London’s Grosvenor House Hotel was the venue for a fantastic night of dancing, networking and entertainment as the NMBS Dinner Dance brought the industry together in celebration of another great year.
NMBS is the largest buying society for independent builders’, timber, hardware, and plumbing and heating merchants, and the annual Dinner Dance is one of the biggest and most anticipated events in the merchant calendar.
More than 1,200 people from across the merchant industry attended, with guests from across NMBS’ large membership of independent merchants joining with representatives from suppliers and manufacturers.
The 56th annual Dinner Dance took place on 26 October, with members and their partners able to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Great Room at the Grosvenor House Hotel, in Mayfair.
The black-tie event was a great mix of fine dining, entertainment, and charity fundraising, with guests also given plenty of time to network and renew longstanding industry relationships.
Following a champagne drinks reception sponsored by Bradstone and Makita, guests were seated for dinner before being given the chance to burst the Keylite-sponsored balloons tied to the backs of their chairs. One balloon contained confetti, and the lucky winner received a luxury break for two people at a top-class London hotel, complete with theatre tickets, as what promises to be a fantastic prize.
Artex sponsored the scratchcards that were on the tables, with three winners in the room each receiving an Amazon Echo voice assistant. Ladies and gentlemen at the Dinner Dance were all also the recipient of a special gift to commemorate the night, which were sponsored by British Gypsum and Toolbank, respectively.
NMBS Managing Director Chris Hayward then took to the stage to welcome everyone to the evening. He said: “Tonight is our thank you to our suppliers and members for their fantastic support throughout the year. We also want to give a special thank you to the suppliers who are sponsoring this dinner for their generous support.
“Thanks also to all the members of our management board and committees for their support, and to my co-executive directors and the rest of the NMBS team for all their hard work.”
He also thanked Sam Hunt, NMBS’ Events Manager, along with her team, for all their hard work in organising the Dinner Dance.
Every year, the NMBS Dinner Dance also takes the opportunity to raise money for charity, asking guests to give generously as part of a fundraising raffle. This year the named charity was CRASH, which helps support homelessness and hospice charities with construction-related projects, creating places that care for people in need. Many of the merchants and suppliers in the room also support CRASH in their own right, donating materials and expertise to give practical help to those construction projects. Once again, the assembled guests gave generously, raising an impressive £12,000 for the charity.
One winner was then drawn out of all the donating envelopes to receive a £1,000 bundle of Apple products.
After a sumptuous three-course meal, accompanied by fine wine and champagne, guests were able to enjoy the first of a series of amazing cabaret acts, sponsored by Aliaxis, Polypipe, Hikoki, Birtley Group and Forterra.
Fresh from their appearance on 2018’s Britain’s Got Talent, the D-Day Darlings had the entire audience singing along to classic songs including We’ll Meet Again, The White Cliffs of Dover and Jerusalem, as a tribute to 2019 being the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Then house band FullyFunktional – now a much-loved staple of the Dinner Dance – filled the dancefloor and got the Great Room rocking with some fantastic tunes, before top indie rock bank Scouting 4 Girls entertained the guests with some of their greatest hits, including She’s So Lovely, Michaela Strachan, and Elvis Ain’t Dead.
The closing cabaret act of the night was an amazing Queen tribute act, who really brought the house down as they evoked the spirit of Freddie Mercury and helped guests to continue dancing the night away until the early hours.