Event Organisers Update August 2018 ISSUE 165 - 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.


We'd decided to take a day trip by coach to Brighton, attracted by the £12 return fare for seniors and the convenient pick-up in our Bedfordshire town.

We didn't realise, and we suspect nor did the coach company, that the day selected of Saturday August 4th was the day of the Gay Pride celebrations in Brighton. With all the traffic log-jams the 3.5 hour journey took 4.5 hours and the road closures meant our coach had to drop us off a good 15 minute walk in the heat from the town, and we had to be back there 4.5 hours later for the run home.

So we quickly headed to our usual Brighton bar, the quirky Font in the Lanes operating out of a de-consecrated church, and seriously enjoyed the sit-down away from all the mayhem and a cold refreshing pint. We then popped around the corner to nab an outside table lunch at Donatello (see Foodie News review in this issue). This was a good move as we could watch some of the revellers walking past and have to say that many of the attractive young ladies were dressed and made up to a high standard, and certainly appealing eye-candy for this 70+ year-old straight.

After lunch there was just time for a bit of shopping around Churchill Square before pushing our way through the crowds thronging around the pier - and we could believe the forecast of up to 400,000 pouring into Brighton - and boarding our thankfully air-conditioned coach for the ride home, which we mostly slept through.

By all accounts we didn't have a bad day compared to some there, especially the 50,000 plus who attended the Britney Spears gig in Preston Park and, due to the currently abysmal service on the railways, were unable to get home and spent an uncomfortable night on Brighton's shingle beach. The only beach sleeping we've ever done was in the 1960's on the sandy beach at Walton-on-the-Naze where if you made an indentation for your hip you could be quite comfortable.

Happy days...


An anti-abortion group, Life, was kicked out of the Lambeth Country Show last month after a few of the 150,000 visitors complained that their stall was "inappropriate".

The stall featured plastic models of foetuses at various stages of development laid on a time-line, and this was deemed upsetting by organisers Lambeth Council to visitors who had had abortions. A teacher visiting, Katie Stacey, 26, said that abortion was a "perfectly legal medical procedure" and that women attending a family event "should not feel attacked for their right to choose it."

Life say they are considering legal action against what they see as censorship. Question is, for all of our thinking teachers of the young out there, does being "perfectly legal" make it right?


A fit and healthy mother died last August after eating "bloody" chicken infected with E.coli in a hotel buffet restaurant in Corfu.

Natalie Rawnsley, 37, died in a Corfu hospital 36 hours after swallowing a few bites of the chicken.

The name of the hotel has not been released.


The Shangri-La Hotel, which occupies floors 34-52 of the Shard has lost more than £60 million since it opened four years ago.

The five-star hotel offers spectacular views over the Capital as well as marble bathrooms, an infinity pool 600 feet off the ground and a standard room rate of £399.

Reasons for the losses have been rocketing costs and a very competitive hotel landscape in London, where 5,000 new rooms were added in 2016.


Olympia Exhibition and Conference Centre is to get a £1 billion refurbishment under plans drawn up by its new owners, Yoo Capital. (Evening Standard)

These include a new 1,500 seat theatre, another performing arts centre, a cinema, two hotels and a number of new restaurants. The exhibition halls are having mezzanine floors put in to increase floor space for exhibitions, the main delivery hub is to be moved underground and Yoo Capital has launched a campaign to get the Tube service from Earl's Court to Olympia reinstated, a move that will be much appreciated by the all-important visitors.


To a tasting of Vinho Verde wines from quintas (farms) in North-West Portugal and available in the UK.

The wines are increasingly popular in the UK as the demand for light, fresh wines with low alcohol and calories grows - apparently last year we necked more than 1.5 million litres with a value of 3.4 million euros.

The big grape variety, and getting bigger is Alvarinho and this was the grape used for one of our high-scorers, the Casa Do Capitao - Mor Reserva 2016 from the Quinta de Pacos which delivered a fruity vanilla and lychee hit. (Importer Casa Leal) Also excellent was the Alvarinho Deu La Deu Premium 2015 from the Adega Dde Moncao with lots of fresh citrus. (Importer Clarke Foyster) However our top favourites were a very fruity white from Arinto grapes and an equally fruity rose from Espadeiro e Tintas grapes, both from 2017 bottlings by the Quinta de Linhares. (Importer Lisbon Wines Ltd)


Plans by actor Robert De Niro and BD Hotels for a hotel in Covent Garden have been scrapped.

