Event Organisers Update September 2017 ISSUE 156 - 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.


Activists who claim that tourism in Spain is destroying Spanish cities, driving up rents and forcing out young people are staging protests outside restaurants and hotels and in public areas.

This summer four hooded activists attacked a tourist bus in Barcelona, slashing tyres and spraying slogans on it. In other incidents smoke flares were set off outside a seafront restaurant in Palma, Majorca, and paint was sprayed across the HQ of the Basque Country Tourist Board.

The Spanish Association of Travel Agents has warned that the protests could escalate into "incidents of real violence" against visitors to Spain, where tourism employs 2.5 million people.


An Alpine hotel in Arosa, Switzerland has been branded as anti-Semitic after it put up a poster by its pool aimed at Jewish guests.

The poster, placed at the Aparthaus Paradies hotel, was headed "To our Jewish Guests. Men, Women and Children" and warned "Please take a shower before you go swimming and although after swimming (sic) If you break the rules, I'm forced to cloes (sic) the swimming pool for you. Thank you for understanding" It was signed by the hotel's manager Ruth Thomann.

Ms Thomann, who quickly took the sign down when reports appeared in newspapers, claimed that there was no anti-semitic intent but admitted that it was "naive" and that the message should have been addressed to all guests using the pool, and not just the Jewish ones.

Spokesman for Swiss Tourism Markus Berger admitted the sign was "unacceptable" but urged the press to keep the "one unfortunate incident in perspective" and accept that Ms Thomann was "just one lady at one hotel who was not on top of the situation".


Organisers booking delegates into hotels overseas might want to enquire reference the hotel's policy for guests who become ill, or are injured during their stay.

Some hotels are being bribed to deliver them to expensive private clinics where the guest's travel insurance cover may not be valid, leaving them to foot the bill.

Guests, or their organisers, should always contact their insurers on the emergency hotline for any kind of medical emergency or need for treatment, to allow them to find a state-run facility in preference to a private clinic that may have bribed the hotel.


Tiny Cow, organisers of the recent new Hope and Glory music festival in Liverpool cancelled the second of the two days after a "chaotic" first day that saw music fans forced to wait for hours due to overcrowding.

Fans, many of whom had travelled from all parts of the UK for the weekend of August 5/6 were promised a line-up of bands including James, the Lightning Seeds, Razorlight and Charlotte Church were treated to a "no festival today" statement from Tiny Cow CEO Lee O'Hanlon, who blamed production difficulties for the collapse, along with accusations that Liverpool City Council had stolen food provided for performers.

It is thought that those who paid to attend the aborted festival will not get any of their costs back.

O'Hanlon's event management company Tiny Cow use the advertising slogan "we make it happen".


The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) is warning travellers that search engines are taking bookers to sites that look like the hotel's direct or "official" site but are in fact clever copies of them.

Customers who the book find out when they get to their chosen hotel that they have in fact booked through a third party, paying an additional 25% booking fee. Some find that they have also paid for things they didn't need, like an extra bed in the room, or disabled access, and others, who have tried to cancel have found it impossible to get their money back.


Management of London Luton airport say they are "disappointed" at the results of the Which? survey giving them a customer satisfaction score of 29%, with descriptions such as "chaos" and "a rip of". The airport has been at the bottom of the Which? ranking for the last five years.

Top marks went to Doncaster Sheffield at 87%, with good scores achieved by London Southend at 84%, Norwich and Southampton both at 75% and Exeter at 71%. Joining Luton lower down was Manchester Terminal 1 at 50%, Aberdeen at 44%, Manchester Terminal 3 at 43% and London Stansted at 38%.


Organisers booking events at Bath University, or planning to, may like to know that they are helping Britain's highest paid Vice-Chancellor and her well-paid team get even richer.

Dame Glynis Bakewell enjoyed a package worth £451,000 last year, including her free £1.6 million home in Bath, a fact that has prompted four MPs so far to leave the Court of Bath University in protest and call for her resignation. Her pay has been described as "unjustifiable" and "unfair" against the fact that "students take on a debt of £60,000 and spend 30 years of their working lives paying it off."

Apparently 66 senior managers at the University are on six-figure salaries, with 13 trousering more than £150,000, facts that will doubtless inspire event organisers earning considerably less.

Given that Theresa May has announced war on the "abhorrent greed" of fat cat business types she might want to take on board that some of the young, developing minds at our universities are being set a bad example by Bakewell.


