Event Organisers Update August 2019 ISSUE 177 - 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.


Like, we suspect, most others we questioned the right of radical vegan protesters to enter restaurants with their protests and spoil the enjoyment of diners eating food that the vegans themselves wouldn't want to eat. And like most others we are happy to eat meat as long as the animal has been slaughtered humanely, which it mostly has in the UK.

However we have to support the right of a 16 year old vegetarian schoolgirl from Eastbourne, Abigail Ward, to express her views about halal religious slaughter in her Religious Education GCSE exam, saying the practice, whereby the animal has to be fully conscious when its throat is cut, rather than stunned first, is "absolutely disgusting".

Though all vegetarians and vegans, and most carnivores we suspect would agree with her view the GCS examiner working for the Oxford, Cambridge and RSV (OCR) board disagreed, calling her comment "obscenely racist" and "Islamophobic" and disqualified her. When her school, Gildredge House in Eastbourne appealed against the absurd and ignorant misunderstanding and the stupid decision of the OCR examiner OCR agreed and apologised that her valid criticism of a cruel religious practice had been deemed racist and deserving of punishment.

It is a matter of shame in the UK that halal slaughter enjoys "religious exception" from the EUs 2009 Slaughter Regulation which compassionately requires all animals to be stunned before slaughter. This exception makes no sense, should be removed and only survives because some are frightened to be branded Islamophobic or racist for saying so.

Note: Reader's views on this issue welcomed.


Following on from the scandalously high pay of some of our greedy University vice-chancellors the knives are now out in the press for Sally Balcombe, CEO of taxpayer-funded Visit Britain, the trading name of the British Tourist Authority (BTA) quango.

According to a recent piece in the Daily Mail, Balcombe enjoys a package worth up to £230,000, plus generous expenses and has just 285 staff. This contrasts with the 42,232 staff of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, whose package is very similar at £229,592.

There is a view in Westminster that increases in tourist visits have more to do with the fall in value of sterling than with any efforts by the BTA with the £60 million of public money they receive.


You receive at home an expensive mobile phone which you didn't order. A little later a courier knocks at your door and explains that the phone was delivered to you in error and asks for it back. Do you let the courier take it?

Well no. It's just a scam by thieves who have got hold of your personal details and used them to place, and pay for the phone order. And the "courier" is the thief.

Advice from Which? is to contact the supplier of the unexpected item - it could also be something other than a phone - immediately and arrange for it to be sent back and credited. Then when the "courier" comes knocking you can explain that the matter has been dealt with.


The Hayward Gallery, London, in partnership with the Natioinal Galleries of Scotland presents the first UK large scale retrospective of the work of Op-art pioneer Bridget Riley in 16 years.

Running from October 23rd 2019 to Jan 28th 2020 the exhibition spans 70 years of Riley's mostly abstract work and includes the iconic black and white paintings from the 1960s. Of these a number feature geometric patterns that deceive the eye in a sometimes disconcerting way - the 1967 Cataract 3 has close-packed wavy lines that shimmer and seem to roll, flow and cascade like waves, whereas the 1961 Movement in Squares presents two checkerboards that seem to be moving towards each other and disappearing down a crevasse.

Other parts of the exhibition feature her early fascination with pointillist Seurat, her only three-dimensional work Continuum and her later works of the 80s and 90s using vertical stripes split into diagonal slabs in a riot of colours, such as Justinian (1988), High Sky (1991) and From Here (1994) each using more colours and hues than the last. Latterly Riley went for thin vertical lines of solid colours, such as Aria from 2012.

The exhibition is currently running at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, until September 22, and opens in London on October 23rd.


An outdoor screening of the 1938 film of Pygmalion is taking place at Shaw's Corner, Ayot St Lawrence on Sunday September 15th, 7.00pm - 10.30pm.

Shaw's Corner, now owned and run by the National Trust is the country house and garden retreat of famed Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, who wrote much of his output in the writing shed in the garden, especially adapted to swivel around to catch the sun. Pygmalion was the 1912 play he wrote, for which he then penned an Oscar-winning screenplay in 1938. The highly-rated film starred Leslie Howard as the cynical and manipulative Professor of phonetics, Henry Higgins, who takes on a bet that he cant turn lowly and common Covent Garden flower seller Eliza Doolittle, played by Wendy Hiller, into an elegant society lady.The film was re-made in 1964 as a highly-rated musical, My Fair Lady, starring Rex Harrison as the professor and Audrey Hepburn as Eliza.

