Independent Judging

Judging The Stadium Events and Hospitality Awards...

The Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards is an annual celebration designed to continually drive-up standards and recognise the very best venues across the UK stadium industry.  Around 400 guests from 40+ stadia join together to celebrate the achievements of their stadia colleagues in a glittering awards ceremony.

Here are a few more details about how the categories are selected each year, and how the categories are all independently judged.

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

Award Categories

Each year the categories featured at the awards are selected by the Stadium Experience Leadership Team using feedback from the member venues of Stadium Experience, along with considerations for any wider developments which may affect how a stadium operates.  

Independent Awards Judging

Each award category is independently judged (Stadium Experience does not judge any of the awards).  Some categories are voted for by stadium directors, HGEM judge the Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper Award, Salon Culinaire judge the Chef Team of the Year Award, and others are decided by teams of experts with many years experience in their fields.

Liverpool FC Hospitality
Twickenham Hospitality


HGEM judges the Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper Award by providing a mystery guest programme to assess the quality of sales enquiry calls and follow up email correspondence.  HGEM are experts in their field, working closely with hospitality companies to measure and improve their guests’ experience. Their core services include mystery guest audits, building highly customisable feedback sites, optimising online reputation through review management, and bringing all the data together into one, award-winning Guest Experience Management platform – The Hub.

Salon Culinaire

Montgomery Events organises the Chef Team of the Year Award.  This is a live kitchen competition 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.

Twickenham Stadium _ Chef

Judging Panel

The majority of categories are judged by an independent panel who submit their first, second and third placed votes in each category – 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. The panel judges the following categories;

Best Retail Catering Award

Best Stadium Events Venue Award

Matchday Sales Team of the Year Award

Non-Matchday Sales Team of the Year Award

Operations Team of the Year Award

Outstanding Contribution Award

The judging panel for 2023 includes:

Twickenham Stadium
Unusual Venue Hire in London – Twickenham Stadium
Hull Venue - MKM Stadium

Matchday Hospitality Awards Judging

The Matchday Hospitality Awards are judged separately, lead by Head Judge, Rod Bowker.  As Head Judge, Rod creates an expert team of 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 current list of judges are shown below, please click to read more about their culinary and hospitality experience.

Rod Bowker (Head Judge)
Geoff Acott
Lee Corke
Graham Crump
Paul Gilmore
Mark James
Ian Jaundoo
Rob Kennedy
Donald Leitch
David McKown
Dennis Mwakulua
Neil Thomson
Sue Woolcock

Find out more about The Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards, by emailing