The modern Ely Cathedral Conference Centre offers one room for 80 theatre-style, divisible into two, two rooms for 30 and one for 20. All have free secure internet connection and upper rooms have lift access. There is a fully equipped kitchen area and free car parking nearby.

The Centre is adjacent to historic Ely's impressive cathedral and close to Oliver Cromwell's House. Inside the Cathedral is a unique Stained Glass Museum with more than 1,000 stained glass panels and windows illustrating more than 800 years of the art.

Tel: 01353 659668 Web: centre.elycathedral.org


The Academic Venue Showcase takes place on Wednesday October 11 at the Emirates Stadium, London.

Entry is free and a range of short 20-minute educational sessions are offered to visitors.

Web: academicvenueshow.co.uk


"Men cluster to me like moths around a flame, and if their wings burn I know I'm not to blame" So sang Marlene Dietrich, one of the screen's first femme fatales in Josef Sternberg's The Blue Angel, (1930), one of seven films he made with her.

Twenty three years later he revisited the theme of the lethal siren with his last, and reportedly favourite film, The Saga of Anatahan, based on a true story and charting the sad decline in morals and humanity of twelve Japanese male sailors shipwrecked off the tiny three mile by one mile rocky, jungle-covered island of Anatahan in June 1944 after their ship is sunk by American planes.

The men quickly discover another man and his young, attractive wife living on the island, along with how to brew wine from coconuts, a fatal combination as the sailors vie for the attentions of the young woman, something she obviously enjoys, and some end up paying with their lives as jealousy fuels violence and discipline irretrievably breaks down. The finding of a wrecked plane and a couple of guns with ammo also alter the positions in the power struggle.

The film was made in Japan with all the dialogue in Japanese and a voiced-over narration in English by Sternberg himself. We found it an engrossing tale of survival, like a good book that's very hard to put down, and like Lord of the Flies which it resembles.

The Saga of Anatahan was released in a dual format Blu-Ray/DVD presentation by Eureka Entertainment in August as part of their Masters of Cinema series. The substantial special features include a visual essay, an interview, unused footage, an essay by Philip Kemp and US Navy footage of the actual survivors of Anatahan, immediately after their surrender.


An extra film review for September and a personal tribute.

Film buffs, especially fans of comedy, will know that American comedian Jerry Lewis died on Sunday August 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada, age 91.#

He was also an actor, director, producer, screenwriter, singer, humanitarian and no bad dancer, playing in films, and on radio, television and stage, and all of his talents were showcased, for us, in the best film performance he ever gave, and he gave thousands. This was his 1963 film The Nutty Professor, and we say his because he co-wrote it, produced it, directed it and starred in it as Professor Julius Kelp, a shy, gormless, buck-toothed disaster area of a chemistry professor who got tired of being a pushed-around nonentity and hit on a potion that would, when drunk, turn him into something very different.

Making his shock debut at his student's off-limits nightclub, the Purple Pit this was Buddy Love, the sharp,swaggering, vain, rude, sun-tanned lounge-lizard crooner in the powder-blue black-trimmed suit, pink shirt and jar of greasy Brylcreem, an original Mr Cool that lots of ordinary guys, like this impressionable 16-year old at the time, wanted to be. Buddy and his songs and chat also make a big impression on lovely, pouting student Stella Purdy, memorably played by the lovely, pouting Stella Stevens. Sadly for Buddy and his romantic ambitions re Stella the potion's effects are temporary and his bar-room drawl segues back to the Julius Donald Duck quack, requiring a sharp exit.

No more now but the delightful ending's a thoughtful and possibly tear-jerking observation of the human condition. So go see, and marvel at the original King of Comedy at his zany best.


o Airports are being blamed, as well as for rip-off currency exchanges, for the sharp rise in passengers arrested in Britain for drunkenness - up more than 50% on last year, 255-387.

Airports are where increasing numbers of boozy travellers go to get tanked up before their flights and are perhaps unaware, or uncaring,that the effects of any alcohol consumed can double when their plane reaches cruising height, so two swift doubles of spirits in an airport bar can equal eight single measures aloft, without necking any more. Alcohol Concern have blamed the desire of airports to increase passenger spend with them for the easy availability of profitable booze.

