Event Organisers Update August 2017 ISSUE 155 - 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.


So who pays for clogging up London when roads and public areas are closed to the public to allow sponsoring companies to promote themselves by putting their names to events held there? Who pays for all the lost business due to missed appointments? Who compensates for all the cancelled journeys? Who compensates rate-paying Londoners who can’t access parks and squares in their own city because of transport problems and closures? And who would be responsible for tragedy when ambulances can’t get through to hospitals?

Certainly not the sponsors, nor the organisers making money from the events, nor the participants enjoying them, which comes across as selfish.

This point was well made by columnist Simon Jenkins, writing this month in the London Evening Standard, pointing out the damaging chaos caused by a two-day July weekend cycling event sponsored by the Prudential Insurance company. This closed eight miles of roads in Central London and hundreds more outside, including the A4/M4 all the way to Heathrow Airport, making most journeys impossible.

Question is how can anyone inconvenienced by the increase in selfish publicity stunts that damage London stop the rot.? They probably can’t, and must just wait until companies like Prudential Insurance find that having their name linked to damaging chaos is counter-productive.

Let's hope, for the sake of London and those working in it, living in it or visiting, it won’t be too long.


An 18 year old male passenger was killed and seven people were injured when the 17 year old Fire Ball ride at the Ohio State Fair shed one of its carriages, on the opening day (July 26) hurling people to the ground. The "aggressive thrill" experience features carriages that swing backwards and forwards like a pendulum, carrying thrill-seekers up to 40 feet in the air and rotating at 13 revolutions per minute.

The day before (July 25) the 20 year old Oblivion roller coaster at Alton Towers, which features a long vertical drop and speeds of up to 68 miles per hour, stopped in mid-ride after a sensor detected "a minor technical fault", stranding 16 thrill-seekers , some as young as 12, 180 feet in the air. In June 2015, on Alton Towers Smiler roller coaster a crashed car injured 14 people, including two young women who lost a leg each.

Meanwhile organisers who like to thrill their delegates without risking killing or injuring them might like to note the new virtual reality (VR) attraction at London's Shard building. The Slide operates from the 72nd floor and gives thrill-seekers the impression, via VR goggles, sitting on a platform that moves underneath them and having air blown at them, of a 2-minute helter-skelter hurtle around the Shard in open air tubes at 100 mph, all in perfect safety.


London's commuters by train are currently getting a very poor deal from our railway system, it seems.

Firstly the cost is a serious rip-off, with prices far higher than those in some cities in mainland Europe. A 36 mile journey from Luckenwalde, Germany to Berlin costs £99.80 (112 euro), per month whereas the 35 mile journey from Maidstone to Cannon Street costs £402.50 per month, more than 400 per cent more. Before the collapse in the value of sterling the differential was 500 per cent more. In Italy a 48 mile trip from Orte to Rome costs £116 (130 euro) per month whereas a similar journey from Milton Keynes to Euston costs £482.70 per month, or 242 per cent more.

Secondly punctuality is unimpressive with an average of one in three trains across the national network arriving late, or not at all, at their final destination. Trains into Worcester Park in south-west London have the worst record with 84% arriving late, with trains into Tottenham Hale in north London not far behind at 79.5% Train operating companies received £107 million from track operator Network Rail for delays last year but only paid back £26 million to passengers, and only when they asked for it.

Thirdly rail commuters suffer most from being held to ransom by the frequent and selfish strikes called by rail unions.


Craig Williamson, 42, the wedding planner at Guthrie Castle, Angus, has appeared in court charged with fraud.

Reportedly he double or triple booked weddings and had deposits of more than £140,000 paid into his own bank account.

Guthrie Castle was bought by an American businessman in 1984, restored with a golf course added and launched as an upmarket wedding and corporate event venue in 2003. Since the news of the problems emerged its management have decided to withdraw it from the market and have cancelled most events booked for 2017/2018. However its website still states, at the time of writing, "We provide only the highest levels of service and comfort; we want you to feel very much at home within the beautiful surroundings ensuring that your special day will be happily remembered for the rest of your lives".


Southgreen Park is a modern non-residential events centre set in the village of Mattishall, in the heart of rural Norfolk and close to East Dereham.

Offered are a room for 120, divisible into three, a room for 60, and four rooms for 14/22/22/25. In addition there are two training rooms for 20 and 16 and a computer training room with 10 workstations.

