Event Organisers Update December 2019 ISSUE 181 - an independent information source published by the Society of Event Organisers (SEO).

To %%[001] Name%%


Event Organisers Update

The newsletter for organisers of events.


A new 6-hour, 6 part dramatisation of the 1960's John Profumo scandal, which helped to discredit and bring down Harold Macmillan's Conservative government of 1963 is being aired on the BBC. The Trial of Christine Keeler started on December 29th and runs through into 2020.

The scandal developed when society osteopath and artist Stephen Ward introduced teenage model Christine Keeler to the then secretary of state for war John Profumo. The couple, who were said to have first met in July 1961 as Keeler was trying to cover herself with a towel after skinny dipping in the swimming pool at Lord Astor's country estate of Cliveden, had a brief affair, which Profumo lied to his government had never happened. Things got more serious when it was discovered that Keeler was also entwined with Eugene Ivanov, a naval attaché at the Russian Embassy, and this in the depths of the Cold War, and Profumo resigned, his career over.

The Profumo Affair, as it was dubbed, was the subject of a good 1988 film, Scandal, starring John Hurt as the louche Ward, Joanne Whalley as Keeler, Ian McKellan as Profumo, Leslie Phillips as Lord Astor and Bridget Fonda as Keeler's friend and fellow good-time girl, Mandy Rice-Davies. It was also made into a musical, Stephen Ward, by Andrew Lloyd-Webber in 2013. Meanwhile the main characters have now all died, Ward by his own hand in 1963 aged 50, Ivanov in 1994 aged 68, Profumo in 2006 aged 90, Rice-Davies in 2014 aged 70 and Keeler just two years ago in 2017 aged 75.

On a lighter note Cliveden House Hotel later claimed another slice of history, as it were, by launching the "world's most expensive sandwich" for £100 in 2007. Called the Von Essen Platinum Club Sandwich this was a triple decker made from three slices of sourdough bread and containing Poulet de Bresse French chicken, with rose tinted flesh, yellow fat and a gamey flavour and considered the best one could buy at nearly £40 a kilo, slices of best Spanish Iberico ham at £278 a kilo and Italian hard-boiled quails eggs at 30pence each. The real cost however was the 20 grams of gamey shavings of white truffle in each sandwich, said to cost £25 then at the 2007 price of £1,250 per pound, these days around £1,720 per pound.

The motto of the Cliveden House Hotel, with rooms currently on offer at £297 per room, per night, is "Nothing ordinary ever happened here, nor could it".


Upcoming legislation preventing trade unions from closing down railway lines has been announced.

The Trade Unions Bill will ban "all out" strikes and make it illegal for unions to halt all operations on a railway line.


Twelve hotel chains in the US are facing a lawsuit for sex trafficking on behalf of 13 women who claim they were sold for sex in hotel rooms.

The lawsuit claims that the hotel chains knew of and ignored warning signs that women and children were being sold as sex slaves on their premises.

According to the Global Slavery Index an estimated 400,000 people are believed to be trapped in slavery of various kinds in the US.


The Coyote Ugly Saloon in Cardiff has been fined £60,000 plus legal costs after two female staff members, who were required to dance in skimpy outfits on the bar top, slipped and fell, injuring themselves.

The accidents happened in 2017, and one young woman fractured her spine and spent 12 weeks in a spinal brace, while the other fell on a glass and was treated for multiple cuts.

The Magistrates' Court in Cardiff heard that staff were allowed to drink alcohol before and whilst dancing on the bar top and that they would sometimes spray each other with water, which made the bar top dangerously slippery. Fining the nightclub District Judge Shomon Khan told them "There was a culture of fun and health and safety got put to one side".


More than 50,000 reports from 7,500 diners comprise the scorings for the Harden's Best UK Restaurants 2020 directory and this year's submissions have placed a 14-seater Wirral restaurant, Fraiche, at the top of the Harden's 100 list. Run by chef Marc Wilkinson Fraiche offers four course lunch menus at £48 and six course dinner menus at £95, complemented with a wine flight for £45.

The top 100, which comprises 41 establishments in London, with strong showings of 14 from the South East, and 10 from the North West, includes 52 serving Modern British cuisine, 16 serving French, 10 serving Indian, 6 serving Japanese, 4 serving fish/seafood, 3 serving Chinese, 3 serving Scandinavian, 2 serving Mediterranean and 1 each serving Spanish, Portuguese, North African and West African.


