Meet The 2024 Award Judges
The Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards includes 14 categories for 2024, all of which are judged completely independently by industry experts with many years of experience. Here’s a little more on how the winners for each category are selected…
The Judging Panel:
The majority of categories are judged by an independent panel who each submit their first, second and third placed votes in six different categories – Chosen using strict criteria developed by the Stadium Experience Leadership Team. These votes convert to scores, with the highest scoring venues winning the top awards. This team judges the following six categories;
- Best Retail Catering Award
- Stadium Event of the Year Award
- Matchday Sales Team of the Year Award
- Non-Matchday Sales Team of the Year Award
- Operations Team of the Year Award
- Above & Beyond Recognition Award
The judging panel for 2024 includes:
- Juliet Price, Development Consultant at Beam
- Kevin Howland, Head of Partnerships at FC Business
- Andrew Perolls, Chief Executive Officer at Greengage Solutions – New for 2024!
- Kerrin MacPhie, Chief Executive at MIA
- Craig Prentice, Founder at mum
- Karen Guile, Director at tobook and Search4Venues
- Shirley Wynne-Jones, Event Director at SWJ Events
- Andy Lakin, Venue Sales Manager at venuedirectory.com
Matchday Hospitality Judges:
The Matchday Hospitality Awards make up 4 different categories of the awards (Small, Medium, Large & Overall). These are judged separately by a team, led by Head Judge, Rod Bowker. As Head Judge, Rod creates an expert team of Salon Culinaire judges, each with over 20 years experience in the chef and hospitality industries.
On the day the judge has a strict criteria report pack with them, which has been developed jointly by the Head Judge and the Stadium Experience Leadership Team. Each full report is then validated by the Head Judge and Stadium Experience to ensure consistency across the board. The full reports are made available to each venue after the awards event to aid the venues future learning and training.
The 2024 Matchday Hospitality Award judging team includes:
- Rod Bowker (Head Judge)
- Geoff Acott
- Lee Corke
- Graham Crump
- Omero Gallucci
- Paul Gilmore
- Mark James
- Ian Jaundoo
- Rob Kennedy
- Donald Leitch
- David McKown
- Mark Sweeney
- Neil Thomson
- Sue Woolcock
Montgomery Events organises the Chef Team of the Year Award. This is a live kitchen competition at the HRC Event in London. Eight chef teams (of two) have one hour to prepare, cook and present a three-course menu suitable for their Club Chairman to entertain the Head of the FA, RFU or Cricket to dinner. The competition is judged by specialist Salon Culinaire chefs who focus on immaculate hygiene, teamwork, quality and freshness of produce used, practicality, cost and suitability, originality, and of course taste and flavours.
VCA Consulting UK – New for 2024!
VCA Consulting UK are specialists in mystery shopping, sales training and support, and will be the official judge for the Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper Award. The category will be judged based on a mystery shopper corporate/business event sales enquiry call and follow up communications, which will be made during Spring 2024. The judging criteria has been developed to ensure those venues offering the top levels of service achieve the maximum scores and recognition. Following the awards, venues will receive a full call recording, comprehensive report and the newly added benefit of recommendations and suggestions on how to improve for future.
The Visiting Football & Visiting Rugby Directors Awards are voted for by club directors across the UK. They are specifically asked to consider the welcome, service and catering when casting their votes. These votes convert to scores, with the highest scoring venues winning the top awards.
The majority of awards opened for entry in October 2023 (some even earlier), and will close on Wednesday 27th March 2024. The results will be announced at the prestigious awards evening on Thursday 4th July 2024 hosted at Elland Road, home of Leeds United Football Club. Over 400 guests from stadium venues across the UK will be welcomed to experience fine dining, awards ceremony, followed by onsite after party until 4am. Tickets for the event are now on sale, and start from just £110 each – Book Tickets.
Debbie Rigney, Marketing & PR Manager for Stadium Experience and awards organiser, commented: “This year’s awards will mark the 17th annual awards organised by Stadium Experience. All of our awards are judged completely independently by industry specialists in their field with many years of experience. We would like to extend our thanks to our fabulous judging team, without which the awards couldn’t run. Their skills and expertise have been invaluable in developing the judging criteria each year and ultimately recognising the very best in stadium events and hospitality.”