

Apparently two trusted Lloyds customer services assistants and a trusted Lloyds business advisor were paid to pass details of Lloyds business customer accounts to a gang of fraudsters who then called up the companies, 750 in all, claiming to be from their bank and using details from their accounts to persuade them to give internet bank security details and passwords that allowed them to clear their victim's accounts.

The gang netted £113 million from Lloyds customers, and customers of Santander, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland before they were caught and the ringleaders jailed.

As readers will know Lloyds were also in the news recently over their overpaid boss, Antonio Horta-Osorio having networking sessions with a female former aide of Tony Blair in his Singapore hotel room during a conference there. Old Grit cant help but wonder if Horta-Osorio spent more time on crucial Lloyds security for the business customers who pay his generous salary, and less time with women in hotel rooms whether his bent staff and the fraudsters would have got away with so much.


Falling asleep in meetings is a common occurrence, according to a survey by Hilton which found that one in three delegates admitted feeling drowsy or falling asleep in the after-lunch "graveyard session".

One regular snoozer at events was the late and much-missed whisky expert Michael Jackson who, according to a colleague, had "an ability to fall asleep in a meeting" and then "suddenly awake in order a specific question, or contribute to the conversation, without skipping a beat".

So snore away - you're in good company.


Pathetic, it was to read about the attendance at the Royal Clarence Hotel fire of the £85,000 a year Police and Crime Commissioner, Alison Hernandez. Ms Hernandez, whose job gave her no reason to be at the scene of the blaze, was photographed taking a selfie of herself and Lee Howell, the Chief Fire Officer for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service as the fire burned behind them.

Fernandez and Howell should have both known better. Pass the sick bag.


o Finding ourselves in the Tower Bridge area of London on a quiet Sunday night with most restaurants closed we were glad to find one of the two London-based Bavarian Beerhouse German restaurants around a corner.

This was especially as they have a daily special most nights for £15, which includes a pint of genuine German beer. Our favourite here is the £5.90 pint of Lowenbrau, a tasty Munich-style quality quaff, which meant we got the daily special for £9.10 (normally £13.90) and on Sunday this was a decent pork steak with two big and light dumplings, moist red cabbage and flavourful dark beer sauce, all of which hit the spot perfectly, as did the informally boisterous sounds of people enjoying themselves.

For the record Monday is Schnitzel, chips and a pint night for £15 (choice of seven pork schnitzels, normally £13.90)), Wednesday is three different sausages served with mash and sauerkraut and a pint for £15 (food normally £13.90) and Saturdays you can get the giant meatball with fried potatoes, fried egg, a side salad and a pint for £15 (food normally £13.90) Those popping statins, unfazed by cholesterol or calories and loving fatty pork with the healthy crackling and all can head in on a Tuesday night and devour the massive roasted pork shank with dumplings, gravy and sauerkraut (normally £16.90 ) served with an equally massive stein (2 pints) of beer, normally £10.90 for the Lowenbrau, a total of £27.80 worth for £19.90. Nouvelle cuisine it aint.

The two London Bavarian Beerhouses are at 190, City Road and 9, Crutched Friars, freephone number 0800 5300 016


o Those who enjoyed the sentimental Forrest Gump film with Tom Hanks playing the amiable simpleton with the 75 IQ could well also enjoy a meal at the Forrest Gump themed Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant in London's Coventry Street, just off Piccadilly Circus. And they take the Tastecard for half price food.

Film fans will know that Gump's Army friend Bubba Blue, who was killed in combat always wanted to have a shrimp boat and make money catching and selling the fruit of the sea, so the menu here has a lot of shrimp, with references in the dish titles to the film's characters such as Gump, Bubba, Lt Dan and Jenny, his lifetime love. Going strictly on the food we enjoyed a big starter of the Run Across America Sampler, which comprised "Bubba's Far Out Dip and Chips, Chilled Peel 'n' Eat Shrimp, Spicy Chicken Strips, Hush Pups (fishcakes) and Mama Blues Fried Shrimp" which at the half price of £8 was great value for money. Also good, but too much for us to finish was the Jambalaya, a risotto with lots more shrimp, blackened chicken, pork sausage, bell pepper, onions, tomatoes and (inevitably) Bubba's own spicy sauce, also great value at the half price of £7.62.

OK some will find the heavy merchandising touristy and naff, but for our money the grub's good value at these prices, which will get us back to try some of the other 50+ dishes Take someone who loved the film, and remember, life is like a box of chocolates...

Tel 020 3763 5288 Email sales@bubbagumpshrimp.co.uk Visit www.bubbagumpshrimp.co.uk


o A 50% off offer on food on Monday nights is made by the Busaba Thai restaurant chain in its Liverpool One outlet, which opened earlier this year. The company also has a branch in Manchester, as well as new ones in St Albans and Oxford Circus, and 12 other established branches in London, including at Westfield in Shepherds Bush and Stratford and the O2.

On our Monday night visit to the Liverpool restaurant we enjoyed the half price deals on the Thai calamari with ginger and green peppercorn at £6.95 (Soft rather than crispy as advertised but tasty nonetheless) the Pandan chicken with dark soy and sesame sauce at £6.25, the Thai fish cakes with mild cucumber and peanut relish at £6.25, the Massaman chicken curry with more peanuts, potato, star anise, cinnamon and onion at £14.25 and the superb char-grilled whole sea bream with turmeric, coriander, lemongrass and a good chilli kick, soothed by some fragrant jasmine rice. With a Thai roti and some nutty prawn crackers the bill came to around £18 per person, rather than £36, making it a good place to know if you are in Liverpool on a Monday.

Tel 0151 541 1770 Visit www.busaba.com


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.


An industry networking session is abandoned after some delegates complete their LOOKING FOR... badges with "someone else's husband" and "someone else's wife"... Queensland Tourism clarifies: "Our awards are made for commercial excellence, and not for safety"... Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner explains why she had to have a selfie of herself with a fireman... Antonio Horta-Osario of Lloyds Bank claims "The discussion I had with the woman in my conference hotel room was to do with security in the bonking sector"... In the USA Ivanka Trump and Bill Clinton are found having a quiet drink together. She tells the press "My father is right - when you're a star you can grab anything you want" Meanwhile Donald and Hilary admit "We're deeply in love"... Our prime minister launches her own branded range of sexy, but conservatively-styled women's underwear, MAYBE, including a pair of classy satin Union Jack knickers. Nicola Sturgeon comments "I'm proud to say I'm wearing a pair of those right now"... 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 21,000 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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