Event Organisers Update July 2017 ISSUE 154 - 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 image of Nigerians as people you could trust took a battering a few years back over advance fee "419" fraud, a scam that invited victims to help illegally launder a large sum of money "locked" in Nigeria for rewards in millions of pounds sterling. Drawn in by their own greed victims paid out thousands in advance fees to "smooth the deal through", only to find there was no deal.

Sadly this old scam is ongoing, and not just from Nigeria these days, but the damage to a specific country and its people has been done.

Now damage is being done to the reputation of Britain in Europe due to the high number of fraudulent claims for compensation for food poisoning filed by Brits on holiday. These have been generated by cowboy claims management firms touting at resorts and encouraging British tourists to lie about being ill to claim several thousand pounds in compensation from the hotels, with a percentage of the claim going to the claims management firm, and their lawyers. British tourists on all-inclusive packages are especially targeted as they can claim they only ate in the hotel, and are being told that the only "evidence" they may need to submit is a pharmacist's receipt for a diarrhoea remedy.

The fraud has reportedly cost hotels, particularly in Spain, millions of pounds and generated calls to raise prices for everyone to cover losses and/or ban all British tourists from all-inclusive holidays, which seems like unfairly punishing the honest many for the illegal actions of a relative few. More positively there have been signs that the guilty British tourists are to face legal action against them which could result in custodial sentences. And one law firm has now dropped 1,800 claims against travel company Tui, which owns Thompson, according to the Daily Mail, which has campaigned against the frauds and carried out undercover investigation of some who encourage them.

Naming and shaming all the bent claims management companies and the lawyers who fund them would be another positive step towards stopping the rot and restoring our damaged reputation.


Vienna is the world's best city in which to live, as well as where the most delegates attend meetings.

The number one ranking for living was awarded to Vienna for the 8th year running by the Mercer Quality of Living Index, and the Vienna delegate count ranking for 2016 by event industry body ICCA. The top ten cities for both organisations follow - the only other city in both of the top ten tables was Copenhagen.




London was 5th on the ICCA table and 40th on the Mercer.


A new book about the naturalist and collector, Sir Hans Sloane, whose extensive collections were the basis for the British and Natural History museums makes it clear that slavers in Liverpool and Bristol were not the only ones to make fortunes from the vile trade, and have streets named after them in their honour, according to "Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane" by James Delbourgo.

Sloane, who gave his name to London's Hans Crescent, with the street sign on the Harrods store building, Hans Place, Hans Street and Hans Road, as well as Sloane Square, Sloane Street, Sloane Gardens and Sloane Grammar School, was a devoutly religious man whose beliefs didn't stretch to regarding slaves as human beings when it was obscenely profitable not to He lived to a ripe old 92, rather more years than any of his slaves got, (30% died in transit, infant mortality rate was 50% in the first year and average life expectancy was 21/22) and was described with the hypocrisy of the age as having led a "virtuous" life when he died in 1753.

Slaver's profits from enslavement abroad allowed them to afford philanthropy at home.


A large collection of 130 paintings by Victorian artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 - 1912) are now on show at the Leighton House Museum, Kensington.

Alma-Tadema specialised in depictions of Ancient Rome, often incorporating beautiful women, usually beautifully dressed, lounging on marble seats with a backdrop of flowers and the bright blue sea. A rather darker theme was his famous "The Roses of Heliogabalus" which showed the debauched Syrian teenage emperor Heliogabalus (203 - 222) enjoying the sight of his guests at one of his orgies smothered under tons of flower petals dropped on them, one of a number of perversions that got him assassinated by the Praetorian Guard, with the blessing of an outraged Senate and people of Rome, when he was 18.

In a lighter vein Alma-Tadema also scandalised some Victorian critics with "In the Tepidarium" showing a naked and red-faced young woman lying on a couch in a Roman baths cooling room, her mouth open and her modesty barely covered with an ostrich feather, a presentation some felt was eroticism masquerading as Classicism. The picture was sold to the Pears Soap Company to be used as advertising, but this never happened and it is now residing in the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Liverpool, also well worth a visit for art lovers.

Alma-Tadema's meticulous depictions of the ancient world resulted in some of them being used for source material for sets by Hollywood directors for such films as Intolerance (1916), Ben Hur (1926) Cleopatra (1934) The Ten Commandments remake (1956) and Gladiator (2000) The exhibition features clips from some films, alongside the paintings that inspired them.

"Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity" till October 29.


