Event Organisers Update October 2019 ISSUE 179 - 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.
There was first widespread relief that our authorities finally clamped down on stupid stunts that could kill hundreds, such as flying drones above airports, and those that deliberately cause traffic jams, stopping ambulances and other emergency services from getting through. More recently there were angry and violent scenes at tube stations when activists tried to disrupt the Underground by climbing on top of tube trains, and were quickly pulled down by commuters who were furious that they were being prevented from getting to work, or getting home from work. The commuter's actions have been widely praised, even by London's mayor, Sadiq U-Turn, who only days before had ill-advisedly defended the activist's right to protest.
Celebs have been getting a kicking in some of our media for supporting the activists. These include Peter Capaldi, Jarvis Cocker, Lily Cole, Olivia Colman, Steve Coogan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Poppy Delevingne, Stephen Fry, Nick Hornby, Natalie Imbruglia, Jude Law, Daisy Lowe, Sienna Miller, Mark Rylance and Ray Winstone.
Meanwhile those running events at hotels might need to be especially vigilant. Apparently an elderly couple sat down to breakfast in mid-October at the Intercontinental Hotel, Mayfair, before walking into the lobby and setting off the fire alarms, screaming "This hotel's on fire" necessitating a full evacuation. An Oil & Money conference was taking place at the time.
WHICH? WINNERS AND LOSERS
The survey is carried out annually with around 8,000 consumers rating the hotels they use, and other large groups doing well this year were Hilton Garden Inn with 78%, Radisson Blu Edwardian with 77%, Hilton Hampton with 74% and Holiday Inn Express with 73%. Also highly rated in a separate small groups list were Apex and Warner Leisure with 76% each and Q Hotels with 74%.
The customer score ratings for the 34 large hotel chains (minimum 31 or more hotels worldwide) were, with the number of hotels in the group bracketed : Premier Inn (2,664) 79%, Wetherspoon Hotels (63) 79%, Hilton Garden Inn (87) 78%, Radisson Blu Edwardian (60) 77%, Hilton Hampton (174) 74%, Holiday Inn Express (428) 73%, PH Principal Hayley Hotels (42) 73%, Crowne Plaza (204) 72%, Ibis Styles (80) 72%, Novotel (136) 72%, Ramada Encore (57) 72%, Marriott Renaissance Hotels (53)71%, Hilton Doubletree (222) 70%, Best Western (429) 69%, Fullers Hotels (52) 69%, Holiday Inn (422) 69%, Marriott (170) 69%, Marriott Autograph Collection (44) 68%,Radisson Blu (137) 67%, Ramada (46) 67%, Hilton (200) 66%MacDonald (79) 66%, Ibis (203) 65%, Old English Inn Hotels (49) 65%, Thistle (34) 65%, Travelodge (879) 65%, Days Inn Hotels (60) 64%, Jury's Inn (113) 64%, Radisson Park Inn (45) 64%, Copthorne (53) 63%, Mercure (217) 62%, Ibis Budget (82) 60%, Easyhotel (70) 58%, Britannia Hotels (111) 39%
Customer score ratings for 8 small and medium hotel chains.(Maximum 30 hotels worldwide) were Apex Hotels (53) 76%, Warner Leisure (183) 76%, Q Hotels (67) 74%, Hotel du Vin (60) 72%, Village Hotel Club (73) 72%, Youngs Hotels (45) 71%, Malmaison (66) 67%, Abode (52) 66%
This, advises Elizabeth Monahan from the SeatGuru comparison site, is when the difference between Standard Economy and Premium Economy prices can be as little as 15%, rather than the normal 200-300% more.
Differences to check are seat pitch, seat width, food and drink offered and the number of luggage items carried free.
POWER STATION VENUE
There is a total of 70,000 square feet, or 6,503 square metres available in total, across five spaces. The largest is the Generator Hall, holding 1,400 delegates, with the next down, the Control Room A holding 250, with Art Deco interiors. There is also a terrace area with views over the banks of the Thames and a small lounge area.
