Event Organisers Update May 2019 ISSUE 174 - 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.


Following international revulsion at his plan to have homosexuals and adulterers stoned to death, and the boycotting of his Dorchester Group hotels, the Sultan of Brunei has now announced that the death sentences will not be carried out by the state, which will only impose a jail term of up to ten years for the "crimes".

Stoning to death in many parts of the Middle East is legal, with the stones specified to be of a size and weight that will do serious injury to the victim, without killing too quickly. Where the inhumanity is not legal, but customary it is often carried out extrajudicially, by militants or tribal leaders, something that could now happen in Brunei.

Countries where stoning is legal or customary are Mauritania, northern Nigeria, tribal areas of Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.


Following all the publicity about the dangers of shining laser pointers at aircraft a middle-aged man from Leeds, Yorkshire has been convicted and jailed for nine months for doing just that.

David Gill, 50, repeatedly shone a laser pen at the pilot of a police helicopter, forcing it to abandon its search for a car that had failed to stop for police on March 9. The helicopter crew were able to pinpoint the source of the laser light for their colleagues on the ground, and Gill was arrested.

There were 50 laser attacks on police helicopter pilots in 2018. Many believe it is only a matter of time before a passenger aircraft is brought down by this lethal stupidity.


Following revelations about his conduct, and investigation into his expenses, Sir Gary Verity, 54, resigned from his £243,000 post as head of tourism group Welcome to Yorkshire (WTY) on March 22, citing health grounds.

Verity, who has headed up the agency since 2008 had been part of the team that brought the massive Depart event of the Tour de France cycling event to Yorkshire in 2014, for which he was knighted in 2015. He was also instrumental in creating the new Tour de Yorkshire cycling event. However he has now admitted making "errors of judgment" over his expenses, paid in addition to his £243,000 salary. According to staff and former staff at WTY these included using WTY staff at his sister's funeral in January this year, attending seasonal shoots once or twice a fortnight at the Duke of Devonshire's estate costing WTY up to £5,000 a day and chauffeured cars at up to £600 per day. There was also a hotel bill of £2,700 for the meals, alcohol and entertaining at a two-day race meeting in York and frequent hotel stays costing up to £850 at properties like the Connaught in London, one city where he owns a flat. Verity has offered to pay back around £40,000 of his expenses.

WTY has accepted nearly £15 million in public funds in the last five years. Reportedly the response from its board when asked to answer detailed questions from the media about Verity's expenses has been to refuse. Reportedly the board also responded to complaints from Verity's staff about alleged bullying behaviour with the answer "You know what Gary is like". Since his resignation Verity has employed one of the four reputation management specialists at London solicitors Farrer & Co, a move that some might argue represents another nail in the coffin of his reputation.

As well as his Knight Bachelor award in 2015 Verity also received the National Order of Merit, France in 2017. In 2014 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of York, for what it's worth.


This year's survey of association meetings by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has placed the USA top of the country rankings with 947 meetings, and Paris top of the city rankings with 212 meetings.

Following the USA in the country scores in the top ten were, in descending order, Germany, (642), Spain, (595), France, (579), UK, (574), Italy, (522), Japan, (492) China, (449) Netherlands, (355) and Canada, (315).

Following Paris in the city scores in the top ten were, in descending order, Vienna, (172), Madrid, (165), Barcelona, (163), Berlin, (162), Lisbon (152), London, (150), Singapore, (145), Prague, (136), and Bangkok, (135).


A recent survey by Thomas W Hodgkinson in a recent Daily Mail article scored nine UK airport lounges out of five.

Best, and the cheapest was My Lounge at Gatwick North with a price tag of £24, a tenure of three hours, "excellent" food, a help-yourself bar, a games room, helpful staff and wi-fi, all of which scored 5 out of 5. Close behind, both with 4 out of 5, were No 1 at Edinburgh - £28 for three hours, good "up to scratch" food and selection of beers and plenty of reading material - and 1903 Lounge at Manchester, at £30 for two hours, wi-fi, showers and "better than average" food.

Not quite so good, but still bearable with three out of five, were the "classy" Clubrooms Lounge at Gatwick South at £38 for three hours, no showers, no flight monitors except at reception, wi-fi and an "excellent Eggs Benedict", and the TI Lounge at Dublin at £22 for three hours, "excellent" showers, wi-fi, business centre, "top-notch" service and "unremarkable" couscous salad. Just two out of five were awarded to the Causeway Lounge at Belfast International - £27.50 for two hours, wi-fi, food limited to cold meats and cheeses, no showers, limit of three alcoholic drinks, "not much to write home about" - and the Aspire Lounge at Bristol, one of 34 Swiss-owned lounges worldwide, £21.99 for three hours, quiet zone, family booths with smart TV, wi-fi "apologetic" pasta, and "judging by this one they need to be more aspirational".

