Highland Business Dinner 2024 Gallery

On Friday 17 May, we celebrated all that is great about our Highland business community as we held our 2024 Highland Business Dinner at The Drumossie Hotel.

This year’s flag-ship event was attended by 352 guests all excited for an evening that did not disappoint in terms of atmosphere, entertainment, and conversation.

They were also in for an extra special treat as our keynote speaker Alastair Campbell pipped in the top table to resounding applause. Inverness Chamber CEO, Colin Marr, kicked off proceedings by welcoming our guests, as well as Alastair to the Scottish Highlands, and explained why he was so determined to have him as the speaker for his first dinner in charge of the Chamber.

Our MC for the evening, Nicky Marr, then introduced Chamber President, Eunice McAdam, who highlighted some of the key business successes from our event sponsors and other Chamber members over recent months.  Inverness & Cromarty Firth Green Freeport CEO, Calum MacPherson, then gave the room a powerful overview of the developments being made across the renewable sector in the Highlands. He encouraged everyone to act now to ensure we capitalise on this opportunity for the prosperity of the whole region.

Following the opening speeches, we were moved by an emotional film highlighting the importance of our chosen charity, Maggie’s Highlands, before guests were treated to beautiful fine dining by The Drumossie Hotel team, who provided impeccable service throughout.

After dinner, we were enthralled by pioneering political strategist, author, campaigner and podcaster, Alastair Campbell, who invited guests to ‘Ask Alastair Anything’. He received over 250 questions from the audience and covered everything from his favourite Spice Girl and whether he could see a use for motorhomes during political campaigning, to his views on Scottish devolution and what business leaders can do to support positive mental health in the workplace. Alastair scintillated and gave a great balance of funny and thought-provoking responses before closing with Beethoven’s ‘Ode To Joy’ on the pipes.

Colin Marr, Inverness Chamber CEO, said: “It was a night of celebration, reflection, inspiration, and entertainment for our Highland business community. There was a fantastic buzz in the room all night with businesses making full use of the opportunity to meet their colleagues, rekindle old connections and make new business relationships.

“We loved the opportunity to share some of our member businesses successes with the room and the powerful call to action from Green Freeport CEO, Calum MacPherson really resonated with me. Our region has the opportunity to become the centre of renewables for the UK – but we all need to work together to make that happen. It was great to watch Alastair Campbell entertain the audience as he answered an extraordinary number of questions from them. I particularly liked hearing him reminisce about his friendship with Charles Kennedy and watched his discomfort as he carefully avoided naming his favourite prime minister of the last 14 years.”

The evening ended on a high as a lucky few won prizes in our Charity Prize Draw, which raised a fantastic £7,706 for Maggie’s Highlands. This was thanks to the generous prize donations from Art of the Dram – The Càirdean Partnership, Kingsmills Hotel Group, Clan Alchemy, Brodies LLP, Nevis Range, HighLife Highland, Highland BlindCraft Beds, Glen Mhor Hotel & Apartments / Uile-bheist Distillery & Brewery, Àban Outdoor, and Macdonald Aviemore Resort

This was augmented by a surprise auction for two tickets for The Rest is Politics sold out live tour in Glasgow. This was kindly donated by Alastair Campbell on the night, and he even conducted the auction himself.

Our thanks as always to our Principal Sponsors Highland and Islands Enterprise and Nevis Range, and Associate Sponsors Mackenzie Construction and Europlan Engineering UK for supporting this year’s dinner.

Further thanks to everyone else who made the evening possible behind the scenes: The Drumossie HotelA4 Print & DesignRedelk Design and MarketingSimpsons Florists, KBE Events Service, Story + Stage and DP Digital Media.

Thank you also to Ewen Weatherspoon, who was our official photographer on the night.

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