Comms Business Awards 1…
…World Cup 0 – no penalties but we did have The Kick Backs
After a hectic week including a couple of days visiting some of our friends and clients in South Wales I just about managed to get back in time on Thursday for a rapid change (there’s never a revolving door when you need one) to head back out in my dinner suit to central London. I was heading to the Comms Business Awards 2014 as a guest of one of our key suppliers – Timico Partners, sponsors of the Medium Reseller Award.
“…The Lancaster London Hotel almost feels like a second home to me as we have sponsored many events at this venue over the past twenty years”
The event took place at The London Lancaster Hotel. The Lancaster London Hotel almost feels like a second home to me as we have sponsored many events at this venue over the past twenty years, including our annual Sir Henry Cooper Classic Boxing Night in October. The evening started with a VIP pre-event drinks reception with stand-up comedian, TV host and actor Jimmy Carr before moving on to the main pre-dinner reception. The food, wine and service as always were first class – it always amazes me how the hotel can cater for so many guests and still deliver a gourmet meal. It has earned its place as my favourite London hotel many times over.After dinner Jimmy Carr opened the entertainment with a trade mark shocking stand-up comedy set before moving onto the awards to announce the winners of each category. The awards clashed with the England versus Uruguay World Cup group match so if the result had gone the other way it wouldn’t have been great timing for football fans. However, England’s performance left a nation of football supporters waiting in vain to see if Italy could beat Costa Rica, so the impact was minor. The general mood was very upbeat despite the back drop of the news of Uruguay scoring just before half time. Then near the end of the second half there was a big cheer when news of Rooney’s goal broke out only for further disappointment a few minutes later.
“…I was at Wembley Stadium with around 80 thousand other fans when Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle both missed penalties”
As an ironic but brilliant demonstration of just what our industry has enabled, the news of England’s performance and ultimate defeat was being delivered simultaneously to what seemed like several hundred smart-phones around the room. This reminded me of a similar experience on Wednesday 4 July 1990. I was at Wembley Stadium with around 80 thousand other fans when Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle both missed penalties in a World Cup semi-final with West Germany. Prior to that (and from memory) Paul Gascoigne received a yellow card in the first half of extra time and you could see the realisation in his face that if England were to win this match he would not be playing in the World Cup final.
I was at a Rolling Stones concert the match was at the Stadio Delle Alpi in Turin. Mick Jagger disappeared from the stage at the time of the penalties leaving the rest of the Stones to play on. After the penalties Mick Jagger was spotted on top of one of the iconic Wembley towers singing (again from memory) ‘Sympathy For The Devil’. Back then there were no smart-phones but many in the audience were keeping an eye on the game watching hand held analogue TVs (such as the Sony Watchman FDL-310). I remember seeing a lot of people holding their TVs as high as possible in an attempt to get a reasonable signal within the confines of Wembley Stadium.
“…I remember seeing a lot of people holding their TVs as high as possible in an attempt to get a reasonable signal within the confines of Wembley Stadium.”
Anyway, I digress. Getting back the Comms Business Awards – on hearing news of England’s defeat, one of the award speakers tried to lift the mood of the room as the disappointment of the runners up was compounded by England’s final score. This prompted the speaker to say “…there are no losers in this room, everyone is a winner”. It was a reasonable attempt to raise spirits. I have a fairly simple philosophy, for me losing is just part of a learning experience. Whatever your thoughts, all of the winners and runners up did very well to get to the awards and I extend my congratulations to them all.
“…live music from a fantastic band called The Kick Backs – very apt considering the timing.”The evening’s entertainment ended with live music from a fantastic band called The Kick Backs – very apt considering the timing. They are based out of Kent, not far from our office. I hadn’t heard of them before but I will definitely be going to see them again – great band, great live sound with fantastic harmonies from the lead vocalists Michele Baxter-Stevens and Katie Gillbert. If you get a chance, I thoroughly recommend going to see them.
I had a fantastic night. It was great to spend some time with Timico Partners as well as catch up with some old friends and contacts from the industry – the perfect industry night out.