Event Organisers Update June 2017 ISSUE 153 - 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.

NEWS

TERROR CHOICES
The recent terrorist atrocities in Manchester and London have certainly put unwelcome pressure on those planning to attend live events.

Question is whether one fights terrorism by continuing to go and thus not letting the terrorists win, as thousands do. Or does one take the view that attendance at the event is supposed to be for enjoyment and that worrying about being shot, stabbed or blown up can only detract from that enjoyment to the extent that it is not worth going, which is what the terrorism is meant to achieve.

The presence of armed police/soldiers on the streets and at venues also polarises opinion, with some reassured by this and others finding it intimidating and another good reason to stay home for some catch-up TV, or a favourite box-set.

Sadly, though many hate the thought that the murder of innocents achieves terrorism goals it does. Fears, expressed before the current spate of attacks, that "London would be next" apparently saw visitor figures drop at many major London venues last year. According to 2016 figures published by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) seven out of the top ten, all of which pull in from 2.45 million to 6.42 million visitors suffered drops, with numbers down 5.9% at the British Museum, 12% at the Natural History Museum, 23% at the Southbank Centre, 3.2% at the Science Museum, 12% at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2% at the Tower of London and 0.2% at the Royal Museums at Greenwich, a total drop of around 1.4 million.

Sad times, while we wait to see what 2017 has left for us.

 

NEW HOTEL FOR PICCADILLY
Planning permission is being sought for a luxury 102-bedroom hotel with conference facilities, named-chef restaurant, bar, a Wellness Spa and swimming pool, the In and Out, on London's Piccadilly.

A group of developers led by Tower Properties Management plan their new hotel, along with four private residences on the site to comprise 90-95 Piccadilly, 42 Half Moon Street and 10-12 White Horse Street, all of which are currently in a dilapidated condition.

The main building at 94 Piccadilly, now a Grade 1 listed, started life as an 18th century mansion house called Egremont, later called Cholmondeley and then Cambridge House after a Marquis and then a Duke occupied it. Later it served as the home of Prime Minister Lord Palmerston until his death in 1865, when it was converted and extended to provide a base for the Naval and Military Club, which was founded in 1862 and became known as the "In and Out Club" due to the prominent IN and OUT signs on the separate gates for vehicular entrance and exit. In 1999 the club, which boasts Prince Philip as its President and T.E. Lawrence among its former members moved to new premises in St James Square and the building has been unused since, although there was a 2011 plan to convert it into a 48-room private house.

 

FALSE CLAIM?
A five-star hotel in Crete is counter-claiming £170,000 from a couple who submitted a £10,000 claim for food poisoning, a claim the hotel says is false.

Mr and Mrs Bodarenko stayed at the Caldera Palace Hotel for a week in 2013 but did not make their claim until this year, one they are now trying to drop after the hotel management alleged they had Facebook posts proving that the couple had enjoyed their holiday and proof that they had consumed "large quantities of alcohol" when they were supposed to be ill. One Facebook post from Mrs Bondarenko described the hotel as "gorgeous" and that they had been there three times.

The hotel's counterclaim is for damage to its reputation.

 

AND ANOTHER?
Legal action for damage to its reputation is being threatened by a Tunbridge Wells restaurant after a customer posted a negative review on Tripadvisor.

Part-time nurse Sarah Gardner claimed that staff were "rude" and that the food was "mediocre at best" at the High Rocks restaurant. The restaurant say that she put up three low reviews and then took them down because they were "false", and accuse her of a "campaign of defamation" that had caused "financial harm worth tens of thousands of pounds".

 

OLYMPIA SOLD
Olympia London has been sold for £296 million to institutional investors who plan to have hotel accommodation on site.

The 130 year old venue, which hosts 200 events a year across its seven spaces incorporates nearly four acres of freehold land.

 

TRAINS TO AMSTERDAM DELAYED
Eurostar have announced that they will be running a direct service from London St Pancras to Amsterdam by the end of 2017, taking on the airlines for the lucrative Christmas period.

Current Eurostar route is via Brussels Midi and the journey takes 4 hours 40 minutes. The new service, initially two trains a day is expected to take just under 4 hours, and a new direct service to Rotterdam is expected to follow.

In 2013 Eurostar told the press that the direct Amsterdam service would be operational by 2016.

 

BEST FOR BARGAIN BOUTIQUE
Those who enjoy the chic of boutique hotels might be interested in a recent rating of 50 of the best in Europe by the experts at the Daily Telegraph, particularly if they'd rather pay less than £200 a night than £600+, so this is for them.