There are some similarities in the story of Pygmalion. He was a sculptor in Greek mythology who could see no good in women, especially the local prostitutes, and determined to have nothing to do with them However he carved a beautiful woman, Galatea, out of ivory and then fell in love and lust (unrequited) with his creation, talking to it, kissing it, caressing it, dressing and undressing it, and bringing it flowers and other presents. Pygmalion then prayed to the gods to bring Galatea to life, which the goddess of love, Aphrodite, duly did for him and the misogynist sculptor and his lovely new woman got married, lived happily ever after and produced a son, Paphos, from whom the Cyprus city got its name.

The screening of Pygmalion is free to all National Trust members - non-members can pay £8.50 for the entry to Shaws Corner house and garden, or join the Trust for 1 year for individual membership of £72.


Intercontinental Hotels, (IHG) which includes the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands are discontinuing the supply of toiletries in little plastic bottles in their 843,000 hotel rooms worldwide.

For their shampoo, conditioner and bubble bath guests will be offered squirts from larger refillable containers, part of the group's wider drive to cut down on the use of throwaway plastic.

Naturally no top-end Intercontinental guests would be so cheap as to take in their own plastic bottles and fill them up with squirts from Interconti's dispensers. Would they?


This industry exhibition takes place at Old Billingsgate, London, September 18/19 and at Manchester Central September 24.

On display are venues, restaurants and event suppliers and visitors can also attend a range of educational sessions.

Web venuesandevents.co.uk/rsvp


This madcap 1980 comedy about the dubious morality of second-hand car salesmen in the USA didn't do so well when it first came out but has since acquired cult status for its dark cynicism, and the style of director Robert Zemeckis, responsible for the Back to the Future trilogy, Forrest Gump and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Used Cars stars Kurt Russell who plays devious car salesman Rudy Russo, working for the affable but not too successful Luke Fuchs, played by former welterweight boxer turned actor Jack Warden. Warden also plays Luke's brother Roy, who runs a competing and more successful used car lot just across the road, but which is threatened by the plan to take over the space for a new freeway exit. Hence Roy schemes to get rid of Luke who is in failing health with his heart and take over his business. To this end he hires a Demolition Derby driver, the mad Mickey (Michael Talbott) to take Luke for a crazy, death-defying ride in one of his own cars, pretending to be a potential buyer. The plan works as Mickey crashes the car back on the lot and Luke dies of a heart attack a few minutes later. However, seeing what Roy is up to and why Rudy arranges to seat Luke behind the wheel of one of his own four-wheel death traps and then buries the whole car, telling Roy and everyone else that Luke has taken off to Miami Beach for a vacation.

Thus the stage is now set for an entertaining all-out war for customers between Rudi and Roy. Rudi shoots a live TV commercial involving a female model Margaret (Cheryl Rixon) draped over the bonnet of one of his cars. She catches her dress in the bonnet ornament and when the bonnet release is activated, accidentally of course, the bonnet flies up taking her dress with it. The shocking bad taste continues when Roy arranges a customer evening with circus animals and Rudi pulls all the customers to his side of the road with raunchy strippers strutting their stuff to hard-rock music on top of some of his cars. Subtle it aint.

Kurt Russell may be best known for his associations with Elvis Presley, having been seen as a nasty kid kicking Presley's shins in It Happened at the World's Fair in 1963,(uncredeited), as Presley in the well-regarded biopic Elvis - The Movie in 1979 and then doing the voice of Elvis, again uncredited, for Forrest Gump in 1994. Russell also had an excellent role as helicopter pilot R.J.Macready in The Thing, the 1982 remake of the 1951 sci-fi horror The Thing From another World, and as Wyatt Earp in Tombstone (1993) where he was well-supported by Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday. For Used Cars strong support came from Gerrit Graham as his superstitious and equally devious colleague and Deborah Harmon who turns up as Luke Fuch's estranged and lovely daughter Barbara Jane and ends up as Rudi's love interest.

Used Cars was released on August 12 on Blu-ray by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Eureka Classics range. The special features include a 27 minute interview with producer Bob Gale, a radio interview with Kurt Russell and an outakes and gag reel, and there is a Limited Edition Collectors booklet for the first print run.


