The standout hospitality event of the winter!
There was a real buzz as you entered the Old Billingsgate Market on the morning of BII’s prestigious Winter Event 2021. After the 2020 event was postponed due to the pandemic, you could sense the excitement as members from every corner of the pub sector and wider hospitality industry finally got to see colleagues and friends again.
The venue’s welcome hall was soon filled, and the esteemed list of partners had something to offer for everyone – all complimentary. The BIIAB partnered with Paddy & Scott’s Cafes and Gaggia to host the BIIAB Coffee Spot, where attendees could come to refuel throughout the day.
We were soon called through to the dining room, where over 90 beautifully laid tables were prepared, with yet more refreshments waiting for us. Our tables were joined by some of our lovely colleagues from institutions such as Inn Confidence, The Skills Network, Umbrella Training, HTP College and Inn Cornwall. Steven Alton, BII’s Chief Executive welcomed us all to the event, and highlighted some of the great work that BII had accomplished over the year, and celebrated the £110,000+ raised by the Pedalling for Pubs team.
Time for the starters.
Shortly after our first course, Steven celebrated a new class of CBIIs, or Companions of the BII. These inductees were made up of a variety of people who work hard to support the hospitality sector at all levels, including BII’s own Chair, Mark Robson, and the Conservative Minister for Small Business, Paul Scully MP.
After this, Steven then introduced a new award, and inducted the very first ‘Ambassadors of the BII’. These ambassadors were recognised for the hard work that they do, both behind the scenes and in the public eye, to champion the hospitality sector. There were six ambassadors announced, most notably TV Chef Tom Kerridge, who gave an impassioned speech about his love for the sector.
On to the main course.
After lunch it was time for the main award, the BII Licensee of the Year 2021. Steven started by introducing each finalist and calling them to the stage. He gave every finalist an inspiring prelude, detailing an account on the innovation and support that they had displayed both within their business and local communities during the pandemic.
The moment was finally here, and there could only be one winner. That honour went to Jason and Chris Black of the Pityme Inn in Wadebridge.
After the ceremony, the guests were then free to go back to the main hall area, celebrate together and network. It was an excellent event enjoyed by all, and we look forward to the next event from BII in 2022.
Thoughts from our Chief Executive, Paul Eeles:
“BII’s Winter Event was the first opportunity for the industry to get together since the pandemic hit in March 2020. There was a buzz throughout the day from all of BII’s guests about being in the room together.
“The BII has been championing the #PubsMatter campaign, but at this week’s event we saw that people matter too. Pubs play a vital role in the communities in which they are placed, and this year’s Winter Event demonstrated to me the difference that the people who work in these pubs can make. Throughout the day, we heard so many examples of pubs across the nation stepping up to support their local communities during the pandemic, and of how they have adapted their businesses to deal with the impact from the pandemic.
“The pub sector has some fantastic ambassadors, and the recognition they received in becoming Ambassadors of the BII was a great accolade to bestow on this group of people that have given so much to the sector. It was also particularly good to see key people from across the sector be recognised as Companions of the BII.
“The special recognition of Mike Clist, who has passionately served the sector and BII in particular for many decades, was a well-deserved one. In my time at BIIAB, Mike has provided support, advice and encouragement, which has been beneficial.
“We also celebrated excellence in the Licensee of the Year Award. There are so many excellent licensees, in which the finalists represented the best the sector has to offer. Our congratulations to Jason and Chris Black from the Pityme Inn, Wadebridge, on their merited win. There was a sense that the whole room was behind them in celebration.
“The Winter Event was a welcome social event for the sector to collectively let their hair down.”
Our Relationship Managers also shared their reflections on attending the event:
Melody Coomes, BIIAB Relationship Manager:
“It was a great opportunity to come together with people from the sector and celebrate success. It was exciting to see colleagues face to face, meet new people and network.”
Paul Chivers, BIIAB Relationship Manager:
“Yesterday’s event was a breath of fresh air. The feeling of the old “normal” was back and provided us all with the chance to once again meet many different people face to face. I met people who are clearly very passionate about the hospitality industry in a relaxed, yet professional, environment. During the awards ceremony and the meal, plus the networking throughout the day, everyone all wore smiles and there was a real togetherness to champion the sector.”
Elaine Barker, BIIAB Relationship Manager:
“It was a great event. Very inspiring to see the work that the industry undertakes, how they have coped with the pandemic and the extra miles so many have put in to provide help and support to those in their communities who need it. There really was a community feeling which was very heart-warming and a pleasure to be a part of.”
Interested in getting BIIAB qualified? Or finding out more about the great work that we do at BIIAB? Speak to our Relationship Management team.