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.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE AT EVENTS TARGETTED IN UK
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.
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.
KEEP IT FASTENED
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.
STAY SEATED, PLEASE
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.
DANUBIUS FINANCIAL CONTROLLER IN COURT
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.
WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?
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.
THE OLIVE TREE
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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…
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