EASTBOURNE’S Cavendish Hotel was the glamorous venue for the first ever East Sussex Women in Business Awards last Friday (September 23).
It was a sparkling celebration of the achievements of the region’s most notable and formidable businesswomen.
They came from all over East Sussex: from Brighton to Battle, Eastbourne to Ore. Some of the most fabulous dresses ever seen this side of a West End premiere were on display, in styles from the traditionally elegant to the coolly contemporary.
The event was Organised by JP South Events in conjunction with the Eastbourne Herald, the Gazette and the Observer Series of Newspapers and had been widely publicised across the region, attracting more than 90 nominations.
The evening began with a red-carpet welcome, a corsage at the door for every woman attending and from then on...it only got better!
“A perfect evening of escapism” as one guest described it. “A real Hollywood-style event, down to the last detail.”
More than 240 people attended the awards, which were designed to highlight the achievements of women from all walks of life; many of whom had little in common other than a passionate desire to succeed in business, to gain recognition for exceptional products, services or ways of working which are new, innovative - and outstandingly successful .
Some of those who received awards in one or more of the 16 categories had heroic tales to tell of struggles to establish and grow the businesses of which they are so justifiably proud.
With fabulous entertainment, a wonderful meal and a disco, it was a brilliant opportunity for everyone to let their hair down in style.
Worthwhile? You bet! Main sponsor Hart Reade was delighted with the event - and felt it was a superb and inspiring evening and a great occasion with which to be involved.
Solictor and Hart Reade Partner Alexandra Funnell said: “Last year, Hart Reade celebrated our centenary and as part of our overall marketing drive we were looking for an opportunity to sponsor an exciting new event and felt that the East Sussex Women in Business Awards offered this to us.
“We enjoyed being part of a brand new drive and felt it was a great success enjoyed by all who were involved.
“A huge effort was made by the sponsors of the individual categories and those who were nominated for the awards. We feel it gave women in business the opportunity to shine and to showcase the efforts they have made and the successes they have achieved.
“The event was exciting and enjoyable and gave women in business the opportunity to meet and to share experiences and celebrate together; with an opportunity to get all dressed up, something we don’t get to do nearly enough.“
Faiza Shafeek, who organised the event with her team, said: “We would like to thank the management and staff of the Cavendish Hotel who made a magnificent effort to ensure the success of the evening. We would also like to thank our brilliant vocalist, Chris Anderson; Jonathan Lindsley, our talented master of ceremonies and the delightful Emma Burnett, who hosted the awards with grace and charm. The inexhaustible Helen Tinner was official photographer for the evening, working non-stop to provide excellent images of our winners, sponsors and guests.”
Photographs can be ordered from her via her web site
Thanks also went to Identity Signage and Printing and Missing Link for providing “superb staging and sound”. The raffle was on behalf of the Mustard Seed Relief Mission and raised £1,750.
Faiza Shafeek added: “It was our wonderful sponsors who made all the effort worthwhile. They enabled the event to take place...and for East Sussex women in business to get the recognition they deserve. Roll on East Sussex Women in Business Awards 2012.”