Event Organisers Update May 2018 ISSUE 163 - 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.


Well? Of course you do - they transport millions of people every year from A to B in perfect safety, don't they?

Of course there are times it goes tragically wrong for some unlucky ones. Like the 100+ on the elderly Boeing 737, built in 1979, that crashed just after take-off from Cuba a few days ago, cause unknown.

Sadly the cause is now thought to be known for the reason a Boeing 777, flight MH370, disappeared with 239 passengers and crew in 2014. Aviation experts now say that the pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately brought his plane down in a remote location to kill himself and everyone on board.The tragedy was repeated in 2015 when co-pilot of Germanwings flight 4U9525, Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed his Airbus A320 into the French Alps, after locking himself into the cockpit, and killed 150.

On a happier note the 300 passengers on BA 2063 from Gatwick to Mauritius in January this year may have had a very lucky escape. Their pilot, Julian Monaghan was suspected of being drunk as he climbed behind the controls of his Boeing 777 ready for take-off. The police were called and Monaghan was taken off the plane, reportedly with 86mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The drink-drive limit is 80mg but for pilots, who perform rather more complex tasks than driving a car it is 20mg, putting this pilot four times over the aviation limit.

Trust your pilot...


The Royal Caledonian Ball, an exclusive £265 a ticket Scottish dancing event attracting 700 guests fell apart earlier this month as the dance floor at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Mayfair did likewise.

Reportedly after only two of the fifteen dances had been performed gaps opened up in the dance floor panels, which had been laid over carpet. After unsuccessful efforts to close the gaps, with a "massive hammer" the floor was declared unsafe for dancing on and the event was abandoned.

It is not known how many guests will be demanding their money back from organisers the Royal Caledonian Charities Trust, nor how this will affect the charities looking forward to pocketing some financial benefit from the night.


The London Boat Show, due to be held at Excel, 9-13 January 2019 has been cancelled.

Organisers British Marine say that there was little support for the format, venue and duration of the 2019 event. This was confirmed by research into the marine industry and the experience of British Marine sales staff trying to sell stands.

The show had recently been cut from ten to five days, and prices dropped accordingly.


For lovers of art, especially that by a Claude Monet, 1840-1926, the National Gallery has an exhibition featuring more than 70 of the artist's works.

Monet and Architecture features his oil paintings of buildings, with only five owned by the National, fifteen coming from private collections and 57 from other museums and galleries around the world. In particular there are a large number painted in villages and cities in France including Rouen (some of the famous cathedral series) Le Havre, Honfleur, Trouville, Sainte-Adresse, Varengville, Dieppe, Giverny, Vetheuil, Argenteuil, Antibes and Paris (Paris streets, bridges and some of the Gare Saint-Lazare series) Also represented are works painted in Venice, Bordighera and Dolceaqua in Italy and London, where he had a room at the Savoy Hotel and captured views of Waterloo and Charing Cross bridges and, from the newly-built St Thomas's Hospital, our Houses of Parliament, sometimes veiled in the infamous and lethal polluting fog that fascinated Monet artistically.

Another Monet worth seeking out from the permanent collection whilst at the National is his 1870 The Beach at Trouville, with two ladies in the foreground said to be Mont's wife Camille and Eugene Boudin, wife of the painter whose beach scenes influenced Monet. Unique about this work are the grains of sand still clinging to the paint, the proof that it really was painted at least partly on the beach.

Monet and Architecture runs till July 29, price £18.


An interesting discussion on managing and marketing to millennials was organised recently by speaker agency Performing Artistes.

Held at the Institute of Directors as the first Speaker Afternoon Tea event this featured generational expert Dr Eliza Filby who pointed out that we currently, and uniquely have all four generations competing in the workforce. These are :-

o Baby Boomers age 53-76, born 1942-1965

o Generation X age 38-52, born 1966-1980

o Millenials age 22-37, born 1981-1996

o Generation Z age 8-21, born 1997-2010

All have different expectations as to their employment with a declining few embracing the Baby Boomer ideal of a steady if unexciting job for life, a pension at the end and the male partner as breadwinner. Younger employees will want a job with a purpose that inspires them and are more likely to rate an in-company gym above a pension pot. And it's perhaps a challenging thought for some that in 12 years time half the work force will be millennials, so any knowledge of what makes them tick must be helpful.

