Event Organisers Update January 2017 ISSUE 148 - 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.


Those welcoming the reopening of the Fabric London nightclub will not include the relatives and friends of the two young men who died there last year from drug-related causes. Nor do they include those of us who are not persuaded, despite all the protestations from those who make money from nightclubs, that these enterprises are world-class nightlife vital to London's survival as a 24-hour major player on the world stage, rather than just dying, drug-friendly places where some of the young and foolish can hear music, dance and do their substance of choice.

For, though it may not suit London mayor and big club supporter Sadiq Khan, who wanted Fabric kept open despite the drug deaths, the London club scene is rapidly shrinking, with more than 50% of its nightclubs and 40% of its live music venues closed over the last eight years, and the big question is why. Why the declining demand?

According to one veteran of the nightclub business, it's because the venue owners are too greedy. Mark Fuller, 52, who ran the Embassy Club in Mayfair in the 1980's and who now runs the Sanctum Soho Hotel, claims that many clubs have a greedy £500 minimum spend to secure tables in the VIP areas, and others give free drinks all night and even money to attractive women who visit, in a bid to attract high-spending footballers, and rich city types. Also, he says, more people are using the internet to find dates and are less reliant on pick-ups in clubs.

Something for Khan to ponder then, along with the fact that if there are any more drug tragedies at London's clubs, his support for them, along with that of all the others who haven't thought it through, will move from looking just silly and ill-advised to dangerously stupid.


The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced a probe into the online ticket rip-offs common for popular live events.

Some of the tickets traded by touts were originally sold on the basis that they could not be sold to a third party. When the tickets do not display this condition, third parties paying substantial sums for them could find them invalid when presented at the venue.

The CMA is also concerned that other important details, such as the original ticket price, and the seat location are not being revealed to buyers before they buy.


Always tricky, these - look at the gloomy forecasts for Brexit - but nevertheless Buying Business Travel magazine has taken a punt on a few fairly safe bets for the meetings sector, as follows.

o Costs per attendee per day will remain flat in Europe, with modest increases in North America and Asia Pacific.

o Average group size will stay the same in Latin America, but rise by 3-6% everywhere else.

o UK event organisers will book more of their meetings in the UK due to the devalued pound, rather than now more expensive Europe.

o European organisers will also book more of their meetings in the UK, due to the devalued pound.

o Buyers will face a 6.9% rise in accommodation rates at UK venues.

Looks like 2017 could be a bonanza year for UK venues and other suppliers to the events industry, as a result of Brexit.


This sensual painting, by Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton depicts a languorous long-limbed female beauty barely clothed in sheer see-through orange and curled up asleep on a couch drenched by the rays of the setting Mediterranean sun.

It is one of the most memorable and reproduced images in the history of British art, was painted by Leighton in 1895 and sold during the 1970's, a very bad time to sell Victorian art, to an art gallery in Puerto Rico for around £900. Today it would sell for millions.

Flaming June is featured in an exhibition of five of Leighton's paintings - Flaming June: the Making of an Icon - which runs at Leighton's studio and residence in Holland Park, London, now the Leighton House Museum, until April 2.


A curmudgeonly piece in the Telegraph Travel section amusingly listed a number of "inventions that ruined travel" that will chime with some.

High on the list are Segway "mobility scooters" which, along with paddle boerds, road trains for city tours and the "narcissistic weapon of Satan" selfie stick make their users look like "stupid tourists", with the only benefit being to "make normal people feel pleasantly superior".

Travel for many people, says the Telegraph, is not about experiencing any more but about "documenting and bragging". Depressingly the first question often put to a hotel these days by those desperate for connectivity is not about local culture, attractions or transport services but the code for the WiFi.

Hotels come in for some separate criticism over the tiny £10 bottle of gin in the mini-bars, "complicated" bathroom taps and light switches, key cards that stop working when you want to use them - "proper keys don't" - badly-placed electrical sockets, "too many" cushions and bathtubs in the bedroom. Also disliked were being accompanied to the room on check-in ("a tip-generating ploy, nothing more") and the "printed note from the manager telling us how much they are looking forward to making our stay pleasurable".

Readers are, of course, welcome to email comments and additions to the list.