Meanwhile a recent survey of alcohol consumption by country, expressed in litres of pure alcohol drunk per person per annum, found that Brits were 25th in the league table, at 11.6 litres, equivalent to 408 pints of lager, but boozier than Americans at 9.2 litres. Top tipplers were from Belarus at 17.5 litres, followed by Moldova, Lithuania, Russia (15 litres or 1500 single vodka shots) Romania, Ukraine, Andorra, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.



o The reputation of the railways in Germany for efficient running has taken a knock recently with travellers tales of cancellations, delays and re-routings, with the explanation given that some rails are sinking into the ground.

Wrong type of soil, then.


Obviously American courtrooms, and juries are very different to British ones, Old Grit notes.

Hence lovely and highly successful female entertainer Taylor Swift was able to sway the court with her distressing description of how affected she was when her bottom was allegedly groped by a disc jockey, telling the court "It was like somebody had switched the lights off in my personality" This emotional language has prompted some cruel types, though not Old Grit of course, to wonder if someone had grabbed that part of her anatomy to stop her talking out of it.

Swift's Mum was impressive too saying that when she heard about this alleged abuse of her poor little lamb she "wanted to cry and vomit at the same time" Cue for same cruel types to opine that perhaps she should have, and set it to catchy music, making an original contribution to one of her daughter's upcoming albums.

The English expression "Laying it on with a trowel" comes to mind for some


o One Italian restaurant in Central London we'll go back to is Bellaria, at 71, Great Titchfield Street, on the corner with Langham Street.

Firstly the food is high quality and secondly they accept the Tastecard discount dining card for 50% off many of the dishes. We recently enjoyed a substantial starter of home-made Pappardelle ribbon pasta, cooked al dente and served with a very meaty slow cooked "Barolo" beef ragu sauce, and sprinkled with a generous portion of grated Parmesan cheese.(£16/£8)

Main course choice was a large and perfectly cooked fillet of sea bream (one of the tastiest fish in the sea, for us) with wonderful crispy skin and sun-dried tomato puree, served on a bed of creamy wild mushrooms and some salty taste-of-the sea samphire (£21/£10.50) And we finished our meal with a large bowl of very citrus and palate-cleansing lemon sorbet, eaten slowly to avoid throat-burn and that we can still taste. (£4.50/£2.25)

When our bill was discounted by £20.75 and a £12.50% service charge applied to the full amount (£5.19) we paid a total of £25.94 for the three excellent courses (no drinks or coffees) The signature dishes and side dishes are excluded from the Tastecard discount allowance but this still leaves six starters, five pastas, four mains and seven desserts to choose from.

Event organisers looking for some quality corporate dining in the Capital can note that Bellaria can accommodate up to 64 in a large basement area, 35 in the ground floor area and 32 for al fresco dining outside.

Tel: 020 7580 8075 Web: BellariaRestaurant.co.uk


o Another good Tastecard place we've found is the Moules A Go Go bistro and bar in Coppin Street, Chester, also rated as "good"for its food, service and ambience by the reliable Harden's Best UK Restaurant guide 2017.

Those into the molluscs can enjoy 241 on kilo pots of them on Monday nights, even without a Tastecard, and choose from Mariniere (white wine, garlic, onion and celery), Classic (as above + cream), Anglesey (cream, bacon, leeks and white wine),Blue cheese (mustard,cream, blue cheese garlic) Chorizo (tomato, paprika, chorizo) and Korean (lime, ginger, chilli, Gochuijang sauce) The sauce for this last variety is made from red chilli powder, glutinous rice and fermented soybean powder and comes out spicy and sweet. All mussel pots are £15/16 and come with fries or crusty bread.

Some starter options are salt and pepper squid with spring onions, sesame seeds and basil mayo (£7) pan fried prawns with chorizo, garlic, chilli and parsley (£8) and crispy honey chicken with smoked paprika, rocket, red peppers and parmesan (£6) Mains include Lamb rump with butternut and apricot puree, tabouleh, greens and creme fraiche (£18) 10-oz, 21 day aged rib-eye steak, green beans, roasted tomato, fries (£21) and Malaysian seafood curry, coconut and pineapple rice, prawn crackers (£16) Desserts include the original Cartmel's sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream (£6), and a range of three home baked Belgian Liege waffles for £5/6 with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce / strawberries, creme fraiche and pistachios / salted caramel ice cream and honeycomb.

Tel: 01244 348818 Web: moulesagogo.co.uk


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.


From Philip Lucas
I am writing with reference to your section in this months Event Organisers Update and I copy for ease

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.

