Event Organisers Update May 2017 ISSUE 152 - 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.


The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) and Rape Crisis England and Wales have teamed up to build awareness of the possibility of sexual violence at festivals, targeting more than 25 music events such as Bestival, Boomtown Fair, Parklife and Secret Garden Party.

Measures include zero tolerance towards any form of sexual harassment, confidential welfare services for victims and specialist training for staff.

According to Rape Crisis England and Wales more than half a million adults are sexually assaulted each year with 85,000 women and 12,000 men suffering rape. Only 15% of the crimes are reported to police.

On New Year's Eve last year more than 90 women reported being attacked by up to 1,000 men "of Arab or North African appearance" around Cologne cathedral.


Passengers understandably concerned that their aircraft, and lives, could be endangered by drones being accidentally or deliberately flown too close to airports and flight paths can probably breathe a little easier since the recent Counter Terror Expo event at Olympia, London.

Here a radar-based drone detection system called Sharpeye SxV from British manufacturer Kelvin Hughes was demonstrated, showcasing its use at airports, detecting and providing early warning of the operation of drones. Some systems also locate the operator of the drone, giving security forces a chance to move in and arrest before a plane is brought down.

In the events industry the main and mostly harmless use of drones is to cheaply capture unique bird's eye images of events, particularly sports events. However drones are also used to fly drugs and other contraband over prison walls, to drop bombs and to spy on neighbours.


A severe bout of turbulence hit an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Bangkok, 40 minutes before landing and injured 27 people, with some broken bones and three victims needing surgery.

The turbulence was the clear-air type (CAT) whereby the aircraft is caught at the junction of air masses travelling at different speeds. CAT is impossible to predict, and invisible to the naked eye or conventional radar.

Some of the most powerful turbulence can hurl passengers and objects around the cabin, the reason that airlines advise keeping seat belts fastened at all times. Some of the Aeroflot passengers had not heeded the advice and were thrown up to the cabin ceiling.

There are around 750 cases of CAT reported every year, some occurring while passengers are out of their seats and queuing up to buy duty-free goods sold by the airlines.


Meanwhile an 11 year old schoolgirl on a May 9 school trip, Evha Janneth, has died at Drayton Manor theme park, Staffordshire after she stood up to change seats on one of the circular boats of the Splash Canyon water ride. As he did the boat hit a rock and she was thrown out into the fast flowing water, and dragged under by the strong current. Despite receiving life support from ambulance crews she suffered cardiac arrest and died after being airlifted to Birmingham Children's Hospital.

The Splash Canyon ride, described by those who sell it as "wild" has been closed while an investigation takes place. Water rapid rides at Alton Towers, Legoland Windsor and Thorpe Park have also been closed.

Since the tragedy a mother has come forward to claim that her ten year old son also stood up on the same Drayton Manor ride in 2013, to have his photograph taken, and was similarly thrown into the water, though survived, when the boat bumped against the side.


The financial controller of the four-star Danubius hotel, Nasser Ahmad (42) stole more than £110,000 over five years by letting friends and family stay there free, a court has heard.

Reportedly Ahmad found a way to hack into the computer system of the Regent's Park, London hotel, which overlooks Lords Cricket Ground, and access an unmonitored "English Breakfast Account" to pay bills.

Ahmad, who also works for Tesco claimed to be the victim of a racist conspiracy at the hotel involving his colleagues.


This much-garlanded revival of Edward Albee's pitch-black comedy play about the toxic lives of two American academics and their wives deserves, for our money, every supportive word, much as the 1966 film with Elizabeth Taylor as Martha, husband Richard Burton as her husband George, George Segal as the predatory Nick and Sandy Dennis as his wife fully merited all its Academy nominations and awards.

This four-hander is playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre in Panton Street, London and all four players are superb, with Imelda Staunton as the boozy, flirty Martha, Conlith Hill as her turning worm husband George, with their guests for late-night drinks Imogen Poots as the mousey wife Honey who can't hold her liquor and Luke Treadaway as her husband Nick who can, but who becomes more attracted to floosie Martha, with some encouragement from Gearge, with every swig. So the stage is set for the drinks party from hell, with nasty jibes and jokes in equal measure as the cruel truth about the corrosive nature of the relationships emerges. When Martha pours herself over Nick off-stage and calls out to George that she is necking with one of their two young guests George reterts, to Martha's fury "Which one?" And there's worse, much worse to come, for your entertainment.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? plays until May 27. Catch it if you can.


A film without much sex, violence or foul language might not sound like a feast of fun to some but The Olive Tree, a quirky, leisurely-paced and bitter-sweet story of a ballsy young Spanish woman who sets out to find and bring back her family's ancient olive tree for her dying and catatonic grandad is endearing and affecting.

To do this our fearless and determined heroine, Alma, convincing played by the attractive 22 year-old Anna Castillo, has to enlist the help of her tough-talking, soft-centred uncle Arti, another impressive turn by Javier Gutierrez, and co-worker Rafa, who rather more than likes her (strong support from Pep Ambros). From flashbacks we learn that the thousand year old tree that was so much a part of Alma's childhood was torn up and sold when she was still growing up to raise money for the family farm and years later ended up a centerpiece in the reception of a global energy company in Dusseldorf, over a thousand miles away. Alma decides not to tell her two travelling companions this last important detail but says she has found it in a churchyard in the German city, and with the aid of a forged letter convinces them that the vicar wants them to collect it and bring it back to Spain.

