Thank you to everyone who came to our Summer Party last Tuesday evening at the Renaissance St Pancras hotel.
This time last week I was in full organiser mode for the HfP Summer Party. We were – for the third party in a row – at the Renaissance thanks to its big outdoor terrace.
This year the party was sponsored by SeatSpy who brought some smart branding for the bar and stage area:
SeatSpy’s sponsorship meant we could serve some delicious canapes and cupcakes. Whilst I was too busy manning the party check-in desks to sample any, Rob tells me the lobster rolls were very tasty ….
For the first 30 minutes or so we had a little pre-party with our industry guests. Here is Sinead with Julia from BA Holidays:
We had over 100 travel trade guests in total this year. By all accounts they enjoyed being grilled on travel and loyalty by you all!
We had representatives from Accor, Aer Lingus, Air Astana, American Express, ANA, British Airways, Barclaycard, Capital On Tap, Cathay Pacific, Collinson, Currensea, DragonPass, Emirates, Etihad, Eurostar, Expedia, Global Airlines, Heathrow Express, Heathrow Rewards, Hilton, Hyatt, IAG Loyalty, IHG, London City Airport, Malaysia Airlines, Marriott, Nectar, Norse Atlantic, Plaza Premium, points.com, Priority Pass, Qatar Airways, trip.com, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Red, Virgin Voyages, Vistara, Wheely and Wizz Air in the room, so there were plenty of people to chat with.
Here is Rob with the Virgin Flying Club team:
The SeatSpy team were decked out in branded black polos, which hopefully made it easier for anyone to find them if they wanted to chat:
We had around 500 people there but it never feels too crowded until we make everyone come back inside for the raffle at 8pm! This photo provides a bit of scale to the event:
I had the pleasure of MCing for the night. Rob gave a very short speech:
…. as did Paul from SeatSpy.
Malaysia Airlines provided the headline prize of two business class tickets to Malaysia, and without really trying we ended up with ten more prizes from Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Priority Pass. The remaining prizes included:
- 2 nights at the Grand Hyatt La Manga Club in Spain (you can read my review of the hotel here)
- 30,000 World of Hyatt points
- 2 nights at Le Meridien Nice
- 2 nights at the Westin Warsaw
- 2 nights at the Moxy Tromso
- 2 nights at the Renaissance Porto La Lapa
- 2 nights at Stradom House, Autograph Collection, in Krakow
- 2 Hilton Honors ‘Be My Guest’ vouchers
- 1 Priority Pass Prestige membership
Duncan, who had travelled especially from Dundee, was our first lucky winner and was understandably chuffed! Here we are, with Daniel Bainbridge from Malaysia Airlines handing over the prize:
Duncan said he was planning to take his sister on a trip of a lifetime. He is a long time reader and has posted more than 300 comments over the the past six years, including this one after the party:
I’m the very lucky star prize winner, so without an Oscars length speech, I’d like to thank the HfP team, and the very generous sponsors for an amazing prize.
I was (and still am) completely shocked that I had the lucky ticket, and didn’t get too much sleep on the Sleeper train home to Dundee! Had a great night chatting with MariaJ and aman1384 too.
Only one prize ended up being redrawn after the original winner failed to make themselves known!
We managed to squeeze in a quick winners group photo:
After the raffle the hotel staff brought out over 500 SeatSpy-branded cupcakes – they were so popular that by the time I got round to having some they were all gone!
Things quietened down towards the end of the night, although there were still 100+ after our official closing time of 9pm. It was during this time that I managed to talk to a number of HfP regulars including Reney. I also bumped into frequent commenter Blair Waldorf Salad.
To round it all off, Rob, Sinead and I managed to get our first group photo together – despite working together for the past ~4 years!
As always, a massive thank you to all of you that came along. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for you. Thanks also to SeatSpy, whose sponsorship meant we could have a party of this scale in the first place, and all our raffle prize sponsors.
See you next year – if we can find a date which doesn’t clash with Euro 2024!