NMBS has maintained its track record of staging one of the biggest and best social events for the independent merchanting sector.

On 28 October 2017, the UK's largest buying society for independent builders', plumbing and heating, timber, and hardware merchants, staged its annual Dinner Dance at the Grovesnor House Hotel in the heart of Mayfair, London.

Over 1,000 guests representing the full specturm of NMBS' nationwide merchant membership and network of brand leading building industry suppliers attended the black-tie occasion for an evening of fine food, networking and first-rate entertainment.

The evening began with a drinks reception after which guests were called through to dinner in the sumptious surroundings of the hotel's Great Room.

Once seated, guests took part in a competition sponsored by Keylite in which balloons were tied to the back of their chairs. One balloon offered the opportunity to win a luxury weekend break in London.

Guests were also treated to a free lottery ticket courtesy of IKO, to scratchcards from Tarmac offering them the chance to win a set of Bose headphones and to table gifts provided by Richard Burbidge and British Gypsum.

Before dinner was served, Tim Allen, NMBS' Chairman, delivered a short address in which he outlined how the buying society has never been in better shape and how its turnover looks set to reach £1.6 billion in the current financial year.

He also reminded the assembled audience that the annual NMBS Dinner Dance is a celebration of the independent merchanting sector and of the benefits of independent merchants working together.

He went on to thank the NMBS events team and the event's numerous sponsors for arranging and supporting the evening.

Tim was followed by past Chairman, Chris Bence who presented a special award to NMBS' Managing Director, Chris Hayward, who celebrates 40 years of service with the buying society in 2017. He first joined the business as an office junior on 17 October 1977, before working his way up to the position he enjoys today.

After dinner, Chris Hayward announced the winner of the evening's charity prize draw sponsored by Makita. Elaine Wan walked away with a bundle of the latest tech products including an iPad Pro, an iPad Pro smart keyboard, an iPad Pro stylus and a set of Beats EP headphones, as well as an iTunes gift card.

Chris also revealed that table donations and draw entries from the evening had collectively raised £10,260 for NMBS' two chosen charities, The Rainy Day Trust and CRASH. NMBS committed a further donation to round the fundraising total up to £12,000.

Guests were then treated to a mesmerising performance by Lilli La Scala & Glitterball Dance Girl, before being able to dance the rest of the night away to music performed by a variety of acts.

This included X-Factor finalists, 5 After Midnight and Jersey Boys' tribute band, the Jersey Guys, who sang a number of classics by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In addition, the ever popular Fully Funktional returned as the evening's house band.

Away from the dancefloor, guests were able to entertain themselves in a number of novelty photobooths sponsored by Marshalls and Stonemarket.

Commenting on the evening, Chris Hayward said: "The annual Dinner Dance remains an important way of enabling NMBS to bring together people from both the member and supplier side of our operations.

"These individuals help to make NMBS and indeed the independent sector what it is so it's always great to see them letting their hair down and celebrating their achievements and those of the industry.

"As ever, the NMBS events team did a fantastic job in arranging the evening and I'd like to thank them, our guests and all the sponsors for a thoroughly enjoyable evening."

Picture caption: A celebration of independence: On Saturday 28 October 2017, NMBS staged another successful Dinner Dance, which attracted over 1,000 guests from across the independent merchanting sector.