Event Organisers Update October 2017 ISSUE 157 - 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.


A gunman set himself up in a Las Vegas hotel room with an arsenal of rifles and killed 59 people, and injured more than 500, who were attending a country music festival below.

In what was America’s worst mass shooting retired accountant Stephen Paddock, 64, with no criminal record, took a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort Casino and ended his cowardly and motiveless killing spree by killing himself as SWAT teams cleared the hotel and closed in. It is thought the gun smoke created from the firing of hundreds of rounds of ammunition set off the fire alarm in his room, helping the police to find him.

Reportedly Paddock had devices fitted to his semi-automatic rifles - "bump stocks" - which enabled the rifles to be fired continuously with one pull of the trigger. Since the massacre sales of these have soared and the value of shares in firearms manufacturers have also risen sharply.

Calls for tightening of gun law in the wake of the massacre have been largely ignored by President Trump, who reportedly values his friendly relationship with the powerful gun lobby there.

In the 50 years since 1966 America has seen thirteen other mass shootings of innocent men, women and children that have killed 250 and injured thousands, with four of the thirteen gunmen, and one couple being killed by police, five killing themselves and three jailed.


In the wake of the Grenfell tragedy fire experts are warning that too many high-rise buildings, including "city centre hotels with hundreds of beds" are not fitted with life-saving sprinkler systems.

These detect a fire, suppress a fire and raise the alarm and there are calls for all buildings more than 30 metres high to be retrofitted with sprinklers. Costs given for a flat are up to £2,500, so for a hotel room would be considerably cheaper. This is against a cost of refurbishment after a fire of £77,000.

If you use high-rise hotels do they have sprinklers?


A Devon hotelier has been jailed for 22 weeks, for assaulting members of her staff, and a police officer.

Shirley Bothroyd, 59, owner of the seafront Bay Hotel, Teignmouth, Devon since 2013 and formerly a human rights lawyer pleaded guilty to grabbing her chef from behind by her hair, forcing her to the floor and slapping her repeatedly around the face in June this year. Bothroyd also pleaded guilty to using abusive and threatening behaviour towards her receptionist in the same month. She was also charged with offences relating to other staff members, including her hotel manager and assistant manager, and with assaulting a police officer in July. She admitted to being an alcoholic and claimed other serious health problems, including three strokes, skin cancer and fits.

Magistrates at Newton Abbott court described her evidence as "contradictory and implausible" and found her guilty on all charges. As well as the 22 weeks custodial sentence she was also ordered to pay a total of £1235 in compensation to her victims, costs and victim surcharge.

Bothroyd bought the 18 bedroom hotel, originally built for the Earl of Devon in 1859, for £1.75 million in 2013. It was closed by emergency services in July after a fire in the penthouse suite and the collapse of three ceilings.


Following the controversy over the £451,000 package paid to Vice-Chancellor Dame Glynis Bakewell by Bath University Times Higher Education have issued the names of eight other University vice-chancellors who are far better paid than any event organiser giving them event business. They are as below with their 2015-2016 pay:-

  • £423,000 Keith Burnett, Sheffield
  • £365,000 Bob Cryan, Huddersfield
  • £342,000 Paul O'Prey, Roehamptonn
  • £326,000 Dominic Shellard, De Montford
  • £305,000 John Vinney, Bournemouth
  • £298,000 Anne Carlisle, Falmouth
  • £282,000 Joy Carter, Winchester
  • £172,000 Michael Earley, Rose Bruford College

All of the above enjoyed pay increases from 2010 to 2016 of 34-67% at a time when the average pay for all their academic staff dropped in real terms by 2.6% and that for their professors only increased by 3.1%. Meanwhile many students, and their parents, struggle to pay increasing tuition fees as the vice-chancellors enjoy higher salaries than the £150,000 paid to the Prime Minister.

Another university vice-chancellor exposed as overpaid in the national press has been Louise Richardson of Oxford who enjoys a salary of £350,000.


Chinese tourists taking selfies in Kensington, London with the blackened hulk of Grenfell Tower as a backdrop have been condemned as "ghouls".

