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.
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.
LIVE THERE, MEET THERE
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.
TIME FOR SLAVERY EXHIBITION AT BRITISH MUSEUM?
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.
ART OF ANCIENT ROME
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.
BAVARIAN OKTOBERFEST IN GREENWICH
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.
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.
WESTFRONT 1918, KAMERADSCHAFT
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.
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.
"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.
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...
From Tom Brady
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.
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.
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…
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