Critics say that, in partnership with director Anthony Mann James Stewart helped change the very nature of the western. For this film fan the late, great Jimmy Stewart always played the great Jimmy Stewart, decent, amiable and vulnerable, with a hard streak of violence that made him someone not to cross, and he did it all so believably.

For this he was the perfect choice to star in a number of notable 1950s westerns directed by Anthony Mann, which included The Man From Laramie in 1955, a revenge story where Stewart comes to isolated Coronado looking for the man who supplied guns to the Apache Indians and sparked a massacre of young Cavalry soldiers, including his young brother. Early on Stewart meets his man without knowing it when he tangles with a ranching family who run the town, with one of them growing into his love interest and played by the demurely lovely Cathy O'Donnell, 32 at the time, who tragically died 15 years later.

Other notable players are Donald Crisp as the tough but fair head of the ranching family, who is losing his sight as well as control of his empire thanks to two vicious and ambitious employees, one his sadistic son and the other the ranch foreman who want to take over, these played by Alex Nichol and Arthur Kennedy.

The Man From Laramie was released by Eureka Entertainment in December and in a Dual Format Blu-ray and DVD edition as part of their Masters of Cinema series. Special features include a new audio commentary by film critic Adrian Martin, a new video interview with critic and novelist Kim Newman and a 32-page booklet featuring a new essay by Phillip Kemp and an interview with director Anthony Mann.


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


We read of an intriguing piece of marketing from hotelier Denise Carter, owner of the 12-bedroom Newton House Hotel, Knaresborough, Yorkshire.

Here Ms Carter is launching "Beat Obesity Breaks" whereby guests are weighed in on arrival, given rooms on the second floor with 40 stairs to climb and no lift, strongly encouraged to take a daily walk or jog around Knaresborough, given smaller portions of breakfast with nothing fried, offered work-outs with the housekeeping staff and weighed out on departure, with discounts awarded to those who have lost weight. And all for £36.50 per person per night B&B, based on two people sharing a room.

Apparently obese or overweight people make up 67.9% of the adult population of the county, compared with the national average of 63.8% so there could well be a gap in the market for such a scheme. Is there however a market in the gap?

For Yorkshire has a well-deserved reputation, as well as for its scenery, for "good grub, and plenty of it", so this one rather goes against the grain. And don't a lot of us go to hotels to be spoilt with things that are bad for us? Reader's views welcome, as always.


We read of more intriguing marketing from a Mr Nick Jones, who hates city chaps in suits so much he once banned 1,000 of them from his Soho House club in New York, in favour of "cool, creative people". Now, however, Jones says he is "ready to embrace the City" and welcome suits with money to spend as he ploughs £200 million into The Ned, a hotel, restaurant and club complex in a former HSBC building in Poultry.

What a difference the pay makes...


Following its cars having built in software to cheat emission tests German car maker Volkswagen are doing some judicious sucking up to their valuable British, Antipodean and American markets by adopting English as its group language.

The company say that English will be the language used at all their senior management conferences by 2021.

Impressive, nein?


o Hardens, publishers of the UK restaurant survey have published a list of the top ten London places to enjoy afternoon tea, defined as a package with sandwiches, cakes and a choice of teas. In price order the selections are:

1 The Savoy £68
2 Claridges £60
3 The Dorchester £55
4 Browns £52.50
5 The Ritz £52
6 The Goring £49
7 The Langham £49
8 Fortnum and Mason £46
9 The Wolseley £28.50
10 The Delaunay £19.50

Of course, for those looking to impress major clients with expensive corporate hospitality, where the high price is the whole point of the exercise, they will be most interested in the top of the above list. Those more interested in getting value for money will pick from the bottom, and perhaps try the Delauney Restaurant and Grand Cafe at 55 Aldwych, where a sweet and tasty alternative to fruit scones is a poppy-seed Gugelhopf sponge cake popular in Viennese coffee houses and served with tangy apricot jam and sinful whipped cream. There are many variations of this Konditorei, many incorporating citrus peels and one available here has tangy pineapple and passion fruit (£6.25). Also available here is a simple cream tea with Gugelhopf or scones and a choice of teas for £9.50 and a full £19.75 afternoon tea upgraded with a glass of Pommery Brut Royale NV Champagne for £29.75


o Old Gannet has often sung the praises of hotel restaurants accepting the Tastecard discount dining card for quality half-priced food and the Thistle Hotel down the west side of Euston station was no exeption for a family meal in December, a month that lots of restaurants refuse to accept discount cards or vouchers.

