Event Organisers Update June 2018 ISSUE 164 - 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.


There's a joke going the rounds that the reason our railways have named their latest debacle "Railplan 20/20" is because 2020 is the year by which they are finally hoping to get some of their trains running to time.

Of course it's no joke for the millions who have to travel and are currently suffering the worst service ever in their efforts just to get to work and back. And sadly they are the railway's captive market, who have little choice but to keep suffering, and paying for the privilege.

For those who organise events, such as exhibitions, seminars and others that their visitors and delegates would usually take trains to could be in for tough times as many decide, understandably, that it really isn't worth the effort, or the money,and don't bother to book, or turn up. Meanwhile the Office of Rail and Road has confirmed that travellers took 23 million less train trips in the last year, due to strikes and the expensive rubbish service.

Who can blame them?


Two diners who suffered campylobacter poisoning after eating chicken liver parfait at The Brewery are suing the venue's caterers at the time Gather and Gather.

The parfait was part of a pigeon breast starter served at the Digital Impact Awards last October and one of the diners, telecoms executive Philip Earlam, 47, was left fighting for his life in hospital after the campylobacter apparently triggered a condition known as Miller Fisher Syndrome. This causes absence of the tendon reflexes, paralysis of the eye muscles, abnormal muscle co-ordination and is fatal in eight per cent of cases.

Public Health England say that 63 of the 447 guests at the event met the case definition for a confirmed or probable case of campylobacter.

Another event at The Brewery last September involving Gather and Gather is also being investigated for another outbreak of campylobacter.


The BA pilot who was hauled out of his cockpit by police and found to be four times over the limit of alcohol for flying has been jailed for nine months.

Julian Monaghan, 49, was due to be the third pilot on the BA Boeing 777 8.00pm flight from Gatwick to Mauritius on January 8 but was arrested after a flight technician became concerned that he could smell alcohol on his breath. In 2015 and 2017 pilots over the limit were jailed for similar periods.

A black humour Daily Mail cartoon at the time of Monaghan's arrest showed a British Airways jet that had landed on snow with polar bears and penguins around, and the drunken pilot announcing "Welcome to sunny Barbadosh....hic!....and thank you for flying with British Airwaysh".

Of course for the 300 passengers on that January 8 BA flight it could have been anything but funny...


A major fire, origin unknown, damaged the five-star 12-storey Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Knightsbridge, London earlier this month with 120 firefighters and 20 engines involved. The hotel was safely evacuated and no-one was hurt. The hotel had just completed a £185million refurbishment.

In 2009 a major blaze swept through the uncompleted 44-storey Bejing Television Cultural Center, due to house the new 241-room, 5 star Mandarin Oriental Hotel. More than 600 firefighters attended and one died at the scene from smoke inhalation, with seven others injured. The cause was a massive firework display staged on the last day of the Chinese New Year.


Figures for 2017 released by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) indicate that the USA has hosted the most events, and the highest number of delegates, while figures for cities indicate that Barcelona hosted the most meetings, and received the most delegates. Tables for the top ten countries and cities follow.


  # Participants # Meetings Rank by # Meetings
1 USA 424,010 941 1
2  Spain 327,996 564 4
3  Germany 246,045 682 2
4  France 211,129 506 6
5 UK 192,544 592 3
6  Italy 172,274 515 5
7  Canada 168, 223 360 9
8  Austria 139,187 281 12
9  Netherlands 134,510 307 10
10  Japan 133,025 414 7



  # Participants # Meetings Rank by # Meetings
1  Barcelona 148,624 195 1
2  Vienna 113,891 190 2
3  Paris 111,725 190 2
4  Madrid 110,438 153 7
5  Berlin 97,549 185 4
6  Singapore 83, 762 160 6
7  London 78,811 177 5
8  Lisbon 76,549 149 9
9  Amsterdam 75,578 112 16
10  Prague 66,790 151 8


The Charities and Association event, Chase 25, takes place on Thursday July 5 at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London on Thursday July 5.

Registration is free to all those from the non-profit sector and is from 08.15. The day comprises a programme of free seminars and presentations under the themes of innovation, culture, digital and leadership and concludes with a networking garden party from 17.15 to 21.00

email events@hartsquare.co.uk


This takes place on July 4-5 at the Victoria Warehouse, Manchester.

