The AVA and EDWCA Bring an Early Christmas to the Vending Industry

This year we and the EDWCA kicked off the festive season with our annual Christmas Luncheon at the beautiful Merchant Taylors’ Hall.  We had 230 guests all come together for a day of networking and Christmas cheer.

Nestled in the heart of the City, Merchant Taylors’ Hall is one of London’s most prestigious and majestic event venues.  With over two thousand years of history, the unique atmosphere of the historical building was complemented by the finest contemporary service.  Adorned with Edwardian-style Christmas decorations, it certainly made a stunning location for this year’s luncheon.

The day began with a busy members meeting where the AVA gave a summary of the year and discussed plans for 2018.  It was a particularly busy meeting with the room filled with big names in vending.

Everyone then moved into the Cloisters and the Courtyard where they were greeted by Paul Smith, our Toastmaster, and welcomed with some complimentary bubbles.

After being called to lunch by our Toastmaster, guests were then treated to a delicious three course lunch, sponsored by Scobie Vending Services, Evoca UK Ltd and Nupik-Flo UK Ltd.  The waiting staff showed true professionalism as they quickly bought the food out for the room and the wine servers kept everybody’s glasses topped up.  Throughout the lunch, everyone was entertained by Twistina who created some incredible Christmas hats with balloons.  We were very excited to have her at our event as she has won some very prestigious awards over the years and appeared on TV multiple times!  All of our entertainment this year was kindly sponsored by Lavazza Coffee UK Ltd.

In between courses we hosted an auction and a raffle to raise money for two very worthy causes; Mind and Change People.  Mind is a mental health charity that helps thousands of people every year as 1 in 4 adults experience a mental health issue each year and need support.  Change People is working to help people with learning disabilities enter the world of work in the UK and change the stigma about disabilities.  We had three auction prizes donated by Tony Smith and Tim Varney which included a holiday to Turkey and six raffle prizes including a Fortnum and Mason Champagne and Chocolate Box and a £100 John Lewis Voucher.  Overall we raised a massive £3,498.88 which will make such an incredible difference to those who need it.

After dessert, the AVA surprised everybody with an organist and singer who played a few of everyone’s favourite Christmas tunes.

As we digested our food and the bar closed at Merchant Taylors’ Hall, many of our guests continued the party at a nearby wine bar called Forge.  Here, everyone was handed a complimentary glass of prosecco and a drinks voucher, kindly sponsored by Huhtamaki UK Ltd.  The bar had a great party atmosphere and, for some, the event went on late into the night.

We would like to thank everyone who came and made our 7th Christmas Luncheon such a brilliant event.  We couldn’t host an event like this without your continued support.  A final thank you to our sponsors; Lavazza Coffee UK Ltd, Huhtamaki UK Ltd, Scobie Vending Services, Evoca UK Ltd, Nupik-Flo UK Ltd, Siemens Financial Services Ltd, Nestle Professional and Hilton Birmingham Metropole. All of the photos were taken by Event Photo and the full gallery can be seen by clicking here.

 

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year and we look forward to continuing to work for you in 2018 and beyond!