Dr Filby was joined in the discussion by Bossa Studios founder Roberta Lucca, consultants Alex Sbardella and Chris Roebuck and beer and jam maker Fraser Doherty who all gave their differing views.

Note: Those born since 2010 are termed Generation Alpha.


A highlight of our recent fam trip to five-star Marriott in Poland was the night and day spent in Krakow, a real jewel of a city in one of the most visited areas in the country.

OK, it helped that we had lovely sunny weather, which brought out the best in the city's beautifully preserved old-town complex, especially the Ryneck Glowny grand square and the atmospheric old Jewish district of Kazimierz. This was one of the great Jewish centres of Europe until the Nazis implemented their "Final Solution" here in 1941 and forcibly "resettled" all the Jews they could find in a new ghetto area in Podgorze, south of Kazimierz, and in the concentration camp at Plaszow. These black times of man's inhumanity to man were thrust into public awareness by the 1994 Stephen Spielberg film Schindler's List, much of which was shot around Krakow, and visitors wanting another sobering and affecting experience that will stay with them for life can also visit the nearby Auschwitz-Birkenhau death camp, a venue that all politicians, especially the anti-semitic ones, should be required to experience for their humanisation.

Our Krakow hotel for the night was the very centrally-located five-star Sheraton Grand, which offers 232 guestrooms, including 25 Club rooms and 8 luxury suites, and 8 meeting spaces for 12-300 delegates. The hotel also has a gym, indoor heated pool, sauna, massage services and barman who knows a lot about vodka and is happy to share it.. (see separate article in this issue) Krakow also has a very impressive ICE Congress Centre in the heart of the city which offers a huge Auditorium Hall with fixed, raked seating for up to 1915 delegates and ten simultaneous interpretation booths, a smaller Theatre Hall with fixed raked seating for 600 and 6 simultaneous interpretation booths, a 300-400 seat Chamber Hall with 2 simultaneous interpretation booths and a divisible Conference Hall Complex for up to 400.

Another outstandingly unique venue around 10 kilometres from Krakow is the Weiliczka Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a deep, vast underground complex of corridors and chambers hewn out of the salty rock, which visitors are encouraged to taste. There is a lot here about the history of salt-mining as well as 7 chambers and two chapels used for events and ranging from 58 to 680 square metres of space, each with its own dining facility. Chambers are mostly very high-ceilinged and furnished with modern AV equipment and Internet and mobile phone coverage available in most. Some in the group voiced concerns about Health and Safety and it is true that on August 16 2010 a thunderstorm caused a power cut that was unusually long enough for the mine authorities to order an evacuation of the 1,000 visitors trapped 400 feet underground with no lifts working and poor visibility. This entailed a climb up 760 steps so organisers will need to weigh up the chances of this happening while their group is down there. Fortunately everyone stayed calm on this occasion so there was no panicky stampede. In any event a large group of 600 could take up to an hour to get to the surface, even with the lifts working.

More information on Krakow venues from Chandra Woollard. Chandra.Woollard@marriott.com +44 (0)20 7012 7143


For those who like vodka a trip to Poland offers an opportunity to try some of the hundreds of types on offer and our recent fam trip to Warsaw and Krakow was no exception, thanks to the help and knowledge of bar staff working in Marriott hotels there.

For those who like their drinks fruity and sweet the distillers Soplica produce a range of ten flavoured variants (Nalewki), all at ABV 30% and comprising the very popular cherry along with raspberry, strawberry, blackcurrant, plum, mirabelle, blueberry, quince, walnut and hazelnut. These probably go down, like all alcopops, rather too easily, especially when straight out of the fridge, and it is all too easy to over-indulge. Also bitter-sweet and fruity and with an ABV of 36% is the herb and orange flavoured Wodka Zoladkowa Gorzka which has won many awards and is valued as a digestif, and, flavoured with bison grass that gives a vanilla flavour is Zubrowka (Bison Grass Vodka in the UK) at 40% ABV and often mixed with apple juice to produce a longer drink.