The seminar programme promises that visitors attending can meet the future of events, today.



Those who loved the 1969 film starring Maggie Smith in the Brodie title role, Celia Johnson as her sceptical headmistress, Robert Stephens as the randy art master, Gordon Jackson as the dependable music teacher and Pamela Franklin as the precocious schoolgirl nemesis who betrays her will enjoy the latest theatrical incarnation of the Muriel Spark novel.

Playing at the Donmar Warehouse, Covent Garden until July 28 this very satisfying version makes it very clear very early on that Jean Brodie, played beautifully by Lia Williams is actually bad for the impressionable young girls at the conservative Marcia Blaine all-female school in 1930's Edinburgh, in particular for one excluded from membership of her "Brodie Set" in this play who, influenced by Brodie's urging pupils to be heroines, runs away to fighting in Spain and gets herself killed. This and Brodie's declared and very public support for fascism and Mussolini brings about her downfall when Brodie girl and Miss not-so-goody-two-shoes Sandy Stranger, another beautifully played role by Rona Morrisson, grasses her up to headmistress Miss Mackay, a strong performance by Sylvestra Le Touzel

For us the real key to Jean Brodie's charismatic but deeply flawed character, and the point where we stopped rather liking her was when she wantonly kisses art master and lover Teddy Lloyd, ( Edward Mcliam, in dashing mode) and then, seeing that she is being observed by one of the girls, loudly orders him out of her classroom as if he had assaulted her. Another indicator is her dismissive treatment of the dependable but shy music teacher, Gordon Lowther, well played by Angus Wright.

"The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" is an assured adaptation by David Harrowver and is directed by Polly Findlay. Review based on the June 14 matinee.


In 1966 this genial French anti-war comedy-drama starring a younger-looking 32 year old  Alan Bates and featuring the beautiful 24 year-old Genevieve Bujold was launched without much critical or commercial success, but has since achieved cult status as a film that makes its serious points amusingly.

Bates, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2003 aged 69 plays Private Plumpick, a kilt-wearing Scottish Signal Corps soldier in the First World War who looks after carrier pigeons but, due to being French-born is sent by his superiors to scupper the arrangements of the German soldiers who have set a booby-trap of enough explosives to blow a small French town off the map, this triggered by the church clock where a knight in armour comes out and strikes a bell at 12.00 midnight.

Before Plumpick arrives the locals, warned about the destruction to come, vacate the place, leaving the gate to the local asylum open for the inmates to escape. This they do and start play-acting roles left by the fleeing townspeople, such as barber, mayor,  and appointing themselves Count, Countess, Duke, General etc When Plumpick arrives he is crowned their King of Hearts by them and  is gradually charmed by them and their sunny dispositions, in contrast to everyone else he knows, caught up in the real madness and futility of war. Especially charming for him is Poppy (Bujold),a lovely young prostitute from the local brothel who engagingly trips around everywhere in a fetching tutu.

Also featuring a strong French cast King of Hearts has been restored by Eureka Entertainment and started playing in selected cinemas in the UK and Ireland from June 8th.


Those following the on-going row in Bristol over whether the "wise son of Bristol" slave trader Edward Colston should be honoured or vilified might like to hear the latest on the issue.

Apparently the mixed-race Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cleo Lake has had the 1702 portrait of Colston removed from her office because she "simply couldn't stand" the sight of it. Others feel the same way about the former Bristol MP and deputy governor of the Royal African Company, which shipped 100,000 African slaves to plantations in America and the West Indies. Bristol's Colston Primary School will be changing its name to distance itself from the "toxic" Colston one, and concert venue Colston Hall, now closed for a refit, will reopen with a new name in 2020.


Larger lads and ladies are warned about the loos on the new Boeing 737 MAX jets, since these have an internal space of just 24 inches across, and there have been cases of people being unable to get in to use them, or unable to get out once they have.

Used by American Airlines and others the 737 loos have been trimmed in size to get more cabin seats in and thereby maximise the airline's profits.

Think about that when you complain.


Torquay can't shake off its Fawlty Towers image it seems.