A survey of airlines by Which? in 2015 placed British Airways top of the short haul airlines. However the 2019 survey just four years later places BA, the self-styled "World's favourite airline" third from bottom.

Reasons are thought to include strikes, IT failures and mass cancellations - aspects that also caused a slump to second worst in long-haul.

For short haul Jet2 was highly regarded, and in long-haul Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines and Emirates.


A survey of 2,000 people by sandwich chain Subway has found what alternatives to the traditional turkey and trimmings roast their responders would be happy to enjoy on Christmas day.

Curry was favoured by 23% of them, with 18% plumping for steak, 18% for pizza, 13% for pasta, 13% for Chinese, 12% for fish and chips, 9% for Shepherd's or Cottage pie, 8% for a sandwich, 5% for a jacket potato and 5% for exotic beans on toast.

The hot stuff may also have health benefits - an Italian study has found that the fiery capsaicin in chilli peppers can halve the risk of heart disease death, reducing the risk of a stroke by 61%



o The Earl's Court site in West London has been sold by UK property developer Capital and Counties (Capco) for £425 million to investment firm APG and Delancy.

The old exhibition centre, formerly one of London's premier event venues was demolished in 2015. The sale price reportedly represents a substantial write down as the proposals for the site have faced falling demand for the luxury housing planned and a serious political dispute with the local Labour-run council.


o Building has commenced on a new 143 bedroom £25 million Hampton by Hilton York Piccadilly hotel. Completion of the city-centre unit will be in early 2021.


o Sheffield's 123 bedroom Hilton hotel at Victoria Quays closed earlier this month (The Business Desk)


This exhibition, at the National Portrait Gallery, London, until January 26 2020, looks at 12 women behind the art and times of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB), whether as models, helpmeets, muses and artists.

Through paintings, photographs, personal items and manuscripts Pre-Raphaelite Sisters explores and reveals the contributions made by such as former hat girl and muse of PRB artist Rosetti, Elizabeth Siddall; young wife of art critic and historian John Ruskin, Effie Gray, who had her marriage annulled after six years on the grounds of non-consummation and then married PRB artist John Millais; and Annie Miller, model and reputed lover of PRB artist William Holman Hunt.

Entry to Pre-Raphaelite Sisters is £18, cut to £9 for holders of the National Art Pass and free to members.


Copies of Hardens Best UK Restaurants 2020 are now available for £13.99, UK post free, against the RRP of £16.99

Web: hardens.com


Those who have enjoyed Martin Scorsese's famously violent and profane crime films - Mean Streets (1973), Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995) - will enjoy his latest offering, The Irishman, which could arguably stand as the most documentary.

It's the long three and a half hour story of Mafia hitman Frank Sheeran, played by Robert De Niro and is based on Charles Brandt's biography of Sheeran, I Heard You Paint Houses. This comprises highlights from five years of interviews Brandt conducted with Sheeran. The "paint houses" expression is a Mafia one meaning killing people and spilling their blood. Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran claimed to have carried out twenty five murders for his Mafia bosses, who included Russell Bufalino, played by Joe Pesci in his first collaboration with De Niro and Scorsese since Casino 24 years ago, and Angelo Bruno, played by Harvey Keitel, who was also with De Niro in Mean Streets and again in Scorsese's psychological drama, Taxi Driver (1978)

The real puppet-master pulling Sheeran's strings is Bufalino, who maintains an image of kindness and compassion whilst ordering killings, and who introduces him to the infamous Teamsters union hothead, Jimmy Hoffa, played by Al Pacino. Sheeran is handed a phone by Bufalino who tells him that there is someone who would like to talk to him and Jimmy Hoffa tells Sheeran "I heard you paint houses" A shocked Sheeran then responds and stammers out that he does all his own carpentry work too, another Mafia reference to clearing up after a hit, if required.

Employed by Hoffa, Sheeran, also a member of Teamsters, sorts out problems with Hoffa's opponents in his violent way. Hoffa had strong Mafia connections too and allowed interest-free loans to bosses from the Teamster's pension fund, taking a commission for himself. This was one of a number of illegal activities that attracted the attention of America's Attorney-General, Robert Kennedy and his team. at that time cracking down on organised crime.

