Event Organisers Update September 2019 ISSUE 178 - 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 collapse of the 178 year old firm in the early hours of Monday September 23rd has left 150,000 British holiday-makers stranded, with the repatriation programme to get them home costing taxpayers £100 million.

There has been anger at reports that a few bosses there "creamed off" £47 million in bonuses, now referred to as "rewards for failure" but gratitude to some Thomas Cook employees who turned up to help the company's stranded passengers, knowing they wouldn't be paid. Reportedly some holiday makers barricaded themselves in their hotel rooms, or fled their hotels when some of the hoteliers who hadn't been paid by Thomas Cook insisted that the customers should pay, presenting bills for up to £1000.

The Insolvency Service, which has the power to order the return of the director's bonuses to creditors, will be investigating the collapse.


London mayor Sadiq Khan has told Clarion Events, organisers of the controversial Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair that he will take every opportunity to prevent the show taking place in London in 2021 and other future years.

The event has had its share of criticism in past years, some based on its showing of illegal torture weapons and attendance at it by representatives of some of the World's most tyrannical and murderous governments.


Which? has revealed that their research into almost 250,000 Tripadvisor reviews for popular hotels indicates that 1 in 7 of the reviews show "blatant hallmarks of being false".

Some of the most troubling findings are for hotels in Las Vegas and the Middle East, though Which? say that reviews for some hotels in London, Paris, Barcelona and Cape Town were "suspicious" Tripadvisor has had to remove 730 five star ratings for the "best hotel in Jordan", and has admitted that 14 of the 15 hotels reported to them by Which? had been caught with fake positive reviews in the past year.


EasyHotel, the budget hotel group with 38 hotels and 3,633 rooms, is the subject of a takeover bid that its founder, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who has 27% of the firm, says is too low.

The bid of 95 pence per share from a consortium of property investors in Canada and Luxembourg values the company at £138.7 million and has been accepted by the EasyHotel board. However Mr Haji-Ioannou has accused the consortium of trying to steal the company and advised shareholders to reject its bid.


This interesting exhibition, running at the V&A Museum, South Kensington until October 20, promotes itself as a multi-sensory exhibition that unwraps the global food chain.

One fascinating exhibit is a range of giant socks filled with used coffee grounds from the museum's coffee shop, on which are growing edible oyster mushrooms. Also there are non-flushing toilets where the waste is collected in plastic bags, edible water bottles and sausages made from insects, these tipped as the protein to fight world hunger. There is also some sad footage of factory farming, with fish being mechanically gutted, young chickens being swept up into a massive killing machine, and a bull encouraged to mount a cow and then having its penis guided into a rubber collecting receptacle for its ejaculating semen.

Is nothing sacred?



o Organisers are being sought for a Hosted Fam Trip to Noordwijk, a seaside resort on the West coast of Holland.

The town, which is 25 minutes from Schipol Airport and located between Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague offers 2100+ beds, 118 restaurants and beach pavilions and 13 kilometres of sandy coastline. Its large-scale conference facilities host more than 250 international conferences a year and the trip is offered after the IBTM event industry exhibition, November 22 - 24.

web: noordwijk.info and [email protected]

o Hostings are also being offered to Convene, the event trade show being held in Vilnius, Lithuania.

This takes place 12-13 February, 2020.

[email protected]


"The most Un-American film ever made" was how John Wayne described the classic and timeless 1952 Western, High Noon. Perhaps Americans love UnAmerican films since it earned Cooper one of his two Oscars for Best Actor - the other was for Sergeant York - and a Golden Globe for Best Actor. Americans also awarded the film three further Oscars - for Editing, Music-Score and Music-Song ("Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darlin" sung by Tex Ritter) and three more Golden Globes, for Supporting Actress, Score and Cinematography - Black and White. And three nominations for Best Director were earned by Fred Zinnemann, one for Best Picture for producer Stanley Kramer and one for Best Writing, Screenplay for Carl Foreman.