A couple staying at the four-star Southbank Hotel there were reportedly asked to leave after they complained that the new management of the hotel had replaced the "full English" breakfast with ham, cheese and croissants. Hotel management say that the behaviour of the complaining couple was "upsetting other guests", which is why they accommodated them at another Torquay hotel.

The website of the Southbank currently makes it clear, in words and illustrations, that a "full English" is part of the package and that this comprises egg, tomato, mushrooms, bacon, baked beans, black pudding, sausage and hash brown.

Any other hotels out there working this one? 


o  Overall we were impressed with Los Reyes, an atmospheric tapas restaurant and bar at 16 Bucklersbury, Hitchin, Herts.

Arriving for lunch on a recent hot day we chose the recently-launched  Menu Rapido for £10, which included a soft drink, glass of house wine or a half pint of beer. We had already been to the nearby Wetherspoons and necked a whole, refreshingly cold pint of Bud Lite, a low-alcohol 3.5%ABV that, ashamed to say, barely touched the sides going down. Slaked but still hot we ordered the beer option and were pleased we did. They admitted they didn't sell our all-time Spanish favourite, Estrella Galicia, but we were given a very tasty citrussy Barcelona brew that came close called Moritz, with a 5.6% ABV that demanded respectful slow drinking. (This we liked so much we haggled with the management for some cans to take away.)

The Menu Rapido, as well as the drink, offered two skewers of generous chunks of meat with choice of chicken, lamb or prawn and chorizo, or a vegetarian option. These also came with a choice of patatas (bravas or aioli) and a choice of salads, black tomato or rocket, goat's cheese and balsamic. We plumped for the lamb and chicken skewers, the bravas potato with the spicy tomato sauce and the goat's cheese with rocket and balsamic. We decided to supplement this with the mariscos con garbanzos tapas of mixed fish and shellfish ( mullet, squid, prawns, clams, mussels) with chickpeas in a seafood broth and a brown crab aioli crostini (£8.50) so ordered it all and sat waiting for it to arrive.

This wait was rather a long time, for which the management apologised saying there were some issues in the kitchen. They did however bring another can of the 5.6% Moritz at no charge, which was decent of them. When the food did finally arrive the Rapido bit was fine but the mussels in the mixed shellfish had tiny molluscs in full-sized shells, possibly because we were eating them in a month without an "R", and the three clam shells had no clams in at all.

We've always believed that its not what goes wrong in a restaurant but what they do to put it right and this one put it right by knocking off the whole £8.50 for the seafood dish, leaving us with just £10 to pay for the rest, on which basis we gave a generous staff tip and made a mental note to go back.

Note. They also have a private dining room for up to 16.  Tel 01462 458354


o  One special place for fish lovers like us we've found in Bedfordshire is the Three Cranes at Turvey.

A recent lunch there featured a large whole side of one of our favourite fish, sea bream. This, one of the day's specials, was boneless with delicious crispy skin enhanced with crunchy rock salt and was just under-cooked perfectly. It came served on a bed of crushed new potatoes, and with some impressive vegetables - asparagus in butter, mange tout, broccoli spears and baby carrots - and some wonderful home-made tangy tartare sauce, all for £16, and worth every penny in our book.

Other fish dishes on the specials board that day for £16 were monkfish tails and a fillet of hake with brown shrimp butter, and other seafood treats on the main menu included a starter of seared scallops with vanilla and cauliflower puree and crispy pancetta (£9) and a fish sharing board with trout, salmon, herring, mackerel, crevettes, keta, hummus, olives and warm breads (£18) which we nearly had all to ourselves as a main course.

Perhaps we will, next time.



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.


Railway managements deny that it will be 2020 before some trains run to time. A spokesperson tells the press "It wont be before 2025, with luck"... Slave trading becomes part of the National Curriculum as children are taught that honouring the perpetrators was never a sensible or moral thing to do, whatever the positive economic impact on cities such as London, Bristol and Liverpool... Boeing apologises to passengers on its 737 MAX jets for the impossibly tiny size of the toilets, ordered by airlines such as American to maximise the number of seats and therefore profits... Some Torquay hoteliers defend the dropping of the promised "full English" breakfast in favour of the cheaper Continental version. Representatives tell the press "We are, after all the English Riviera and our food should be reflecting Riviera cuisine"... 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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