The people of Manchester have been recognised for their inspirational response to the terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert in May.
The special award featuring Manchester’s seven bees emblem was given to the city at a glittering ceremony in Bath last night which recognised the best events in the country from Scotland to Somerset.

Andy Grove, NOEA President, announced the award, which will be presented in Manchester shortly. He said: “The award recognises everything the people did in the face of terrible events at the Manchester Arena, and the inspirational response from the city, bought to life in the aftermath of the events, but also at the One Love event; an outdoor event of massive importance this last year, and one where we were proud to have many of our members on duty.

“This award is traditionally given to someone in the Outdoor Events community who has gone above and beyond the call of duty or have been an inspiration to people beyond their own community; this is the first time we have given the award to a city.”

Previous winners have included Lord Sebastian Coe for London 2012 and Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis.

NOEA is the UK’s leading outdoor events trade association which fights the events industry’s corner with campaigns ranging from tackling police costs to calling for a ban on Chinese lanterns due to the danger to life, livestock and land.

The event at Bath’s historic Pump Rooms was attended by James Heappey, MP for Wells in Somerset who is also chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the UK Events Industry.

Susan Tanner, NOEA chief executive, said: “Every day, in every corner of the UK, people have amazing experiences at iconic events. They can do so because NOEA members create the infrastructure, the formats and the ideas that allow them to do so. Outdoor events in the UK have gained global recognition for their creativity, their originality and their inspiration; but also because of the excellence of our organisational skills.

“The quality of entries was exceptional this year with a 50% increase in entries and some amazing events have entered; being a finalist is an achievement.”

The Judges’ Award went to TTK Welfare based in Eastbourne which was set up by Linda Krawecke. Susan said: “After attending a seminar by SAFEChild at a NOEA conference TTK was born. It stands for Tiger Tea Kids and the teams work on sites 24 hours a day and sometimes have to face the more grim side of festivals such as drug/alcohol abuse and sexual assault. The team deal with people in a sensitive, caring, non-judgemental way to ensure that event attendees have somewhere to go when they need help the most.

“The judges felt they were tackling an industry wide issue and it takes a special team to do this.”
Eventbrite, GL Events and ACT National are all Future Sponsors which support NOEA throughout the year. They and IOSH – Institution of Occupational Safety and Health; NCASS – Nationwide Caterers Association; Lacey’s Solicitors, EventIT, The Showman’s Show, and Event Wine Solutions have all sponsored awards.

Plus Access All Areas is media partner.

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Best Practice Award
Winner: Just So Festival, Cheshire, – the judges said: “They have seen specific issues and they addressed each one clearly and effectively. Continued improvement to make sure accessibility was integral.”
Runners Up: Bournemouth 7s Festival and Swansea Council

Caterer of the Year Award
Winner: Star Chip Enterprise UK Ltd, Evesham, Worcestershire – the judges said “Continually trying to improve their product and had to work very hard to stand out doing fish and chips. They were dedicated to a lot of great events.”
Runners Up: Dorshi Dumpling and Lalita’s Vegan Kitchen

Event Innovation of the Year Award
Winner: Eventmen from Middleton in the Midlands– the judges said “Eventmen had worked incredibly hard with partners to create solutions to help to keep the public safe at events.”
Runners Up: Entertee Hire Ltd and BATFAST Cricket Centres Ltd.

Event of the Year Award
Winner: Bath Christmas Market – the judges praised the event saying it was the “best of Bath, well produced and internationally attractive, setting standards for other Christmas markets”.
Runners Up: Culture Liverpool, Henley Festival, Swansea Council

Event Organiser of the Year Award
Winner: Eat Festivals – Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds, Burnham-on-Sea – the judges said: “This recognises two people for their passion and commitment for running multiple events and targeting the next generation.”
Runners Up: James Dean Events, Swansea Council

Event Supplier of the Year
Winner: Knight Rigging Services from Poulton, near Blackpool; – “The judges said: “NOEA supports businesses that support great service and produce to clients.”
Runners Up: Barserve co, Creator International, Eco Track & Access, PKL Group.

Event Team of the Year Award
Winner: TTK Welfare in Eastbourne – the judges said: “This tackles an industry wide issue and takes a special team to do the job; it’s often overlooked problems which are sorted with care and attention at 25 festivals. It has a positive impact on the industry as well.”
Runners Up: Civi Events, We Are The Fair, Wonder Fields Festival

Large Festival of the Year Award
Winner: Liverpool International Music Festival – the judges said: “A big impressive festival, great line up with huge attendance.”
Runners Up: Eden Sessions 2017, End of the Road Festival, Henley Festival.

Medical Provider of the Year Award
Winner: Sports Medics Ltd based in London– the judges praised “Not just going for standard cover but work with the needs of the organisers to give well tailored and niche approach”.
Runners Up: Se Medical and Ambulance Scotland

PR Campaign of the Year
Winner – Samphire Festival, Somerset – the judges said: “Used PR to help on every aspect of the event on Crowdfunding during and after; put own personalities above the parapet to create an event.”
Runners up: Eat Festivals – Bev & Sarah Milner Simonds, Burnham on Sea; The Women’s Tour

Production Partnership Year Award
Winner: Creator International with Hopper Events – CBBC Summer Social Festival – the judges said “very integrated partnership; shows what can be achieved.”
Runners Up: Eden Sessions 2017 with John Empson and Tao Productions, EFS Europe Ltd with NL Leisure, Event Wine Solutions with Pop Up Hotel.

Small Event of the Year
Winner: Pub in the Park in Marlow – the judges said “really intelligent, well marketed event which made the chef the stars; innovative spin on the event market.”
Runners Up: Eat Festivals, Burnham on Sea; Eilean Dorcha Festival, World Yoga Festival.

Small Festival of the Year
Winner: Tiree Music Festival CIC, Isle of Tiree, Scotland, – the judges said “sold out eight years running, family friendly, diverse audience.”
Runners Up: Samphire Festival, Lechlade Festival, Just So Festival.

Sporting Event of the Year Award
Winner: Bournemouth 7s Festival – the judges said: “Really well put together event, critically acclaimed and consistent figures.”
Runner Up: The OVO Energy Tour of Britain.

Student Event of the Year
Winner: Bournemouth University second year BA Hons Events & Leisure Marketing students – judges said: “Quite simply the students had achieved great results for their client.”
Runner Up: Robert Gordon University Student Group

Technological Innovation of the Year Award
Winner: Katjes Magic Candy Factory, Birmingham, – the judges said: “magical candy 3d effect makes an experience interesting and diverse; technology doesn’t just have to be about digital and apps.”
Runner up: Swansea Council

Judges Award: TTK Welfare

President’s Award: City of Manchester.

The NOEA Scotland Tribute Award
Winner: PDF Productions for Party at the Palace in Edinburgh – the judges said: “Quite simply outstanding. Well done to all involved.”
Runners Up: Beltane Fire Festival, RuralProjects for Gardening Scotland, Falkirk Community Trust for Fire & Light