I had cause to fly to Poland recently to attend Verita`s biggest and best HR awards night. In truth I could not believe that this was the sixth year that we have hosted these events that have grown to become the biggest, brightest and glitzy event in Poland. The venue was excellent the Opera nightclub is arguably the biggest and best in Poland, the atmosphere in the venue was really good with the best of the best gathered from across the country.

The team at the office headed by Tom and Kryz had put a great deal of effort into making this a must attend night, in fact over 800 people had registered to attend and it felt like all 800 had turned up with people wall to wall. The format was that basically welcome speeches were made by our key sponsors including me, then the awards were made with winners announced, followed by a raffle with some pretty good prizes, which had been begged borrowed from whoever was willing to submit the varied goodies that were available.

I took the chance in my welcome address to discuss the challenges facing us all and told them how vital it was that the UK stay in the EU, i then told them all to have a great party which they went and did. However the main draw was the raffle, the deal was quite simple really all you needed to do was pop your business card into a large goldfish bowl and then the prize sponsor would pick out the lucky winner.

Amongst the goodies available the most sought after were tickets to see Iron Maiden live in Warsaw, they were won by 2 very happy fans who rather than stick them on e bay (my personal option had I won) they were most certainly going to make sure that they enjoyed the night. However, as I stood watching the draw being made I was  mildly mortified to see a lady pick my business card from said goldfish bowl.

Only one thing for it, I popped on to  the stage and explained that as the host of the event I could accept the prize and offered it back. This seemed to go down extremely well with the audience, to be honest I had not got the foggiest clue what I had just given back.I later found out that it was a set of Polish books about HR so that would have been utterly wasted on me.

Amazingly this is the second time that this had happened to me as I won the prize raffle at the National Express Operators Awards which was a helicopter flight over central London.The raffle was for Transaid a charity sponsored by CILT and as an ambassador I had no option but to offer it back, which I did. I wonder what the odds are of that happening twice.

Anyway all in all an excellent night and very well done to the team, the challenge now is make the next one even bigger and better…..and I have no doubt that they will!