Well I think I’ve only just got my breath back from this year’s Catering Insight Awards. As co-presenter and organiser of the event last Thursday, it seemed to go in a flash for me. I did just about remember to grab a new snap of me for my editor’s profile photo though, as you can see above!
But one thing was for sure, our celebration of the year for the UK catering equipment supply chain just seems to go from strength to strength. Every year we manage to top the attendee numbers and in the third year of the gala ceremony, this was no different, as 220 senior industry executives joined us at the spectacular 8 Northumberland Avenue, just a stone’s throw from Trafalgar Square in Central London.
In fact, we even managed to attract nearly 50 different distributor companies – including many who weren’t on the shortlist. This is always gratifying, as it just shows that the Catering Insight Awards is the place to be and been seen, no matter if you’ve been nominated or not. We even had to take tickets off general sale before the shortlist was announced as the event was so popular.
Judging by the liveliness of the crowd during the night, the Awards provided a unique opportunity to network and have fun – so much so, I had to act as ‘schoolmarm’ and quieten everybody down several times!
I have to say a massive congratulations to all the winners at this juncture though. They should all be justifiably proud that their industry colleagues have judged them as worthy of recognition. And voting records were broken too this year, with over 150 senior sector representatives casting their votes, with distributors choosing the supplier category victors and vice versa.
As I said at the evening itself, this is the only awards that entirely hands the decision-making process to you, the industry. While the vote is ongoing I get a little obsessed with keeping up to date and keep refreshing the results page to see the win changing hands as the ballots are cast.
For those who were pipped to the winning post, they can be assured that all votes were very close. And there is always next year – the mix of winners always changes. Some have performed the incredible feat of claiming several trophies, including Shine and Rational, but it was also great to see some first time winners in amongst the names, with Crosbys and Lakes Catering Maintenance among the debutants this year.
The festivities went on until the early hours at the Atosa-sponsored After Party at the nearby Opal Bar as well. A good time was had by all, with many free drinks enjoyed as part of the package. Personally I love to dance and there were definitely some interesting shapes thrown on that dancefloor. And yes, I did lead the line in the Macarena – I’m pretty sure there is video evidence of this and I’m waiting for it to come to light to demonstrate my prowess!
So all that remains now is to start organising next year’s spectacular – it’s never too early to begin! The Catering Insight team have already sent out a feedback survey to Awards guests as we want to make sure that the night is crafted exactly to your requirements. So if there are any comments you would like to make about the event, please do fill in the form or drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope we will see you at the Awards next year, and in the meantime, enjoy the rest of the party season and have a great Christmas and New Year.