Tel 0207 062 1870
CHANCELLORS TO CLOSE
The historic Grade 11-listed building was once the vice-chancellor's residence but was converted into a hotel in 1997 and underwent a £4 million face lift two years ago. The increasing competitiveness of the current market and the South-Manchester location have been blamed for the closure.
NEW SPACE IN MANCHESTER
The event space will hold up to 55 people and will be available from mid-2020.
NO MORE RED CROSS FIRST AID
According to CEO Michael Adamson their event first aid section has been running at a loss for some time and cost them £1.8 million this year.
THE AFRICAN QUEEN
In addition Bogart got his only Best Actor Oscar ever for his portrayal of Charlie Allnut, the grizzled, cantankerous, gin-swilling soak at the helm of the African Queen tramp steamer, beating Marlon Brando's impressive nominated performance as the brutish, mumbling Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire That 1951 film featured Vivien Leigh as the troubled Blanche Dubois, whose performance won her a Best Actress Oscar, beating the nominated Katharine Hepburn that year for her part as the African Queen's passenger, the stiff and upright British Methodist missionary Rose Sayer.
The story begins when WW1 breaks out in September 1914 and German colonial troops invade the village of Kungdo, where Rose Sayer and her brother Samuel (Robert Morley) are missionaries, and burn it down, forcibly recruiting the natives as soldiers.. When Samuel protests he is beaten, develops a fever and dies, leaving Rose to fend for herself, with some un-Christian revenge in her heart. Visiting the village soon afterwards the good-natured Charlie helps Rose bury her brother and they set out down the river in the African Queen for safety. However Rose has no intention of letting the Germans get away with killing her brother. She learns from Charlie that the lake the river eventually runs into is patrolled by a powerful German gunboat, the Konigin Louise, which prevents any British attacks, so hatches a cleverly thought out and most un-Christian plan to convert the old tramp steamer into a kamikaze boat with home-made torpedoes, and ram the gunship on the lake, blowing it out of the water.
As Charlie points out however the lake is several hundred miles down river and there are crocodiles, violent rapids and a German fort on the bank to be negotiated. To cope with this he consults his old friend, the gin bottle, becomes drunk and insults Rose and her plan. When he wakes up with a splitting head she is vengefully pouring the last of his gin store into the river. Shortly after that they have to cope with being fired on from the German fort, followed by some seriously steep and rough rapids to ride down. With some classy tiller work from Rose, the mechanical skills of Charlie and some luck they make it through to calm water prompting them to spontaneously hug and kiss in triumph, proving that opposites really do attract and leaving them to part in embarrassment and wonder how it all happened. Thereafter they accept that they have fallen heavily for each other and work together as a willing team to make Rose's revenge a reality. Bless.
The African Queen was directed by John Huston, who had already directed Bogart in The Maltese Falcon (1941 - Huston's directorial debut), and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Key Largo, both in 1948. Shooting of the film in Uganda and the Congo over four months brought its own set of difficulties, with the cast and crew battling heat, torrential rain, invading soldier ants, bad food and water and much disease, such as malaria and dysentery. Huston and Bogart kept well throughout however due, they said, to only eating canned food such as asparagus and baked beans and refusing the water in favour of the Scotch whisky they had brought, a well-known traveller's preventative of stomach upsets. Tetotaller Kate Hepburn however caught dysentery spent much of the time feeling and being nauseous and having a bucket placed near for use between takes, which should have secured her the Oscar for her heroic professionalism.
