Event Organisers Update January 2018 ISSUE 160 - 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 trampoline centre in Chester has removed its Tower Jump after a fourth visitor broke her back using it last year.

Dental nurse Lucy Jones, 19, broke a vertebra in her spine after taking the twelve foot jump into a foam pit and needed rods in her back to help the healing process. She was housebound for four months after the accident and is now suing the trampoline centre, Flip Out Chester. On February 1st last year three others broke their backs there after making the jump, one of whom is also suing the centre.

Flip Out are based in Bournemouth, have 20 centres in the UK and promote them for personal and corporate events.


The far-right ultranationalist political group Britain First called itself Patriot Merchandise to secure a meeting room for their 2017 one-day conference last December at Wyboston Lakes in Bedfordshire. (Conference News)

The booking was made at short notice and images on social media showed the Oakley Suite decked with banners carrying the slogan "Taking our country back".

Management at the venue have donated the fee paid to charity and have stated that they would not have accepted the booking had they realised the nature of it and that the values of their company "conflict in totality" with those of Britain First.



o Five thieves armed with axes raided the jewellery store at the Ritz Hotel, Paris and took items worth £4 million on January 10th. Police very quickly arrived and caught three of the thieves as the other two, accomplices waiting outside to receive the loot, made off in a car and on a motorbike, the motorcyclist dropping the bag of the stolen goods as he pulled away. Police said no-one was hurt.


o A Britannia hotel, the Grand Burstin in Folkestone, Kent has been ordered to pay £12,781 compensation to a widow who had jewellery stolen from her locked bedroom.

Primrose Grainger, 77, woke up to see two thieves in her room taking her valuable rings from her bedside table in July 2013. Britannia Hotels argued in court that she could have avoided the loss by putting her valuables in one of its safe deposit boxes. However the judge at Central London county court heard that there had been a spate of robberies at the hotel and that the thieves had probably found a key to her room in the building. He found that Britannia Hotels could have prevented the theft by upgrading its keycard security.

A claim from Ms Grainger for psychiatric damage was rejected on the grounds that this was "not foreseeable" by the hotel.


o Marriott International Hotels and the Thompson Group have been criticised by environmentalists for continuing to supply and promote "walking with lions" experiences for Marriott guests at the four-star Ranch Protea Hotel, Limpopo.

The human-wildlife interactions are designed to instill a lack of fear of humans into the lions, which are later sold to those organising sick "canned hunts". Here the lions are transferred to small enclosures where brave hunters pay to shoot the docile animals at close range. The lion's body parts and bones are then sold to the Chinese medicine industry.


A number of comedians suitable for hiring at a range of corporate events were showcased recently by London speaker bureau Performing Artistes.

o Cally Beaton has had 25 years in the media industry and is a sought-after comedian, public speaker, panellist and presenter who enjoys turning gender stereotypes on their heads. She has been described as "fiery, intelligent and totally original".

o Daliso Chaponda is the son of a Malawian politician and has built a reputation in comedy clubs in South Africa, Canada, Singapore, and Australia as well as the UK, including in Big Value shows at last year's Edinburgh Fringe. He is also a prolific fiction writer.

o Rhys James has already appeared on numerous TV programmes and specialises in stand-up comedy combined with unpretentious poetry, also a popular act at the Edinburgh Fringe. He has been described by Time Out as a "Sickeningly talented young stand-up".

o Geoff Norcott is a writer, comedian and presenter with extensive experience of corporate events and an ability to work with material supplied. He has also clocked up multiple TV appearances and has been described as "fantastic" and "a much-needed morale boost".

o Mike Osman is an experienced after dinner speaker whose comedy impressions now include a lifelike Donald Trump, complete with custom-made blonde wig, orange tan and outrageous rhetoric, and available for selfies. Also Jamie Oliver, Boris Johnson Gordon Ramsay and Nigel Farage.



o Said to be Europe's largest the 500 million euro refurbished Paris Convention Centre offers a plenary hall of 5,200 seats linked directly to 44,000 square metres of exhibition space, another 172,000 square metres of exhibition space and up to 50 additional rooms created by partitions. The Centre was formerly part of the Parc des Expositions at the Port de Versailles on the outskirts of the city.


o A new 51,000 square metre conference centre, Caesars Forum, is planned for Las Vegas for 2020.

Costing around $375 million (£271 million) this will incorporate the world's two largest pillarless ballrooms and 28,000 square metres of flexible space built on an 18 acre site east of the Las Vegas Strip.