The Wellington Hotel was to have 83 bedrooms, a spa, a restaurant and a members club and would have taken up the whole Strand side of Covent Garden, spreading across six buildings However BD Hotels say that a change in the economics killed it. Covent Garden landlord, Capco (formerly owners of Olympia) say that they have not reached satisfactory commercial terms, presumably agreement on rent.

BD Hotels have 24 hotels in the USA, including the Greenwich Hotel, co-owned with De Niro and developed in conjunction with him. In 2015 De Niro commented that he was talking to BD about another Greenwich-style property in another city, but that it "had to be the right city".


The former CEO of Excel exhibition and conference centre, David Pegler is to be sued for more than £2million by his former employer and Excel owner the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

ADNEC say that they sacked Pegler last November because they found out he was employing his brother, Richard Pegler there on a deal worth up to £120,000 a year and failed to tell either ADNEC or the Excel board about it. ADNEC also allege that David Pegler put "inappropriate pressure" on two potential suppliers to Excel to employ his brother in a high-paying job saying that this would give them a competitive advantage when seeking contracts with Excel, an aspect that has been denied by Pegler.

Pegler, say ADNEC, also took a number of first class flights and train journeys that were against Excel's rules on expenses.

David Pegler is counter-suing ADNEC for £1 million for the loss of his job.


If a bittersweet film about beauty, and the loss of it floats your boat then you'll love The Butterfly Tree.

This ravishingly-shot and quirky Australian film from 2017 is the visually stunning debut of its writer and director Priscilla Cameron and stars the very talented Melissa George as a lovely former burlesque dancer, Evelyn who opens a flower shop in a small town in lush Queensland, entrances a local teacher, Al, (played by Ewen Leslie) while bewitching a sixteen year old boy, Fin, (played by Ed Oxenbould) without realising that Fin is Al's son. Fin's love of beauty reflects in his hobby of gazing at butterflies caught under a tent he has rigged up in a fig tree. Sometimes he kills them and uses their wings to decorate a photo of his beautiful mother, Rose, who hanged herself when he was thirteen.

Evelyn starts a questionable relationship with Fin, which includes encouraging him to take pictures of her breasts thus speeding on his sexual awakening, but the photos are found by Al, so cue another fracture in the already rocky relationship between father and son, This is also not helped by Al conducting an affair in the house with a pretty young student at his school, Shelley, played by Sophie Lowe.

The film has had mixed reviews, with some critics not liking the art-house emphasis on beautiful visual effects, which they see as overpowering the narrative. However this viewer was hooked into the beautiful dream, with its four strong and believable performances, as it langorously unfolded towards a finale that will be, for many, a waking up to something more like a nightmare, which then ends happy.

The Butterfly Tree was launched by Eureka Entertainment Ltd in selected UK and Ireland cinemas last month, and a dual format edition (Blu-Ray and DVD) launches next month as part of Eureka's Montage Pictures range.


Amusing to note the concern of some of those in tourism, who benefit financially from us all getting out and touring, that the warnings about the dangers of the current high temperatures could stop some of us motoring off and spending money.

Reportedly Malcolm Bell, the CEO of Visit Cornwall (traffic jams in the heat anyone?) has described the sensible warnings as "nanny-state" and has claimed that Cornwall coastal areas benefit from cooling sea breezes.

For Old Grit a fan on full pelt in all the rooms he uses and swigging ice-cold drinks straight out of the fridge have done the trick, kept him cool, and saved the travel costs and hassle.


Meanwhile the joys of overseas travel have been lost this year for one columnist.

Phoebe Luckhurst, writing in the London Evening Standard, tells the sad tale of her planned mini-break in Berlin, thwarted by airline easyJet cancelling her Gatwick flight, along with many others. Apparently easyJet counter staff have been trained to helpfully tell people whose holidays/business plans have been ruined to "calm down" an optimistic order that has never worked in the past and didn't play well on this occasion either, with very angry people shouting at the easyJet staff and definitely not calming down.

Luckhurst was more stoical, shrugged, put it down to time wasted, went home and resolved never to book flights in August again, but to enjoy herself at home instead and wait for travel until September, when things are quieter. Which sounds like a plan to us.