The 50 "Best in Europe" are rated from 8 out of 10 to 10 out of 10, and it is just one hotel in France that is awarded the perfect score and that is the 40-room La Bastide de Gordes in Provence, described as upmarket and family-friendly and costing from £172 a night, a bargain for the quality given that the average price across all 50 hotels listed by the Telegraph is from £223. One other notable French possibility from a total selection of six is the 34-bed La Vieux Castillon in Lanquedoc-Roussillon (9/10 £105).

Spain has the most 9/10 scorers (eight) in this top 50 with the tiny 6-bedroom 3 Cabos in Asturias offering a bargain from £91, and the 10-bedroom Balcon de Cordoba in Andulusia a little more at £119. In the six rated at 8/10 is the 21-bedroom La Casa del Calife in Cadiz, from £81. Italy also does well with seven in the 9/10 category including the 15-bedroom Fifteen Keys in Rome from £101, the 18-bedroom Hotel Villa Arcadio on Lake Garda from £104 and the 9-bedroom Ad Astra in Florence, from £94. Also in Italy are six scoring 8/10 including the 10-bedroom Don Ferrante in Puglia from £86. In Sicily is the 12-bedroom Monaci delle Terre Nere, scoring 9/10 and from £103.

Portugal has two 9/10 and two at 8/10, the latter including the 6-bedroom Pensao Agricole in the Algarve from £112. And the Greek Islands boast three at 9/10, including the 33-bedroom Ammos Hotel on Crete from £104, and the 8/10 33-bedroom Kensho Hotel on Mykonos from £110. In Croatia is one 8/10 and two 9/10 including the 18-bedroom Hotel Adriatic from £82, with other bargains available in Slovenia, the 9/10 20-bedroom Vander Urbani Resort from £84, and in Hungary, the 9/10 11-bedroom Brody House in Budapest from £95.

Of course, you could pay a great deal more...

 

HOKUSAI
An exhibition featuring around 100 works, mostly woodblock prints, by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) has opened at the British Museum and runs till August 13, entrance £12.

Hokusai believed that he produced his best work after he had turned 60 and Hokusai Beyond the Great Wave concentrates on the last 29 years of his life, starting with his best-known Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji series, a life-saving commission for him that included the iconic In The Hollow of a Wave Off The Coast of Kanagawa. This, when viewed the Oriental way from right to left put the viewer right under a huge towering blue wave topped with a crest of white foam "claws", as an admiring Van Gogh described them, reaching out to tear at the boats caught in the wave's trough below. As well as seascapes and Fuji, which had a religious significance for him, Hokusai also excelled in pictures of bridges, landscapes, waterfalls, fish, flowers and birds.

One Hokusai genre not showing at the exhibition, because it was produced while he was still in his fifties, is his shunga - Japanese erotic art, of which the British Museum has lots, and which was banned in Japan for more than a century One famous Hokusai picture shows a naked woman on a rocky shore, described as a pearl diver or a fisherman's wife, being pleasured by two octopuses, a small one attending to her lips and breasts and a large one with tentacles around her waist and squatting wide-eyed between her open thighs, a scene that some may find deeply erotic while others could be put off their sushi.

A beautifully illustrated book with more than 130 of Hokusai's artworks - Hokusai Prints and Drawings - is on sale in the museum shop for £14.99, and a small but interesting exhibition of Japanese woodcut production is presented free in Room 3, just by the entrance.

 

SUNTAN
It's been 30 years since the 1987 American thriller Fatal Attraction scared the hell out of philandering males everywhere with the morality tale of the weekend affair that lawyer Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) has with editor Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) and how it escalates into a full-blooded nightmare for him after he spurns her and she refuses to give him up, becoming his demented nemesis. "Hell hath no fury..." the saying goes and Alex proves how unpleasant the woman scorned can be when one of her party-pieces is to kill (hopefully) and put Dan's daughter's pet rabbit into a simmering pot on the stove at his house, the source of the popular expression "bunny-boiler".

In the dark and unflinching Greek film Suntan, released last month, Anna is the lovely but flirty 21 year old hedonist who arrives with a small group of like-minded friends on the small Greek Cycladic island of Antiparos for some hard partying and nudity on the island's remote beaches. A minor accident on a scooter gets her into the surgery of the new island doctor, a middle-aged man called Kostis who has spent a dreary winter there being told how the place changes in the summer, specifically being over run by young females "gagging for it" according to local Lotharios. Kostis dresses Anna's leg wound and later falls for her when she shows him a little affection and a lot else. No bunny-boiler Anna nevertheless has the morals of a rabbit, and a confusing penchant for Sapphic experiences, and she tires of Kostis when he cant satisfy her. She then cruelly dumps him, for it all to end predictably in tears as Kostis drinks to forget and is fired when he can't be found to treat an injured child.

