Event Organisers Update November 2017 ISSUE 158 - 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.
TIME TO STOP THE BLACKMAIL
Of course, our country being members of the EU and beholden to EU law has helped our unions build their power and it is no secret that they are very keen to see this continue.
Which is probably another good reason for anyone who feels that the unions have too much power to back the Brexit. For once we are able to make our own laws again some serious democratic consideration can be given to whether we can all afford to allow the above rot to continue.
Then let joy be unconfined...
HOLIDAY FRAUDSTERS JAILED
Paul Roberts, 43, and his partner Deborah Briton,53, sobbed in the dock as they were jailed for fifteen months and nine months respectively for claiming that two consecutive two week holidays to Majorca in 2015 and 2016, staying at the same hotel, had been ruined by severe gastric illness and suffering from "diarrhoea, stomach cramps, lethargy, fever and nausea". This was despite posting on social media that they had enjoyed "sun, laughter and fun".
The action was brought by Thomas Cook, who the couple were claiming nearly £20,000 from Holiday sickness claims have increased by 500% - 700% and bogus claims are thought to cost the travel industry £240 million. The frauds are fuelled by touts working for a fee from the solicitors bringing the cases.
Morgensen's firm, stupidly, blitzed the press with a silly lie about a £99 fare from London Stansted to New York, nonsense that was nevertheless picked up and publicised unquestioningly by such quality organs as the Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Mirror, the Sun and Hello magazine. Fortunately one sensible journalist, Simon Calder, checked out the scam on behalf of readers of the Independent and its i paper and reported that the £99 fare did not exist, and that the best Mr Morgensen could offer was a one way fare of £170 or a round trip for £251, both entailing first flying to Keflavik airport in Iceland rather than non-stop.
Morgensen's efforts at misleading, opined Calder, proved the fake news principle that "a fib can travel halfway around the globe while the truth is putting on its boots" So mind who you believe.
Reportedly these extras, charged at the Trattoria Cassonova off St Mark's Square, included a plate of 20 oysters for £96 and a mixed fried fish dish, including lobster, for £261.50. Sadly university lecturer Luke Tang, who was treating his elderly parents did not send the unordered items back, even after he had got no response from the waiters to a request for the price.
Mr Tang paid the bill and wrote afterwards to Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro explaining that he felt "blackmailed" by the restaurant, and to warn others to stay away. Brugnaro's response, to call the tourists "cheapskates" on Venetian television and berating them for not leaving a tip, can only lead to the conclusion that eating in Venice is not a good idea. This is a pity as in the writer's experience there are some culinary bargains to be had there, though you probably need to avoid the tourist traps around the St Mark's Square area, and taking any advice from the mayor.
Our best advice? The unordered dishes scam is alive and well in many other places, with a large number of restaurants in the Ile Sacre eating area of Brussels coming top of the Euro rip-off list. However in London, at a newly opened Chinese eaterie in Gerrard Street, the writer was brought an unordered and expensive duck dish, on the basis that the waiter "just thought you would like it" We sent it straight back untouched. Go and do likewise, and let us know if, and where, it happens to you.
The bottle of The Macallan, supposedly dating from 1878, had been kept unopened at the whisky bar of the Waldhaus Am See hotel in St Moritza, Switzerland for 25 years. Earlier this year Chinese millionaire Zhang Wei paid £7,600 for the bottle to be opened and for a measure to taste, which he did with the hotel's manager, Sandro Bernasconi.. According to Mr Zhang, 36, he enjoyed both the good taste and the sense of drinking some 139 year old history.
Sadly when experts investigated the bottle they found it was a fake, being a blend of malt and grain whiskies bottled in the 1970's. Had the bottle been genuine it would have been worth around £227,000, or around £8,000 a measure.
Since the whisky was proved to be a worthless fake Bernasconi flew to China to give Mr Zhang his money back.
The survey was split into large chains of 31 hotels or more worldwide and small/medium chains of 30 or less worldwide and was collated from the views of 4,000 consumers. It gave Britannia two stars out of five in all categories, including bed comfort, cleanliness, customer service and value for money. The group has 61 hotels, with an average charge of £78 per night, and scored 33% in the survey.
