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Association defends ‘measured response’ to Presidents Club fallout

Carlo Zoccali, president, ILEA UK Chapter, said association wasn’t involved in a ‘race to Twitter’
01/02/2018

Pictured: Carlo Zoccali

The president of the UK chapter of the International Live Events Association has defended its slow response to the Presidents Club Dinner scandal and called for ‘an intelligent debate’.


Carlo Zoccali, President, ILEA UK Chapter, said: “The industry seems to be getting a lot of flak for a lack of response to this issue. For us this was not a time to 'race to Twitter' or fire of self-promotional press releases, it was a time to reflect and consider a measured response.


“Luckily, this was the same response for many of our members, who are actively looking into their own event programmes, their own approaches to people and using this incident as a reason to do things better. We're not making any apologies for taking the same approach."


The ILEA’s statement comes as the industry faced online criticism for its silence in the aftermath of the FT’s exposé into sexual harassment of hostesses at the all-male charity fundraiser in London.

William Thomson, of Gallus Events, wrote an eviscerating blog attacking the industry’s numerous associations for their collective silence in the days following the press revelations.


Zoccali said the chapter was ‘divided on some aspects’ of the issue but said the Presidents Club Dinner was  ‘an example of the events industry, at its worst, commoditising people’.


“As a people industry we need to be more wary of this, for every 10 that do it well, there's one more doing it badly. We need to look after our clients and our guests, as well as our staff.”


He added: “We're obviously protective of our industry and don't like the idea of this having a negative effect on it, bad events should be cancelled, good events should be judged for the value they bring to businesses and people, the Presidents Club is the former and for us not representative of the progressive, creative, representative industry we recognise.”

  • Patrick Melrose 26/02/2018

    Anonymous user seems quite upset about all of this, if the CAPITAL letters are anything to go by. All of what he or she says about the charity fundraising is laudable, but plenty of organisations manage to raise money for charity without providing sleazy old men with hostesses to leer at and grope all night. Personally I find the ostentatious giving of money to charity rather vulgar. If people want to give to charity let them. It should be a private concern.

  • Anonymous user 16/02/2018

    THE PRESIDENTS CLUB IS AN ORGANISATION THAT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR OVER 20 YEARS, AND HAS RAISED OVER £30, MILLION FOR CHILDRENS CHARITIES, MAINLY VERY SMALL UNSUNG, WHO NEED FUNDS USUALLY TO HELP BUY EQUIPMENT . THE PRESIDENTS CLUB SUPPLIES BURSARIES, ONLY RECENTLY DID THEY CHANGE THEIR POLICIES AND SUPPORTED HIGH PROFILE KIDS CHARITIES , SO WHAT WAS THE REASON FOR THE FT'S EXPOSURE OF THE SO CALLED NAUGHTY CARRYING ON AT THE DORCHESTER , MY BELIEF IS THAT THERE IS A LOT MORE THAN A SOME DRUKEN BEHAVIOUR AT THE AFTER DINNER PARTY, AND SO FAR NO PROOF HAS BEEN BOUGHT TO THE PUBLIC EYE .I HAVE MY THEORY
    THE AGENCY EMPLOYING THE HOSTESSES MAKE IT VERY CLEAR THE EVENING IS NOT A CHURCH GARDEN PARTY, BY SENDING OUT INSTRUCTIONS OF THE MODE OF DRESS, MOST OF THE GIRLS ARE RETURNING HOSTESSES WHO'S JOB IS TO POUR QUALITY DRINKS NON STOP FOR THE GUESTS WHO PAY £1500 PER HEAD .
    I AM SURE THERE COULD HAVE BEEN SOME MISBEHAVIOUR AT THE AFTER DINNER PARTY.BUT WHERE IS THE PROOF ? .
    I ALSO SUGGEST THAT YOUR CORRESPONDENT ATTEND OR SEND IN A SPY TO LADIES ONLY EVENING, AND REPORT .YOU WOULD BE AMAZED .
    WHAT HAS ANNOYED ME IS THE THE CLOSING OF THE PRESIDENTS CLUB MEANS THE SMALL CHARITIES WHO NEED THE FUND DESPERATELY ARE THE SUFFERERS.


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