Frequently Asked Questions

Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards 2023

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 50+ stadia join together to celebrate the achievements of their stadia colleagues in a glittering awards ceremony.

Here is more information on the most commonly asked questions about the categories, judging and the event details.  Please click on the question to read more…

Award Categories

Each year Stadium Experience asks for feedback on all aspects of the awards, such as the categories offered, the judging process and the event itself.  Stadium Experience prides itself on continually improving and driving up standards and so this feedback is shared with the Stadium Experience Leadership Team and other appropriate parties to see where anything can be developed and tweaked for the better in future.  The feedback gained guides the future award categories, judging processes and events.

The Stadium Experience Leadership Team is has reviewed the 2023 categories, and feedback from Stadium Experience member venues.  This is used to guide the categories on offer for 2024.

The Chef Team of the Year Award opens for entry in June.  There are limited places available (based on the number of kitchens), and so this is first come, first served.  Enter early to avoid disappointment.

Matchday Hospitality Awards are open from June – mid April each year.  This is to enable cricket, football and rugby fixtures to be attended.

The remainder of the awards open for entry in October each year and close in March, allowing over 6 months to enter.

The 2024 entry deadline is Wednesday 27th March.  You have a minimum 6 months to enter each category each year.

Some categories are only open to Stadium Experience member venues, and some are open to all football and rugby venues.  This is indicated at the top of each category entry page.  All football and rugby clubs are able to enter the Visiting Directors Awards.

Each venue can enter each award category using just one of their venues clubs.  Please note you may enter one club in one category and another club in a different category, or enter as the stadium name if preferred (on non-club specific awards). 

The reason for this is to allow equal opportunities to all of our venues (with the majority having just one club).  Some venues alternate which club they enter from year to year.

After the March closing date has passed, an email will be sent to all venues in April to advise if you have been nominated for an award.  The announcement will also be added to our latest news page.

Awards Judging

All awards are judged independently by industry experts.  Stadium Experience does not judge any awards.  

To summarise;

  • Matchday Hospitality Awards – Judged by Salon Culinaire chef judges
  • Chef Team Award – Judged by Montgomery Events
  • Visiting Directors Awards – Voted for by club directors
  • Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper – Judged by VCA Consulting UK
  • All other categories – Voted for by a panel of industry experts from; Beam, FC Business, Greengage, MIA, mum, tobook/Search4Venues, SWJ Events &

See full details on the 2024 judging teams.

Yes – The aim of Stadium Experience and the awards programme is to drive up standards and continually help venues to improve where possible.  The award criteria for each category is available on each of the award entry pages.  This is what the judges use to place their votes on the entries received.

The criteria to be scored on reports for the Matchday Hospitality Awards and the Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper Award are developed in partnership by both the judges and the Stadium Experience Leadership Team.  These are reviewed after each awards year to see how these can be improved and are freely available in advance of your judges visit/phone call.  View the report for Matchday Hospitality Awards, and the criteria for the Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper Award.

Historically, these award categories were judged by football league (such as Premiership, Championship, League 1, League 2 etc.).  However, the awards have evolved with the changing membership of Stadium Experience, which now includes football, rugby and cricket clubs – These clubs do not fit into those leagues and so the format changed in 2013.  Following considerable research and member feedback, the categories were split into Small, Medium, and Large by stadium hospitality seating capacity (not the stadium bowl capacity) to ensure similar sized operations are placed against each other.  Based on the entries we receive each year (to be roughly equal in each category), this is split by the following hospitality capacities;

small – up to 1000 hospitality guests

medium – 1001-2000 hospitality guests

and large – 2001+ hospitality capacity 

There is then an additional ‘Overall Matchday Hospitality Award‘, which pitches everyone against everyone, regardless of size or sport.

As a reminder, the judges are not scoring high for those with the biggest budgets.  Focus is placed on the whole matchday experience from arrival in the car park, welcome in the stadium, the customer journey, suite atmosphere, food quality, sourcing local produce, what the package includes and value for money too.

No. The Head Judge has created an expert team of Salon Culinaire judges, each with over 20 years experience in the chef and hospitality industries. The Head Judge allocates a judge from the team to attend a match once a fixture date is received (in the interests of fairness, the allocated judge cannot be decided or changed by the venue).  Each judge visits an average of 2-3 stadium venues per year.  See more about the judging process.

