Event Organisers Update January 2019 ISSUE 170 - 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.


One useful and enjoyable annual event put on for organisers is the Speaker Drinks evening staged at the Institute of Directors venue on Pall Mall by speaker agency Performing Artistes.

This showcases stand-up comedians and their acts and allows plenty of time for delegates to network with, and perhaps book their chosen performer(s) The latest event presented five, four who made us laugh and one who made us laugh and think. Andy Parsons, well-known from his appearances on topical news show Mock the Week, told jokes about topical issues, including the current bad joke Brexit, (he is an activist for a second public vote on the issue) and introduced the other four stand-up specialists, including Markus Birdman, Naomi Cooper and George Lewis, all of whom went down well with the mostly female audience.

However it was a unique Ms Rosie Jones who won the mind and heart of this old male curmudgeon, on account of the fact she has cerebral palsy and make jokes about it. Apparently she has also been known to quip about sexuality, her sexual fantasy, her visit to the 2016 Summer Paralympics, using disabled toilets and the word "spastic" now widely considered to be one of the most offensive terms, along with "retard", relating to disability, and only used by the ignorant. So Jones has an inspiring courage along with her edgy comedy. Mild sample: "Dribble when people get on the bus, and enjoy two seats to yourself".

And here's the personal thoughtful bit, one that Jones might disagree with. For us it would be a real pity if the cynical PR department of a tarnished company - say a dodgy bank, payday lender, gambling firm, pharmaceutical or tobacco company - hired her to pretend to a caring side, so she may want to carefully vet who she works for, and their reason for booking her, as she gets the success she deserves.


Tourism chiefs at VisitScotland used a picture of a Glencoe cottage once owned as a holiday home by disgraced BBC celebrity and sex offender Jimmy Savile, to promote tourism in the Highlands.

Savile is thought to have sexually abused more than 450 people over a 60-year period, over 300 of them under 18 and some as young as eight. He owned the cottage for 13 years, from 1998 to 2011 when he died without ever being caught or charged aged 84. It was featured in a highly regarded Louis Theroux documentary in 2000, When Lous met....Jimmy. In a van on the way back from Glencoe Theroux asks why Savile had claimed to the media that he hated children and Savile told him "It's to put a lot of salacious tabloid people off the hunt". As the couple said goodbye Theroux claimed that he had "a new-found respect for Jimmy" though he felt he, like most other people, had never got close in the week he had lived with him for the documentary.

At Savile's death the leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield described Savile as "Leeds born and bred, and he remained a Leeds lad all his life".

VisitScotland have now removed the shot of Savile's cottage from their website, "in case it caused any offence".


A four-session course The Pre-Raphaelite Revolution is being offered by the Leighton House Museum in Kensington.

The four two-hour sessions take place on Tuesday Feb 26, Tuesday March 5, Tuesday March 12 and Tuesday March 26, 10.30am to 12.30 pm and the price of £125 includes light refreshments. The course covers the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) and includes the contributions of such as John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, and some of their models, muses, mistresses, mates and fellow -artists.

It is led by curator and lecturer Jo Banham, whose specialist areas of knowledge are Victorian art and design, and the history of wallpapers.

Those interested in this important sphere of art might also enjoy the 5hour, 29 minute DVD of the BBC TV programme about the PRB, Desperate Romantics, and the 418-page book by Franny Moyle of the same name on which it is based.


Plans are being considered for The Entertainment Resort, a world-class theme park with supporting hotels containing conference space, as well as cinemas, nightclubs and restaurants.

This would be on the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent and just across the Thames from Tilbury.


A recent tasting of nearly 100 wines from Italy, organised on behalf of Italian wine expert Daniele Cermilli (who styles himself Doctor Wine), provided us with tastings of wines from the Velenosi winery in the Marche area.

This produces an excellent medium dry white for drinking with food that the good doctor rates with a 92% score in his highly regarded "Essential Guide to Italian wine" (2019) and this is the Verdiccho dei Castellidi Jesi DOC 2017, which is also flagged as exceptionally good value and should be selling retail for around £16 a bottle.

Rather more expensive is the red Roggio Del Filare Rosso Piceno Superiore DOC 2015, not rated by Cemilli. This is likely to be £50+ to buy here but is the Winery's "Grand Cru" and, for our personal taste delivered a lovely creamy sweetness of red berry fruit that trickled seductively down the throat and dared us to spit it out, or ruin it with food.

The importer for Velenosi is Dolcevita Wines, Web: dolcevitawines.co.uk


The 187 bedroom Hotel Indigo has opened close to Victoria Station in Manchester and claims to bring its brand of "contemporary Bohemian chic" (The Business Desk).

Double rooms start at £100.


This is the ironic title of the latest, and arguably the best of the bios of the famous and infamous author, playwright and bon viveur Oscar Wilde, who made up a story to tell his children, which he called The Happy Prince.