Rooms come equipped with a range of AV facilities and there is ample free parking on site.

Tel: 01362 857100 Web: southgreenpark.co.uk


Well-heeled guests using the twelve premier suites at the London Marriott County Hall hotel are offered a Silver Lining package for £300.

This is designed to help them make the most of their stay in the capital and its changeable weather and provides the services of an in-house meteorologist to provide rainy and sunny day itineraries, The service also supplies a hair stylist for when it is windy, coats and wellies for when it rains and skincare for sunny days.


27-28 September 2017
Festival and Outdoor Event Show. Sandown Park
Web: festivalandoutdoorshow.co.uk

11 October 2017
Academic Venue Showcase Emirates Stadium
Web: venuemasters.co.uk


Is love stronger than death? This is a question explored in Destiny, the 1921 silent expressionist and allegorical film from director Fritz Lang, his first notable success released five years before his futuristic science fiction classic Metropolis and ten years before his crime film noir M.. Destiny - Der mude Tod ("The weary Death") - has been overlooked in favour of the better-known yet it was cited by English and American director Alfred Hitchcock and Spanish director Luis Bunuel as being influential to their own films.

A young, newly-married couple, played by Lil Dagover and Walter Janssen, travel to start their new life. On the way they are joined in their horse-drawn coach by an unsmiling stranger, who is Death, played by Bernhard Goetzke, come to end the life of the young husband. When the young wife realises her husband has been taken, away, and why, she finds Death and pleads with him to spare her husband, saying that she loves him and believes that her love is stronger than the death which is her young husband's destiny.

Death takes her to a room full of burning candles of differing lengths, telling her that each candle is someone's life and that he is ordered by the Lord to bring death to them when it has burnt out. However he is not unsympathetic to her distress and shows her three candles that have nearly burnt out, saying that if she can intervene and save one of these lives her husband's can be spared. The three tasks set take her to Persia, Italy and China and the film presents the outcomes, with a satisfying and thought-provoking final twist.

A new restoration of Der mude Tod (AKA Destiny) was released in cinemas, and on dual-format Blu-Ray and DVD, in July this year by Eureka Video as part of their Masters of Cinema Series.


Another poor, misunderstood hen party has fallen foul of public opinion as a group of five young ladies from Liverpool were detained by police at Alicante Airport when their Ryanair flight landed.

Reportedly, and according to film shot by passengers, all the ladies did was spend the flight standing up in the aisles, drinking, swearing, shouting, arguing amongst themselves and blocking other passengers from getting to the toilets At Alicante the delightfully high-spirited lassies were escorted off the plane into the hands of the Spanish police as cruel passengers unfairly clapped and cheered.

On this occasion hen party fan Sir Richard Branson did not come forward to help them.


Meanwhile customers at a Birmingham lap-dancing club have been fleeced out of nearly £100,000 and offered sex in locked VIP rooms, it has been claimed.

The club, Legs 11 in Broad Street was infiltrated by undercover trading standards officers who confirmed that they were offered sexual services that would occur in a locked room by two of the girls there. Customers have claimed that they were drugged in the club and one claimed that £9,000 had then been taken from his credit card while he was under the influence of methadone.

The Broad Street club, and a similar operation in Birmingham's Chinatown area both have links, via a director to organised Albanian crime. Both have now been banned from operating as lapdancing clubs.

Mind how you go in Birmingham, lads.


An early response to our speaker survey advises us that a charity organiser was asked by a TV actor from a long-running police drama if she would like to have sex with him, as she was checking out what refreshments he would like.

It is not known whether her agreement to this would have decreased or increased the bill.


o Those visiting their Cockney food roots, or just pretending, will be heartened to know that there are still more than 70 traditional pie and mash shops in London and the Home Counties where they can enjoy pies, mash, liquor and (often) eels.

Many in London, where they started as food pit stops for the working classes in the East End, have closed down - more than 30 in the last 20 years according to the helpful website of the Pie and Mash Club - and some have relocated out of the capital where rents and rates are lower. We recently tried one in Old Stevenage, Herts, Mack's Traditional Pie and Mash just off the High Street and can report that they are keeping the faith, with some welcome modern additions.