Worst scores of 1 out of five went to the "hideous" Escape Lounge at Stansted, at £25 for two hours, wi-fi, scanning and printing service, and a cooked breakfast without eggs, and the "expensive" Plaza Premium on the arrivals side of security at Heathrow Terminal Three where the price was £30 for just one hour, there were showers and wi-fi but no alcoholic drinks, despite the promise of "a broad range of beverages" on the website.


This takes place at Olympia, London June 26th and 27th.

The organisers, Centaur Media Travel and Meetings have recently sold the show, along with the Business Travel Show, to US-based Northstar Travel Media UK for £9.25 million.

Centaur wanted to divest itself of its smaller businesses, and Northstar wanted to expand its event and travel segment in the UK. The US company reportedly has a portfolio of 80 events in 13 countries.


This is the second presentation of the Northern events show and takes place at the Victoria Warehouse, Manchester, July 3-4.

A range of free educational seminars for organisers is offered.


Two films starring Hitler's filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl, are being released on Blu-ray by Eureka Entertainment.

The first, The Holy Mountain, is the one that launched the career of Riefenstahl in 1926, when she was 24. It was written in three days and nights, specifically for her, and took over a year to film by German filmmaker and specialist in the popular "mountain" film genre Arnold Fanck. In this105- minute silent black and white melodrama she played a young dancer who catches the eye of two explorers who were friends, until jealousy kicked in with tragic consequences. Story aside the images of the German Alps form a fabulous backdrop to some death-defying climbing, avalanche-dodging real avalanches and fast downhill ski racing and jumping, with jumpers floating over the cameras in slo-mo.

The second, and a special feature in the pack with the first, was made in 1993 when she was 91, is directed by Ray Muller and is considered to be one of the best documentaries ever made. The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl reveals that it was Riefenstahl's freeform "dance of the sea" by the sea at the beginning of The Holy Mountain, when for non-dance fans she pranced around provocatively in knickers and negligee, that caught the eye of Adolf Hitler, who felt she was the epitome of German womanhood, and who eventually invited her to make films for the Third Reich. Interestingly for film buffs Riefenstahl was inspired to become an actress when she was waiting for a U-Bahn train on Nollendorfplatz station in Berlin in 1924 when she was 22 and saw a poster for an earlier mountain film from Fanck, The Mountain of Destiny, which she went to watch immediately, later contriving to meet its star, Louis Trenker, and director Fnack. Nearby Nollendorfstrasse was where novelist Christopher Isherwood lived and wrote his Berlin stories, which later became a film, I Am a Camera, and then a stage play that led to a better film, Cabaret, which charted the Nazi rise to power in the 1930s.

Assisting the rise was Riefenstahl, who had made the transition from actress to film director and who was paid Nazi money to make propaganda films that glorified them, and deified Hitler. The first of these was Victory of Faith, a documentary of the Nazi's fifth Nuremberg rally in 1933. This featured Hitler with Ernst Rohm, a friend and early supporter and head of the army of street thugs, the Sturmabteilung, (SA). A few months after the one-hour film was shot, Rohm, considered as a rival to Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels and Goering, was also shot, along with around 80 of his officers in the "Night of The Long Knives". And to airbrush his relationship with Rohm from the pages of German history, Hitler ordered all known copies of the film destroyed. At least one however has survived for the relevant clip of Hitler and Rohm together to feature in this documentary.

Riefenstahl's next propaganda efforts for the Third Reich were much longer lasting with her filming of the 1934 rally in Nuremberg, Triumph of the Will, and that of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Olympia both regarded as innovative and brilliant productions, with the filming of the high diving in the latter making the efforts of the divers look balletic. Both films used techniques such as tracking shots, slo-mo, panoramic aerial shots, underwater shots and shots from very high or low angles to create wonderful film for a very much less than wonderful purpose. Some Olympic events, however were won by African-American Jesse Owens, which didn't do much for Hitler's promotion of white Aryan superiority.

On the question of Riefenstahl's own view of Hitler she told a reporter from the Detroit News "To me, Hitler is the greatest man who ever lived. He truly is without fault, so simple yet at the same time possessed of masculine strength" This reflected her flowery and breathless declaration in 1932, after hearing some Hitler oratory that "I had an almost apocalyptic vision that I was never able to forget. It seemed as if the Earth's surface was spreading out in front of me, like a hemisphere that suddenly splits apart in the middle, spewing out an enormous jet of water, so powerful that it touched the sky and shook the earth" In 1940, as German troops were entering Paris she sent Hitler a telegram, gushing "With indescribable joy, deeply moved and filled with burning gratitude, we share with you my Fuhrer, your and Germany's greatest victory, the entry of German troops into Paris. You exceed anything human imagination has the power to conceive, achieving deeds without parallel in the history of mankind. How can we ever thank you?" Rumours flew that Leni and Adolph had found a way.

