Event Organisers Update January 2020 ISSUE 182 - 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.
Hong Kong, which has had six reported cases so far has declared an emergency and a number of events have been cancelled, including an International carnival and an annual football tournament. The country suffered a 40% downturn in visitors in the second half of last year due to anti-government protesters clashing with police.
Those still travelling to China are being advised to wear face masks in public areas and to seek immediate medical help if they have the symptoms of fever, diarrhoea, shortness of breath and coughing. As the virus spreads, and cases have been noted in Europe, this advice will apply to many more countries organisers and their delegates could travel to.
GO SEE AUSTRALIA?
After meeting with tour operators and farmers on Kangaroo Island, the country's third largest island situated off the coast of South Australia and popular with tourists, Morrison declared "Australia is open, Australia is still a wonderful place to come and bring your family and enjoy your holidays. Even here on Kangaroo Island, where a third of the island has obviously been decimated (sic) two thirds of it is open and ready for business. It's important to keep the local economies vibrant at these times."
Sadly two people died there as a result of the fires and the catastrophe may cause some rare wildlife species exclusive to Kangaroo Island to face extinction in the wild.
Currently Australia tops the top ten list for long-stay breaks, defined as 28 days plus, for the over-50s, followed by Spain, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Martin in the Leeward Islands, Panama, Portugal and USA, with January being the most popular time. (Source. Staysure travel insurance firm)
ASKING FOR IT
Fish surimi is made by pounding and washing a range of white fish - such as pollock, cod, whiting, bream, shark, swordfish and tilapia - into a tasteless paste that can be moulded and flavoured to mimic the texture and taste of lobster meat and crab meat. The most common surimi products in the UK are crab flavoured surimi batons, often called crab stix, or seasticks. They retail at less than £4 a kilo, against the price of real lobster meat at £80 a kilo, so the potential profit to be gained by passing off surimi as lobster is considerable. In the case of the £14.95 dish at Ask trading standards officers calculated that it contained just 70 pence worth of real lobster, or around 10 grams, and that the raw ingredient value in the dish was around £2.84.
On their website Ask, part of the Azzurri group which also includes Zizzi Italian restaurants, state: "Ask Italian offers Italian cuisine in a fun & relaxing environment. Book a table, read the menus & find out about the man behind the menu: Theo Randall" As many foodies will know Randall is a well-known British-born chef who specialises in Italian cuisine and who is best known for being awarded a Michelin star at London's River Cafe, and for founding and running his Theo Randall at the Intercontinental Hotel, London since 2007 In 2009 it was named "Italian Restaurant of the Year" at the London Restaurant Awards. Here his linguine with lobster, surimi - free of course, costs £36. In 2010 Randall started working with Ask Italian restaurants as their "expert friend", developing menus and coming up with new dishes, and in 2015 he became an investor in the Azzurri Group.
LOOKING FOR A LAUGH?
This year’s offering, presented at the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall featured five comedians, all with experience of live stand-up and some with track records on TV. The compere for the evening was Stephen K Amos, joined by Tania Edwards, Jon Long, Chris McCausland and Eleanor Tierman and readers can see video/audio showreels of the performers, and download their bios on the website: performingartistes.co.uk
One aspect we personally found interesting this year was the number that included bad language in their presentations, something that this old male fuddy-duddy thought was not necessary, given their talent. This aspect however seemed to go down well with the audience of mainly young female organisers, who may not be the typical corporate group the comedians, when booked, would face. Tellingly compere Amos told us all "I don't swear at corporates" Perhaps the others don't too?
One seasoned performer with a view on this was the late Nicholas Parsons who sadly died this week aged 96 with a career that spanned more than 70 years. The actor, comedian and presenter said "I see a lot of the young comedians think it is clever to use foul language and they think it is funny. It isn't."
EVENTS FOR ORGANISERS 2020
Feb 25/26 Event Production Show Excel London. Web: eventproductionshow.co.uk
Feb 26/27 Business Travel Show Olympia London. Web: businesstravelshow.com
o Five guests, including a child, died at the Mini Caramel Hotel, Perm, Russia, when a hot water pipe in the basement exploded in the middle of the night, filling rooms with scalding water. Three others were treated for burns in hospital.