Suntan stars Makis Papadimitriou as the sad Kostis we all feel sorry for and Elli Tringou as the flighty Anna we don't. Both leads are strong and make Suntan, directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos, the warning that every middle-aged man, missing his lost youth should see

OLD GRITS DIARY

Monday
One multi-tasking event organiser we read about is Alex Sawyer, who organises events and receptions for clients of stock exchange Nasdaq and works on their stand at exhibitions, putting in a three-day week for them, according to The Times.

Sawyer is also doing rather well, to the tune of up to £25,000 a year of taxpayer's money it is reported, organising the office of his wife, foreign aid minister and conservative MP for Witham, Pritti Patel, as well as being a conservative councillor for the London borough of Bexley and entitled to another £23,000 from the taxpayer.

 

Tuesday
According to Drinks Business magazine the Russian consumer watchdog has banned the import into Russia of all wines from Montenegro on grounds of "sanitary failing" though Montenegro's upcoming membership of NATO, opposed by Russia is said to be the real reason.

Interestingly an investigation into wine a spirits production by Interpol and Europol has revealed a factory producing and bottling sub-standard alcohol and using faked federal stamps, this based in, er, St Petersburg, Russia...

 

Thursday
OG once rebuked a friend who claimed that no-one becomes a traffic warden because they like people.

Having read about the London wardens, presumably on a bonus per ticket earner, who slapped their expensive fines on vehicles abandoned after the Borough Market atrocity within minutes of police lifting the cordon he is definitely starting to wonder.

In a move that will do more damage to the image of wardens Transport for London have admitted the issuing of tickets in these circumstances was an "insensitive mistake" and have pledged to cancel them. Let's hope some hasty warden replacing and re-training is also on the TfL agenda.

Meanwhile more grovelling TfL apologies were recently received by a London cheese shop owner who had to call in bailiffs to recover a congestion charge refund that a court had ordered TfL to pay, an order they arrogantly and stupidly ignored.

FOODIE NEWS

o We liked the large selection of French dishes, and the fact that they accept our trusty Tastecard for half price dining, at Denise's, an unassuming Parisian style restaurant at 30, Southampton Row, London.

Our choice for a recent quick lunch was one of the house specialties, Chicken. Grand-Mere, a tasty chicken breast cooked in a creamy white wine, mushrooms and peppercorns, and served with boiled potatoes and cauliflower, (£11.95) to which we added a portion of spinach (£3.95), a total of £15.90, dropping to £7.95 with the 50% discount. Denise's then add their service charge of 10% to the final discounted figure - rather than the gross amount as so many Tastecard places do, which then doubles the service charge to 20% - giving a pocket-friendly price of £8.74 total.

Other house specialties here are beef steaks in red wine sauces for £22.95/£11.48,, veal in creamy mushroom sauce for £20.95/£1048. and calves liver in butter, thyme, onion and bacon for £20.95/£10.48, and a range of Gascony dishes, including lamb cubes sautéed with onions and peppers for £18.95/£9.48 and chicken cubes similarly cooked for £16.95/£8.48. A big choice of 15 starters range from £5.95/£2.98 to £7.95/£3.98 giving plenty of scope for those who like to graze tapas style to pick a selection, which can include frogs legs, escargots, a seafood salad of squid, mussels, octopus prawns and cuttlefish, avocado with prawns, smoked salmon, scampi and artichoke. Not very Francais but great value are the pastas, such as spaghetti meatballs and penne with salmon, most at £10.95/£5.48 and served as a substantial starter portion for £7.95/£3.98. At these prices it's definitely cheaper than going to France, plus you wont get screwed on the sterling exchange rate.

Tel 0207 436 1562 www.denisesrestaurant.co.uk

 

o We've also recently discovered the New Mayflower Chinese/Oriental restaurant, at 68-70 Shaftesbury Avenue, one of very few in London that accept Tastecard.

Here the deal is two dishes for the price of one, with the cheapest one free, and portions of rice or noodles, or the seafood section or special set meals are not included so you have to think a bit before selecting. They wont offer it on a Friday or Saturday, or any day in December, but if you can live with all that the choice, portions and quality are all impressive (On one occasion we had to admit defeat over the quantity of duck and beg a take home container).

