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BQ Awards 2014

It was a Friday, the night was young and there we were - Head Honcho and I - taking a casual stroll from LNOF HQ to the very swish BQ North East Emerging Entrepreneur Dinner Awards at the Hilton. We were wandering along the quayside past some of the north-east’s most notable and cultural buildings – The Sage and The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art – feeling quietly distinguished with the evening that lay ahead… when we were full-on flashed by a rather vocal inebriated young lady!

BQ Awards Stage

The stage was quiet before Mavir got up there...

Well, could this night get any better, we wondered? Yes and No!

Let me tell you what I mean… Our good leader, Matthew Mavir, was nominated as one of the region’s leading young (yup, young - how he sneaked into that category I have no idea…) entrepreneurs. Competition was tough and we might as well get straight to the point - he didn’t win it. So there you go. In that respect, the night was a complete disaster. Or was it?

Our first faux-pas was our laid-back ensembles. The dress code was ‘smart-casual’, which translates to ‘ jeans and a smart shirt’ if you’re a bloke. Or at least, that’s what we thought. It turns out that everybody else had translated it to mean a three-piece suit with a cravat and a monocle. We weren’t about to compensate with some sophisticated drinks either, and opted for pints of Stella to complete the look properly.

A classy table and a pint of Becks

But who cares eh? You don’t need to conform when you’re wildly successful, do you? And the event organisers must have appreciated this sentiment too, as even despite our lack of gentlemanly refinement, we were somehow seated on the best table in the house (the house being a rather plush ballroom).

The next three hours went by in a flash. We laughed and joked with some really fine people whilst performing our usual routine of spreading the Last Night of Freedom love – the flamboyancy of the performance is in always in direct correlation to the quantity of drinks we've had. So it was pretty flamboyant. Possibly our second faux-pas.

The panel being interviewed by Mark Easton

Matt making himself at home...

We ate some tremendous food (massive compliments to the chef for that) and in-between courses candidates were invited to the stage to be interviewed by the BBC’s Mark Easton. However, in typical fashion, Mr. Mavir was made to wait until the very end (10 minutes before kicking-out time in all honesty), meaning that he had a whole glorious night’s worth of Stella under his belt.

The crowd were being well entertained!

Legs akimbo!

To say that he lit up that stage was an understatement, and this was only exacerbated by his admirably casual stance; laid back into his chair and legs akimbo. The other entrepreneurs didn’t know what had hit them, and they couldn’t have asked anyway as they couldn’t get a word in edgeways – not whilst Mr. Mavir was orating the many reasons why LNOF is quite simply ‘the very best company in the whole world’ and that ‘we sell the very best stag and hen weekends to the very best of people, who will only ever have the very best weekend of their whole lives - unless they book twice, that is’. He was also the only person to swear on stage – in a truly inoffensive fashion, I might add, but it was still amusing that nobody else went there.

Superstars!

Us with founder of super-company, 'SuperJam'.

As all of the other guests and dignitaries left in their limousines, we decided that we needed a walk. If you’re not familiar with Geordie dialect, that means ‘walk to a bar for another pint’ (no, we hadn’t had enough - howay man, it was a Friday night!). However, in true northern spirit, the night was a cracker, the banter was excellent - but the final few beers destroyed us.

The end of that Friday night is a hazy, tanked-up memory - we hadn’t won an award, we had been hugely under-dressed and realised, as we zig-zagged over the Swing Bridge, that we were much older than we wanted to admit and that we would likely be dealing with hangovers that would write off the rest of our weekends.

So, an unsuccessful night? Not in our eyes – we ate excellent food, met fantastic people, drank like troopers and even got flashed by a drunk lass. A successful Geordie night out by all accounts!

By

Geek-chic golf enthusiast and lord of all things digital – endlessly tolerant with design requests from ‘all these blimmin’ arty types’.

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