Event Organisers Update February 2019 ISSUE 171 - 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.


The credibility of those who are paid and used to promote products and services to their willing followers on social media has taken a significant nosedive.

Ten of the world's models, including the likes of Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid were used along with another 400 influencers by organiser Billy McFarland, who is now in jail for fraud, to promote his Fyre Festival, puffed up as a luxury music festival in the Bahamas with five-star accommodation, private jets and limos for transport and gourmet cuisine. All this, and the paid endorsements of models that their followers trusted, persuaded 5,000 aspirants to pay up to £9,000 for a ticket to the event in 2017.

The reality, as has been revealed in two current documentaries about the disaster, was very different with the top end accommodation ("beach-side lodges") being hurricane tents, and not enough for everyone, the "gourmet cuisine" non-existent and the private jets and limos replaced by commercial aircraft and buses.

As a result organiser Billy McFarland is serving a six year jail sentence for the fraud and has been ordered to pay back £21.1 million to more than 100 investors.

Trust endorsements on social media? Time for a re-think?


Those organisers and PR types who think they are being awfully clever arranging for planted question at their events should know that they are very easy for an intelligent audience to spot and that they are really nothing new.

One former orator and advocate of the deception once boasted "At all our meetings I had party members in the audience with orders to interrupt, along carefully prepared lines, to give the impression of a spontaneous expression of public opinion. These interruptions strengthened the force of my argument".

The clever orator who orchestrated his own heckling? Adolf Hitler, in 1921.


Fine dining for up to 50 people with views over the Liverpool waterfront will be offered from next month on a new balcony at the 7th floor Carpathia restaurant at the 30, James Street hotel. The building was originally the offices of the White Star Line, owners of the tragic Titanic, which hit an iceberg and sank in 1914, killing more than 1,500 passengers in the freezing seas; 1,352 men, half of which were crew, 109 women and 53 children.

On a happier note the restaurant menu offers such starters as pan-fried sea-bream with salt baked beetroot, lemon balm and olive oil (£9.50), and confit duck leg terrine with orange gel, baby onions, beetroot puree and sourdough (£7.50). Main courses are such as fillet of red mullet with a citrus and peanut crust, chilli and garlic greens and minted pea puree (£17.50) and 8 oz fillet steak, short beef rib and potato lattice with white onion puree, baby vegetables and roasting jus (£28.50). Desserts include sticky toffee pudding with vanilla bean ice cream, and almond brittle and baked rhubarb and custard cheesecake with set rhubarb jelly and stem ginger, both at £6.50.

The RMS Carpathia, the ship the restaurant is named after was the closest to the tragedy prepared to help at around 58 miles away, and around three and a half hours travelling time. She was a ship owned and operated by Cunard, rivals of the Titanic's White Star Line but took considerable risks steaming at more than its rated full speed through the same ice-field that had sunk the Titanic, arriving one and a half hours after the sinking. The 705 survivors found hot coffee and warm blankets waiting for them as well as food and medical attention and responded by later awarding medals to the Carpethia's Captain, officers and crew. In addition Captain Rostron was knighted by King George V and received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honour the United States Congress could award.

The balcony at the Carpathia restaurant also offers excellent views of the Liverpool waterfront and the iconic Liver Building with the two metal cormorant-like Liver Birds, now symbols of Liverpool mounted on top of the domes. The female, apparently known as Bella, faces out to the sea it looks after, whilst the male, known as Bertie, looks over and after Liverpool. Legend has it that if they faced each other they would fall in love and mate, and then fly away, resulting in the destruction of Liverpool.


International Confex, the Event Production Show and the PA Show are all moving from Olympia in 2020 and relocating at Excel in Docklands.

The events have been at Olympia since 2013 but the organisers, Mash Media, now feel that Excel is a better venue in which to grow the shows, which will take place Tuesday February 25 and Wednesday February 26, 2020.

Now all they have to do is to get the visitors out there.


A new 88-bedroom boutique hotel is to be created by 2021 in Coventry city centre, in the former offices of the Coventry Evening Telegraph. (The Business Desk)

There will be a 1950's theme to the unit, which will be operated by Bespoke Hotels, and there will be conference rooms, a restaurant, a roof-top bar and a range of loft-style two-storey bedrooms in the former print room.

Behind the hotel, and part of the deal agreed, there will be student accommodation with 833 rooms opening as phase one in September 2020.


Charles Laughton, 1999-1962, was the brilliant, bisexual and tortured actor who appeared in more than 50 films, most from 1933, after giving up a career as a manager at his parent's Scarborough hotel, the Pavilion, now demolished.

Laughton graced a number of memorable roles as a monster or misfit which included Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty, Quasimodo in the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Doctor Moreau in The Island of Lost Souls and Henry VIII in The Private Life of Henry VIII. Another memorable role was as crusty and eccentric lawyer, Sir Wilfrid Robarts in Witness For The Prosecution, based on an Agatha Christie play and directed by Billy Wilder in 1957.

In this Laughton is joined by Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich and his future wife Elsa Lancaster, and he puts in, according to one critic, "a performance of epic extravagance, invention and downright hamminess" which made him, once again, one of the most watchable actors on the screen. For those who enjoy courtroom dramas this is arguably one of the best around, with one of the best shock endings.

