The HIT Scotland Industry Dinner 2004, held at the Hilton Glasgow, was again a resounding success. With the theme of "the Glamour Days of Hollywood", it had all the glitz and glamour of the bygone era reflected in the entertainment, auction prizes and creative theme styled by event organiser Angelfish.
More than £78,000 was raised for the HITS charitable trust through a number of fundraising activities, including an auction and a raffle. All prizes were donated, and once again HITS received valuable support from premium sponsors Coca-Cola Enterprises, Sound & Vision AV and John Watson & Co Printers. The trust was also delighted to receive additional support from Dunning Design, Maxxium, Piper-Heidsieck, Waverley Vintners and Ernest & Julio Gallo Wines.
Hilton's executive head chef James Murphy and his team ensured that all the HITS guests were treated to a sumptuous meal. And the evening's host, Dougie Vipond, added that extra touch of charisma to the evening's proceedings.
The prestigious Industry Award presented at the dinner was again generously sponsored by Brakes and supported by Caterer & Hotelkeeper. The judges look for an individual or a company that has demonstrated a particular commitment to Scotland and tourism, has a passion for what they do, constantly raises quality standards and stands head and shoulders above their peers. Last year's winners were Eddie Friel of Greater Glasgow & Clyde Valley Tourist Board and Jack Munro of Edinburgh & Lothian Tourist Board.
This year the 2004 Industry Award, which was introduced by Caterer editor Forbes Mutch and presented by Ewan Venters, UK national accounts director for Brakes, went to David Cochrane, director of Springboard Scotland. Mutch said Cochrane had campaigned tirelessly to raise the profile of the skills shortage in the highest echelons of industry and government, getting the problem airtime on TV and radio, developing links between industry and schools, and getting the long-term unemployed in Glasgow and Edinburgh to join the industry.
Chairman of Visit Scotland Peter Lederer said Cochrane's success came from sheer hard work and determination. "He understands the problems he is dealing with and he knows how to find solutions. He is one of those people who can make two plus two equal five. Not only that but he is well-liked as well," Lederer added.
No Hollywood theme would be complete without glamorous entertainment, and HIT Scotland had it all. The Fusion Dance Company provided the guests with a surprise rendition of some of the greatest big-screen performances, including Singin' in the Rain. With a fantastic performance from Todd Gordon and his band, and the big band sounds of the Harry Margolis Band, the HIT Scotland guests danced into the wee small hours.
The industry dinner is a must for anyone's calendar, and on behalf of HIT Scotland and the industry dinner committee chaired by Frances McMeeking, we would like to thank everyone for their continued and invaluable support, and look forward to seeing you all again next year!