The film's other heroine is, of course, the boat itself, now 107 years old. This started life at Lytham Shipbuilding, Lancashire in 1912 as the S/L Livingstone and was shipped out for work on Lake Albert, on the border of the Belgian Congo and Uganda, and was used to carry cargo, hunting parties, mercenaries and missionaries on voyages. After the film it had a number of owners but was bought and restored in 2011 by movie fans Suzanne and Lance Holmquist who give it an easy life chugging around the rapid-free canals of Key Largo, Florida and charging 49 dollars for a 1.5 hours cruise and 89 dollars for a 2 hour dinner cruise. So if you're ever down Key Largo way...
The African Queen is being released in a Blu-ray version by Eureka Entertainment on November 18 as part of its Masters of Cinema series and the pack includes an Audio Commentary by cinematographer Jack Cardiff, new interviews with film critic and writer Kim Newman and film historian Neil Sinyard and a 59 minute documentary, Embracing Chaos, about the making of the film.
Judy, a new biopic featuring Renee Zellveger was released in the UK earlier this month and concentrates on the five week run Garland performed at London's Talk of the Town nightclub, now The Hippodrome, in early 1969, 30 years after her famous debut as Dorothy. Here she still thrills with Over the Rainbow, The Trolley Song and Get Happy but her consumption of amphetamines to keep her awake and sleeping pills to counter her insomnia, said to have been given to her from her teenage years by her past studio, Metro - Goldwyn - Mayer (MGM) take their toll on her reliability. Her audiences start to grow restless as she appears drunk, slurs her words, wonders whether she is performing in London, San Francisco or Chicago, and staggers when walking. Flashbacks show Garland as a wide - eyed teenager, played by Darci Shaw, terrified by studio head Louis.B.Meyer, played as a controlling bully by Richard Cordery.
Other strong support in the film comes from Jessie Buckley as Rosalyn Wilder, Garland's sensible and unflappable stage manager for her Talk of the Town run, Michael Gambon as Bernard Delfont, Rufus Sewell as the third and longest - lasting of her five husbands, Sidney Luft (m.1952: div. 1965) and Finn Wittrock as nightclub manager Mickey Deans, who married her just after the end of the Talk of the Town run, in March 1969 at Chelsea Register Office. They lived in a rented mews house in Cadogan Lane, Belgravia, where Deans found her dead in the bathroom on June 22, 1969, 12 days after her 47th birthday. The inquest found that her death was caused by an accidental overdose of barbiturates.
Back in the film Garland has just finished a rendition of Over the Rainbow, assisted by a supportive and loving audience. And the last words she utters are "You wont forget me, will you?"
Angry passengers, most of whom would have paid around £1,000 but some up to £5,000 for a luxury suite, staged noisy demonstrations to demand full refunds claiming that some of the toilets were overflowing and that due to the delays they were offered three day old food to eat. Norwegian Cruise Line has declined refunds but.has offered passengers 25% off their next cruise with the company, offer valid for two years.
Question is, what rights have passengers on cruises when unpredictably bad weather makes docking unsafe? And is it really the cruise operator's fault?
A recent piece in the firm's magazine identified passers-off in Oludeniz, Turkey in 2000, Benalmadena, Andalusia, Southern Spain in 2002, Goa, India in 2003 and 2007, Tenerife, Canary Islands in 2007 and Bagan, Myanmar in 2017.
Wetherspoon's chairman Tim Martin warns that his company has no outlets outside the UK and the Republic of Ireland and that the above are all fakes.
Apparently Mrs Rees-Mogg merely turned to her startled husband and cooly remarked "What wonderful hospitality".
Irate members of the public who have had their lives disrupted by climate change activists start finding their addresses and visiting them at home for some frank discussion... The number of demonstrations plummets... London's mayor, Sadiq U-Turn, explains why he goes anyway the wind blows... Cruise operators agree on a passenger compensation scheme to address what they will do in the event of bad weather and other happenings outside their control, and publish this to passengers before they book... In a new scandal dubbed "Todgergate" by the tabloid press PM Boris Johnson claims that an unspecified number of unidentified Westminster women grabbed his manhood when he was trying to sort out Brexit... and much, much more...
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