It wasn't hard for this male viewer to get angry at the way young women, and young men, used to be treated when watching The Third Wife, the beautiful, complex and slow-burning directorial debut of Vietnamese film-maker Ash Mayfair. This describes the experiences of a 14 year old girl, May, sold into an arranged marriage in the parriarchy of late 19th century Vietnam, and forced to grow up too fast, with heart-breakingly tragic consequences.

May, played by the luminously lovely Nguyen Phuong Tra My - who was controversially 13 at the time of filming - is betrothed as a third wife to wealthy silk farmer Hung (Le Vu Long) and is welcomed into the family by Hung's first wife Ha (Tran Nu Yen Khe) who has given him sons, and his second wife Juan (Mia The Hung May) who has given him daughters. As part of the big-sisterly advice on sex and life that May gets she learns that she can improve her status, and compete with the second wife Juan, who is often kind to her, by producing sons rather than daughters. By the time May is pregnant, and praying for a boy, she is developing a Sapphire attraction towards Juan, who she observes having a steamy and unwise sexual liaison with Hun's hard-drinking eldest son, (Nguyen Thanh Tam).

This relationship comes to an end when Hung arranges marriage, and child bride Tuyet (Pham Thi Kim Ngan) for Son, who is ungrateful on the basis that he only wants to marry someone he loves, a worryingly progressive view in this society, at that time, and rejects her. When Hung tries to annul the marriage, by paying Tuyet's father three times the dowry he paid Hung, Tuyet's father refuses to take her back and asks her :"What did you do to bring this upon our family? This is your only duty and you cant do it right?" At this cruel injustice Tuyet takes her own life, a very young victim of a very ignorant patriarchy. Meanwhile May continues to be embroiled in her own set of serious problems as one of Xuan's young daughters, Nhan, played by Mai Cat Vi, shows signs of healthy rebellion , questioning her mother's putting down of the family's pet calf with nightshade, then refusing to eat what her mother wants her to, and in the last scene in the film, cutting off her hair. Nhan could just be an early nail in the patriarchal coffin, and is surely the future...

The Third Wife is one of those films you'll probably want to watch more than once, so the DVD might be the better investment. This was released by Eureka Entertainment in a dual-format Blu-ray & DVD edition as part of its Montage Pictures range this month, and the pack contains a booklet containing a new essay by David West, news editor at NEO Asian pop culture magazine.


It's always good to hear when members of the public take on big corporations and win.

So it was with Shane Hatharall, who paid £2 by text to park his car at Clarence House, Newport two years ago. The company running the parking site, Parking Eye, claimed he hadn't paid and fined him £165, later admitting that their text payment system was down. However despite receiving proof from Mr. Hatherall that the £2 had been paid they still insisted he paid the fine, which he refused to do.

Parking Eye then took Mr Hatherall to court, but backed down and pulled out before the case was heard, prompting Mr Hatherall to claim that Parking Eye "made its money by bullying people with threats of court action".

Significantly, since the story made the press a number of others have written letters revealing that they have been similarly treated by Parking Eye, with one calling them "chancers" and another saying "It's really time we started boycotting places that employ Parking Eye".

Parking Eye's website claims that they "dramatically improve the customer experience" and features the general manager of the London Heathrow Marriott hotel, Ron Vos claiming that his Parking Eye site there is "well-managed". Parking Eye are members of the British Parking Association, for what its worth...


Interesting to read that every adult and child in Scotland benefits by almost £2,000 for being part of the UK, and that an independent Scotland will start with a £12.6 billion deficit.

Wonder if that nice Nicola Sturgeon is telling her people any of this?


Apparently a Los Angeles beauty convention became a forum for lively debate on less superficial matters when an Asian delegate, upset by the vocal support for the Indian takeover of Kashmir by Indian actress Privanka Chopra, also attending, grabbed the microphone to accuse her of hypocrisy, pointing out that she was a Unicef ambassador for peace who was encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan.

The outspoken delegate was quickly denied any further free speech and separated from the microphone...


o Those looking for a large variety of some really good value pub food should try one of the six King Henry's Taverns operating around the Midlands and found in Bitteswell, Doverdale, Evingtor, Derby, Church Lawford and Welham.