The story of Oscar's fall from grace for his homosexuality has been well documented on film, starting with the two released in 1959 and 1960, These were the black and white Oscar Wilde, starring Robert Morley in the title role, Alexander Knox as his defence lawyer Sir Edward Clarke, Ralph Richerdson as the prosecuting counsel, Sir Edward Carson, John Neville as Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas and Edward Chapman as his father, the irascible Marquis of Queensbury, who wasn't happy with his son sleeping with Wilde and outed him by calling him a "somdomite" (sic) and sparking the libel case bought by Wilde that resulted in a win for Queensbury when he was able to call witnesses and defend his allegation as true.

This first film was well received, picking up a three-star out of five "worth watching" rating in the Radio Times Guide to Films, though the 1960 black and white The Trials of Oscar Wilde did rather better with a four star "very good" rating. This starred Peter Finch, whose poignant portrayal of Wilde won him a Bafta, Nigel Patrick as Sir Edward Clarke, James Mason as a hawkish Sir Edward Carson, John Fraser as Lord Alfred Douglas and Lionel Jeffries as Queensbury. Both films had the courtroom drama as the centrepiece with nothing much about Wilde as a person. This was corrected 37 years later with the release of Wilde, which also rated four stars and graphically explored homosexual love with an excellent Stephen Fry in the title role, and an equally excellent Jude Law as a spoilt and unlikeable Bosie. Also memorably good were a luminous Jennifer Ehle as Wilde’s tragic wife, Constance, Tom Wilkinson as Queensbury and Michael Sheen as Robert Ross, his onetime lover and loyal friend to the end.

And it's to the end that The Happy Prince, released last year is dedicated, taking place mostly in Paris where Wilde spent the last few years of his life. The film is an affectionate look at the man, and some of his men, and doesn't shrink from depicting some of the massive lows in his life, not least a deeply moving scene when Wilde is spotted on his way to jail with a policeman at Clapham Junction station and a bunch of high-dressed low-life of both genders amuse themselves by spitting at him. Here Wilde is brilliantly and sensitively portrayed with all his strengths and failings by a man passionate about his subject, Rupert Everett, who admits to a fascination about Wilde from when he was a child and his mother read him The Happy Prince And Other Tales as a bedtime treat.

Since then, in 2012/2013 and again in 2016 Everett played Wilde in the stage play The Judas Kiss. In 2013 he started writing the script for his film and also secured funding for it, directed it and starred in it, along with Edwin Thomas as Robert Ross, Colin Morgan as Bosie, Emily Watson as Constance Wilde (Maiden name LLoyd) and Tom Wilkinson (again) as Father Dunne, the priest who attended Wilde on his deathbed. Also there with Ross and Dunne was Wilde's lifelong friend and fellow author Reggie Turner, played by Colin Firth.

Wilde died of cerebral meningitis on November 30, 1900, aged 46 in room 16 at the dingy and budget priced Hotel d'Alsace in Saint-Germaine-des Pres where he quipped to friends that "I am dying above my means" - he died owing his kindly and patient landlord several months rent, paid two years after his death. And that "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death - one or the other of us has to go" Oscar lost that one but his famous sense of humour passed into history.Many years later it was the wallpaper's turn as the hotel was bought up by a Sainsburys heiress and transformed into L'Hotel, a five star boutique establishment where room 16 has been refurbished and renamed the Oscar Wilde Suite. It is rentable for a night to anyone who doesn't want much change from £1,000, with other rooms at around £350.

Meanwhile The Happy Prince, in spite of some major distributors refusing to show it, has won five stars from critics at the Times, the Guardian, Metro and the Evening Standard but only three stars from the Radio Times critic...


Good to hear that a shopkeeper in Florence has been fined £1,800 for selling ice creams to tourists for 25 euros (£22) and hiding the price list, showing the correct price of £5, out of sight behind the counter. The punishment is also for damaging the image of Florence, say police, and giving a poor impression of the Tuscan city around the world.

Many other Italian cities have a damaging reputation for rip-offs including Rome and Venice. And nearer to home the Belgian city of Brussels has an eating area where waiters stand outside hustling that tourists are constantly being warned about venturing into.

So it is genuinely sad to conclude that England needs some Florentine attitude after the Young's pub chain started selling cauliflower "steaks" with mushrooms, tamatoes and mashed potato for £14 at their 148 pubs across London and the South East. However they withdrew their offer after critics pointed out that a whole cauliflower, which would supply four or five one-and-a-half-inch thick "steaks" can be had for around 70p, giving an ingredient cost for the main part of the meal of less than 20p, and a huge rip-off profit for Youngs.

Somehow a large fine for ruining the reputation of English pubs would seem to be fair.


Those who can’t wait to experience what it's like eating in public in Paris in the nude will need to hurry, as the first, and possibly the last nude dining venue in Paris, O'naturel, closes February 16 due to lack of customers.