Of the "straight" unflavoured premium rye based vodkas we tried, all straight out of the freezer, our personal easy winner was Potocki (pron. Potoski), a lovely creamy and nutty spirit at 40% ABV that sells for around £30 a bottle in the UK and is, for our money, worth every penny. Almost as good but without the creaminess were Belvedere and Chopin, both at 40% ABV and the latter named after Poland's best known composer.


Horror films used to frighten audiences to death, until comic send ups appeared at the cinema encouraging the frightened to not take it all too seriously.

Long before this, in 1932, a seriously good ghoulish classic appeared - The Old Dark House. This was directed by James Whale, who went on to direct The Bride of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man, and was based on the J.B.Priestley novel Benighted, where a group of travellers are stranded in heavy rain and a mudlide in Wales and seek shelter in an old house occupied by the eccentric and potentially dangerous Femm family.

A great cast included Boris Karloff in Frankenstein's monster mode shambling around and scaring all as the disfigured butler, Morgan and top actor Charles Laughton as a cheerily nice guy, the opposite of another performance he clocked up that year as the evil Dr Moreau, splicing humans with animals in his House of Pain on the Island of Lost Souls. There are also memorable performances from Melvyn Douglas, Eva Moore, Gloria Stewart and Raymond Massey.

Thought lost for many years The Old Dark House has been restored and was released in cinemas at the end of last month. It is also available this month as a special Dual Format Blu-Ray and DVD edition from Eureka Entertainments as part of their Masters of Cinema series, with the pack including three feature-length audio commentaries, a video essay and interviews.


Interesting to note that Thomas Cook are looking for a buyer for their Club 18-30 brand, following its falling out of favour with their target market.

Apparently more than half of the millennials out there are unhappy to have their drunken antics published for prospective employers to view and are choosing more sophisticated breaks which generate classy, rather than tacky photos that can be uploaded onto social media and draw the envy of friends, the whole point for many of going away in the first place.

Club 18-30 ads used to advise their potential customers "If you're over 30 you're past it.If you're under 18 you're not ready"


Devastating news for chaps who fancy themselves as wine tasters - women have the more discerning palates and enjoy wine more.

This is the conclusion of researchers at the Technical University of Madrid after a study of the wine tasting talents of 208 volunteers, who blind-tasted three reds, two whites and a rose. It was found that the female volunteers were more easily able to discern differences in the wines and to pick out the best. The women also enjoyed the wines more and strongly preferred white to red.

So chaps, like the writer, who never taste the wine in a restaurant but just sniff it to check for it being "corked",( the only justification for refusing it and increasingly unlikely in this age of the screw top) are still getting it all wrong ?


Is watching a bunch of male strippers. get their kit off "what every girl dreams of"?

This is what male stripper group Dreamboys from London claim. They specialise in hen parties and till recently have taken bookings through stag and hen party specialists Bargain Travel Bureau of Brighton. This lucrative arrangement however has now come to an end as the two companies prepare to sue each other over the damaging effects of an alleged string of hen party cancellations, which both companies claim has damaged their reputations.

Each company blames the other for the cancellations and Bargain Travel also claim they had complaints about the quality of the Dreamboys show and "the services provided".



o One pretty little restaurant near Edinburgh Castle is the Witchery, which takes its name from a depressingly ugly period of Scottish history, the 17th and 18th centuries, when more than 3,800 probably innocent people suspected of being witches were tortured then drowned, strangled, hanged or burned at the stake. At that time it was common practice among the ignorant, including high royalty, to attribute every natural disaster or other misfortune to witchcraft and Scotland was Europe's biggest persecutor, torturer and murderer of suspected witches, more than 300 being burnt at the stake near today's Witchery, a small and pretty fountain marking the Castlehill death spot.

Those with any appetite left after pondering the excessive cruelty and injustice of all this can enjoy the fine dining available here. We only had time for a couple of main courses from the Light Lunch menu, which included some delicious home-baked bread, the tasty Witchery Fish Pie and the equally good Duck dish of a leg and wing with prune and fennel pastille and some roast cumin and carrot puree. These two mains were charged at £17 each, and the other possibility was the vegetarian option of a wild mushroom risotto with parmesan custard and truffle oil. If we had had time for two courses (£22) or three courses (£27) from the light lunch menu our choice of starters were baked smoked haddock rarebit, garden pea and dill veloute with cheese scones or a selection of Iberico charcuterie, and desserts were vanilla creme brulee, dark chocolate tart or oatcakes with the cheese of the day and membrillo quince paste.