Their Feast for a Fiver range of dishes numbers eighteen different ones, including Cottage Pie, Lasagne (meat and veggie versions), 8oz Gammon, Peppered Pork Chops, Minted Lamb Chops, Liver and Bacon, Three different burgers, Breaded Plaice, Wholetail Scampi, and a 6 oz Rump Steak, all served with a selection of suitable vegetables. Our own choice was the steak, which was tender throughout and especially tasty where the fat was left on the side. For £5 it was a real bargain and this menu is available 12.00 till 5.00pm Monday to Saturday, and from 9.00-10.00pm every day. In addition there is a small range of desserts for £1 each.

For tapas fans there is a range of 28 choices from £2.75 to £4.99, which includes, for £3.95, Chicken and chorizo, Chicken Tikka skewers, Halloumi fries, Coconut king prawns and Jalapeno cream cheese bites, and, for £4.50, 6 Duck spring rolls, 6 Tempura Japanese style prawns and Potato skins with beef chilli.

The main menu has more than 100 different choices and includes some dishes for especially big eaters, who can enjoy 48 oz rump steaks for £27.50, 24oz rump steaks for £14.50, a 16oz gammon steak for £10.99 and a mixed grill with a 32oz mixture of rump steak, gammon, lamb chop, pork chop, liver and sausages for £13.99. For more average steak appetites there is an offer of two 10oz rumps and a bottle of house wine for £18.99. The menu then includes 10 chicken dishes, 8 burgers, 7 fish and seafood, 8 steaks, 8 vegetarian and vegan dishes and 18 desserts.


o Those who are visiting Edinburgh and like to eat good fish are still travelling out to Leith to get it.

As well as the long established and highly regarded Fishers Bistro and its next door sister restaurant The Shore Bar, both located on the town centre riverside at Shore, there is a small and growing number establishing themselves on the seashore at Newhaven, where there is a respectable Premier Travel Inn easy strolling distance away. Loch Fine is well known of course (see last month's issue for review) but now has some competition with the opening, a year ago, of The Fishmarket, which specialises in good fish dishes, and a few meaty things.

On our visit last month we enjoyed a large bowl of smoked haddock chowder (£8) a creamy soup stuffed with potato cubes, celery, leeks and smoked haddock, which made a very substantial starter with two big hunks of crusty bread and a generous pot of butter. Other starters were Hebridean smoked salmon with lemon, shallots and capers (£11), Crispy squid with Vietnamese sauce (£11), crispy crab claws with mayonnaise (£11) and half a pint of Atlantic prawns (£14) There was also 6 Lindisfarne Rock Oysters (£16) , half or a whole grilled lobster (£20/£40), 3 grilled langoustines from Tobermory ((£18) and a Fruits of the sea platter of crab, langoustine, oyster, cockles, mussels, clams and razor clams (£38), or with lobster £50.

We settled on the halibut steak for a main course and this lovely sweet and firm fleshed treat came with new potatoes, spinach, broccoli and lemon dressing (£24). There was also 7 choices of "Proper Fish and Chips" with 3 sizes of Angel haddock fillet - Standard £12, Large £14, or Whale £16 - as well as cod (£15) Lemon sole (£15) or Monkfish from Shetland (£18) and a few other mains including scampi ((£16), crispy chicken goujons (£14) or beefburger (£12) There is a range of four desserts for £5, including chocolate fudge brownie and lemon posset.

Web thefishmarketnewhaven.co.uk Tel 0131 552 8262


The Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (OCR) examination board admit "Unfortunately we have acquired a number of snowflake, holier-than-thou examiners who have just learnt how to spell Islamophobic"... Sally Balcombe of Visit Britain accepts that when sterling is low inbound tourism automatically increases and the £60 million of taxpayers money paid to her quango is highly questionable... Hundreds of "couriers" are jailed for fraud as outraged members of the public take photographs of them and pass them onto the police... Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) report a huge increase in toiletry consumption at hotels where the new refillable containers are installed... The British Parking Association (BPA) announce an increased commitment to transparency and advise drivers "If you don't want to be bullied into paying unjustified fines with threats of court action don't use our member Parking Eye... The Scottish National Party (SNP) abandon their expensive dream of Scottish independence... 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


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


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


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]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 [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 14,000 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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