High Noon, often described as "a Western for people who don't like Westerns" tells the dramatic story of retiring Marshal of Hadleyville Will Kane (Cooper) who has just married Amy Fowler (Grace Kelly) and is preparing to go on his honeymoon when he hears that vicious outlaw Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald), whom Kane helped to put away has been released and is arriving that day on the noon train when he will hook up with three of his old gang and find and kill Kane, as he promised when he was put away. Kane realises that if he goes away without facing the four they will attack others in the town and then come looking for him anyway, forcing him to spend the rest of his life running. Kane's new bride hates the idea of him staying to protect Hadleyville and goes out to the rail station to wait for the noon train to take her away from town, and her marriage. Kane tries to recruit some special deputies to face the gang with him but they all have good reason to not want to risk getting killed and he reluctantly realises, as the clocks tick closer to noon, that he is on his own.

As well as Cooper's nervy and world-weary performance, reportedly made more realistic by genuine pain from bleeding stomach ulcers, there are a number of other strong performances, including the debut of spaghetti Western star Lee Van Cleef as one of the outlaw gang in a non-speaking role, though he might have said "Uurrrgh" as he was the second one to be shot by Cooper in the brilliant climax. There is also a meaty early role for Lloyd Bridges as a hot-headed deputy, before he re-invented himself to such good comedic effect in parodies such as Airplane! and Hotshots!, and a strong role for exotic Mexican actress Katy Jurado playing a saloon-bar owner and former lover of both Kane and Miller, for which she received the Golden Globe Award for Supporting Actress.

High Noon was released on September 16 in a Blu-ray format by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema Series. It comes with a Limited Edition 100-page Collectors Book (first 3,000 copies only and the list of extras includes three documentaries totalling 79 minutes on the making of the film, an audio interview with writer Carl Foreman, two audio commentaries and a video interview with film historian Neil Sinyard.


The real Jimmie Blacksmith was Jimmy Governor, a 24 year old indigenous Australian who was hanged in January 1901 for his part in the brutal murders of nine white Australians in 1900. His accomplice, another indigenous Australian named Jack Underwood participated in the first five murders at Breelong, New South Wales on July 20 1900, being four members of the Mawbey family - Sarah Mawbey, wife of John Mawbey, their 16 year old daughter Grace, their 11 year old daughter Hilda and their 14 year old son Percival - and their live-in boarder, schoolteacher Helen Katz. Governor, by all accounts, had put up with years of bad treatment and racial abuse from the white folk he worked for, which reached a peak when he married a white woman, 16 year old Ethel Page, who was five months pregnant with his child. Page also suffered abuse for her choice of partner.

Jimmy and Jack then went on the run, along with Jimmy's brother Joe, and carried out another four murders that July, said to be revenge for those who had also previously slighted Jimmy, two land-owners named Alexander McKay and Keiran Fitzpatrick and a woman named Elizabeth O'Brien, along with her 18 month old son James. Tracked by more than 100 volunteers and police Jimmy was shot in the mouth on October 13, captured on October 27 and hanged on January 18. Joe Governor was shot and killed on October 31 and Jack Underwood was hanged on January 14. Jimmy's wife Ethel remarried after her husband was hanged and suffered more abuse for it, with it being written about her that "The second marriage is just as repulsive as the first, for the bride groom is a half-caste, and in spite of all her faults the woman is white. That the institution of marriage should be for such degrading and soul-destroying unions is disgraceful".

The story was written up as a novel in 1970 by Thomas McNally, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, and then, in 1978, was shot as a powerful and thought-provoking film by Fred Schepisi. The film, for this viewer, made uncomfortable viewing, as it pulls no punches on the intimidation and racial hatred suffered by the indigenous Australians from the ignorant white folk at the time, and nor does it shrink from portraying the horrific violence in the form of axe-murders it sparks and the pointless deaths on both sides Brutality breeds brutality is the message. Late in the film one of the more sympathetic white characters nails some of it down when he comments "You cant say we haven't given you anything. We've introduced you to alcohol, religion, influenza, measles, syphilis and schools".

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith was released last month in a dual-format Blu-ray/DVD edition by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema series. The pack contains both the Australian and International versions of the film, audio commentaries on the Australian version, interviews, documentaries and a collectors booklet.


Amusing to read, in Mash Media's Conference News, a piece about social media influencers and a much-needed law passed this year which requires such types to state if they are being paid, as they mostly are, to post their puffs, this to achieve transparency.