One of the world's best plays, in the opinion of the writer, is coming to the end of its London production run on February 3 at the Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue.

Glengarry Glen Ross is a politically-incorrect, scabrous, profane and wickedly funny 1983 satire from David Mamet on what a nightmare the American Dream really is and features four real estate salesmen in Chicago who are incentivised by a scheme where the top performer gets a Cadillac and the bottom one gets fired. Desperate to keep their jobs they lie, cheat, steal and corrupt - "All in a days work" and "Business as usual", as the publicity notes. The title comes from two of the land packages offered by their firm, Glengarry Highlands and Glen Ross Farms.

The much-garlanded play was made into a successful film with an ensemble cast in 1992 and the four salesmen were Al Pacino as the silky smooth Ricky Roma, the late, great Jack Lemmon giving the dramatic performance of his life as once-hot operator Shelly "The Machine" Levene, Ed Harris as the volatile Dave Moss and Alan Arkin as the decent but failing George Aaronow.Kevin Spacey did a memorable job as the corruptible office manager, John Williamson, and a telling cameo role that was written for him (not featured in the play) went to Alec Baldwin as the abusive and nasty Blake, sent by the firm's owners, Mitch and Murray to break the news of the new, motivating sales contest.

For the enjoyable production at the Playhouse Ricky Roma is played by a smooth Christian Slater, Shelly Levene by an entertainingly bragging Stanley Townsend, George Aaronow by a decent Don Warrington and Dave Moss by a suitably furious Robert Glenister, now recovered from his being taken ill on stage last November and drawing an enthusiastic round of applause for his gloriously effing exit. Kriss Marshall got the job of ably following the talented Kevin Spacey as the office manager who, like Spacey, has to endure a potty-mouthed rant from the Roma character, who has lost a valuable sale over Williamson's well-meaning mistake with his client, and who calls him, among other things, a "fairy" causing some knowing chuckles in the audience.

Go see, and enjoy both the film and the play.


Good to read that Highgate School are keeping up with gender equality, and inclusivity.

They recently changed the lyrics of the carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlefolk, to avoid offending women.

Isn't a good thing the moulders of our youngster's minds are looking after these vital aspects?


Not so many years ago Old Grit, along with lots of others, was able to taste a piece of history by quaffing a sample of the famous sulphur waters of Harrogate, used in much larger quantities in days gone by as a purge by those who had rather overdone the old F&B.

Actually they were fairly disgusting, but freely available from an outside tap on the wall of the historic Pump Room Museum, owing to an old law that allowed for the poor to enjoy, if that's the right word, the same privileges as the rich, who flocked to Harrogate for the "cure".

Then along came the EU and deemed the consumption in breach of some law they'd dreamed up, which got the backing of the council.

Now, however it is being speculated that a little known local law, the 1985 Harrogate Stray Act could, post Brexit, be invoked to restore the right of residents and visitors to the free purgative waters, and Old Grit will certainly be drinking to that.


Those who book travel deals that have to be booked by a set date to get a discount, or have been tempted, will be interested in a survey carried out by Which?

The consumer champion tracked 30 such deals over July/August last year and found that in most of them the price was still the same after the date set, or even cheaper Firms identified by Which were Virgin, Expedia, Lastminute and Sandals Resorts.

Which? point out that such offers, from such companies could be breaking the law in misleading customers.


o Generous portions of high-quality food await diners at the Ziba Bar and Restaurant located in Liverpool's Raquet Club Hotel, in the Hargreaves building at the west end of Chapel Street.

And for those with a Tastecard discount dining card there is a substantial saving of 50% on all dishes. So for £3.50 we kicked off with a chunky piece of game terrine, wrapped in bacon and served with a crostini and tangy piccalilli. One of our party had the mini fish and chips with pea puree (£3.25) which she pronounced large enough for a light main course.

Our main course was simply the best slices of tender roast beef rump we've tasted in a long time, cooked beautifully rare and served with Dauphinoise potato, root vegetables and Port jus, all for £9. Other choices sampled were the tasty spinach gnocci with carbonara sauce topped with ricotta and nutmeg (£7.50) and the solid Chicken Ballontine stuffed with cranberry and tarragon and served with fondant potato, wild mushrooms and braised leeks in a cream sauce (£8.25).

Delicious desserts sampled were a Rhubarb and Orange Cheesecake (£2.50) and a Bakewell Tart with raspberry creme anglaise and vanilla ice cream (£2.75).


o The Tastecard is also useful to have at the Duke's Head Hotel, Kings Lynn, where we recently sampled the food in the Massey and Co Bar and Lounge there.