The tourists were seeing London from a coach operated by BM Coaches of Hayes when the driver, who has since been suspended, made an unscheduled stop near Grenfell, where 80 people died in June, so that some of his passengers could get out and take their pictures. It is not known whether the sick stop was at the request of the passengers, their Chinese tour guide or whether the driver made it to earn some extra cash in tips.

A disgusted witness who approached the driver to question what he was doing was told by him that the passengers were health and safety experts from China. The Chinese tour guide has since been sent home to China in disgrace and BM Coaches has made a donation to the official Grenfell fund.


Those concerned about the increased cost of staying in Europe while the pound is down might like to know the results of a Daily Telegraph study of 20 popular European cities and the comparative costs of travelling to them and staying a few days. This took into account the costs of two nights in a three-star hotel for two adults, a three course dinner with a bottle of house wine, return bus or train transfer, a 48-hour travel card, a sightseeing bus tour, entry to an art gallery, a museum and a heritage attraction and a glass of wine, a carbonated drink, a bottle of beer and a cup of coffee.

The cheapest was Vilnius in Lithuania at £150.94 and 20th was Vienna, Austria at more than double the price (£317.59) Full results, cheapest first, below.

  • £150.94 Vilnius, Lithuania
  • £167.15 Riga, Latvia
  • £169.95 Warsaw, Poland
  • £178.08 Paphos, Greece
  • £182.96 Krakow, Poland
  • £196.81 Lisbon, Portugal
  • £197.16 Budapest, Hungary
  • £206.12 Athens, Greece
  • £208.96 Moscow, Russia
  • £217.63 Prague, Czech Republic
  • £217.63 Lille, France
  • £219.32 Tallin, Estonia
  • £231.29 Strasbourg, France
  • £231.38 Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • £269.52 Berlin, Germany
  • £275.41 Edinburgh, Scotland
  • £278.95 Nice, France
  • £308.79 Palma, Mallorca
  • £311.90 Madrid, Spain
  • £317.59 Vienna, Austria


Adapted from the Jules Verne novel this science fiction classic was first made in 1959 and then remade in 1999 and 2008, with most critics today agreeing that the first was the best by far.

This starred the late James Mason, who took the lead role of leader of the underground expedition at the last minute when the first choice of director Henri Levin, Clifton Webb, suffered a double hernia requiring urgent surgery. Singer Pat Boone was already on board having been persuaded to participate by the inclusion of some songs for him to croon, and a generous percentage of the profits, and Arlene Dahl had agreed to star as the love interest, eventually, for Mason. Other stars were the fabulously colourful sets, the rockslides, the exploding volcanoes, the lost city of Atlantis, the giant flesh-eating lizards and the musical score, some of which was definitely effectively creepy Hammer Horror.

Journey to the Center of the Earth was released by Eureka Entertainment on Blu-Ray last month as part of its Eureka Classics range. The pack includes an audio commentary, a new video interview and a featurette on the film's restoration.


Interesting to note the criteria one hotel in the Premier Inn hotel group has laid down for staff for cleaning duties - a recent job ad for cleaners at their Hemel Hempstead Central hotel specified that the only required language they should speak was Romanian.

Following a complaint from a British cleaner that the ad discriminated against all cleaners who did not speak Romanian, and was possibly in breach of the Equality Act 2010 the hotel altered it to add Polish, Russian and English to the list of required languages. They admitted the discrimination was posted in error, and apologised, but refused to reveal whether the error was that of the hotel, or that of Premier Inn Head Office.

We should be told.


Those who like nothing better than a relaxing massage when in London could check out the Earl's Court area where around twelve massage parlours have taken up residence offering the delights of Chinese massage, Thai massage, Sport massage, Swedish massage and Table Shower massage, whatever that is.

For those equally unsure some of the parlours, specifically in Earl's Court Gardens where terraced houses sell for a bargain £4.5 million, have streaming of moving images of the treatments, so one can see before one buys.

