A night of magic and surprises at the Relocate Awards

This year’s Re:locate Awards presentation saw record attendance, with nearly 250 guests from across the international corporate relocation sector, including HR, global managers and suppliers, gathering for a black-tie dinner to celebrate the winners.

Relocate Awards entertainment – the singing waiters

Relocate Global Summer Issue 2016 Thumbnail Website

See our special Awards supplement in the Summer 2016 issue of Relocate magazine on our Digital Issues page.


The venue for this glittering occasion was The Brewery, an elegant 18th-century building in the City of London brought into the 21st century as a sophisticated corporate events venue. Its location, in the heart of one of the world’s most vibrant financial centres and just around the corner from Shoreditch and Tech City, made it, said Re:locate’s managing editor, Fiona Murchie, “a fitting location in which to bring together the best and the brightest in the relocation sector, who are driving the global mobility agenda”.Guests came from as far afield as India, the USA and Switzerland. This year, too, more than 50 per cent of the entries were from outside the UK – confirmation of the awards’ global reputation, which is underpinned by a rigorous, independent judging process. In many cases, the judges said, these international submissions were particularly strong.

“One of the best and most memorable industry events. It was a joy to see so many great people gathered together in a new and perfect venue.”

Anna Barker, R3LocationOur ten categories recognised, between them, HR and service providers, with awards for technological innovation, HR teams, HR and supplier partnerships, relocation management companies, serviced apartment companies, immigration teams, international removals providers, employee support, and destination services providers.The entries reflected the new sectors and specialists arriving on the scene as the number of disciplines involved in global mobility increases in response to growing complexity and globalisation.Technology and immigration were two areas that attracted a large number of entries again this year. Many were of exceptional quality. The shortlist in the Technological Innovation category included solutions to the latest relocation industry challenges, with outstanding examples of efficiency gains, improved customer experience, modernisation, and added value.

“This is a really fabulous evening. The venue is amazing, and the entertainment has been brilliant.”

Tom Meertens, Oakwood WorldwideAs the latest surveys show, compliance continues to be one of the greatest challenges for companies that are relocating employees and their families, so it’s not surprising that providers of specialist immigration services were keen to showcase their offering in the Immigration Team of the Year category. An immigration services provider was highly commended in the Outstanding HR & Supplier Partnership category.

Unforgettable entertainment

The evening began with a drinks reception. Guests were intrigued and entertained by two magicians, who later moved between the dinner tables.During a seasonally inspired dinner prepared by The Brewery’s top-class chefs, guests, who had been promised surprises throughout the evening, were astonished when three of the waiters started to exchange comic banter.It soon became clear that these apparent rivals were, in fact, accomplished entertainers. As The Three Waiters, their interactions with each other and their audience, and their spirited performance of everything from Nessun Dorma and the Toreador Song to That’s Amore, had guests waving their napkins and clapping along.Host and master of ceremonies John Simonett, whose varied CV includes membership of the Inner Magic Circle, had a few surprises of his own in store, including what may have been the world’s first card trick via Twitter. As he pointed out, his experience as a schoolteacher and a professional rugby player no doubt stood him in good stead when it came to keeping the awards presentation moving and his enthusiastic audience in order.

Exciting times ahead        

Addressing guests, Fiona Murchie said that, as the frontiers of global mobility were pushed back, managing global mobility would soon become the norm for many organisations. She added that, although this might spell the end of a niche sector, it would bring opportunities in a wider market.

“Tonight’s event has taken the Re:locate Awards up to a whole new level for the industry, and has been a really astonishing success.”

Pierre Craddock, Countrywide“All of you working in global mobility deal with change on a daily basis,” Fiona Murchie continued. “You also understand the importance of cultural awareness, and strive to communicate effectively. What you do, in whatever sector you are in, is important. You are agile, flexible and innovative, you strive for excellence, and you understand the complexities of compliance, as well as the importance of supporting talent.”This, she added, was an exciting time for anyone working in global mobility. Re:locate’s role was to support HR and relocation professionals, business travellers, relocating employees, and families by charting changes, following trends, telling stories, making connections, and providing practical information and advice.“We know about content,” said Fiona Murchie. “We are a rich resource of knowledge, through print, digital and online. Moving forward, there will be more practical downloadable factsheets and ‘how to’ series, more video, webinars and forums, more beautifully produced publications in print and online – like our stunning Guide to International Education & Schools, designed to make your job easier and reassure parents, because families do matter; it’s not all about the Millennials.“And we will be widening our community to embrace all organisations managing people in a global context, because that is the future."2017 will see the tenth anniversary of the Re:locate Awards. Plans to celebrate in style are already in the pipeline! Look out for updates on relocateglobal.com and in our online newsletter, Re:locate Extra.

Following record attendance at this year's gala dinner, the Relocate team is already hard at work to ensure we build on the success of the Relocate Awards 2015/16 and make next year’s even bigger and better.

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