Event Organisers Update April 2018 ISSUE 162 - 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.


Is social media, which we have all been told we should be enthusiastically embracing, on the way out?

Certainly the continued posting of racial hatred material and the worrying abuse of confidential customer data hasn't helped the social media cause. And the recent blaming of the culture for causing a mental health crisis amongst young people desperate to maintain a perfect profile, said to be a factor in seven student suicides at Bristol University, the suing of Facebook for running scam ads that defraud and the fact that the down-to-earth businssman, Tim Martin of pub chain Wetherspoons has just closed all his company's Facebook and Twitter accounts and expects his business to improve as a result have to be three more damaging nails in the social media coffin.

For this old curmudgeon and dinosaur the culture has never been anything other than people publicly showing off - and that includes one D. Trump - but the actual nailing of it as a force for evil is a major new development.

Wonder how it's now going to play in our events industry?


Another Liverpool couple have been caught out trying to defraud a travel company with false claims of holiday food poisoning, and this time the doctor and solicitor who supported and brought the claim are also being investigated.

Chelsea Devine, 21, and Jamie Melling, 22, were ordered by Liverpool County Court to pay operator Tui £15,000 after finding them "fundamentally dishonest" for trying to claim £2,500 each for their fictional sickness. In this case Tui also discovered that the pair's doctor who gave evidence supporting their claim, Zuber Bux is married to Sebana Bux, who is a partner in AMS Solicitors of Preston, who brought the case to court.

Accordingly Tui have reported the doctor to the General Medical Council and the solicitor to the Solicitors Regulation Authority and await their responses.


Another case of visitors to Venice being grossly overcharged for food in restaurants around St Marks Square has emerged.

Four Japanese students were charged a total of £970 for three steak suppers, some mineral water and a plate of fried fish, excluding alcoholic drinks, at the Osteria da Luca. The mayor of Venice is said to be "outraged" and "investigating" this latest of a string of similar cases in the city. For some it might be more constructive if he oversaw the publication of a blacklist of places to avoid, and released it to the international tourist media.

Or would that be a dog biting the hand that feeds it?


An event supplier specialised in providing cocktail and bartending expertise was robbed late last month.

Two thieves broke into the Kensal Green, London offices of Home Hire Bartender and stole bottles of champagne, cameras and business equipment before trashing the place. CEO and founder Lucio Marino is hopeful the pair can be caught as one of them walked past a CCTV camera without wearing his mask.


Liverpool will be able to handle the huge floating blocks of flats that these days pass for modern super liners with a new £50 million cruise terminal bring built on its waterfront from October this year (The Business Desk).

Last year the City welcomed 120,000 passengers and crew from 60 vessels to its current terminal, which generated £7 million for its local economy.


A sleeper mini-coach that can carry 12 passengers lying down has been launched for those travelling 300 miles or more.

The berths on the coach come equipped with draw curtains, night lights, charger sockets magazine racks and morning facial wipes, and the concept is said to be ideal for groups attending events 300+ miles away since the combined travel and accommodation package could save on train or plane costs, and hotel nights.

Web travelbyknight.co.uk


Building of the new Marriott International Moxy Hotel will start at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in June this year and should be open for business by June next year.

The eight-storey structure will incorporate 224 bedrooms. Moxy is a Marriott lifestyle brand and there are currently 20 Moxy properties worldwide, the latest just open at Heathrow Airport and the largest with 437 bedrooms. Other Moxy hotels opening this year are in Southampton, York Edinburgh and Glasgow.


Joining a familiarisation trip to Poland as a guest of Marriott Hotels the writer enjoyed five-star accommodation at hotels in Warsaw, and Krakow (next month's issue).

On arrival at Warsaw Chopin Airport from our BA flight we were quickly transferred to the 40-storey + glass skyscraper in the Manhattan-like business district where the five-star Marriott Warsaw occupies the top 20 floors, and is said to have more amenities than any other hotel in Poland. We could believe it as there are 523 bedrooms here and all have luxurious facilities and fabulous views over the city, as does the hotel's unique 40th floor Panoramic Sky-Bar. Our large bathroom had no curtains or blinds up at the huge picture window, and this worried us a bit on behalf of female delegates, until we were told the glass was only one-way, ie we could see out but no one could see in, so that was all right. For those looking to hold meetings and events there are 28,000 square feet (2,600 square metres) of venue space, which includes 26 event rooms and a Grand Ballroom with seating for 700 delegates, all this complemented by an indoor pool, spa, fitness centre and five dining options.