Those that have supported it, 40% female the owners say, have enjoyed leaving all their clothes in a cloakroom before enjoying a £44 three-course menu. Also taken off them has been mobile phones so that no-one takes sneaky pictures of other diners to send to friends. Ladies, however can keep their high heels on, thereby feeding a well-known male fantasy...


Objections are being made to a lap-dancing bar, La Belles, opening on Newall Street, in the Colmore area of Birmingham. (The Business Desk)

The objections are coming from Colmore Business Improvement District which represents businesses in the area and who say that "Birmingham's premier business area" and a "sexual entertainment venue" are not a good fit.

The owners of the proposed La Belles have previously successfully made the case that moral objections by some should not override the lawful rights of others to exist.


o A restaurant we've enjoyed over the last few years is the Trattoria Mondello, named after the Sicilian seaside suburb of Palermo and serving what we've found to be a large menu of good value and unpretentious Italian dishes at its Goodge Street, London address, where it has been for more than 40 years.

More than 20 starters range from a melon cocktail at £4.50 to king prawn dishes at £8. Our own personal favourite here is the polpo alla siciliana at £7.50 - tender octopus in a punchy red sauce of white wine with tomato, chilli, garlic and parsley. We have paired this with the starter of squid in the same sauce, also £7.50, and added the vegetables of the day to make a luxury fishy main course. We have also been known to share one of their nine tasty pizzas - £6.50 to £9.50 with our favourite quattro stagioni of tomato, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, peppers and onions at £8 - with two colleagues for a tasty, substantial and low-cost starter.

For pasta lovers there are six choices with fish from £8 to £15.50, the popular spaghetti alla marinara of mixed seafood at £12, the king prawn version at £15.50 and the spaghetti lobster, with brandy sauce, unpriced, so you have to ask. Nine meat pastas range from a spaghetti bolognese at £8 to a lasagna at £9 and a fillet steak spaghetti at £11. These are complemented with six vegetarian spaghettis, tortellinis, pennes and risottos, utilising such as gorgonzola cheese, spinach, pesto, ricotta and mushrooms.

The wide choice of 35+ mains offers three versions of Dover sole with swordfish, prawns, sea-bream, cod and sea bass, along with a recommended halibut steak alla Sofia Loren - cooked in a cream and white wine sauce with mushrooms and prawns - for £18. Another Sofia Loren dish comes in the veal section of nine dishes, an escalope with mushrooms in a cream and white wine sauce for £14.50, along with two calves liver dishes at £14. Lovers of steak will love the eight dish beef selection with a grilled entrecote at £16, three entrecotes in various sauces at £17, tornedos rossini at £19 and a big T-bone at £28. All prices for mains include a potato and a vegetable of the day, there is a trolley with a choice of six desserts, and another nine a la carte, and the very quaffable house wine in red or white colour is a pocket-friendly £16.50 per litre.

For those looking to run a dining event there is a private room upstairs for up to 25, and around 70 can be accommodated downstairs.

Trattoria Mondello, 36, Goodge Street, London, W1T 2QN 0207 637 9037


o One pub we've tried which serves seriously good food is the Monkey House just outside Lymington, Hants.

Described in the reliable Hardens guide as "a quirky little pub" and providing "first class food served by very friendly staff" and "a great range of beers the Monkey House gets a rating of "good" for its food and "very good" for the service and after our visit earlier this month we can agree with every word. we also liked the restaurant's own description of itself which stated "We do not serve fast food but ARE serving fresh food as fast as we can!!!".

The range of eight fresh mains looked seriously appealing, with a 100-day aged minced brisket beef burger served with two cheeses, bacon, garlic and truffle mayo, kimchi-style coleslaw and fries for £13 vying with a 10oz British rump steak, mashed potato with wholegrain mustard, braised leeks and a red wine and bacon sauce all for £19 - our personal picks from the fish and chips, gammon steak, pan-fried sea-bass, smoked chicken Caesar salad and gnocchi with wild mushrooms and tomato ragu baked with mozzarella However loving the taste of fish we settled for the special starter of the day of tempura prawns (£6) and had this served as a main course with another starter of very tasty and not too smoky or salty smoked salmon, with crab served tangy with lemon and olive and sliced avocado (£7.50) We also put away a portion of buttered vegetables (£2.50) and for a total price of £16 for our fishy treat felt we had enjoyed great value for money.

The Monkey House, 167, Southampton Road, Lymington, Hants, SO41 9HA 01590 676754 Web: themonkeyhouse.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.


A growing number of comedians with disabilities make an impact on the events business but are very fussy over who they are happy to work for… a cottage in Glencoe is destroyed in a mysterious arson attack… Young's pubs suffer a damaging boycott, with food takings particularly hit… A lap-dancing restaurant where the customers have to strip off to eat is a smash hit in the Colmore business district of Birmingham… 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 [email protected]




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: [email protected] 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: [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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: [email protected] 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: [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected]


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: [email protected]; 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. [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected]

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