Event Organisers Update April 2019 ISSUE 173 - 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.


Travellers are being advised against visiting countries such as Egypt, Kenya. Morocco, Tunisia, India and the Philippines, as well as Sri Lanka. This is because of the likelihood of terrorist action targeting tourists and other soft targets, like the recent carnage in Sri Lanka thought to have been organised by former members of IS, now dispersed from Syria.

The advice has been given by Michael Burleigh, author of the book Blood and Rage: a Cultural History of Terrorism, who also points out the dangers of getting "caught in the crossfire" or kidnapped for ransom in places with currently high numbers of tourists, like Mexico, where 29,000 murders took place last year, and Brazil, which had 67,000.

Writing in the Daily Mail Burleigh quotes Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson speaking after the rout of IS from its former stronghold in Syria a few weeks ago "We cannot be complacent. They've dispersed, and they'll continue to pose a threat to Britain, and that is why we will remain vigilant".


The boycotting of anything that benefits Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, including booking events into hotels in his Dorchester Group, has grown since his country introduced stoning to death of homosexuals and adulturers, an inhumanity which revolts many.

Accordingly organisers have pulled a number of 2019 events from London's Dorchester Hotel, including the Police Federation's annual bravery awards, the TV Choice magazine's TV Choice awards and the Conservative Party's Spring Launch. In addition Deutsch Bank have forbidden employees to stay at any of the Sultan's hotels and London mayor Sadiq Khan has banned Brunei from advertising on the London Tube.


A boycott of the University of London, UOL, including the holding of events there, has been called by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB over the university's treatment of outsourced migrant and black and minority ethnic workers.

These, say the IWGB provide essential services such as cleaning, security and catering and yet fare worse than directly employed staff over such items as sick pay, holiday pay, maternity pay and pension contributions. The outsourced workers lodged 54 complaints about discrimination, bullying and harassment in 2017, compared to just two from direct employees.

More than 100 academics, politicians and unions are supporting the boycott, which will be lifted when the UOL makes all staff direct employees.


A "hotel-like" experience is promised on the new Caledonian Sleeper train service between London and Scotland.

The service, which launches next month, is charging from £45 for a seat and up to £300 for a superior double room. Featured are en-suite bathrooms, reclining seats, key cards and wi-fi.


An Exmoor hotel, the refurbished Croydon Hall, has run into a row with the local residents, and the local council, over its hosting of a swingers club.

Residents of the local Somerset village of Rodhuish (population 293) say that the all-night hedonism arranged by members club Exclusively Silks, operated by an Allen McCloud, is disturbing their sleep as revellers "spill out into the gardens, the pool and the car park with increasingly drunken exchanges - shouting, singing, and even fights".

The Exmoor National Park Authority's planning department say that the hosting represents a change of use, and that they are preparing an enforcement notice.


This exhibition has opened at the Tate Britain and runs till August 11th.

It features the three years the Dutch artist was in Britain, 1873-1876, and, along with a few paintings by him (Sunflowers, Starry Night) showcases the works by other artists who inspired him, and the works of artists who were inspired by him, such as Harold Gilman, Spencer Gore, Matthew Smith and Walter Sickert, the last being accused recently, against new scientific evidence, of being Jack the Ripper. Gilman acknowledged his debt to Vincent with a print of his self-portrait on the wall of his studio and his habit before beginning to paint of waving his paintbrush at the print and declaring "A toi Van Gogh!" ("Cheers, Van Gogh!")

Surprisingly, given his huge artistic output, Vincent was an artist for just the last ten years of his troubled life and died of a gunshot wound to his chest in Arles on July 27, 1890. He was only 37 years old. Whilst the popular account was that the wounds were self-inflicted there is evidence, taking the trajectory that the bullet took, that this could not have been a suicide. What is known is that seven months earlier Vincent, on hearing some unwelcome family news, cut off part of his left ear and presented it to his favourite prostitute, who was working in one of the six brothels in the fourteen-building Rue du Bout dArles (Street at the end of Arles) what Vincent called "The street of the kind girls" in 1888. A number of mental breakdowns followed in the months before his death.

Both Starry Night and Sunflowers were painted in Arles, where Vincent painted 200 canvases, with many being his best-known works, in the 15 months he was there.

(Note. See Martin Bailey's excellent book Studio of the South - Van Gogh in Provence)


Two highly-regarded comedies from director Billy Wilder (1906-2002) and the Hollywood Golden Age of Cinema (1910s-1960s) have been released on Blu-ray by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema Series. Both films feature the work of screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond, and interesting interviews with film scholar Neil Synyard, and both offer feature-length commentaries by film historians.