The visit also included a second night in the nearby Sheraton Warsaw with 350 spacious, newly-refurbished rooms and suites, designed by London-based Alex Kravetz, and 12 meeting spaces totalling 1,163 square metres, one of 500 square metres with a maximum capacity of 500. Beds here are custom-designed to eliminate pressure points and increase circulation, especially beneficial after an intense workout, they say, something we sadly didn't get a chance to test. For more gentle relaxation there is a club floor and a club lounge, and a chef who knows Asian food.

Event organisers were also treated to site inspections at the five-star Westin Hotel, with 13 meeting rooms across 1,080 square metres of space and a maximum capacity of 500, and the five-star historic Art Deco Hotel Bristol, which opened in 1901 and offers 165 rooms and 41 suites, with 10 meeting spaces across 760 square metres of meeting space and a maximum capacity of 240. Other non-hotel and non-residential venues looked at in Warsaw included the City's National Stadium, which can seat up to 58,000 delegates but can also cater for lots of smaller groups, the EXPO XX1 conference centre with 4 multi-functional halls across 13,000 square metres, 5,000 square metres of outside space and 1,500 square metres of conference and meeting rooms, and the Warsaw Royal Castle, dating from the 14th century and rebuilt like most of Warsaw after WW2, which now offers a range of sumptuous chambers for very special banqueting.

Note. For more information about Marriott in Poland contact Chandra Woollard on +44 (0)20 7012 7143 email Chandra.Woollard@Marriott.com


There can't be many airport hotels with a large and attractive outside area for al fresco barbecues and other eating in the warm months but the four-star Hilton London Heathrow Airport, which we experienced recently and which won the World's Leading Airport Hotel award last year is one of a very few. Also much-appreciated by arriving guests, especially those arriving in inclement weather is the covered walkway connecting the Hilton to Terminal Four, an eight minute walk away and a fifteen minute ride on the Heathrow Express to Central London.

These help make it a popular choice with many organisers of corporate events, particularly those booking for the demanding pharmaceutical market. Other aspects that tick boxes for the Hilton are the conference and meetings facilities, starting with the Heathrow Suite which holds 300 theatre-style, has its own dedicated foyer area for break-outs and is divisible into two, and the Concorde Suite which holds 240, also has its own foyer area and is divisible into three. For smaller events there is the Aviator Suite for 60, that splits into two sections for 30 and 20, the Sapphire and Starlight rooms which hold 10 each on a boardroom or banqueting layout. After these there are ten meeting rooms, with seven holding 10 theatre-style or boardroom, one holding 32 and divisible into two for 10 each and two holding 36 each theatre-style, or 18 each boardroom.

Bedrooms, 398 in all, break down into four categories. The Guest rooms are all 24 square metres and have air-conditioning, soundproofed windows, comfortable beds, tea/coffee facilities, a large desk with wireless internet access, an easy chair and bathroom with bathtub and shower, both personally welcome for us after a late night arrival at the airport and a lazy lie-in and soak the next day De Luxe rooms in addition have king-size beds, 42" LCD HDTV, bathrobe, slippers and bottled spring water. Those in Executive rooms also get exclusive use of the Executive Lounge, with free breakfast and refreshments served throughout the day. And those in the 48 square metre Suites get all this plus separate living and sleeping areas, magazines and a large 47" LCD HDTV.

In the hotel is a Health club with gym, an indoor heated swimming pool with sauna and steam room and a Business Centre There is also Oscars bar, where we enjoyed a cold and refreshing late-night lager and three restaurants These are the Italian Aromi, where guests enjoy their substantial Hilton buffet breakfast, with an omelette station, a pancake machine, and a four-foot long peppermill, and, at other times authentic Italian dishes. Staff here were friendly and helpful and cheerfully demonstrated that the huge peppermill did actually dispense pepper and wasn't just for decoration. Dancers Bar offers a wide range of speciality beers, cocktails and snacks, and Zen Oriental, open evenings only, offers Chinese and other Oriental cuisine.

Tel: +44(0)20 8759 7755 Email: events.heathrow@hilton.com Web: www.heathrow.hilton.com

Note. The writer stayed, as a guest of Hilton, in a Guest room with breakfast.


A recent cruise around Scotland and the Orkneys, the Shetlands and the Danish Faroe Islands gave the writer the chance to run a beer tasting of twelve local brews purchased. The tasting team of six was equally split with three of each gender and all the ales were tasted blind, with marks out of 10 given.

Top choice, with 39 points out of 60, was Edinburgh Gold from the Stewart Brewery, a golden ale with a healthy ABV of 4.8% and a bargain price of £1.99 for a 500ml bottle in Edinburgh supermarkets. Very close behind, with 37 and 36 points respectively were two light and clean-tasting beers from the Foroya Bjor brewery at Klaksvik in the Faroes, their Organic Light at 2.8% ABV and their Pilsner Light at 2.7 ABV, both costing £3 for 500ml bottles.

