I was over the moon with that. I know how hard the whole team have worked to put on an event that winners and sponsors would be happy with, so to have Clayton Glass give such a positive response is very touching.
As I said earlier, this was the first time we had planned a structured evening event. This meant we had to be a lot more organised. There was much more to sort and plan for. Transport for guests between hotel and back at the venue. Entertainment for the evening. Equipment for the evening. Who would compare? What food would be needed? There was the bar to sort out – which was kindly sponsored by Brouha Marketing, Solidor and Prefix Systems.
This was again a learning curve for us all. But judging by the atmosphere and mood of the room, I think we got it right. For those who organise these kinds of things all the time, my concern and anxiety over the whole thing might have seemed naive or childish. But when you haven’t really done something on this scale before, you worry. Lord knows the stress Matthew Glover and his team will have gone through in organising the FIT Show!
The evening consisted of an hours drinks/social networking, before the first half of the awards were given out. Then a break for more superb food and then the second half of the awards were presented to the winners. There was a live band on throughout the evening and at midnight a very lively coach took guests back to the hotel for an impromptu after party. A brilliant evening had by all, with a few sore heads I’m sure in the morning!
It is at this point I want to thank all of the sponsors involved with the NFAs. Our main sponsors; GQA Qualifications, The VEKA UK Group, Window Ware, Kolorseal. Our data providers in Windowbase. Our site and Winners Event bar sponsors in Solidor. Our 2015 Winners Event bar sponsor Brouha. Our brand new 2016, category and Winners Event bar sponsor Prefix Systems. Our official Cool Wall sponsors Liniar. Without input and backing from companies like these we simply would not be able to put on the superb race day Winners Event that Oulton Park did such a good job of coordinating.
I also want to give a personal thanks to Ian Miller of The Independent Ratings Company. He was there in an official capacity, but was like a fifth member of the team, on hand to help in any way he could. If you’re reading this Ian you already know how appreciative the team are for your help that day.
Also, I want to personally mention Sophie, my better half. Whether you knew it or not, she is in charge of events and finance for the NFAs and she was the sole reason much of what happened in the 2015 Winners Event actually happened. She’s far smarter, far more organised than I’ll ever be and her effort in being the event coordinator, as well as being part of the evening entertainment as part of her band and the million other things she did that day ensure the whole event went off without a hitch.
I don’t want to go into too much detail on DGB about the next Winners Event, as that will all be announced and explained on the NFA website very soon.
But one thing I will say is that we have had more than one comment along the same lines as the Clayton Glass tweet above, and we intend to build on the positivity and momentum and ensure that the Winners Event for the 2016 is announced earlier, and involves even more of the industry.
We have already had a number of existing sponsors renewed, with brand new companies agreeing to come on board and help grow the NFA Winners Event into one of the must-attend industry events of the year. The number of companies involved in sponsorship is growing every year, and with it so do the NFAs and the Winners Event that follows to celebrate the winners. If any of you reading this are thinking of getting involved, now is the perfect time!
One thing we will always ensure to do with the NFAs is to keep the awards honest, transparent and engaging at all levels in the industry. We will always make sure that the Winners Event is relaxed, fun, all-inclusive and different to everything else in the industry. We listen to the feedback and tweak and improve as we go. We’re not perfect, nothing is, but we always strive to be better.
The NFAs are now into their fourth year, which is weird for me to read as I type that! The NFAs are going nowhere. The second Winners Event was bigger than the last, the third will be bigger and better than the second. I feel like we’re really starting to make waves with it, and I would love to involve even more of you as the years go on. So don’t be afraid of change, or trying something different. The NFAs are here for everyone!
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