The nine-room hotel is located in the basement of a residential building and it is understood that the pipe had burst on previous occasions and had been repaired, but not replaced.
o The Hyatt Regency with 212 rooms and the 116-room Hyatt House, the first of the extended - stay brand in the UK, have opened at The Lume landmark building in Manchester (The Business Desk).
o The Carlauren Group, a Yeovil-based property firm which owns a string of UK hotels and care homes has gone into administration, reportedly owing millions.
Hotels owned by, or associated with the group include Dean Valley Manor and Bermouth Sands in Wales, Lambert Manor and Abbot Hall hotel in the Lake District, Lindors Country House hotel in Gloucestershire and the Langdon Court hotel in Plymouth. Last year the group abandoned the building of a luxury hotel and beach club in Sandown, Isle of Wight.
The Germans have abandoned a stretch of their trenches in France and moved back, leaving the gung-ho Colonel MacKenzie (Benedict Cumberbatch) with two battalions totalling 1600 men to believe that they are on the run, and to mount a final heroic charge to wipe them out. But it's a clever trap and the Germans are waiting, with some very heavy artillery, for 1600 to charge into it.
All this is known to the British command from aerial reconnaissance and, with phone lines cut, they send Lance Corporal William Schofield (George MacKay) and Lance Corporal Tom Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) who has a brother in one of the doomed battalions, on a dangerous journey over the top and across the no-man's land open graveyard to the abandoned German trenches and beyond with an order from General Erinmore (Colin Firth) to Colonel MacKenzie to call off his attack.
It is this journey that is the core of this immersive film, with the audience experiencing every muddy and deadly step of the way, along with some jolting shocks. It is cleverly filmed to look like one continuous take but is a number of long takes filmed in Surrey, Scotland, Shepperton Studios and Salisbury Plain and seamlessly fused together. Whilst the two leads are relatively unknown but utterly believable there is strong cameo support from some better known faces including Mark Strong, Andrew Scott and Richard Madden.
See it on the big screen, as it was meant to be seen, to get the full effect.
Similar curbs on boozing have already been introduced by the regional government of the Balearic Islands. In what is thought to be the first legislation of its kind in Europe the organisation and promotion of pub crawls, open bars and happy hours has been outlawed, as has the drunk's sport of balconing - jumping from a hotel room balcony into a swimming pool. Covered by the ban are parts of Palma, Mallorca, the resort of Magaluf and the West End of Ibiza and it is expected to run for five years.
Audience misbehaviour with their technology has also come under attack from the stage of theatres. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch had to ask some to stop photographing and video recording during his performance as Hamlet, after numerous productions at the Barbican were disrupted. And actor Bianca Del Rio, admired for her sharp tongue, stabbed it into a spectator who recorded a large part of her West End show on her phone, addressing her on social media as "Dear blonde bitch with glasses" and lambasting her for "distracting the entire cast" and several people around her, telling her "it's the theatre, respect it".
No such respect came from the two women however who reportedly sat in the front row of the theatre in Nottingham during a performance of Titanic The Musical using their mobile phones to watch England's World Cup penalty shootout against Columbia and audibly celebrating each goal.
This is to make the product more marketable in the USA where the liverish real haggis, made from the sheep's "pluck" of heart, liver and lungs cooked with onion, oatmeal and spices in a sheep's stomach has been banned from being imported to there since 1971 No doubt tall tales of haggis hunts told by mischievous Scots were partly to blame for the 33% of American visitors to Scotland believing that a haggis was a small animal with longer legs on one side so that it could run around the steep hills of Scotland without falling over.
Macsweems are also hoping that "Veggie Crumble" will find more favour than Vegetarian Haggis among its vegetarian and vegan customers.
Sadly for them it was just a silly printing error which Metro corrected back on Friday January 17th, without apology or comment, to 1.12 euros to the pound.
The Azzurri Group reveal how much profit they made in their Ask restaurants by serving cheap surimi as expensive lobster over a five year period and how they intend to give their valued customers their money back… A comedian claims "Every time I use the F-word or the C-word at one of my corporate gigs the sophisticated audience fall around laughing"… The British Teetotal Society book their 2020 conference into Magaluf as their organiser comments "It's now the perfect place for us"… Theatres, cinemas and art galleries install equipment that jams mobile phones… Donald Trump rubbishes stories of wild haggis running around the Scottish mountains on two short and two long legs, telling the press "I've been to Scotland for golf and I can tell you that the haggis forms itself into a round ball so that it can roll down the mountains and get away from the guns"… and much, much more…
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