Over 400 people attended the event to applaud the best signs the industry has produced over the past two years (the last awards event was held in 2006). Over 220 entries were whittled down to just over 30 with the sponsors of each award category unveiled the winners on stage at the Ricoh.
The event was hosted by former BBC Political Correspondent John Sergeant who, handled the whole event with wry humour, and unashamedly canvassed for the whole audience to vote for him when he took to the floor in the latest series of “Strictly Come Dancing”.
The Ricoh Arena, which was hosting The Sign Show, at the same time as the Awards, proved an outstanding venue for the event, which kicked off with a Bucks Fizz Reception in the Yorkshire Lounge, Dinner followed in the magnificent Eon Lounge and, as coffee was served, John Sergeant, accompanied by co-presenter Val Hirst, editor of Sign Directions magazine, took to the stage.
By the time the presentations were over there had been a great deal of laughter (thanks to John Sergeant), a huge amount of cheering and applause, a few tears (of joy, we think) and just a little bit of grumbling (well, you can’t please everybody).
Once the awards were in the hands of the winners, the party really started, aided by a whole range of fairground games which seemed to bring out the competitive streak in all the male guests at the event.
They called time at the bar at 1.00 am – but the party didn’t stop. The hardiest souls took off at this stage for the Ricoh’s onsite casino and we hear tell that some of them went straight from there to their stands at The Sign Show.