IRMA LA DOUCE (1963) was released on March 18 and stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine in a saucy and sexy farce about the stuttering affair between Lemmon's prissy and principled gendarme, Nestor Patou, and MacLaine's pretty, popular Parisian prostitute, Irma la Douce. (Irma the sweet). In fact as well as sweet, and a love of green stockings, green underwear and a white poodle, Irma does vulnerable manipulatively as she regales clients with a range of tragic sob stories designed to maximise the number of francs they eventually part with for her services.

Nestor, new on the beat around Paris food market Les Halles (created with some brilliant scenery) is shocked by the shameless and brazen way Irma and her colleagues confidently ply their trade and raids the Hotel Casanova where it all happens, arresting the girls. Unfortunately one of the girl's clients happens to be his police chief boss, who fires him, leaving him to drown his sorrows back at local bar Chez Moustache, where the proprietor is known as Moustache,(well played by Lou Jacobi) and has a large one, as well as a fund of fiction about his past life to rival Irma's.

Chez Moustache is the favoured hangout for the girls and their pimps, and Irma's is the ox-like Hippolyte (Bruce Yarnell) who Nestor catches mis-treating Irma to get her to earn him more money. Nestor and Hippolyte then have an hilariously choreographed brawl which rates as some of the funniest slapstick we've seen. Nestor's hard-won victory in this endears him to Irma, who insists he becomes her new pimp, which ultimately does not suit Nestor who has a more romantic arrangement in mind.

As well as rightly winning acclaim for Lemmon and MacLaine Irma la Douce also won an Oscar for its musical score, as did Gigi, Porgy and Bess and My Fair Lady, all created by Andre Previn, who sadly died on February 28 this year. The film was originally seen as a Marilyn Monroe vehicle, with Monroe as Irma, but she died before filming could start, as also happened with Charles Laughton who poignantly rehearsed for the part of Moustache until cancer took him in 1962.

The fast-paced, madcap, Cold-War comedy ONE, TWO, THREE (1961) was released on April 15 and stars James Cagney as C,R. "Mac" MacNamara, a top executive for the Coca-Cola company in West Berlin who is given the unenviable extra job of looking after Scarlett, (Pamela Tiffin) the 17 year old socialite daughter of his boss when she comes to Berlin for a long holiday. Tiffin, described by Wilder as "the biggest find since Audrey Hepburn" was less sure of her acting abilities but the experienced Cagney helped her with advice - "You walk in, plant yourself squarely on both feet, look the other fella in the eye and tell the truth".

This was one of the positive aspects of filming for Cagney who reportedly did not get on with Horst Buckholz, the young European actor who was one of The Magnificent Seven (1960) with Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and James Coburn and who plays the Communist agitator, Otto Ludwig Piffl, that Scarlett falls for. According to Cagney "This Horst Buckholz character I truly loathed. Had he kept on with his little scene-stealing didoes I would have been forced to knock him on his ass, which I would have very much enjoyed doing" In the event Wilder intervened and the movie turned out just fine, although Cagney, who also included a visit to the Dachau concentration camp during filming, never acted in anything for 20 years afterwards, till Ragtime in 1981.

As well as Tiffin and Buckholz strong support was provided for Cagney by Arlene Francis as Phyllis, his long-suffering and spirited wife and Liselotte Pulver as Fraulein Ingeborg, his sexy and grabby secretary, among others, but it is not unfair to say that this is Cagney's film. Movie buffs will undoubtedly treasure the moment Cagney threatens someone with half a grapefruit, a reference to his scene in Public Enemy (1931) where he pushes a grapefruit into a woman's face. And those who enjoyed Little Caesar, also 1931 will recall Edward G Robinson's famous last words of gangster Rico in his death scene, echoed and adapted here by Cagney, who on learning that Scarlett is pregnant moans "Mother of mercy. Is this the end of little Rico?".

The music for One, Two, Three was also supplied by Andre Previn and includes Khachaturian's rollicking Sabre Dance whenever the action speeds up, which is often.


Old Grit wonders, noting the damaging disruption deliberately caused to the lives of innocent ordinary people in London by climate change activists calling themselves Extinction Rebellion, if they will be offering good folks any compensation?

After all their selfish actions, supported by a few bonkers celebs and assorted nobodies, have cost many time and money, including our police force which initially supported their right to disrupt, but then realised that they really didn't have any and moved them on, hopefully to grow up, go home and start saving up to pay for the damage.

Now that would be a good result.


Our universities continue to set a bad example to our student body, rather than a good one, with the news that they have paid out £87 million in financial settlements that have had non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) attached to them.

This has been done so that victims of such abuse as bullying, harassment, sexual misconduct and other forms are prevented from revealing their experiences, an action that might prevent others from being affected. According to the BBC, which obtained the figures, it was common for those who complained to be harassed out of their jobs and forced to sign the gagging orders by their university's management.


If you're going to launch a new hotel it has to be themed in some way, it seems.