Cue tears, laughter and recriminations, and if the outcome of the final confrontation between energy company suits and human beings doesn't jerk a tear or three then you may need to check your soul for holes.

The Olive Tree was released by Eureka Entertainment in mid-April, was written by Paul Laverty (The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Sweet Sixteen, The Angel's Share) and directed by Iciar Bollain.


Some in Bristol, it seems, are having problems facing up to the very murky past of one of its celebrated personalities.

The sensible decision to change the name of its Colston Hall venue, named in honour of slave trader turned city benefactor Edward Colston has had some screaming that it is political correctness gone mad. In fairness however the glorifying of a man who was happy to fill his boots from the enslavement and murder of others was done at a time when those with money were highly respected by people who didn't think too much about how it had been made, or if they did they didn't care.

Fortunately most of us think very differently today. Another centre of the vile trade was Liverpool, which has acknowledged the roots of its prosperity with the excellent Slavery Museum there. So why cant those who want to airbrush Bristol wake up, wise up and do the same?


Stag and hen events have long been viewed, like stays by some rock stars, with mixed feelings by the hotels and destinations that host them, with the money they spend being balanced against the damage and negative effect on other guests they can leave behind them.

Now "finalist" celebrations of students finishing high school have joined the dodgy list after more than 1,200 Portuguese teenagers reportedly ran amok at the four-star Pueblo Camino Real hotel in Torremolinos, Southern Spain over Easter, throwing mattresses out of windows, destroying tiles and discharging fire extinguishers into corridors. The students claim that the food, hygiene and service left much to be desired for what they had paid.

The organisers of the Portuguese student trips have called for a boycott of Spain claiming that the hotels there are only interested in taking the money and then supplying a sub-standard package. Ironically hotels on the Portuguese Algarve really dont want the Portuguese students and deter the organisers from booking with high prices and high deposits.


Reviews on TripAdvisor are coming under increasing attack from restaurateurs damaged by negative reports.

One who has campaigned against the website is piemaker Richard Earl of Bradford, who TripAdvisor have banned from answering reviewers of his restaurant in Berkhamsted for the past three years, an unfair ban that was lifted only recently following exposure of fake reviews on TripAdvisor. The Irish Mail on Sunday got a restaurant listing for what was actually a derelict house and was then able to post enough fake reviews to propel it to number one on TripAdvisor, ahead of 60 genuine restaurants.

PR companies routinely offer to write positive reviews for their restaurant clients, and negative ones for their competitors. This process is aided by the fact that reviewers dont have to identify themselves to TripAdvisor, or even eat at the restaurant, or stay at the hotel reviewed. So what's the point of something so obviously flawed?


o For high-quality innovative sushi and sashimi the large and glossy Murakami restaurant in St Martin's Lane, London, ticks the boxes, and accepts the Tastecard discount dining card for 50% off a selection of dishes for up to 6 people from Monday to Wednesday.

Recently we drooled over three pieces of very soft, fatty salmon sashimi fillet (£7/£3.50), six pieces of Yellowtail tuna carpaccio with chilli, yazu soy, garlic chips and chives (£11/£5.50), a bowl of miso soup with sliced shitake mushrooms (£3/£1.50) and a seriously inventive and chunky murakami roll comprising salmon, spicy tuna, spring onion, yellowtail and avocado, all rolled in a cucumber sheet and sliced into six big, satisfying mouthfulls (£12.50/£6.25).

Staff were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and outside we were offered a free scoop of green tea ice cream in a sweet bun, usual price £3.50, so we'll be back Murakami also gets "decent ratings" from reporters for Hardens UK Restaurant Guide, where it scores "Good" for food, service and ambiance.


o Also impressive, but in a different price range was Le Hanoi, a Vietnamese restaurant in Macclesfield Street, Chinatown, London.

Here there are nearly 100 choices, ranging from bowls of Pho soup, through a range of sharing platters and meat and seafood dishes to the Chef's Special of roast suckling belly pork for a minimum of 6 people at £10 each and with 24 hours notice.

They also offer a two course lunch special with four choices of starter and five choices of main for £9.50, so on their recommendation we enjoyed the fresh-tasting summer roll with prawns, vermicelli, chopped lettuce, basil and mint and a main of a big bowl of vermicelli in soup with salad items and tasty honey-roast pork.

Le Hanoi gets an enthusiastic rating as a "massively underrated cheap and cheerful" from Time Out, London magazine.


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.


Research into passenger injuries caused by clear air turbulence show that most victims are frequent flyers who think they know best… seat belts are fitted in aircraft toilets… Names of all venues and streets named in honour of former slave traders are changed to reflect changes in modern thinking on their vile trade. Statues and paintings of all UK slave traders are moved into Liverpool's Slavery Museum… Hotels in Spain and Portugal ban all bookings for finalist's events claiming "We need the money, but not that badly"... All reviewers on TripAdvisor have to identify themselves and prove that they have eaten in the restaurant, or stayed at the hotel they are reviewing. Review numbers shrink by 90% but trust in TripAdvisor increases… 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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