Sadly some locals are not enthusiastic about the parlours, on the basis that they give the area "a creeping seediness" that can only reduce house prices, and have complained to Kensington and Chelsea council, which is currently considering whether or not to renew the licences the parlours need to stay in business. One resident, claims that the parlours are offering services that are more sexual than therapeutic, though of course they could well be both. He also suggests that the council is trying to recreate in Earl's Court the "port district of old Amsterdam" an area of which he apparently has some special knowledge.


Amusing to note that an old but good joke about Ryanair is currently re-doing the rounds since 2013 and it goes something like this. (with apologies to everyone)

Michael O'Leary is most flattered to hear of a new pub in London, the Ryan O'Leary, said to be inspired by himself and his marketing strategies and flies across to check it out. He is recognised and welcomed as soon as he walks in. "What'll you have, Mr O'Leary, Sir" asks the barman.

"I'll have a pint of the black stuff" says Michael and slaps a £5 note on the counter. "All our beer is only £1 a pint" says the barman and gives him his £4 change, saying "We pride ourselves on being the cheapest, and this pub was inspired by you, Sir" "I'm very flattered" says O'Leary "and that's the best deal I've ever had" and waits for his beer.

"Did you happen to bring your glass, Sir?" asks the barman, "Only if you didn't we can hire you one of ours for just £3, which includes all the pouring, washing and drying up charges" "No" mumbles Michael, feeling a bit conned, and hands over another £3. "Next time, Sir, book one in advance online and it's only £2" advises the barman as he pulls the pint. "Unless you pay by credit card and then it's £8.50". "OK and thanks a bunch" mutters Michael and goes to sit down.

"Now Mr O'Leary, Sir, you are not telling me you forgot your chair?" says the barman. "What do you mean?" says Michael, a tad upset by this time. "Well" says the barman, "Here at the Ryan O'Leary we have a large choice of comfortable seating to rent to all our valued customers who don't bring their own. For instance we have an Economy wooden seat for those whose bottoms are no wider than 9 inches for a bargain price of £5 per 30 minutes. For our, ahem, larger customers, which if truth be told all of you are, the Economies go for £10 per 30 minutes, and the Premium Class armchairs for £30. There is of course a 50% discount for pre-booking online. And while you are sitting there, Sir, may we offer you one of our popular and tasty snacks, some £1 soup perhaps, with the bowl and spoon rental just £5 extra, or our 50p sandwich with fillings from only £4?"

"I've had enough of this exploitative nonsense" snarls Michael. "You lot clearly have no concept of customer care and I'm going to lodge the strongest possible complaint" "I'm really sorry to hear that, Sir" says the barman, "But rest assured, inspired by you we take all complaints very seriously, Just call this premium rate number You'll eventually be put through to our exclusive call centre in Delhi with calls costing only £2 a minute if we keep you on hold, or £4 a minute while we're actually talking to you, with all phone time free after the first £200. You can’t say fairer than that, Sir"

O'Leary screams a number of very rude words and quickly leaves for the airport...


o When we wanted to put on a family dinner in the Woburn area for eleven adults and six children we had in mind a simple choice of roast dinners so we were glad to find Longs Inn at 18, Bedford Street, Woburn.

Here our seventeen fitted perfectly into one of the bars and the food and friendly service really couldn't have been better as we all tucked into lashings of tender meats with a choice of lamb, beef or chicken and a big variety of roast and green vegetables. They even put all the meat and veg that was over out on a table for us to have seconds, or take home. Along with some tasty minestrone soup to start with and a generous bowl of ice cream to finish our bill came to around £15 a head, without drinks, a lot less than we would have paid for that level of quality at one of Woburn's better-known restaurants.

Long's is a 17th century coaching inn with 15 bedrooms for accommodation and for a sit-down meal can cope with up to 40, or 60 for a buffet.

Tel: 01525 290219 Web: longsinn.co.uk


o We enjoyed the Lebanese-style chicken livers at Beirut street food specialists Yalla Yalla, served at their 12,Winsley Street, London branch.