However we do wonder if there's a scraping of the bottom of the barrel in the announced launch by Signature Living of a 42 bedroom Manchester hotel themed around a group of alleged criminals called the Quality Street Gang (Business Desk).

This group allegedly operated in Manchester in the 1960s 1970s and 1980s and in that time no alleged gang members were ever convicted of any serious crime, though rumours circulated about alleged links to the infamous Kray twins from London's East End and alleged involvement with armed robberies in Holland so the whole thing could be hogwash, and not a great theme to base a whole hotel on.


o Looking for a low-cost lunch just off Oxford Circus a few days ago we found the Loop Bar, a party venue in Dering Street, which accepts the Tastecard for a discount of 50%, with a minimum of one main course per person.

Accordingly we tucked into a really tasty pasta dish, the wild mushroom mezzaluna of ravioli stuffed with wild mushrooms and truffle, served with more mushrooms (sauteed), wilted baby spinach and pine nuts. This happened to be the only vegetarian dish in the small selection of nine options and cost half of £11.50 (£5.75) We supplemented this with a non-vegetarian starter, as a side dish of four aromatic lamb koftas served with cucumber ribbons and four baby gem lettuce pieces loaded with some tangy tzatziki sauce, for half of £6 (£3) So our delicious lunch cost just £8.75.

Starters here also include a vegetarian halloumi and pepper skewers with the Brazilian chimichurri sauce for £5.50 (£2.75), bang bang chicken of diced chicken breast with peanut and chilli sauce, cumber, coriander and spring onions served on baby gem leaves for £6 (£3) and diced and fried calamari with rocket and mayo garlic dip. for £6.50 (£3.25) Mains include three different burgers - 8oz beef, chicken and halloumi, mushroom and pepper vegetarian - all served in a brioche bun with beef tomato, baby gem, onions and chips for £11(£5.50) for the meat versions and £10 (£5) for the halloumi, beer-battered haddock and chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce for £12 (£6) and a 28-day aged rib-eye steak with chips, salad and peppercorn sauce for £18.50 (£9.25) There are also sandwiches, wraps, side dishes and desserts including a New York cheesecake with strawberries and creme fraiche, and chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream, both at £5 (£2.50).

Party rooms for events comprise a cocktail bar for 150, and three additional rooms for 120, 350 and 450. Those seeking a drink are advised that Happy Hour runs from 17.00 to 20.00 hours when all drinks are half price.


o Also impressive for us recently, when we went in a small group of four, was the Piato Mediterranean Grill in Baldock, Herts.

This specialises in the meze concept of eating, rather like tapas, where a selection of small plates make up the meal, so first out are the cold meze choices such as a chargrilled aubergine, houmous, taramasalata, olivieh (chopped potatoes, gherkin, chicken, boiled egg and mayonnaise) and Borani (greek yogurt with sauteed spinach), all priced at under £4. Hot meze choices include, for under £5, Spanikopita (deep fried pastry filled with feta cheese and spinach) dolmeh (grape vine leaves stuffed with a rice mixture) Manitaria (baked mushrooms stuffed with spinach, garlic, herbs and feta cheese) Kalamari and sardines. For a little more money steamed mussels in a creamy sauce with warm bread are £5.50 and Meygoo (grilled King prawns with lemon juice and olive oil) are £6.50.

Main courses are a thoughtful mix of top-quality meat and seafood, with the first offering such delights as slow cooked lamb shank (Mahicheh) for £11.50, lamb, chicken or both together grilled over charcoal (Souvlakia) for £12.50, lamb chops cooked over charcoal (Shishlik) for £12.50, and various chicken dishes grilled over charcoal for £8.50 to £12.90. Also available is a grilled mix of aubergine, peppers, courgettes, mushroom and onion for £9.50 The seafood offering includes charcoal grilled seas bass, tuna, sardines, King prawns and swordfish, from £8.90 to £15, and the menu is balanced with side dishes such as sauteed potatoes, mushrooms and spinach and then a range of set meze platters, one meat, one fish, one vegetarian.


A swingers club opens at London's Dorchester Hotel as more major events pull out. A spokesperson for the hotel tells the press: "Fortunately these groups are not too fussy where they hold their parties"... Celebrities explain why they don't think it is fair that they should compensate victims of the deliberate disruption they have condoned and supported… Universities and their legal advisors explain why the use of gagging orders is so essential to protect their public image. The Law Society reveals how much their member solicitors have made from the £87 million spent… The 500 bedroom Hotel Corleone opens on London's Park Lane, heralded as "a shrine for all those who think it's cool to celebrate criminality" Management promise a Sicilian Bar serving chokingly strong Gin Garottes, a Godfather Room where guests can kiss the general manager's hand and horses heads left in beds in the suites of complaining guests… 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


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.)

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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