Event Organisers Update April 2017 ISSUE 151 - 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.


Time Out's London magazine contains some continuing bad news for those eating out in our capital - London's average food hygiene ratings given by the Food Standards Agency for its restaurants are still lower than any other UK city, except Leicester.

Time for London to clean its act up say the mag, and pinpoint postcode district E13 (Plaistow, West Ham, Upton Park and parts of Newham) as having the worst record in this respect. Other significantly bad spots in that area are East postcodes 5,6,7,8,9,12 and 15. Northern postcodes also identified are 1,7,16 and 18 and NW ones as 5,6,8 and 10. South London has SE 5,9,13,15,17 and 20 and West London has W9.

Areas represented by the above postcodes can be identified from website doogal.co.uk/london_postcards. This, of course, doesn't mean that every eatery there is a potential health risk.

Just check with the FSA before you book, and mind how you go.


A planned four-day Strictly Come Dancing fan event for June at Excel, London, has been cancelled by BBC Worldwide and organisers SME Events after poor ticket sales indicated prices for entry and add-ons had been set too high.

Tickets for the "Spectacular" cost £70 and fans were being asked to pay an "extortionate" £26.80 for the stunning opportunity to have their photo taken with one of the programme's judges, and other minor celebrities. Fans who paid for tickets will get their money refunded but will lose anything they have already paid out for travel or accommodation.

Organisers SME promote themselves as "YOUR CONNECTION TO SUCCESS" and had promised exhibitors paying £375 plus VAT per square metre for stands at the event a "captive audience" of 36,000 passionate fans of the programme, predominately female. They targeted companies selling fashion and lifestyle products and promised visitors, with the approval of the strictly non-commercial BBC "At the heart of the Spectacular will be an unrivalled shopping experience featuring a showcase of carefully selected lifestyle and fashion brands that will bring alive the magic of Strictly Come Dancing".


Mr Novtej Singh Dhillon and his former wife Sarina Thiara Dhillon have been disqualified from acting as company directors for 11 years and four and a half years respectively. (Business Desk)

The ban on the former owners of the Paragon Hotel in Birmingham, and others in Amersham, Kingston-upon-Thames and Hurley-on-Thames follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service which found that the couple's bank had lost £31.8 million as a result of being misled by them over the financial viability of the hotel group. A judge accused Mr Dhillon of being "a man who regards truth as being merely an optional extra when doing business".

The Paragon, offering more than 200 bedrooms and 13 meetings rooms for up to 500 was sold in 2013 for £3 million


A free exhibition featuring photographs and paintings of the devastation of London during WW2, Londoners sheltering and sleeping on Tube station platforms, is running at the Museum of London till May 8.

East London was hit the hardest, and in one December night in 1940, dubbed "The Second Great Fire of London", more than 124, 000 bombs were dropped by German planes on the Capital.


Those with delegates who appreciate art will want to know about the Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate, where wine and canape receptions for up to 100 can be held for £180 per hour after 5.00pm.

Amongst others the Mercer features works by the Victorian "Painter of Moonlight" Atkinson Grimshaw, (1836-1893) whose early detailed Pre-Raphaelite landscapes and later evocative nocturnes of local and London scenes are portrayed in a comprehensive large format book on sale there. This was £20 but the gallery has discounted it to £10, a bargain for something containing up to 100 of his works.

The Mercer also has a school room for 30 in rows. The famous Harrogate Pump Room is part of the same group and where the rich would come and brave drinking the purgative sulphur waters after too much culinary indulgence. This holds 75-100 for a reception and for £100 per hour.

Contact Vanessa Sansom 01423 556188 email museums@harrogate.gov.uk


Those who like to cruise, and that was 1.9 million of us last year, might like to know about two of the innovations on the new 3,000 passenger, £41 billion Celebrity Edge, starting on the high seas of the Caribbean in late 2018.

Firstly there are 918 outside cabins that have bi-fold doors that can open up in fine weather to turn the area into an open air balcony. Secondly there is a large "Magic Carpet" platform that slides up and down outside between Decks 2 and 16, and can be used to drop passengers to sea level to board a tender, and can be parked at other decks for al fresco parties and alternative dining. Note that the Caribbean Hurricane Season can run from May to December, if you're unlucky.

Prices for basic cabins are expected to start at around £3,000 per person.


Those old enough to remember enjoying Mike Leigh's painfully funny study of how we were in the 70's as a 1970 TV Play for Today can also enjoy a 40th Anniversary revival currently touring provincial theatres.

The original TV offering starred Alison Steadman, creating a tough act to follow as Beverly, the aspirational Essex-girl hostess from hell, bullying, patronising, cajoling and flirting with her drinks party guests while berating and ridiculing her hen-pecked and highly-strung husband, with tragic results. The live revival stars a superbly naff Amanda Abington in the Beverly role, strongly supported by Ben Caplin as her estate agent husband, Lawrence. Also excellent are Rose Keegan as divorcee Sue, twitchy about the party being held by her 15 year-old daughter Abigail, a few doors away, Charlotte Mills as Angela, the gauche and amiable chatterbox nurse who never says no to a G&T/ice and lemon and Ciaran Owens as her sullen computer-operator and one-time footballer husband Tony.