Those who like healthy German pork knuckles and sausages washed down with refreshing and slimming citrus white beer will want to know about the Oktoberfest event being sponsored by beer brewer Erdinger and running in Greenwich, October 5-22.

Reportedly 250,000 pints of beer are being shipped in for the 5,000 expected visitors (5 pints each) and admission prices start at £5 for entrance to the beer garden, £15 for standing room only in the beer tent, £20-£30 for a guaranteed table and seat and a corporate package of VIP tables of 8 for £1480, including some food and all drink.

Web: erdinger-oktoberfest.co.uk


Those organising events for the charity and association sectors, and those companies supplying them will know about the CHASE exhibition.

This was created and then run for nearly 20 years by organiser Michael Webb, who sadly lost a long battle with lung cancer last month and died peacefully in his sleep. He was 67.

For us Mike was a good mate as well as a good business contact and we were pleased to be involved with exhibiting at CHASE as well as presenting some of the free seminars and panel sessions that were a major draw for visitors, and which we featured in our own publications. Mike also wrote and published his own newsletters for the sector as well as organising exhibitions for clients, notably the Venuemasters Academic Venue Show.

On the personal side we enjoyed his company, and a shared enthusiasm for good food and wine which enhanced a number of shopping trips to Calais, and attendance at event business exhibitions in Europe.

We'll miss him.


Austrian film director George Wilhelm Pabst (1885-1967) had a talent for developing the acting talent of others, and for featuring the plight of women, and this was showcased in his early and most famous films, including the two silent ones he made in 1929 with the stylish and strikingly beautiful American actress Louise Brooks, Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl.

With the advent of sound Pabst turned his attention to making two highly-rated anti-war films. Westfront 1918 (1930) followed a group of four German infantrymen as they experienced the horrors of the WW1 trenches and the ultimate futility of the war their politicians were forcing them to fight. Audiences in 1930 were only just learning what the front line was really like, 12 years after the event, and Pabst's film, using low tracking shots wide over the no-man's land put them in the middle of the slaughter to be shocked and involved enough to endorse Pabst's plea for universal brotherhood.

In similar vein, though with a different subject, is Kameradschaft (Comradeship) made in 1931 and featuring the horrific Courrieres mine disaster of 1906, this set by Pabst in the 1930's, after the end of WW1.. The mine complex was situated one mile east of Lens in the Pas de Calais, Northern France, and early on the morning of March 10 1906 an underground fire and a series of explosions, thought to have been caused by ignited coal dust, buried 1,200 miners alive, killing 1,099 and injuring hundreds more. Rescue attempts started immediately but were hampered by the lack of trained French rescuers, so the central theme of Kameradschaft was the fact that rescue teams arrived from Germany to help. their fellow miners in what was and has always been Europe's worst mine disaster.

The two films featured the work of master cinematographer Fritz Arno Wagner and are being released as a set later this month by Eureka Entertainment in a Dual Format Blu-Ray and DVD edition as part of their Masters of Cinema series. The first 2,000 copies will be presented with Limited Edition O-card packaging and there is a 44-page booklet featuring a new essay by Philip Kemp, Pabst - A Flawed Genius. This points out that Kameradschaft was Pabst's last good film before he started making mediocre nationalistic films for the Nazis that torpedoed his ideals of universal brotherhood.


A childish row between two large-enough-to-know-better music venue owners is threatening to restrict the numbers of concerts for music fans.

In the USA venue owner MSG is alleged to have barred acts from playing at its Madison Square Garden venue in New York if they have played at rival AEG's Staples Centre in Los Angeles, rather than its own Forum venue there. In retaliation, it seems AEG, which owns the London O2 has barred acts from playing there if they have already played at MSG's Los Angeles Forum.

Old Grit says if they don't stop throwing their toys out of their prams they should be made to stand on the naughty step and have their dummies taken away.


Edifying to read that Sir Richard Branson was "shocked" when a 16-strong hen party was thrown off a Jet 2 flight just for wearing "Bitches on Tour" T-shirts that the flight crew found offensive. So disturbed, in fact was Beardy by the censoring of what he called "colourful" language that, without a thought for the publicity his act of charity might generate, he paid for the "bitches" to fly to Las Vegas and enjoy three nights hotel accommodation.

"Virgin Holidays have been welcoming hen parties since 1985" he says, which means if you think the exhibitionist antics of some of the look-at-me selfie generation are very unfunny, stay off Virgin.