Witness For The Prosecution has been released by Eureka Entertainment for the first time in a Blu-Ray format as part of its Masters of Cinema series with video interviews, archive footage of director Billy Wilder discussing the film and audio commentary.


Sad to see that some of our Scottish friends are so anxious to pick the pockets of those who support them.

Councillors in Edinburgh, led by a mis-led Adam McVey, have voted through a tax on those who visit the city of £2 a night added to the price of a room for the first week of a stay, a total of £14. The tax, known as the "transient visitor levy" is expected to raise between £11.6 million and £14.6 million a year and leaves Edinburgh as the first, and hopefully the last UK city to gratuitously rip off its valuable visitors in this way.

Councillors voted to tax on the basis of 43 votes to 15. It is not known whether the money raised will be used to benefit Edinburgh's residents or visitors or to increase salaries, pensions and benefits for councillors.


Meanwhile, down in Tavistock, Devon, the only good councillor is a dead none, according to some angry locals there who have successfully fought off a council plan to fund the building of an 80-room Premier Inn hotel on a car-park there.

The locals say the plan, which would have created 35 new jobs in the town and pumped an estimated £2.7 million into Tavistock's economy would have "disembowelled" the local B&B and hotel trade and the family businesses that supply them. In 1999 McDonalds opened to much opposition in the town and then closed seven years later in 2006.

However both Wetherspoons and Tesco have opened there and are now, according to another local "the busiest places in town". He says "Tavistock is against anything in the modern world".


o If the thought of enjoying around £50 + worth of fresh, good quality Japanese food for a set price of £18.48 sounds good, then the "Bottomless" all you can eat menu at the Sushimania chain will definitely appeal.

This is a selection of more than 90 dishes from the restaurant's 250 and offers all the staple favourites - 14 nigri sushi, 10 hosomaki small seaweed rolls, 12 Uramaki large inside out rolls, 4 Futomaki large rice rolls, 10 Temaki cone shaped hand rolls, 8 Appetisers, 8 Side Orders, 3 salads, 5 Tempura, 3 Kushiyaki skewers, 2 Terriyaki, 2 Katsu, 6 soups with noodles, 6 stir fries and salmon sashimi. Diners have 1 and three-quarter hours to enjoy their choices, there is a minimum of two people to get the package and diners are warned that wasted food will be charged at standard a la carte prices. After our visit to the Cambridge outlet we will definitely be back, especially for the hand rolls, tempura, nigri and sashimi.

As well as Cambridge Sushimania are also in Edgware, Finchley, Golders Green, Whetstone, Reading, Brighton, Nottingham and Oxford.


o It was an excellent surprise to find a really good carvery on a holiday park in Suffolk, but the Twelve Lost Churches restaurant on the Cliff House Holiday Park, just outside Dunwich was just that (the name is a reference to the 12 churches of Dunwich that now lie beneath the sea after serious coastal erosion reduced a large town to a tiny village).

Here we tucked into generous slices of beef, turkey and pork, the latter enhanced with some unhealthy but perfectly cooked and irresistible crackling. The meats were accompanied by chipolata sausages and enough lashings of vegetables to keep a vegetarian, enjoying a lentil and cider bake of the day, happy. These comprised boiled and roast potatoes, carrots, carrot and swede mash, peas, parsnips, stuffing balls, Yorkshire puddings, ratatouille, cabbage and cauliflour cheese, all for £9.95.

The carvery is served on a Sunday, 12.00-3.00pm and booking is strongly advised as it's very popular.

Call Andy on 01728 648986 or email [email protected]


o Sometimes the best tasting sea food around is found on stalls, rather than in restaurants, and our all-time favourite place for wonderful cockles and whelks is the legendary Osbournes at Leigh on Sea on the Essex coast near to Southend.

Finding ourselves in Aldburgh the Suffolk coast recently we checked out the fish huts on the shingle beach there. One outstanding trader was selling a variety of lovely smoked fish and these included some giant crevette-sized prawns which had been lightly smoked and which were fresh, solid and delicious. These were 60 pence each or 50pence each if you bought 12, so we bought 24 for £12 and took them home, peeled them and popped them in the freezer for future enjoyment.

To find our favourite fish trader his hut is on the shingle beach, behind and just to the right of the historic Moot Hall, as you look out to sea. (The Moot Hall is also on the beach but was once in the centre of town, before the savage coastal erosion the area is notorious for took away half of Aldburgh).


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 black list of firms who pay social media influencers for online publicity, mis- represented as the influencer's honest opinion, is drawn up and circulated to those who care. Endorsements on social media decline rapidly… PR firms deny using Hitler's Mein Kampf as an inspiration for their events… Mash Media consider what they will be doing to entice event organisers out to Docklands for their shows. Free accommodation is mooted… Edinburgh venues give extra discount to all customers, to make up for the greedy tax imposed by their mis-led council… The world's largest Travelodge with 1,600 rooms and a McDonalds underneath is planned for Tavistock… 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: mar[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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