During my time at the helm, I've been privileged to be SPAA President at some pretty stunning events (even though I say so myself), but this was definitely one of the best ever!
It had all the ingredients to be a cracker right from the start - The 25th Anniversary of the Awards, a great venue, superb food (and drink), eight great headline sponsors, 650 attendees from the world of travel, 2 amazing bands/acts and fabulous DJ team for the after party. Put them all together and what do you have? One hell of a party!
The Scottish travel trade know how to party with the best of them, but it actually had more than that - the secret ingredient that is pretty unique to the Scottish travel trade - It also had empathy, emotion and generosity. ( We raised an amazing £7k for our nominated SPAA charity Mary's Meals, which was doubled to £14k by an anonymous donor - incredible! )
The night also included Edinburgh Airport and the Scottish trade wishing Glasgow Airport Managing Director, Amanda McMillan, well on her forthcoming departure to a new life with her family in Australia.
We also acknowledged a special contribution to Scottish aviation by the UK boss of Emirates, Laurie Berryman and wished him well on his future retirement.
Then there was SPAA Honorary Member Drew Stewart - he continues to confound and surprise - he picked up the Best Leisure Travel representative award in his retirement year. He was actually retired when he picked up the award! We also presented Drew with an incredibly well deserved 'Lifetime Achievement Award'. It was one of the highlights of my Presidency, not only to present the award, but to witness him receiving a standing ovation as he took to the stage.
Personally, a fantastic note for me to end my Presidency. I've talked about Respect, Harmony and Partnership as the cornerstone of my tenure at SPAA and this was all of that at its very best!
So, as always, there were a few surprises - congratulations to the winners - to the runners up - there is always next year - your time will come!
To Amanda, Laurie and Drew - haste ye back!