Looking forward to the Public Affairs Awards in London tonight.
As I explained a few weeks ago, Forest has been shortlisted for 'Party Conference Reception of the Year'.
The event was Eat, Drink, Smoke, Vape. We've organised better parties but it attracted 500 guests and word got round.
Vice.com reviewed it as follows:
What it was: Forest and the Tobacco Manufacturers Association – the fags lobby.
For pushing cancer sticks.
If you want to pay to slowly poison your body for little discernible gain, then that's your choice. Also, you can vape now, which is less cool – but if we talk enough about that maybe you'll forget the cancer.
Actually really good. An upper-middle market bar packed to the gills with free booze, mini burgers, pocket ashtrays (a weird plastic wallet thing you can carry around) inscribed with the words "Say no to outdoor smoking bans", and leaflets about how "A once benign nanny state has become a bully state, coercing rather than educating adults to give up tobacco."
It was advertised as 'Eat. Drink. Smoke. Vape.' so like all good parties there were no frills beyond the amount of inebriants you could stuff in your body.
The same but with the film Breathless projected onto one of the walls, because that's hands down the best advert for smoking ever made.
Yeah, this was a convincing a case for freedom to chose. Almost as convincing as talking to a doctor about why you shouldn't smoke.
Seriously, that was a good review compared to the same journalist's comments on other receptions:
Heathrow and Gatwick Airports: Heathrow sponsored a party in the "sky bar" of a hotel that I failed to blag my way into, but if previous form is anything to go by, I'm going to assume [it was] "very boring". At both the Labour and Conservative conferences Heathrow erected an airport-style lounge, ie places people hate being, to promote themselves. I also briefly went to a Gatwick reception at the Labour conference, where people were crowding into a stuffy room to hear somebody mumbling quietly about airports. The booze had run out so I didn't stay long.
Association of British Bookmakers: The absolute classic, mate – a room full of people drinking wine and eating canapés. You get to take your picture with some Scottish football trophies, which would maybe be a big deal to some Scottish people.
British Association of Shooting and Conservation: A drab, half empty hotel room where people pawed at tepid goujons and talked about the best type of shotgun with which to murder wildlife.
See We did a bar crawl of the Tory conference's parties (Vice.com).
Venue for tonight's black tie event is the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London and the host is Sky News' presenter Kay Burley. If we win it will be a miracle but whatever happens I will keep you posted!