Im not sure why you feel you have to mention something that happened in USA, there was a shooting at wedding in USA and yet you have not mentioned that and just because there was a shooting there, does not mean it will take place in the UK at a wedding. So in the same view weddings are now dangerous and we should be armed when we attend them over here.

Corporate Events take place all over the uk and I am a supplier of fairground rides to these events, and have been doing so nearly 30 years, these are not at static parks they are at a venue and it is a big business and is totally separate from places like Alton Towers, if a group goes to one of these theme parks as a day out it is not a corporate event but a corporate day out. For 30 years I have put rides from my simulator to a massive fairground in these events using traveling rides, last month I did a job for the 23rd year in a row and it had 10 big rides, 4 childrens rides and 7 inflatables, that is what we do. We use our rides or others I have got to know and trust in the many years I have been doing it, in fact I am now working with sons of showmen I first started up with. I do on average 11 events every weekend from May to October with 1 to 5 rides at each event and 5 events per month through the winter including some where a ride will be set up for 2 months at a winter event. My point is I have done many events and had thousands of rides out and in all this time ive not had so much as a cut finger. Im not saying all rides are safe, im saying all rides if checked and monitored are safe but things can go wrong, but if you own a ride and check it daily as you build it then it wont go wrong, and by using reputable companies that’s how you ensure things don’t go wrong. You have based your article on theme parks and rides in USA, with no research or stats from the UK – well done and well researched.

So what was the point of your section? There are rides in the USA that do not meet our (UK) strict safety policy, so they do not operate over here they is a massive difference between the 2 countries the business and climate that rides are under there, chalk and cheese comes to mind. However when things go wrong we act, all similar rides to the one in USA have been shut while H&S look into what went wrong.

So a ride at Alton Towers had a minor technical fault, it still had a fault which was picked up on and sorted, no one injured, had that minor fault not been picked up on it could have gone wrong, so it worked as it should, yet you feel the need to publicise this, what has this got to do with event organisers.

Then your cracking line comes in “organisers who like to thrill their delegates without risking killing or injuring them” this is a disgusting line, I have an event tomorrow at a very posh hotel for 500 people and I have 5 rides at it, what if they read that, what does that do or say for our industry?

I will be removing myself from your mail list and spreading the word on social media how disgusting this is. I do not know who writes your articles but maybe you should re think and get someone who knows what they are talking about.

Looking at your website you do a directory and you ask “do you supply venues, products or services to organisers of events”? Yes I do, so my company should be one you have on your side to advertise, but you have done more damage in one article than anyone can do in a life time. I will send a memo to my staff and if your company ever calls me it will be a no.

Phillip Lucas
Director Premier Rides


From Mark Michelmore
I have enjoyed the last four years of your commentary on hospitality, fraud and the many demonstrations of human frailty and stupidity exhibited in the service sector which you have highlighted.
Also your advice and comments about culinary experiences.
My first experience of road closures was as a 6 year old in 1953 -first in the Strand , then in Kingsbridge Road, Morden-a coronation and a street party.
Brand Windsor has tracked me for 64 years since then-now there is a source of fraility ,stupidity and amusement !! I have been responsible for organising road closures in Stoke on Trent, Liverpool and Gateshead and I have seen how people have enjoyed seeing their cities in a new perspective.

I also observed the bike event in Surrey and the traders in several local villages turned the event into street parties and fairs to generate business. Dorking was a major beneficiary.

I am not a cyclist ,my insurance company will never be the PRU.

I hope many will enjoy a quiet, unhurried day at a holiday weekend and see London by foot, tube and bike for years to come.

May you continue to focus us on the innanities of our behaviour.

Mark Michelmore
Nutrition, Health and Activity Promoter


From David and Jaqueline Potts
Subject: Selfish Cycle Ride

Couldn't agree more about your lead story re disruptive and selfish Prudential bike race. Do you know of any petitions we could sign to stop next year's event?

Kind regards
David and Jacqueline Potts

Editor's response. If any readers know of any such petitions we would be happy to publicise them, and the results.


Lee O'Hanlon of Tiny Cow explains what exactly it is he makes happen, because it doesn't seem to be events… Luton Airport management reveal how much easy profit they make from charging car drivers to set down and pick up passengers… Dame Glynis Bakewell explains why her £451,000 salary perks and benefits are justifiable, and how much she rakes in by Bath University being registered as a charity… Luton Airport management reveal how much they make from rip-off currency exchange and helping to get travellers drunk before flying… 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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