Eventually Hoffa was convicted of fraud and bribery in 1967 and drew a 13-year prison sentence, of which he served five after a deal with president Richard Nixon which included Hoffa not involving himself in the direct or indirect management of any labour organisation until 1980, when his original prison term would be completed. Hoffa wanted to regain his lost power at Teamsters but a caretaker President, Frank Fitzsimmonds had already proved himself to be more amenable to Mafia loans from the pension fund than Hoffa had been, and Hoffa was alarming his former mob friends by threatening to curb their advantageous financial arrangements with Teamsters.

Thus with Hoffa pushing to get back into power, and powerful bosses in the mob not wanting him to, the stage was set for another Sheeran hit.

The Irishman is currently out on general release and available on Netflix. The book "I heard you paint houses" is also a good read for fans of the genre.


Archibald Leach and Bernard Schwartz had never been in a film together but in 1959, under the direction of Blake Edwards, the two, with their better-known stage names of Cary Grant and Tomy Curtis starred in the well-regarded wartime farce Operation Petticoat.

Grant plays the upright and amusingly uptight submarine Lt. Cmdr. Matt T Sherman, who takes command of a decrepit submarine, the USS Sea Tiger, and of a very dodgy Lt. JG Nicholas Holden, played by Curtis, for whom ducking, diving and thieving are a career. His dubious talents come in very handy when it comes to scavenging parts to keep the Sea Tiger chugging above and below the waves and the story gets funnier as it takes on board five stranded Army nurses who create, often accidentally, their own kind of mayhem. Warning: feminists probably won’t warm to the stereotypes and innuendo.

Everyone else however can enjoy this frothy, breezy and jaunty romp for what it is, and marvel at the superb comic timing of the two leads, who have solid support from Joan O'Brien, who went on to join John Wayne in The Alamo and The Commancheros, and Elvis Presley in It Happened at the World's Fair. Also on board are Dina Merrill, Madlyn Rhue, Gene Evans and Dick Sargent.

Operation Petticoat was released earlier this month in a Dual Format (Blu-ray and DVD) edition by Eureka Entertainment, as part of their Eureka Classics range.


Another nail for the coffin of celebrity endorsement, we note, has been hammered in by a sting on actress Lauren Goodger, formerly of reality show, The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE)

The sting was for an upcoming BBC 3 documentary, Blindboy Undestroys the World, which looks at whether celebrities who take money for promoting products actually consume them. In Goodger's case that is arguably a no as she told the documentary makers that she had never tried a diet product she promoted called Skinny Coffee, despite claiming in January this year that it had helped her lose 12 pounds in three weeks, telling her gullible Instagram followers "I can't actually believe it".

For the sting she was asked to plug a new diet drink called Cyanora, which contained hydrogen cyanide. Goodger was not told that this was a deadly poison but only that the drink would not be ready in time for her to try it before she promoted it on her Instagram. Goodger reassured the documentary makers that this would be "no problem", citing her non-consumption of Skinny Coffee. When exposed she said she would never promote something she hadn't consumed herself and that she only said she would to help her get the job.

Question is, will there be anyone left out there stupid enough to believe Goodger's endorsements now the sting has been published? And she is not the only one.


What do Jeremy Corbyn and teenage climate campaigner Greta Thunberg now have in common?

Well they have both inaccurately promoted themselves on social media as having to sit on the floor of overcrowded trains. In Corbyn's case in 2016 this was proved to be untrue as CCTV footage from Virgin Trains showed him walking past empty seats before being found one by crew. Thunberg tweeted a selfie showing her sitting on the floor on her journey through Germany. However Deutsch Bahn pointed out that Thunberg had just 100 miles of squatting on the floor and the rest of the time in a first class seat they had provided for her, nibbling the free chocolate inscribed "Lieblingsgast", or "favourite guest" they gave her.

The martyr mentality runs deep in some.


We hear that cruise company MSC is building a name for its ships, er, bumping into things. Last year the MSC Armonia smashed into the pier at Roatan, Honduras, an incident caught on YouTube. Then just before the Christmas break this year the MSC Orchestra collided with sister ship the MSC Poesia in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and bumped into the pier there for good measure.

In neither incident was anyone hurt, and the only damage was to property, and corporate pride.


o The Bun House opened a few months ago at 26-27 Lisle Street, in London's Chinatown.