This dish, recommended by both Hardens and Time Out, makes a substantial starter or a light lunch, coming as it does with complimentary hot pitta bread and salty pickled vegetables for a very street food price of £5.50, or £4.50 to take away. Termed Sawda Djej the strong taste of the sauteed livers is softened and enhanced with garlic and cut with tangy-sweet Lebanese pomegranate molasses, this last a special ingredient for any foodie's store cupboard. From here it can be rolled out to add its sweet/sour flavour to zing up meat and fish dishes, salad dressings and ice cream as well as cocktails or simply diluted to make a fruit squash.

If the chicken livers aren't enough to fill then Yalla Yalla has a large choice of fifteen other dishes with the complimentary pitta bread and pickles, all around £5-6 (such as houmous, falafel and tabbouleh) with a mixed deep fried seafood at £9. Or there is a selection of five light lunches, including a flatbread with spicy minced lamb and more pomegranate molasses, as well as a range of twelve larger dishes served with vermicelli basmati rice, including grills of chicken, lamb and lamb kafta, shawarmas with chicken and lamb, a slow-cooked lamb shoulder dish, grilled sea bass fillets and king prawns and a range of vegetarian options.

Yalla Yalla also has a venue at Greens Court, London W1

Web: yalla-yalla.co.uk


o One lively Mexican-style tapas bar that also makes a good party venue is the pocket-friendly Fiesta Havana at 39-41 Watergate Street, Chester where they accept the Tastecard discount dining card to give a 50% discount for up to 6 people.

Here we happily pigged out on the slow cooked 20-oz beef rib which just fell off the large, flat rib-bone and came with fries, a crispy taco filled with salad, lovely and sweet roasted cherry tomatoes and the House Virgin Mary ketchup. For us this was a real 50% bargain at £15.95 down to £7.98, and went down a treat with the strong tequila-laced Desperados beer, but others in our party spoke highly of their half price 8 oz rump steak at £6.98 and their chicken escalope chargrilled in Tabasco at £5.98, both dishes served with all the trimmings above.

Also on the menu here are large sharing dishes served on planks, chicken, steak, king prawn and vegetable Fajitas, Quesadillas, Tortillas and hamburgers, as well as a pork and black bean Feijoada and two curries. In addition, but only available Sunday to Thursday and with no Tastecard discount is a range of 15 tapas, including old favourites such as meatballs, Patatas Bravas spicy potatoes and ham croquettes, offered at £11.95 for three.

Web: havanachester.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 Tom Brady
Hello Peter,

Ref. EVENT DISASTER IN LIVERPOOL article and Lee O'Hanlon, CEO of Tiny Cow

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

The Right Impression are business and healthcare consultants who periodically become involved in the organisation of events, mainly in the healthcare sector. Our strapline is, and always has been, ‘We make it happen’; and, unlike Mr O'Hanlon's event management company Tiny Cow, we really do.

Please find attached a story featuring Michael O’Leary that you, and possibly your readers, may enjoy.

Keep up the good and entertaining work.

Kind regards,
Tom Brady

Editor's response.
Hi Tom and thanks for your email, which I have edited just for brevity.

Bad luck on having the same strapline as Lee O'Hanlon's discredited company Tiny Cow. It wont please you to know that since our article was published Hope and Glory Festivals have gone into liquidation owing more than £888,000 and an independent report has placed blame for the shambles squarely in the court of Tiny Cow. Change your strapline to "We really do make it happen"?

Meanwhile thanks for the Ryanair joke, which I have arrogantly re-written from the 2013 original, hopefully improving it, and published in this issue.

Hope we continue to entertain.

Kind regards
Peter Cotterell


Sales of flame throwers, machine guns and grenades take off in the US as the American public arm themselves against the next mass killer… Dozens of University vice-chancellors take substantial voluntary cuts in wages to restore the good name of the academic sector… A flock of pigs is seen flying over Bath… New start-up company Ghoulie Tours offers tourists the chance to impress their social media friends with dozens of selfies taken at UK sites where tragedies or terrorist attacks have left people dead. CEO Sid Sicko tells the press "We've had a huge response from China"… Residents in Earl's Court Gardens club together to offer owners of massage parlours £1 million to close up and leave. A spokesperson comments "It's a cost-effective way of maintaining the value of our properties"... A new pub chain, the Ryan O'Leary opens in London and other major UK cities… 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.)

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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