All clubs entering the Matchday Hospitality Awards receive a full comprehensive report of their judge’s experience and scores.  Each report is verified by the Head Judge to ensure consistency across the board.  Stadium Experience also advises the average scores by category to give an idea of where your venue sits against similar sized clubs and also against all competing venues.

VCA Consulting UK judges the Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper Award and provides a full report and call recording to each venue, as well as recommendations.

The Chef Team of the Year Award is a live kitchen competition at the HRC Show, and judging is organised by event organisers, Montgomery Events.  Judges commentary is available on request from Stadium Experience following the awards evening.

The Visiting Directors Awards are voted for by club directors (one vote per club), based on where they have received the best experience this season – Most votes win.  There is no additional feedback to share.

Categories judged by the panel of industry experts will provide commentary on each entry, which will be available on request after the awards.  The panel vote for their top 3 venues (using the given entry criteria).  Their votes convert to scores and the highest score wins.  Individual judge votes are not shared.

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

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

Event Details

Stadium Experience member venues are invited to bid to host the awards each June/July time, with bids submitted by early July.  The bids are reviewed and voted on by the Stadium Experience Leadership Team.  Your support and team approach are imperative if you are to be the successful host of the awards, and the event is very much your opportunity to showcase just what your venue can do.  For more information, please contact

If you would like to get involved in the awards, please do contact us at Sponsorship can be of in-kind products/services or more formal sponsorship packages.  View the latest packages and availability for 2024.

Please complete the online booking form as soon as possible.  Book early to avoid disappointment.  

Please provide all your guest details using this form.

Member Rate

Stadium Experience members venues receive discounted tickets for this event. Individual tickets are £110 each. If your venue paid the annual membership renewal in full by the January deadline, your venue is eligible for 2 free tickets*. Upgrade to a table of 10 for just £880 (10 for the price of 8), or 12 for £1100 (12 for the price of 10).  (*non-transferable and no cash value or refund).

Non-Member Rate

Individual tickets are £160 each.  Upgrade to a table of 10 for £1600, or a table of 12 for £1920. 

Payment Terms

All tickets are subject to 0.5% admin fee.  As Stadium Experience is a not-for-profit association, no VAT is charged.  All payments must be made by bank transfer in advance of the event.  Card payments are not accepted.

Two Free Tickets Offer – Cancellation of these tickets less than 14 days prior to the event and no shows at the awards will be charged £110+0.5% admin fee per ticket.  This is due to costs incurred after this time.

If you need to cancel tickets to the awards evening, please contact as soon as possible.  Please note any places cancelled within 90 days of the event charged at 50%, and any places cancelled within 60 days of the event charged at 100%.

Two Free Tickets Offer – Cancellation of these tickets less than 14 days prior to the event and no shows at the awards will be charged £110+0.5% admin fee per ticket.  This is due to costs incurred after this time.

Please complete your guest information as soon as possible.

Tickets are sent digitally to your mobile phone by Tixserve, our official ticket sponsor.  Please open the ‘Stadium Experience App’ to find your ticket.  If you have used the app previously, please ensure you have updated to the latest version.  If you’re a new guest, please register using the link provided by SMS. 

Please ensure your guests have downloaded their ticket in advance of the event, as this is used for access to the awards, all the event details as well as announcing competition winners throughout the evening.

If you have any queries, please email

The dress code for the awards is black tie.

The drinks reception starts at 6.30pm, with guests taking a seat for welcomes at 7.30pm.  Dinner will commence after the official welcomes.  The first awards are announced after the starters and main course.  The awards usually conclude at approximately 11.30pm.  The after party continues until 4am.

This is decided by the host venue and will be available on your digital ticket approximately 2 weeks prior to the event.  Please advise any dietary requirements in advance of the event to  Requests on the night cannot be accommodated.

Please pre-order your drinks for the awards evening using the online booking form.  Final deadline is at least 72 hours prior to the event (1st July).  Table number is not required for this – Please ensure you include your company/venue/club name and your drinks will be ready and waiting for you on arrival.

This information will be available on your digital ticket.

Thank you to our Awards Sponsors