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Industry turns on the style at 31st M&IT Awards

Battling freezing conditions, more than 1,000 guests attended the glamorous night at Battersea Evolution

Pictured: M&IT Awards gold award winners celebrate

Event professionals braved snow and freezing conditions to see Glasgow Convention Bureau, Coombe Abbey Hotel and Fast Forward 15’s Fay Sharpe named among the winners at the 31st M&IT Awards.

Battling subzero temperatures and blizzards in London, more than 1,000 guests attended the glamorous night of celebration hosted by presenter Kate Garraway at Battersea Evolution.

Glasgow Convention Bureau won Best UK Convention Bureau for the 12th consecutive year, while Coombe Abbey Hotel picked up gold awards in the Best Value For Money Conference Venue and Best UK Unusual Venue categories. 

M&IT Personality of the Year went to Fay Sharpe, vice president BCD Meetings & Events EMEA, in recognition of her conception, creation and commitment to Fast Forward 15, the female mentoring programme that champions women in the industry through building confidence, empowerment and up-skilling.

Sharpe said: “It really is such an honour to win personality of the year, especially as it isn’t something you can apply for it’s something your peers recognise you for. I’m passionate about helping female talent in our sector and to be recognised by Martin and my peers is humbling. I need to give so much thanks to all my team and all of these people who support me.”

The night was a testament to the resilience of the industry, with countless stories of triumphs over adversity in the arctic conditions to attend the awards. Venues & Events International chief executive Anita Lowe even employed a snowplough to clear a path out of her home so she could attend the industry’s top networking event of the year.

Kudos Know How picked up golds for Best Food & Beverage Supplier and Best Conference and Banqueting Staff, while ACC Liverpool took home top prize in Best UK Conference Centre for the sixth consecutive year.

A spokesperson for ACC Liverpool said: “We're incredibly proud to have won Best UK Conference Centre for the sixth year running! What an honour!”

Other gold winners were The Celtic Manor Resort, Sandals Royal Bahamian, The Møller Centre, The Convention Centre Dublin, Hilton Worldwide Sales, First Choice Conference & Events, Conference Care, Factor 3 Events, British Airways, Emirates, Technology & Innovation Centre - University of Strathclyde, Conventions Malta and KDM Events.

Attendees helped raise more than £33,000 for industry charity Meeting Needs, from the evening’s table raffle as well as an online auction in the weeks building up to the awards.

Dubai Business Events was headline sponsor of the evening, while guests were treated to entertainment from Boogie Storm and Beatvox.

Photos from the evening including all winners can be seen here.

Full list of winners:

Personality of the Year – Fay Sharpe

Best UK Hotel
Gold - Celtic Manor Resort
Silver - Coombe Abbey Hotel
Bronze - Chewton Glen

Best Overseas Hotel
Gold - Sandals Royal Bahamian
Silver - W Barcelona
Bronze - Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
Bronze - Grand Hotel HUIS TER DUIN

Best UK Conference Centre
Gold - ACC Liverpool
Silver - Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow
Bronze - QEII Centre

Best UK Management Training Centre
Gold - The Møller Centre , University of Cambridge
Silver - Highgate House - A Sundial Venue
Bronze - Wyboston Lakes Resort

Best Overseas Conference Centre
Gold - The Convention Centre Dublin
Silver - RAI Amsterdam
Bronze – CCIB - Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona

Best Venue Group Meeting Product
Gold - Hilton Worldwide Sales
Silver - QHotels
Bronze - Marriott Hotels

Best Intermediary Agency less than 40
Gold - First Choice Conference & Events
Silver - Team Tactics
Bronze - Principal. Global Events

Best Intermediary Agency more than 40
Gold - Conference Care
Silver - Banks Sadler
Bronze - Inntel

Best Destination Management Company
Gold - Factor 3 Events
Silver - Vista Events DMC Greece
Bronze - Alpine Sterling DMC Malta & Gozo
Bronze - Kuoni Destination Management UK

Best UK-based Airline
Gold - British Airways
Silver - Virgin Atlantic Airways
Bronze - easyJet

Best Overseas-based Airline
Gold - Emirates
Silver - Etihad Airways
Bronze - Singapore Airlines

Best Academic Venue
Gold - Technology & Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde
Silver - Warwick Conferences
Bronze - Nottingham Conference Centre

Best UK Convention Bureau
Gold - Glasgow Convention Bureau
Silver - NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau
Bronze - Liverpool Convention Bureau

Best Overseas Convention Bureau
Gold - Conventions Malta
Silver - The Hague Convention Bureau
Bronze - Rotterdam Partners

Best UK Unusual Venue
Gold - Coombe Abbey Hotel
Silver - Alton Towers Resort
Bronze - Natural History Museum

Best Event Provider
Gold - KDM Events
Silver - Firebird Events
Bronze - Shocklogic

Best Value for Money Conference Venue
Gold - Coombe Abbey Hotel
Silver - Highgate House - A Sundial Venue
Bronze - 30 Euston Square

Best Food & Beverage Supplier
Gold - Kudos Know How
Silver - rhubarb
Bronze - Leith's

Best Conference and Banqueting Staff
Gold - Kudos Know How
Silver - QEII Centre
Bronze - The Møller Centre, University of Cambridge

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