After WW2, and Hitler's suicide, Riefenstahl claimed she was disgusted that her films for the Nazis were used for propaganda purposes and that she knew nothing about the Holocaust. She was not believed by many and was deemed a Nazi sympathiser by the German judiciary, but not a war criminal. In the ensuing years she tried, without much success to make great films but her Nazi past was against her for the rest of her long life.

She did however produce some highly rated books of photographs of the Nuba tribe of the Sudan, who also worshipped bodily beauty, and several books and a 45 minute film compilation of the most beautiful underwater photography, shot mainly in Papau New Guinea, but also including Kenya, the Maldive Islands, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Indonesia and the Pacific Cocos Islands. The footage was shot in the last 30 years of her life and released as Impressionen Unter Wasser just before her 100th birthday, in 2002. Clips from it can be seen in this documentary, and the whole film on YouTube. If you want to see the best and most worthy thing that Riefenstahl did with film this is arguably the one to view. She died one year later in 2003, at the age of 101, of cancer.

The Holy Mountain (105 mins) and The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl documentary (180 mins) are being released on Blu-Ray by Eureka on June 17 as part of the UK Masters of Cinema series. The pack also includes a feature length audio-commentary and several essays.


Edward G Robinson, who died aged 79 in 1973, appeared in 40 Broadway plays and more than 100 films in his 50-year career, and is remembered for his gangster roles in such films as Key Largo, with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and as tough guy Rico in Little Caesar, where, after a shoot-out he died saying his famous last words "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?" It was.

Perhaps not so well-remembered were his more likeable roles, as in director Fritz Lang's excellent 1944 American film noir The Woman in the Window, one of the first films that gave the genre its name in 1946 when it was released in Paris, along with The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, Laura and Murder my Sweet. Robinson plays a middle-aged professor of psychology, Richard Wanley who admires a portrait in a shop window of a lovely model, Alice Reed, played by the lovely and voluptuous Joan Bennett, aged 34, in one of her best-known sensuous femme fatale roles. While Wanley is admiring the painting Reed suddenly appears at his elbow, and starts chatting to him, eventually persuading him, without too much difficulty, to come back to her apartment to view some other sketches that have been made of her.

Suddenly Reed's boyfriend, Claude Mazard, played by Arthur Loft, shows up, assumes the pair are lovers and proceeds to pounce on and strangle Wanley, who assisted by Reed passing him a pair of scissors, stabs and kills Mazard. The pair then work out how to get rid of the body and Wanley duly takes it in his car and drives it to a remote country location where he dumps it in some bushes, not before inadvertently leaving lots of clues for the police to find.

Twin misfortunes then befell the pair. The investigating district attorney, Frank Laylor played by Raymond Massey, turns out to be a friend of one of Wanley's friends and Wanley meets him on several occasions as a friend to hear how the investigation into the murder he committed is going. During discussions Wanley almost gives the game away by stating facts about the murder that the police have not released. As the net closes in Reed is visited by Mazards former bodyguard Heidt, played by the specialist in villainous roles, Dan Duryea, who says he knows what happened and blackmails her, demanding $5,000 to go away Wanley gives her some of a prescription medicine he has so that she can poison Heidt's drink with an overdose when he calls to collect the money. This backfires when a suspicious Heidt refuses to drink up, insisting that Reed swallows the drink she has made for him. When Reed refuses Heidt takes the $5,000 and leaves, telling her that this was just a down-payment and there would be more demands to come.

Seeing no way out of the nightmare Wanley is seen preparing an overdose with the medication he has left, and preparing to kill himself. At that point Heidt is killed in a police shoot-out near to Reed's apartment, with evidence on him that incriminates him as the killer, and Reed then telephones Wanley to tell him the good news. Sadly we see the telephone unanswered, and Wanley slumped motionless in a chair...

We won’t spoil the controversial ending, which was specified by the production code of the time and seems to have been lifted from The Wizard of Oz, released five years earlier. The Woman in the Window was released for the first time on Blu-ray by Eureka Entertainment on May 20th as part of the Masters of Cinema Series. The pack contains a video essay, a Feature Length Audio Commentary and a Collector's booklet


According to journalist Jan Moir, writing at length in the Daily Mail, the high-profile launch of the new Caledonian Sleeper service from London to Scotland was "alas, a complete disaster".

One train to Glasgow subjected the journalists, dignitaries, MPs and passengers on board to "lost bookings, unmade beds, water leakages and a shortage of butter", as well as arriving at Glasgow three hours late.