Superior nibbles were the tasty and mild pan-fried Padron peppers with sea salt (£2.25/£1.12) the typical Spanish tapa with none of the bowl of a dozen supplying the expected very hot one (tip. nibble carefully first) and the chorizo bites with sourdough bread (£2.25/£1.12) Also good from the seven-item Small Plates section was the large Tiger Prawn Cocktail with Marie Rose sauce on gem lettuce and a crispy ciabatta crostini.(£6/£3)

For those with a good appetite the portions of main courses, we were advised by the friendly and helpful staff, are suitably large and two of us only just finished our large bowl of simple but delicious spaghetti with four very substantial snooker-ball sized pork and beef meatballs in a herby tomato sauce served with a side of garlic bread. (£12.50/£6.25) Also available on the Large Plates list were two linguini pastas with different sauces (£11.95/£5.97) and three pizzas for around a menu price of £12.50-£13.35, with an option to add more toppings from a choice of seven for £1 each. As the Thistle tell you, this section comprises "Hearty, homely food for hungry diners", and it's true.

In addition the extensive and varied menu features three salads, six burgers (£12.95/£6.47), seven "Home Comforts" choices such as Fish and chips and Steak and Ale Pie for around £15/£7.50, a range of six "From the Grill" items with three steaks, a pork chop, chicken breast and salmon (menu prices from £12.95 to £18.95), nine sandwiches at menu prices from £6.95 to £12.95 inclusive of a serving of fries, eight side dishes at £2.50/£1.25 and a non-discountable fixed price menu of three starters, three mains and three desserts with two courses at £15.50 and three for £19.50.

Go there hungry and enjoy.


o A couple of blind wine tastings of more than 30 white and rose wines we ran before Christmas identified some favourites with most tasters.

In first place with 65 points was a Kendermans Riesling 2015, a white Qualitatswein from the German Pfalz region with an ABV of 12% and a price in ASDA of £6.50, so for the traditionalists it was good to see that an Old World wine, and a non-trendy German one at that, could still trump the rest when people are not told what they are drinking. The wine is currently in ASDA on a roll-back price of £5, for all those like us who like to drink a bargain.

In second place and well behind with 58 points was also £5 in ASDA, an Italian Cortobella Pinot Grigio Delle Venezia White 2015 at 12.5% ABV, and just behind that with 56 points was a Wairau Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2016 from New Zealand with a 12.5% ABV and a supermarket price tag of £6.50, and a very unfashionable Hardys Nottage Hill Chardonnay 2015 from South East Australia with an ABV of 12.5 and an ASDA price of £4.99.

Happy responsible drinking.


o Nothing new under the sun, the saying goes and that is certainly true of a French sparkler we first enjoyed nearly 40 years ago around Limoux, in the South.

This was a Blanquette de Limoux, a white fizz that predates Champagne by hundreds of years. What was the world's first sparkling wine was produced from 1531 by the Benedictine monks at the abbey in Saint-Hilaire, some wine historians tell us, and the second fermentation in the bottle was a happy accident. It was always, for us, a viable and affordable alternative to champers and is now being tipped as one of a number of French fizzers to challenge the mighty Prosecco. Blanquette has been made for nearly five hundred years from Mauzac, the local Limoux grape they call Blanquette, not grown in other parts and which has to comprise at least 90% of a genuine bottle, with Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc permitted for making up the rest.

Described by Daily Mail wine expert Matthew Dukes as "a keen, racy sparkler that uses the local grape Mauzac to great effect". A 2014 Finest Blanquette de Limoux 1531 at 12% ABV is offered by Tesco for £9.


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.


More London nightclubs are closed due to drug-related deaths of young clubbers from overseas. Sadiq Khan stands down... Ticketing websites are closed down by the CMA... Major hoteliers and inbound travel operators admit "We didn't vote for Brexit because we believed it would be a financial disaster, but we are grateful to those who did for boosting our profits"... Surgery that extends an arm by the length of a selfie stick becomes the must-have operation of 2017 for top tourists... Hoteliers drop Beat Obesity breaks after a guest collapses climbing the stairs to their room... In a bid for greater transparency in the English market Volkswagen alters its famous Vorsprung Durch Technic - Progress Through Technology slogan - to Progress Through Cheating... 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.)

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