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Raising the roof in Brighton for The Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards 2018

Specialist events and hospitality teams from football and rugby stadia across the UK and Ireland have again celebrated their ‘off the pitch’ successes at The Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards.

View the gallery here.

The 2018 edition, sponsored by Heineken, was held at the Amex Stadium, home to Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club and hosted 350 guests drawn from conference and events, matchday hospitality, chef teams, public catering, operational departments and senior management. The awards are the only ones on this journalists calendar where ‘Carriages’ are set for 4am – these guys know how to throw a party!

The event was the 14th annual awards organised by marketing umbrella organisation Stadium Experience, and recognise the efforts and dedication shown by the catering, conference and events teams at every football and rugby stadium across the UK and Ireland.

Seventy football and rugby clubs were nominated for awards, with 25 different stadium venues scooping at least one of 39 gongs (across 13 categories).

Some awards were entered by the club themselves and others by nominations from colleagues, media and visiting club directors.

For 2018, there were four new categories, and the introduction of a new panel of independent industry expert judges voting for the very best in the stadium venue industry.

This year’s judges include HGEM and Salon Culinaire, as well as the new panel of senior representatives from arrangeMY, Conference News, The Change Group, FC Business, HBAA, Meetings Industry Association and Venue Smart.

The overall winner of the awards evening was Hull City Football Club, who scooped the top award for Overall Matchday Hospitality Experience 2018, fighting off tough competition from 32 participating stadia across the leagues.

The full list of 2018 award winners includes:

Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper Award – Sponsored by Taste Coffee

WINNER – Southampton Football Club


Best Digital Enquiry Award – Sponsored by Hi Impact Media

WINNER – Brighton & Hove Albion FC

Best Sales or Marketing Initiative Award - Sponsored by Oliver & Graimes


WINNER – Birmingham City Football Club 

Shining Star Award – Sponsored by Kingdom of Sweets

WINNER – Emma Young – Southampton FC 


Operations Team of the Year Award – Sponsored by Kraft Heinz

WINNER – Manchester City FC 


Chef Team of the Year Award – Sponsored by Piglets Pantry

WINNER – Liverpool FC


Best Stadium Events Venue Award – Sponsored by Conference News

WINNER – Brighton & Hove Albion FC


Visiting Directors Awards (Football & Rugby)Sponsored by FC Business

Rugby Award

WINNER – Worcester Warriors Rugby Club   

Football Award

WINNER – Chelsea FC


Matchday Hospitality Award – Sponsored by Verteda

Small Stadium (up to 1,000 hospitality seats)

WINNER – Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club

Medium Stadium (1,001 – 2,000 hospitality seats)

WINNER – Hull City Football Club

Large Stadium (2,001+ hospitality seats)

WINNER – Manchester City FC


The Overall Matchday Hospitality Award

WINNER – Hull City FC

Stadium Experience chairperson Collette Salmon, commented: “Every year we go all out to showcase that stadia across the UK and Ireland are at the top of their game when it comes to hospitality and events. Our members are always looking for the innovative ways to deliver and host a variety of customers from all over the world. We strive to make it the best welcome and most enjoyable experience whether a business or leisure customer. Our consortium works hard behind the scenes so the customers have a fantastic experience. This year we have engaged an independent panel from industry experts to judge our efforts, we will continue to benchmark ourselves and look for more ways to engage at a level second to none. We at Stadium Experience are proud to organise and host the annual Stadium Events and Hospitality Awards. Congratulations to all of tonight’s winners!”

Lynnsey Pilmer and Dan Coulson at Hull City FC (Matchday Hospitality Award – Medium Stadium, and Overall Matchday Hospitality Award Winner), commented: “We are thrilled and over the moon to yet again win the double for such a prestigious award. A lot of hard work goes into this, every match. And to be rewarded is so amazing! Many thanks to all the winners.”