Also scoring well was the Mary Queen of Scots Pale from the Loch Leven Brewery at Kinross Scotland at 5% ABV and 35 points (£4/500ml) the Simmer Dim Light Golden from the Valhalla Brewery on the Shetlands at 4% ABV and 33 points (£3/500ml) and the Scapa Special from the Highland Brewery at Orkney Mainland at 4.4% ABV and 32 points (£4/500ml)

Thanks to cruise company CMV for lending us their nightclub on the Astoria for the tasting, and to tasters Karen, Margaret, Pauline, Andy and Paul.


Only two films have ever won the double of the Palme d'Or at Cannes and the Academy Award for Best Picture, and one was director Billy Wilder's 1945 The Lost Weekend about recovering alcoholic writer Ray Milland while the other was Marty, director Delbert Mann's 1955 romance about decent, honest shy and awkward 34 year old Bronx butcher Marty (Ernest Borgnine) and decent, honest, shy and awkward 29 year old teacher Clara (Betsy Blair).

The two meet when Clars is cruelly dumped by her blind date at the local ballroom for being a "dog" the intellectual local lad's term for women they find unattractive, unlike "chicks" that they do. Marty is outraged to be offered five dollers to take her home and, after her callous date has gone off with his choice of "chick", asks her to dance and winds up with her bursting into tears on his shoulder. From an unlikely start they gradually warm to each other as they walk and talk and discover their similarities, the outcome clear when supposedly plain Clara treats Marty, and us, to a most beautific smile.

Sadly for Marty not everyone welcomes his new-found happiness. His widowed mother, once in favour of him getting married, now sees Clara as a threat to take Marty away from her and leave her on her own, especially after Clara makes it clear she is not in favour of in-laws living with their sons or daughters. And Marty's pals, who give new depths to the word "shallow" are not keen to see him leave since Marty's long-standing lack of success with women has made them look good. So cue some agonising heart-searching for the shy butcher who is starting to love being in love.

Marty was adapted from a 1953 NBC teleplay scripted by renowned screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky (Network in 1976) and starring Rod Steiger in the title role, so, for our money, equally good. This excellent teleplay is part of the special features of the Dual Format Blu-Ray/DVD release of Marty at the end of this month by Eureka Classics. The film version was co-produced by Burt Lancaster (uncredited) allegedly as a tax loss, runs for 90 minutes in black and white and the presentation also includes interviews with film scholar Neil Sinyard, Delbert Mann and some of the cast of the teleplay, Rod Steiger, Nancy Marchand and Betsy Palmer.



A "space hotel" is being launched in 2022 which will carry two crew and four guests for a 12 day trip.

The Aurora Station will orbit the Earth every 90 minutes at a height of 200 miles, giving passengers, floating in zero gravity, 16 sunrises and sunsets a day, assuming they ca stay awake to enjoy them. Passengers have to complete around three months of astronaut training, some online, some at Houston, Texas and some on board the spacecraft.

If this sounds like the ultimate incentive travel trip for extremely valued clients, it is, and the £6.8 million price tag proves it…


Amusing to read that chef John Burton-Race, commenting on his serial cheating over the years, told the press "I've never been good with women".

Some might recall that he hasn't been much good with chaps, either, after secret filming at his L'Ortolan restaurant in 1995 showed him presiding over a culture of abuse in his kitchen as a thuggish chef under his control, and with his encouragement, verbally and physically bullied a young French trainee, reducing him to tears.

Nice guys.


Those using the Grosvenor Hotel on Park Lane might like to take a peep, or even a £00+ night, at the Cora Pearl Suite.

This opulent room is said by the hotel to have been created to "honour the famed 19th Century courtesan" (posh prostitute) "who frequented The Grosvenor Hotel on her visits to London from Paris" Some might find this a bit rich given that in 1870 the management of the hotel barred her from joining one of her filthy rich clients, Prince Napoleon, who fled to London when France was defeated by Prussia.

Reportedly the team at the Grosvenor had heard of her reputation, and, like the Cafe Royal over the reputations of Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, didn't want it sullying theirs. And quite a reputation is was with beautiful but callous Cora, who under her real name of Emma Crouch plied the World's oldest trade in the squalor of Covent Garden and worked her way up to become fabulously wealthy as she stripped the besotted moneyed classes of their assets, reportedly charging as much as £1million for a night of debauchery, breakfast extra presumably.