As well as a range of pub classics such as beefburgers, fish and chips, scampi and chips and minute steak and chips for £9 -13 (full price) and superior sarnies from £5.50 to £7.95 they also have a small range of eight "British Tapas", which are quite substantial bowls of food for £3 each, or just £1.50 with the card. So for a total of £4.50 we tucked into a lot of very porky crispy pork cheeks with apple and ginger chutney, a large amount of sweet potato chips with bacon salt, sour cream and chive dip and tasty tiger prawns in a lemon and coriander broth. Sadly they had run out of two of our original choices, the piri piri chicken wings with lime creme fraiche and the cured tuna with smoked mushrooms and chives, so if they are back on when we go back we'll let you know.


o One of our regular Tastecard stops in London's west end is the Indochinese Banana Tree in Wardour Street. This is one of nine outlets, the other London ones being in Angel, Battersea, Maida Vale, Westbourne Grove and West Hampstead, and others located in Chelmsford, Milton Keynes and Oxford.

This Pan-Asian offers a two for one deal with the cheapest dish free on all their dishes from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, and we've enjoyed fresh salads, very tasty curries and our personal favourite, the huge main course bowl of creamy and fragrant Singaporean Laksa soup, stuffed with chicken, prawns, noodles, vegetables and bean sprouts for around £11. Also superb is their pad thai noodle dish for around the same price.

What we especially like about the place is that those on their own and wanting a light, tasty lunch can choose two starters and the cheapest one comes free. As an example we recently had a small bowl of their signature Laksa soup with prawns for £6.85 and a free dish of very sticky finger-licking chicken wings (£6.45).


1) From Grahame Smith

I was pleased to see your comment:
'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.'

Whilst it may be appropriate in the section Icelandic Fake, I think it is more applicable to your views in Time To Stop the Blackmail.

I was shocked to see such vile, right-wing, verbal diarrhoea in your newsletter. Your views are blatantly political, meant to be deceptive and full of 'mis-truths'. There was no balance to your words.

Had you said these were your 'own personal views' then readers could make their own opinion and find out the real cause and how the train operators have been trying to impose an unsafe railway on us.

It is my belief that in any company or organisation, the management role is to actually manage and that includes carrying the employees along with them, not make conflict with employees. For circumstances to come to a strike is a massive failure by a company and management to do their job properly. Well run companies do not have strikes!

I am very disappointed, as I have read your newsletter for many years and generally found it informative and sometimes amusing. I did not think that its function is to promote your own biased political views.

Grahame Smith


Editor's response
Thanks Grahame.

It's always good to be able to balance vile right-wing verbal diarrhoea with some left-wing stuff.

Keep reading, and responding.

Kind regards
Peter Cotterell


2) From anonymous (sales@chelsea)

We wouldn’t need unions if everyone was paid fairly. The Conservative Government has continued to attack workers' rights and back the big corporations with their unfair zero-hours contracts nonsense taking us back to Victorian times.

If the transport union wasn’t so strong this Government would happily try and screw the workers. If the nurses’ union was stronger and fought for them more they might have had a pay increase in the last 7 years.

You should concentrate on getting big businesses to pay more tax (or any tax) and distribute the money. Our health service, police and other public services are being destroyed. The only way to have a strong economy is if you have a strong middle class, which is being eroded at the moment.

Happy days!


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.


Britain First have problems finding a venue that doesn't mind the bad publicity attached to their events… Marriott deny that any of their guests participate in canned hunts, or buy Chinese medicines made from bits of dead lion… Kids at Highgate School are made to sing "We three queens of Orient are" to avoid offending women. They are then accused of being homophobic… travel companies that dupe customers with "hurry" deals are made to pay substantial compensation… 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


OUT OF HOURS SUPPORT GROUP provides MEDICAL COVER and SECURITY SERVICES for the full range of events.
Based in Hampshire, but covers events across the country. Experienced staff include doctors, Emergency Nurse Practitioners & Paramedics working with vehicles equipped to NHS specification, including an ambulance, 4x4s and all-terrain quad bike. Mobile medical centre available. Reliable and versatile staff are fully screened in line with enhanced DBS requirements with separate Disclosure and Barred list check.

Out of Hours Security teams work separately or alongside the medical teams. Security staff are registered and licensed by the SIA. All staff wear visible ID at all times. Contact Leo Burdock at leo@outofhoursmedics.co.uk or visit outofhoursmedics.co.uk Tel: 07904033828


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 17,000 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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