Abington opens the play with some superb scene-setting and stealing, dirty dancing on her own to Donna Summer's orgasmic Love to Love You Baby and it then romps along from there as the characters develop and the laughs, perceptive observations from Leigh and toe-curlings come thick and fast. For our money (£38 for a front stalls seat at the Cambridge Arts Theatre) Ciaran Owens, playing "Tone" the object of Beverly's erotic intentions, shows along with his neanderthal persona, a real talent for reaction comedy. But really, they were all good, and the audience was suitably appreciative.

Abigail's Party finishes its tour in Richmond, April 24 - 29. Catch it if you can, for chuckles and cringes.


Good to see that more questions are being asked about bits of the UK's £12 billion aid budget being wasted on some of the richest in the world., rather than being used to help the poorest.

Latest nonsense from the Department for International Development (Dfid) is to blow £17 million of UK taxpayer's money to fund a geothermal energy project that will, if successful, slash energy bills for the luxury hotels on the Caribbean island of St Lucia, allowing them to make more money from the celebrity rich who stay there.

Apparently the ramping up of aid to the Caribbean was a priority of our much-loved former prime minister, one D.Cameron.........


Sad to see that former director-general of the CBI, Lord Digby Jones is sponging off the UK taxpayer when he really doesn't need to.

Reportedly the 61 year-old makes between £10,000 and £25,000 giving lunchtime speeches on how business should conduct itself, and be "socially inclusive" having registered at the House of Lords on some of those days to claim £300 per day, plus travel costs, from the taxpayer. Apparently Lord Jones justifies his greed by claiming that the nation gets the benefit of his experience.


Isn't anyone in their company giving Sir David Rowat Barclay and Sir Frederick Hugh Barclay, jointly worth more than £6.5 billion and owners of the Ritz hotel in London, some guidance as to how much damage is being done to their reputations in their twilight years by stupid and un-necessary legal actions?

Following on from successful 2011 actions against the Desborough Riitz, so called for nearly 90 years, and the Ritz wedding venue in Kettering, Northants the brother's company has now targeted the 80 year old Brighouse Ritz in Yorkshire, a music venue, Barclay's lawyers demanding that they change their name or face legal action from the £6.5 billion pair. None of these venues pose any threat to the London Ritz and the actions are reminiscent of the Hilton Group legally forcing a little curry house in Newport, Monmouthshire to stop calling itself the Hilton Tandoori.

The Barclays also own the Daily Telegraph, where the brave editorial team have been noticeably quiet about the stupidity, though have previously published a fawning piece about the Ritz restaurant.


o Carnivores looking for a low-cost lunch-time meat fix in can head for the mini-rodizio at the Preto Brazilian restaurant chain. This is offered Monday-Friday 12.00-4.00 at their branches in Queensway, Victoria, Putney, Croydon, Loughborough and Colchester and costs £12.32, being £10.95 plus a cover charge of £1.37 (12.5%).

At their Victoria branch recently this got us unlimited visits to the modest salad bar, which also featured a creamy and tasty beef stroganoff as well as the obligatory fatty pork and beans feijoada, and a vegetarian bean stew, and generous portions of six grilled meats. These were two types of beef, two of chicken, pork and a pork sausage.

For those looking for something cheaper the salad bar selection is available at lunchtime for £5.95, plus cover charge.


o Modern British food with flair is the offer at Butlers restaurant at 85-87 South Street, Eastbourne, which happily accepts the Tastecard discount dining card for 50% off the dishes.

On two occasions recently we've just had two or three starters and a dessert and enjoyed the wonderfully savoury and sweet sauteed chicken livers on toasted ciabatta with caramelised onions, chicken gravy and streaky bacon,(£6.95/£3.48) and the king prawn and crayfish medley with creamy marie rose sauce, homemade pickled sweet cucumber and wholemeal bread.(£6.95/£3.48) For dessert we loved the selection of chef's home-made sorbets and ice creams (three scoops for £3.95/£1.98) ,all good but the intense flavour of his blackcurrant sorbet was memorable.

Mains include steaks, wild stone bass, salmon with mussels, chicken breast and duck breast, all great value at £7 to £12 with the card (bookings essential 01323 728400 butlerseastbourne.co.uk)


To the annual Wines of Portugal Grand Tasting where some 700 wines are offered. This visit our personal show star is a new port from the Symington Family Estates, Graham's Six Grapes River Quintas Special Edition NV, a lovely fresh and intense addition to the producer's award-winning, one hundred year-old Six Grapes range.

Apparently this collection was a favourite choice of Sir Winston Churchill and the likely retail price of around £20+ a bottle for this clever blend will doubtless play well with port-lovers who want something with a vintage style that they can afford to drink as an everyday tipple.

Serve it cold.


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.


Efforts in Leicester restaurants lead to the city's food hygiene scores beating London's… Event organisers accept that audience figures for TV shows do not strictly translate into ticket and add-on sales for overpriced live spin-offs… David Cameron explains why he was especially keen to get taxpayer's money to luxury hotels in the Caribbean… Lord Digby Jones gives back the taxpayer's money he has claimed, but doesn't need, in the House of Lords… featured in a double-page spread in the Daily Telegraph owners the fabulously rich octogenarian Barclay twins cease and desist from suing venues using the name Ritz, fully reimburse all those they have already sued and increase the amounts they give to charities. Their personal PR consultant comments "Hopefully people won’t now think so badly of them when they're gone"… 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 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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