Cora died of a nasty cancer aged 51, in poverty and semi-obscurity, and one of her sexcesses is today celebrated by the disapproving Grosvenor which has installed in the suite a copy of her bronze bathtub which she is said to have had filled with vintage champagne and then bathed in with her clients.


o Our recent trip to Poland with Marriott Hotels was blessed by some excellent International and Polish cuisine in Warsaw and Krakow (Krakow next issue).

A sampling of a starter at the InAzia Asian restaurant at the Sheraton Warsaw - raw tuna tataki with roasted sesame and served with cucumber, mango and ginger salad and dressed with orange flavoured teriyaki sauce - had us drooling and wishing we were staying for the rest of the meal. However at the Westin Hotel for a main course we continued our fishy treat by choosing the halibut, a delicious chunky fillet topped with a spicy crumble and roasted rare, served with bok choy and chorizo sauce and with a sweet and nutty puree of Jerusalem artichoke. (topinambur) The other two dishes offered at the Westin were grilled corn chicken with thyme, pumpkin risotto, pickled red onion, artichoke and forest berries sauce, and black tagliatelle pasta with spinach, haloumi cheese, cherry tomatoes and truffle flavoured olive oil, both dishes enjoyed by our colleagues who chose them.

We were also taken to a highly regarded restaurant in Warsaw, Warszawa Wschodnia, owned and run by top chef Mateusz Gessler, who has written cookery books on Polish cuisine. This restaurant is unusually open 24/7 for its selection of Polish and French dishes. We start off with a mini-buffet of starters which includes our own personal favourite of steak tartare and also features roasted fig with goats cheese and raw herring marinated in linseed oil. One staple of Polish cuisine is next with a choice of soups, a very sweet cream of pumpkin and parsnip, or the slightly weird sounding zurek sour rye soup. We try the slightly weird and are glad we did as it is full of tasty sour, salty and creamy flavours and this hearty version is stuffed with chunks of meat.

For the main course our group is offered a choice of zander in mousseline sauce, roast veal with boletus mushrooms or roast duck with apples. We all pick the roast duck and it doesn't disappoint, lean leg and breast meat falling off the bone and enhanced with cooked red cabbage and a sweet and slightly tart apple sauce. We finish with a selection of cakes and some good leaf tea, and look forward to our next trip here when we can try some pierogi dumplings, rabbit, venison, lamb chops, quail and the range of beef dishes. The restaurant offers private dining for groups and facilities for other corporate events.


o Those using restaurants for their corporate events and looking in the Kings Lynn, Norfolk area will want to know about the Pearl River Chinese restaurant on John Kennedy Way, which specialises in an all you can eat buffet of freshly cooked food. This features 8 soups, 11 starters, 5 vegetarian starters, a crispy aromatic duck with pancakes entree, 16 beef dishes, 20 chicken dishes, 14 pork dishes, 18 seafood dishes, 8 noodle dishes, 7 rice dishes and 9 vegetarian dishes.

Paying the full price of £20.50 for the Saturday night buffet, usually for minimum two people, we were encouraged to order as many small tapas-sized starters as we could eat, so we tucked into a small bowl of hot and sour soup, two tasty lots of salt and pepper king prawns in a tempura-style batter, some salt and pepper squid, salt and pepper spare ribs (small mouthful-sized pieces fried in batter) and small battered pieces of smoked chicken. For our main courses we chose king prawns and mushrooms, squid and green peppers in blackbean sauce and, our favourite, four large and tender greenlip mussels in a Taoban sauce, a hot one made from tomatoes and chilli. All the mains come in generous tapas-sized portions - we got the impression most people ordered and ate a lot more than we did.

For those liking more exotic, and expensive, Chinese cuisine the a la carte menu at Pearl River includes such offerings as soft shell crabs, seared scallops with caviar, beef fillet dishes, whole steamed sea bass or grouper at seasonal price and a whole Peking roast duck at £45, with 3 days notice required.

Tel 01553 773288 email info@pearlriver.co.uk Web pearlriverkingslynn.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.


Thousands of companies see their performance improve as they "do a Wetherspoon" and desert social media… joy is unconfined as hundreds of doctors and solicitors face striking off for their lucrative involvement in fraudulent food poisoning claims. Many are based in the Liverpool area… The Mayor of Venice impartially advises possible visitors "Come prepared to be ripped off in our restaurants, or bring your own food"… Chef John Burton-Race admits to treating a young French trainee despicably and offers him free food for life in compensation… The Grosvenor Hotel opens the Cora Pearl Lap-Dancing Club in her honour. Donald Trump is an early visitor… 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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