Those with a bit more time, and money, have a three-course (9 choices) table d'hote menu at £40. A la carte includes twelve Oban oysters served traditionally for £33 or Rockefeller style with spinach, serrano ham and hollandaise sauce for £35, shellfish bisque for £9.50, steak tartare, raw hen's egg and chips for £22, a mixed fruits de mer of oysters, langoustines, clams, mussels, crab and smoked salmon on ice for £35, a whole lemon sole meuniere for £43, a lamb Wellington for two for £60, an 800 gram (28 ozs) cote de boeuf with vegetables for two for £96 and a 360 gram (approx 12 oz) ribeye steak with mushroom, purple garlic tomato and chips for £38.

Enjoy, and just don't think about all those poor "witches" Web: thewitchery.com


o A short visit to the Asturias region of Spain on a recent cruise gave us the chance to buy and try five famous cheeses from the region, and share with our dinner companions for their views.

The area is also known as the Land of Cheeses and none is more famous amongst lovers of Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Stilton than Cabrales, a strong, pungent, cave-aged semi-hard blue with an aftertaste that lingers and enough saltiness to make a cold sweet white wine, or an Oloroso port a good matching. Milder and creamier was the La Peral, which still delivered a salty tang and the creamy Gamoneu, which delivered a light tang of smoke. Creamiest of all was the hard and mild Los Beyos, highest rated by our two lady tasters, and least liked was Casin, a strong and tangy cheese that may have been a little too young.

(Note. Thanks to tasters Cilla, Pauline and Geoff for their help, and also to restaurant staff at Fred Olsen for allowing it.)


o Some fine lunchtime dining in an atmospheric restaurant in the centre of Krakow enhanced the day for our recent fam trip to Poland The Szara Ges (Grey Goose) has a short menu of local specialities that changes with the seasons and is said to be one of the best in the city. We certainly enjoyed the selection of three starters comprising a goat's cheese, pear and gingerbread combination, marinated salted herring with creamy mild horseradish and home-made pickles and one of our personal favourites, the minced beef tartare, here served with Hungarian pepper syrup and truffle infused mayonnaise. (This was not the favourite of the rest of the group, so hey, more for us.)

For main course we got to choose between duck breast with cauliflower and a foie gras sauce or the fish-lover's favourite here, the chunky black halibut with green parsley and salsify. Both dishes came with sides of baked pumpkin with cheese, and potato made very special with dill butter. All in all some very creative cooking. Web: szarages.com


o It's always good to locate a Chinese restaurant that stands out for its dim sum dishes of Asian tapas and the Feng Shui Inn, in London's Gerrard Street was a happy find for this fan.

"Large portions" would seem to be the motto here and the substantial and heavy parcel of glutinous rice stuffed with tasty mixed meats in gravy - including the wonderfully sweet wind-dried Chinese pork sausage - steamed in a large fragrant lotus leaf (£4.80) was a good example. Others were the large plateful of stir-fried beef ho fun, (£8.80) which was more tender beef than flat ribbon noodles, and the seriously good minced pork and prawns parcels, four large rolls for £3.60, that were the best we've had. There is a 12.5% service charge added to the bill.

It all tasted home-made rather than bought-in and the list of almost 100 dim sum choices will definitely get us back. Web: fengshuiinn.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.


Police issue airline passengers with breath-test kits, to check the pilot and crew before take-off… Another ball is abandoned at the Grosvenor House Hotel when part of the ceiling falls in… A new London-based photographic library, the 18-30 agency, makes a fortune supplying backdrop projections of famous world landmarks to millennials who can then use them to take faked pictures of themselves in famous places for social media use. A spokesman says;- "This is a brilliant way to pretend to friends, and potential employers that you've been travelling to some of the world's beautiful and cultured places when in fact you've been dogging, snorting and getting trolleyed on a beach in Kos"... Men admit "You can't actually taste wine when it doesn't touch the sides going down"... Dreamboys strippers explain what their "services" are, how much they cost and how they make every girl's dream come true… 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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