The pies, with one, two, or three served on a plate are the traditional ones we remember, with a soft suet pastry base encasing minced beef in generous amounts of gravy and with a puff pastry top. These can come with varying levels of mashed potato and diners are also offered here some pie alternatives of chicken and mushroom, steak and ale, root vegetable and vegetarian, made with Soya mince. Liquor, which used to be a green gravy made from the water that eels had been stewed in, is now a basic green sauce made with chopped parsley and no eel taste. Also offered here are eels, stewed and jellied and it is advisable to call ahead to check that they will have them, due to limited availability these days. We can personally enjoy either but went for the stewed version on this occasion, enhanced with some spicy-hot chilli-flavoured vinegar.

Mack's also offer such extras as mushy peas, jumbo hot dogs and chips, and a range of desserts such as apple pie, cherry pie, spotted dick, sticky toffee or chocolate sponge, all with custard or ice cream, Prices for one pie, mash and liquor start at £4.70 and rise to £12 for those who can handle the full house of three pies and triple mash. Jellied eels are £3.60 and stewed eels are £4.30, for a portion of five pieces, and most desserts are £3.

Mack's. Tel: 01438 317721 Web: mackspieandmash.co.uk See also Web: pie-n-mash.com


o Fans of well-stocked Oriental buffets and Japanese sushi will enjoy the Panda Mami New World buffet in Newgate Street, Chester, which opened in November last year. Here a large selection of 120 dishes includes nearly 20 kinds of freshly made sushi from a conveyor belt, with the salmon nigri sushi enhanced with the hot green wasabi horseradish our personal favourite.

Other highlights, for us, were the large and tender Thai-style greenlip mussels in a spicy sauce, the chicken satay, salt and pepper chicken wings and the Thai Masaman beef, the chicken and prawns fresh-seared at the Teppanyaki griddle station and the healthy chocolate fountain with marshmallows to dunk in.

Dinners here cost £14.99 Monday to Thursday and £15.99 on a Friday. All day Saturday is £15.99 and all day Sundays, Bank Holidays and Chester race days is £14.99. A smaller buffet without the sushi, Teppanyaki station or chocolate fountain is available at lunchtime Monday to Friday for £8.99.

Panda Mami Tel: 01244 400111 Web: pandamami-restaurant.com


o Harden's have published a list of 25 dishes at London restaurants "to try before you die", these taken from the submissions of diners contributing to their independent restaurant guide for last year.

Included on the list are ortiguillas (sea anemones) from Barrafina tapas bars (£7), Penan Asam Laksa soup from C&R Malaysian cafes (£8.50), venison scotch egg from the Harwood Arms gastropub (£3.50), bone marrow varuval curry with a Roti bread from Sri Lankan street food specialists Hoppers (£7), Mini Iberico pork and foie gras burger from Opera Tavern (£8), sauteed chicken livers with garlic and pomegranate molasses from Yalla Yalla Lebanese cafes (£4.50) and the beef brisket bun with pickled red chilli from Smokestack (£5). Also included is the "enormous" cow pie, with or without bone marrow from gastropub Parlour Kensal (£18.50) and three scoops from the vast assortment of ice creams (try the pumpkin and Amaretto) at Le Querce Italian restaurant (£4.50).

So don't die yet. Web: hardens.com


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.


A new survey finds that organisations sponsoring events that disrupt traffic and close public areas actually turn public opinion against them, losing them marketing share… Londoners rejoice as the number of events that close their streets, roads and public areas sharply decreases… New virtual reality theme parks, housed in disused warehouses and offering hundreds of white-knuckle experiences in perfect safety, take off in major cities across the world… Mick "Nick" Cash of rail union RMT tells the press: "It's disgraceful the way rail company managements screw the passengers to make more money. That's our job”… Hen and stag groups are finally banned from all flights after two passengers are killed and three seriously injured on a Virgin flight to Las Vegas when moronic members of a hen party, who stood in the aisles during the flight and refused to sit down with seat belts fastened, were thrown violently around the cabin when the plane hit severe clear air turbulence… Visit Birmingham unveil their new slogan "Entertain in the lap of luxury in Brum”… News anchor Jon Snow finally remembers what he chanted at Glastonbury. He tells the press "It was certainly not F*CK THE TORIES!, as has been cruelly alleged, but was, to the best of my recollection FUND THE TORIES! “… 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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