Leafing through the rest of the issue we came across a full page advertisement for Longleat, and opposite, a full page puff for the venue, this entitled "Venue Showcase". And we wondered, not unnaturally, If what was presented as editorial was actually paid for advertorial, and should therefore be identified as such, for transparency.

Perhaps the editor of Conference News, Martin Fullard, would like to comment?


A £41 million contribution to the economy of the Loch Ness area in Scotland may have been put at risk by the latest research which concludes that "Nessie" the Loch Ness monster could well be a rather large, er, eel.

Scientists have analysed hundreds of samples of Loch Ness water for DNA left behind by animals from their skin, urine and faeces, and the only significant amount of DNA found, other than the 68% human, was the 10% from eels.

The most famous photo of Nessie, submitted by London surgeon Robert Wilson in 1934 was proved to be a hoax and partially made using a toy bought in Woolworths.


We read that a green campaigner has married a tree.

Kate Cunningham, a 34 year old mother of two wed the 25 foot elder to protest plans by Highways England to drive a by-pass through the Rimrose Valley Country Park to serve the Port of Liverpool. Kate, who now takes the name Kate Rose Elder is concerned that the move will destroy more green space.


o Visiting Canterbury recently we were recommended to the Olive Grove Restaurant in the centre of the city and we were seriously glad we tried their £13.95 buffet menu, which has been running for nearly six months.

The starters were, for us, divine, and included wonderfully fresh and tasty shell-on prawns to peel and enjoy, an Italian seafood salad with squid, octopus etc. in oil, asparagus, artichoke avocado and tomato and houmous with freshly warmed pitta bread. Main course choices included beef meatballs, cous-cous, pastas, rice, cod, sardines and our favourite, smothered lamb chops. Dessert was a selection of fruits with cream and included strawberries, plums, apricots, greengages, grapes and pears in wine. So we'll be back for this again.

There are also extensive Italian and Arabic menus and the restaurant offers spaces for private parties.

Web: olivefrovecanterbury.co.uk


o Having a late lunch in London recently and feeling especially hungry we popped into the Banana Tree in Wardour Street with our trusty Tastecard discount dining card.

The kindly manager there bent the rules a little so we were able to eat on the Friday lunchtime we arrived, and were able to enjoy the 241 deal on our own. So we ordered a large bowl of their fragrant Singapore Laksa coconut broth with rice noodles, aubergine, tofu, crispy shallots, fresh coriander and large tiger prawns for £12.45, a meal in itself. We also enjoyed a Phad Thai wok fried rice noodles in tamarind and palm sugar with eggs, beansprouts, crispy shallots, prawn crackers, chicken and more big tiger prawns, also £12.45, so we got a total bill for £12.45 for our massive lunch and added a generous tip.

Banana Tree Pan-Asian restaurants have 6 locations in London, and are also in Oxford, Chelmsford and Milton Keynes

Web: bananatree.co.uk


From Dunni Akinola

I just wanted to commend you on the stories you report - most interesting and informative.

However, I am also writing about your first article in this issue. Whilst you might not believe in the way animals are slaughtered in the Islamic way, I think you need to do your research on why animals are slaughtered in the halal way - these are not just for religious reasons, but for health reasons too...

Kind regards,
Dunni Akinola


Editor's response
Thanks for your interest in us - glad you enjoy most of the content.

If you know of the health reasons for halal slaughter I would be happy to publish them.

Kind regards
Peter Cotterell


All Thomas Cook directors receiving bonuses voluntarily pay them back to help compensate creditors, and staff who worked with no thought of reward helping stranded customers, as a large flock of pigs flies over their offices... Clarion Events comment: "We know the items we promote are used to kill people but, hey, the money's good"... A list of PR firms who write positive reviews for a fee is circulated amongst hoteliers., as the number of fake reviews on Tripadvisor hits 2 in 7... Editor of Conference News, Martin Fullard, explains the close relationship of advertising to editorial at Mash Media... Monster Jellied Eels become a sought-after delicacy from Loch Ness... Comments on the woman who married a tree include "That's one way of getting plenty of wood", whatever that means... 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 conferencing[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 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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