It gets a "Very good" for its food from Harden's reviewers in the 2020 Best UK Restaurants guide and serves a small range of light, fluffy buns the size of cricket balls filled with meats and vegetables along with some dim sum choices, to take away or to eat in. One reviewer colourfully described the dough of the buns as "so soft it feels like you're eating clouds!" Were they the ones that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was sitting on at the time, we wondered...

However we enjoyed a bun with lamb filling (£2.50), and one with a chicken filling (£2.50) along with a side dish of three solid and excellent Sui Mai pork and prawn dim sum (£4.50) washed down with some free tap water and felt we'd had a decent and filling lunch for our £9.50. It's all finger food, or you can use chopsticks.

Unusually for Chinatown Bun House doesn't accept cash, only cards, and you buy your items and carry them through to the small downstairs eating area, holding around 12, or the much larger one upstairs, holding 30+ It opens at 11.00am and offers a range of craft Chinese bottled beers for £5.


o Similarly getting a "Very good" for its food from Harden's reviewers for 2020 is Master Wei, located at 13, Cosmo Place, off London's Russell Square and open for 9 months.

We enjoyed a large and warming bowl of Qishan hand-pulled noodles with braised pork and vegetables in a sour and spicy soup (£9.20) and found it not unlike Tom Yum. Other choices from the 11 in the noodles section include vegetarian, beef or pork biang-biang noodles, (£9.20 - £11.80) hand-pulled noodles Xinjiang style with bone-in chicken and potato in spicy sauce (£10.90 for one, £17.90 for two) and a spicy hot dish of hand-pulled noodles with minced beef and vegetables (£10.80) Also available for main courses are 9 Other Dishes including Stir-fried Ho Fun rice noodles with beef (£7.90) and sweet-and-sour pork, or chicken (both at £8.50) and a selection of 11 dishes of Xi'an Street Food, including home-made pork and prawn wontons in chicken broth (£7.90) and fried pork and seaweed, or fried chicken and mushroom "pot-sticker" dumplings. (both at £7.80)

For serious consumers of Oriental cuisine there are four soups, including hot and sour and bean-thread noodle and seaweed (all at £4.80) along with 11 cold starters, including boneless chicken in ginger sauce, Xi'an hand-shredded chicken in spicy sauce, Xi'an spicy sliced beef and spicy pig's ears with cucumber, (all at £7.90) and spicy wood-ear mushrooms with coriander (£6.80). These are complemented with a range of 6 hot starters, including salt and pepper spare ribs, and sweet and sour pork ribs, (both at £7.90), vegetarian spring rolls (£6.50) and salt and pepper squid with onion and green and red peppers (£9.80)

Web: masterwei.co.uk


From Ian Whettingstall
I am sure that you will have received many comments following your statement that 'Radio-controlled drones or model aircraft flying at over 400 feet away become impossible to control’.

Whilst it illegal to fly a drone higher than 400 feet above ground level (without the CAA’s permission) they are able to be controlled much further away, with the stipulation that the pilot keeps it in their line of sight.

I have attached the most recent Drone Code and links to some further reading for your enjoyment here
Web: caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanned-aircraft-and-drones
and here
Web: register-drones.caa.co.uk/drone-code



Fans of The Trial of Christine Keeler flock to book bedrooms at Cliveden House Hotel, to see where it all happened. Young men hang around the pool, in case any ladies go skinny-dipping… All celebrity endorsements are dropped after research shows that the number of people who believe them has now dropped to zero… Jeremy Corbyn and Greta Thunburg are banned from travelling by rail as rail firms realise they are only sitting on the floor to pose for naff selfies for Instagram... "Have a smashing trip with MSC" is the cruise company's 2020 tagline… and much, much more…

Event Organisers Update hopes all readers have had an enjoyable Christmas in 2019 and will have a happy and prosperous New Year in 2020.


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] 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 9,000 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]

Edited and distributed by:

Society of Event Organisers
29a Market Square, Biggleswade, Beds. SG18 8AQ
Tel: +44(0)1767 312986
Privacy Policy

Subscription Options

Unsubscribe - %%emailaddress%%
If you wish to unsubscribe to this newsletter please either visit eou.org.uk or use this link:

%%emailaddress%% Subscription Options
Click here to update your details


Newsletter distributed by SG7.biz for Society of Event Organisers