Our personal favourite pocket-friendly pairing is the grilled stuffed bean curd with mashed prawn (£10.80) with a portion of their superb BBQ duck, served hot and off the bone (£10.00) for a total price of £10.80, but given a total choice of 150+ dishes, excluding seafood, noodles and rice, we are looking forward to some future experimentation. This could well include one of the turbot, crab, eel, sea bass or stingray dishes at around £18, one of the dozens of chicken pork, beef or lamb dishes for £9-16 or one of the lip-smacking casseroles, such as eel and crispy belly pork (£15.80) homemade bean curd with mixed seafood in XO sauce (£12.80) or beef brisket with turnip (£11.50) There is a 12.5% service charge, which when added to the gross amount equates to around 25%.

Tel 0207 734 9207

DRINKS NEWS

o The most memorable tastes we took away from the recent London Wine Fair were nothing to do with wine.

Best was the new ABK6 Honey Cognac liqueur, strong, mellow and sweet and a blend of single vineyard cognac with honey from one producer and an ABV of 35%. Produced by French family company Francis Abecassis it was the idea of 31 year old daughter Elodie to merge the two products and the final bottled result took the World's Best Honey Liqueur accolade at this year's World Drink Awards. Having trouble purchasing a 70 cl bottle for around £40 we experimented with cheap Spanish 106 brandy at around £12 a litre and cheap supermarket honey at around £4 a kilo and found that a half teaspoon of the honey stirred into 3 measures of brandy gave a very pleasurable result, and an affordable tipple for Christmas and any other time at around 30pence a tot. Do try this at home.

Another memorably good taste was the fabulously refreshing hit of the strawberry cider from Scottish company Thistly Cross. This 4% ABV drink is made with hand-pressed fruit and the summer flavour really does burst on the palate. Also available are ginger, elderflower and whisky cask varieties.

Lastly those liking citrus in the mouth will enjoy the tang of sweet Italian lemons with their juniper in Malfy Gin. Available at Marks and Spencer for around £25 a bottle this uses the lemons from Amalfi and Sicily and gin from the firm's distillery in Torino to create a gin that really can be enjoyed neat, freezing recommended.

 

o The Summer Beer Festival at retailers Aldi offers a chance to buy 500 ml bottles of 16 different beers and ales for £1.29 each, or £3.58 a litre, though how long this is likely to last is unclear.

While it did however we bought and sampled, with some family help, all 16. So can report that the standout favourites, especially for those who like a sweeter, rather than just a bitter hit were Wychwood Dry Neck (4.0% ABV), Wild Heaven American IPA (5.2%) and Waggle Dance (5.0%), very closely followed by Badger's England's Own (4.6%) The Rev. James Gold (4.1%) Inferno (4.4%) and Great Corby Session IPA (4.1%)

VENUE CRITERIA SURVEY

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.

NEXT ISSUE

Lawyers reveal that some of their most lucrative work is now generated by diners and hotel guests making false claims against restaurants and hotels and the venues then taking court action. "It's better than divorce cases" one says... Eurostar explain why their trains to Amsterdam are a year late... the Suntan DVD becomes this year's most popular gift for married women to buy their middle-aged husbands... the Russian consumer watchdog explains how it missed the factory in St Petersburg turning out sub-standard alcohol for Russian consumers... TfL management apologise for doing so many stupid things they have to apologise for... and much, much more...

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

 

MORE FREE NEWSLETTERS

MEMBER'S DIRECTORY

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

 

SEO SUPPLIERS DIRECTORY

o AUDIO VISUAL AND IT COMPANIES

EXHIBITIONS & LIVE EVENT AUDIO VISUAL SUPPLIER COVERING UK & EUROPE
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

o EVENT CATERING

AUBREY ALLEN
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

o EVENT TRAINING

EVENT TRAINING - WITH A QUALIFICATION
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

o MAGICIANS

TOP CLASS MAGIC AND ILLUSION ENTERTAINMENT FOR CORPORATE & PRIVATE EVENTS
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

o MEDIA COMPANIES

EMAIL MARKETING
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:IDEAS, FILM AND MOTION CONTENT THAT CONNECT
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

o NEWSLETTERS

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

o VENUES. LEEDS

CONFERENCES & MEETINGS UP TO 90 DELEGATES
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

o VENUES. LONDON. NON-RESIDENTIAL

BOARDROOM OFF CITY ROAD
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

BEAUTIFUL ARCHITECTURE. BEAUTIFUL INTERIORS. HEART OF LONDON
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

o VENUE TRAINING

VENUE TRAINING, WITH A QUALIFICATION
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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Society of Event Organisers
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