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.
A MODERN CURSE?
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?
THE SMELL WORSENS
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.
MORE VENETIAN RIP-OFFS
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?
THEFTS FROM EVENTS BUSINESS
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.
BIG CRUISERS FOR LIVERPOOL
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.
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.
NEW MARRIOTT AT NEC
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.
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
HILTON AT HEATHROW
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.
Note. The writer stayed, as a guest of Hilton, in a Guest room with breakfast.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
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