Top scorers in the large chains section were Premier Inn (1350 hotels) with 79% while Ibis Budget (53) came second with 71% and McDonald Hotels (132), Radisson Blu (140) and Crowne Plaza (109) coming joint third at 70% The rest of the scores were:-
In the small/medium chain category the top scorer was Malmaison (56) with 75% and Apex (52) was second with 71%. Lowest, but still way ahead of Britannia was easyhotels (49) 61% Other scores were:-
o The four-star Feathers Hotel, Ludlow, Shropshire has now been voluntarily closed by its management following a second case of Legionnaires disease there that killed a 69 year-old woman in August.
Elaine Brown stayed at the Jacobean hotel with her husband for one night in July this year, where she showered in contaminated water and developed the disease ten days later, dying in hospital of sepsis and a stroke. Another woman had also contracted the deadly disease at the hotel three months earlier but had recovered. However the authorities, Public Health England failed to publicise the incident or advise the council to shut the hotel down.
Mrs Brown's family are taking legal action over her death, which they say was "avoidable"
o Sad to note that a black tie dinner and dance being held by the West Cornwall Golf Club at the historic Tregenna Castle Hotel, St Ives, Cornwall was marred by some unseemly fighting on the dance floor. Apparently a number of people were injured, including one of the police officers called to the scene, and a 22 year-old female student was arrested and charged with assault and criminal damage.
o The Hotel LLiada, in Perivolos on the Greek island of Santorini has been successfully sued for £33,750 by an elderly tourist from Torbay after she fell down stone steps that had no handrail on one side. Carole Peters,60, fractured her arm and injured her head and sued for £50,000. The hotel, through travel agent Tui, claimed that Peters was very drunk and wearing "silly shoes".
However at Central London County Court judge James Howlett accepted that the lack of a safety rail was mostly to blame and that Peters had not been drunk and had been wearing sensible flat heeled sandals, but had not been looking where she was going, hence the reduction in the award made.
o Three venues in Central England have recently gone into administration.(Business Desk) They are the Astbury Estate in Shropshire, a golf course, stately home and corporate hospitality venue owned by a former guitarist of rock band Judas Priest; the 23-room Bridge Hotel and wedding venue in Prestbury, Cheshire; Unity House, Wakefield, a multi-use event space.
o The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, has banned former footballer and comedy actor O.J.Simpson after he was allegedly involved in a drunken scuffle there. Simpson was paroled from jail last month after serving nine years for robbery.
As regular readers will know Event Organisers Update has long exposed the liggers, naming and shaming some of the worst, including one lady who operated an email alert to advise her growing list of freeloaders of where the free pickings were and who threatened us, but only threatened, with legal action. Now Conference News has revealed the existence of another list of grabbers doing the rounds, that suppliers not wishing to be conned can use to clean their mailing lists.
A copy of this would be gratefully received by Old Grit, for publication of course.
Our Asian friends are especially keen on this editorial prostitution, from what we've been offered and rejected. Pity some of our "independent" event industry publications can’t do likewise.
Interestingly this is not the case, it seems, at operator Greater Anglia where a woman traveller who spotted and reported an unattended sports bag on her morning commute from Bishop's Stortford was told by the company to pick it up and hand it into staff, instructions she sensibly refused.
Question is if the train operator doesn't take safety seriously how can they expect their customers to?
A box set of six early silent black and white films in Blu-ray directed by Germany's first great director Ernst Lubitsch has been released by Eureka Entertainment as part of its Masters of Cinema series under the title "Lubitsch in Berlin : fairy-tales, melodramas and sex comedies".
The films are:-
Ossi Oswalda was nicknamed "The German Mary Pickford" and specialised in playing the feisty wild child - tragically she died impoverished and bankrupt in Prague at the young age of 48. In Anna Boleyn Emil Jannings gave a celebrated performance as the sensual and psychopathic King Henry, while Henny Porten, Germany's first major film star, excelled as the tragic Anne Boleyn.
The box set also includes a feature length documentary on the director "Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin : from Schonhauser Allee to Hollywood" made by Robert Fischer in 2006, and a book of notes for all six films.
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.
Laws to ban strikes that cripple our transport systems are recommended for post-Brexit consideration, to much rejoicing... Partners of law firms that bring fraudulent food poisoning claims against holiday firms are jailed along with their crooked clients, to more rejoicing... Wow Air give away free return flights to New York, to apologise and compensate for lying to their public... Thousands of unordered meals are sent back in Venetian restaurants. The mayor of Venice declares a State of Emergency... A list of incentive travel destinations suitable to send sales staff who fail to make targets is headed by Zimbabwe, Myanmar and North Korea... A night at a Britannia hotel becomes the most common booby prize in sales competitions... 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
To book email email@example.com
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