And so another CAT Awards event has ended.
Biased though I am, I have to say thatÂ it was a brilliant CAT Awards – the first time our Awards had been held as an event in its own right.
This marked a huge step up in significance from handing out a few prizes on the back of our stand at the Aftermarket Show, as had happened in previous years.
We now have an extension to the CAT brand platform that we can be justly proud of: and one that in my opinion will keep on growing.
Awards: The Benefits
There were many plusses to come from the luncheon ceremony. They included the following facts:
- Over 100 aftermarket personnel attended – we had great support from the trade
- They includedÂ decision makersÂ from some of the industry’s biggest suppliers, buying groups and factors
- Eight Awards were presented, including six that were decided in their entirety by votes fromÂ CAT readers
- It marked the first time we included the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ and ‘Green Innovation’ categories
- We raised a total of Â£842 for BEN thanks to some most generous donations
The downside was that CAT had to feed everyone!
In my naivety,Â I had budgeted for about a 50-60% take-up on all the invitations I had sent out.
I sent out 120, expecting 60 or so people to say yes. As it happened, 100 people said yes! Which kind of blew my budget out of the water a little.
And created a few nervous moments in the days leading up to the Awards, as the maxmimum number the venue could cater for in our chosen room was 100.
But thanks to some late sponsorship support from Klarius, I managed to get together the extra cash I needed to pay for the whole thing, and generally speaking it all went off without a hitch.
Foz & Butch: The New Ant & Dec
Even the double act that was me and editor Emma Butcher (we did a joint compering job) went well – we seemed to bounce off each other pretty effectively.
So Ant and Dec had best watch out. Foz & ButchÂ are the new double act in town. With Pinewood Studios next door, I wouldn’t be surprised if some TV producers come calling soon.
Seriously, what’s great about the CAT Awards is that they are so organic. What I mean by that is that they are the Aftermarket’s Awards – or your Awards.
CAT is the Aftermarket’s no.1, most established trade title. We’ve been going for over 30 years. Therefore when its 17,000 readers nominate their finalists and vote, people sit up and pay attention.
And this year our readers selected some awesome winners. You’ve probably all read about them by now anyway, but who can argue with Motaquip for Supplier of the Year? Or GMF as our top factor? Or the excellent ABP Motorsport as our top garage?
Or indeed the hard-working Jim Mazza, who as part of the Right to Repair Campaign has done so much for our industry.
UK Aftermarket: Pride
I think what the Awards also show is how innovative, strong, creative and friendly our industry is.
That there are some brilliant independent garages, businesses, suppliers and distributors out there that collectively are a credit to the IAM.
I for one am proud to be a part of it.
And I am proud to be a servant of it through CAT: the aftermarket’s longest-standing trade magazine, now with the aftermarket’s most prestigious Awards.
Make sure you nominate and vote for the 2011 Awards!
Â Finally, a big thank you to the following people without whom none of the above would have been possible:Â
- Sarah Hossack – Haymarket Events
- The CAT team
- John Stanton for a walk into Aftermarket history in his speech (which involved lots of booze stories!)
- All our sponsors – Haynes, Nulon, Klarius, ECP, Corteco, Denso, Motaquip and Castrol
- The Lensbury for its excellent service
- Everyone who contributed towards the goody bags – Nulon, UK Batteries, Saxon etc
- The Nulon girls – including Sun page 3 girl Katie Leigh – in their tight CAT suits!
- To the Aftermarket for its support. With your help, we can make these Awards something really special