You know how it is in Pamplona. They run the six bulls that are going to be tortured and killed for entertainment that night in the bullring through the streets along with nine steers. As the bulls and steers race along up to 2,000 people, mostly men but some women these days, run in front of them in an act of daring to prove their machismo. Between 50 and 100 people are injured every year and since 1910 fifteen men have died, mostly by being gored to death by horns Most have been from Spain with ages from 17-62 and the last one was a Spanish 27 year old in 2009. In 1995 it was a 23 year old from Illinois, USA.

The nine days of bull-running started on July 6 and so far no-one has been killed, though the Red Cross say that three men were injured on the first day with a 46 year old Spanish local man seriously injured in the head and leg after being gored and tossed by a bull, and two male American tourists who were injured by a bull's horns, a 35 year old who took a horn in the abdomen and a 29 year old who took one in his scrotum, injuries said not to be serious. Except to the macho, of course...


o One of the best foodie experiences we had in the USA a few years back was a visit, sadly only one, to the legendary Black Pearl seafood restaurant in Newport, Rhode Island. Here we sat outside on wooden benches in the informal area and tucked into a bowl of their legendary clam chowder, stuffed with the molluscs in a creamy broth with potatoes and onions, and served with salty crackers. This was so good, especially served in the fresh air, we had two more bowls and never made the main restaurant, so we'll be back sometime.

This all came back to us as we recently perused the menu at the three year old No 1 first-floor restaurant in Cromer, Norfolk, where a large bowl of their own take on chowder, made with cockles, potatoes, leeks, bacon, black pudding, celery, fennel, asparagus, fish stock and milk was on offer at £9 for a main course portion, with some home-baked crusty bread. This time one bowl was enough, especially as it was preceded by a tasty and tangy brown shrimp cocktail (£6.50), and it was delicious enough to inspire us to start thinking about making our own version at home, perhaps including mussels, prawns and samphire.

No 1 gets an enthusiastic entry in the trusty Hardens Best UK Restaurants guide where it scores a "Very good" for its food and service. Also available when we visited was a hake, chorizo, prawns and crispy squid stew (£15.50), an ox cheek rendang curry (£14.25), a Cromer crab burger (£12.95) and a black paella with prawns, crevettes, crab meat and squid ink infused rice.


o Also good to know in Cromer, as we found is the excellent bar food served all day at the Cliftonville Hotel, location of the rather more expensive but highly-regarded Bolton's Bistro.

Sitting in the bar we enjoyed their seafood pasta, stuffed with large tiger prawns, cod, salmon. smoked haddock and crayfish tails in a creamy Cajun sauce with sweet dill, and served with ciabatta bread and salad (£10.95) Additionally there are seafood platters featuring the sweet Cromer crab famous around these parts, and a good selection of sandwiches where a round and a half costs just a few pence more than a round (examples: prawn marie rose for £6.70/£7.60 and smoked salmon and cucumber for £7.15/8.15)


From Tom Brady
Good Morning Peter,

Thanks for another interesting edition. It is good to see venues taking action against those clients who bear false witness, perhaps it will have a deterrent effect. Lawyers are often behind such quasi-legal scams. Question: Why don’t sharks attack lawyers? Answer: Professional courtesy.

Your in-dept review of Suntan was comprehensive and will negate the need for me to watch the film.

Keep on doing what you’re doing.

Kind regards,
Tom Brady


Editor's response.
Thanks for your interest in the tourist fraud story, which has moved on a lot since our last issue. (See leader in this issue)

However you'll be mortified to hear, as we were of course, that a number of regulatory bodies are now investigating the poor, misunderstood lawyers who were only trying to fill their boots from the proceeds of crime. Watch this space.


We are starting an ongoing survey of problems reported to us that organisers have with their use of speakers. Some common examples are listed on our website Please check the ones that you have experienced and add any others not on the list. No identities of anyone contributing to the survey will be revealed and speakers will not be named.

Click here to take our survey.


The British Museum promises a new, non-airbrushed description for their visitors of their founder, slaver Sir Hans Sloane… AEG and MSG deny that their CEOs have been caught carrying pea-shooters and with pockets full of dried peas… Sir Richard Branson sues after hen parties board his flights wearing Virgin logo t-shirts with the colourful words "and gagging for it" added… Michael Eavis, organiser of Glastonbury denies that his superstar, Jeremy Corbyn, had to be restrained from throwing his underpants to a group of young women in the crowd… 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.)

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