Two days later Moir's train to Glasgow subjected her to taps she couldn't work in an otherwise satisfactory First-Class Double cabin for single use for the "grasping" price of £270, one way. Following her dinner of "tasty" haggis and "lumpy" vegetables "terribly served" she retired for a "lovely" night's sleep, unhelped by the once-free nightcap of whisky or brandy. And when she overslept for her booked 6.00am breakfast in the dining car she was woken at 6.10am on the kitchen to cabin intercom system by a female Scottish voice telling her that her breakfast was ready, leaving her to try for a shower in her cabin afterwards and finding a complete lack of water.

So all a bit Hi De Hi then... ?


We hear that the Professional Football Association's annual awards ceremony, which these days celebrates both the male and the female game, was something of an own goal featuring as it did a routine with three male dancers fully dressed in black dinner suits and four women "cavorting" in tight, skimpy body suits.

The staging of the event, at London's Grosvenor House Hotel, drew sharp criticism from Sky Sports presenter Clare Tomlinson who criticised the use of "scantily-clad dancing girls" and the fact that there were some strong messages about racism and diversity from PFA's management, who had perhaps not heard of sexism.

Apparently Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema won the top prize in the women's game, only to find her name mis-spelt as Vivienne on her valued trophy.

Something for PFA chairman Gordon Taylor OBE to take on board?


Shocked, we are, to read that the royally-connected Mrs Carole Middleton, 64, of party suppliers Party Pieces uses the old-fashioned way of summoning her staff, by snapping her fingers at them.

This used to be one way the upper classes put the lower orders in their place, treating them like servants. However these days in the real world the arrogant habit has acquired a string of negative descriptions, including rude, demeaning, degrading, disrespectful and condescending.

Of course there is the distinct possibility that Middleton likes to snap her fingers on a regular basis to check the acoustics in her office...


o For a quick, tasty and low-cost lunch on our own in Eastbourne recently the Harry Ramsdens fish and chip emporium right on the sea front hit the spot.

They take the Tastecard discount card at all the branches so we decided to have the 241 deal offered on starters, mains and desserts on a couple of starters served with a portion of their famous double-cooked chips.

Thus we tucked into a generous portion of their salt and pepper squid, which is apparently soaked in milk to make it soft and juicy when it's fried, and it works. This comes with a dip of garlicky aioli and a lemon wedge We supplemented this with their Dynamite Shrimp, six tiger prawns battered, deep fried and served with a sweet chilli sauce, and the portion of chips from Maris Piper potatoes.

Staff here were friendly and helpful and we paid a bill of £6.98, being £4.99 for one portion of shrimp and £1.99 for the chips, and the delicious squid free.


o Good to see that our favourite budget Persian cafe, the Patogh in Crawford Place, just off London's Edgware Road is still doing lively business.

It deserves it. We've been going for years to enjoy the same meal, the two large skewers of minced lamb served with fragrant saffron rice and grilled tomato, all served from the nothing to hide open kitchen for a bargain £8. Also on the table are the usual condiments of salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil, with the addition of searingly hot red chilli sauce and a Persian citrus-flavoured, crimson-coloured spice called sumac, which adds a lemony tang and deep red colour to meats, vegetables salads and soups.

The other big plus at Patogh is that it's BYO - you can bring in your own beer or wine and there's not even a corkage charge. For this purpose there's a Waitrose a little further down the Edgware Road, where we picked up a large 640 ml bottle - well over a pint -of the sweet Tsingtao Asian lager for £2, also the price for the same quantity of Tiger beer or Biera Moretti.

Other main course food options at Patogh are minced chicken skewers for £8, lamb cubes for £10, half baby chicken for £8, grilled whole sea bass for £12, all served with rice or salad or Persian bread, and a vegetarian Ladies Finger (okra or bhindi) stew, served with rice.


A gang of middle-aged men in Yorkshire bring down a passenger jet with laser pointers as it prepares to land at Leeds Bradford airport… a solicitor at London-based Farrer and Co reveals why their particular clients need to have their reputations managed… Management at the Plaza Premium lounge at Heathrow Terminal Three reveal how much profit they make from the £30 charged for the one hour travellers are given to consume "a broad range of beverages" which excludes anything alcoholic… the Caledonian Sleeper service to Scotland sorts out passenger problems of lost bookings, unmade beds, water leakages, lack of water, lumpy vegetables, lack of butter, poor service and trains being three hours late. One huge new improvement is the single shot of whisky or brandy nightcap now included free with the bargain one-way £270 fare for single occupancy of a double cabin… to avoid accusations of sexism Gordon Taylor OBE, chairman of the Professional Footballers Association insists on topless dancing men cavorting in tight lycra hot pants with fully-dressed women for the next PFA bash… Mrs Carole Middleton, 64 , of Party Pieces denies snapping her fingers at her staff. She tells the press "I do sometimes snap my fingers to the beat of my favourite classic rock and roll number Let's Have a Party when I play it on my personal stereo, and it is quite possible that it is this that has been mis-interpreted by staff"... 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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