We note that security at Liverpool's John Lennon Airport has been attacked by rock star Steve Van Zandt, who had a bad experience when arriving there with his band, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, in June. (Business Desk)

Van Zandt, who is also the guitarist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, and his 26-person party arrived by private plane and was subjected to a huge cock-up on the organisational front there when the security handling agent processed them and their luggage through the wrong part of the airport. This resulted in huge delays and prompted Van Zandt to rant "Warning Rock Bands! Do not leave Liverpool from John Lennon Airport. The most arrogant and obnoxious security in 40 years of travel. Liverpool! Of all places! Best audience, worst airport. Yoko should remove John Lennon's name!".

Now you know.


o We were happy to find Italian restaurant Vesuvio in London's Chinatown last month. We had intended to sample a tapas restaurant called Rambla following mixed reviews. However despite downloading the menu in the morning of our visit the prices they wanted to charge us when we got there were significantly inflated, (eg one dish from £5 to £8, one from £9 to £12 etc) so we settled on something Chinese. This wasn't to be either as all the restaurants in the area had closed over lunchtime as a protest against "heavy-handed" raids by immigration officers.

However Vesuvio was open and displaying a sign offering a special lunch deal of any pasta, or pizza, with prices from £8 to £15, and any soft drink, with prices from £3 to £4.50, for a set price of £8, which is what we would have paid for a decent plate of Chinese noodles, so we went in and enjoyed a substantial portion of a very home-made tasting beef lasagna (£14.90) and a large glass of orange soda (£3) for £8, plus an optional £1 service charge that we were happy to pay.

At these prices we'll be back for the lunch deal, perhaps to try their Tagliatelli bolognese (£13.90) Fettuccini with mushrooms in pesto sauce (£13.90) or the Pizza Stagione Americana feast for vegetarians (£15.90)

Vesuvio, 45 Wardour Street, London


o One good place for burgers we've found on the Norfolk coast is Craftburger, which sounds like a chain but isn't, and overlooks the famous Cromer Pier.

Here customers are offered free tortilla chips and a range of relishes and sweet pickled gherkins whilst waiting for their food. Our choice was the basic beefburger which came with skin-on fries, and crispy cos lettuce, beef tomato, cucumber and red onion in a brioche roll for £8.50. There were also eight other beefy options priced from £9.50 to £12.

Other options included six chicken burgers for £10 to £11.50, vegi and vegan burgers for £11 to £12, a fishburger for £10, a porkburger for £11 and our personal choice for a future visit, a lamburger for £11. There is a range of ten side dishes to go with the burgers, a range of three salads and a range of eight combos, such as a "turf and surf" of an 8oz Rump steak with a skewer of garlic king prawns (£18) priced from £8 to £18. Also served is a choice of eight desserts, with drinks including shakes and craft beers.

Craftburger, New Street, Cromer Tel 01263 511559 www.craftburgercromer.co.uk


o Those looking for good value Italian food in Brighton should try Donatello, in the Lanes.

This offers a 2-course menu for £9.95 or three courses for £11.95. We went for the two courses and enjoyed a tasty prawn cocktail from choices that included minestrone soup, mixed salad or sauteed mushrooms.

The deal is then any pasta, from a choice of nearly forty or any pizza from a choice of more than 20. We opted for a pasta because for an extra £2.50 customers can have an extra-large portion so we tucked into a huge bowl of Spaghetti Marinara, stuffed with prawns, squid and shell-on mussels in a tasty tomato, butter and herb sauce with a good hit of garlic, and it left no room for desserts, eight choices on the set menu.

According to the trusted Hardens Best UK Restaurants guide Donatello scores a "good" for its food, service and ambience, and we can only concur.

Donatello, 1-3 Brighton Place, Brighton Tel 01273 775477 www.donatello.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.


An association of masochists books Brighton for its 2019 conference. A spokesperson tells the press "We are especially looking forward to the terrible train service and sleeping on the pebble beach"... August becomes the quietest month for travel as millions see the sense in not travelling then... Millions more question whether travel is really necessary for good time anyway... Staying at home and supporting local restaurants becomes the Next Big Thing... Malcolm Bell, CEO of Visit Cornwall denies he is putting tourism profits before tourist's well-being... 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. 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.)

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