After a 3-year hiatus, this year’s eagerly anticipated social event in the industry calendar, Hospitality Rocks, triumphantly returned on Friday 13 January in a ‘New York, New York’ themed extravaganza. Over 1,800 excited hospitality professionals attended the sold-out event held at Smart Group’s flagship venue, Evolution London, to celebrate the vibrant, dynamic and unified industry.
With the hospitality facing ever growing challenges since its emergence from the pandemic, from rail strikes to the cost-of-living crisis, staff shortages and soaring energy bills, Hospitality Rocks raised over £24,500 for industry charities Springboard and Hospitality Action. Smart Group will be making a further donation taking the total raised to £30,000
Party-goers were taken an immersive journey to the streets of the Big Apple with a production of epic proportions. An impressive installation transported guests to a Broadway street complete with Katz Deli diner, an authentic Irish bar and ‘The Yankee’ which paid homage to a downtown New York sports bar. Guests were left spellbound by a series of outstanding entertainment performances from industry-leading choreographers throughout the evening. Singers and dancers dazzled as guests dined on a decadent banquet from Smart Group’s award-winning catering arm, Moving Venue, whilst acrobats stunned in daring aerial feats.
In 2016, Smart Group, led by CEO Greg Lawson, launched Hospitality Rocks as a Christmas party for the hospitality and events industry. Now in its sixth year, the much talked about event continues to provide industry professionals a chance to let their hair down and say a big ‘thank you’ for all their hard work.
Greg Lawson commented: “It has been an absolute pleasure to host Hospitality Rocks and to remind ourselves of what a thrilling industry we work in. We are proud to continue to raise such a significant sum for both Springboard and Hospitality Action – two incredibly worthy charities that continue to support our valued workers.
Our industry is wonderfully diverse with a rich culture full of creativity and determination. We have weathered the awful days of Covid, thrown off the January ‘blues’ and we are back, bigger and better than ever before. This year was a truly show-stopping event with exceptional food and hospitality, showcasing Smart Group’s capabilities as the finest party-throwers in town.”
Money was raised through a series of initiatives including an auction, dodgems, with Smart Group also donating £5 of every ticket sale to the charities.
Springboard helps young people achieve their potential and nurtures unemployed people of any age into work. It helps alleviate poverty by supporting disadvantaged and under privileged people into sustainable employment within hospitality leisure and tourism.
Hospitality Action, established in 1837, supports those who currently work or who have worked in the industry who find themselves in crisis. The organisation runs a number of educational seminars for catering students, provides grants for essential items including food, equipment and central heating and supports isolated and lonely retired hospitality workers.