NMBS, the buying society for independent builders', timber, plumbing and heating, and hardware merchants, has marked its 50th anniversary with its 'best ever' Dinner Dance. Almost 1,000 people attended this year's event, which took place on the 26 October 2013 in the Great Room of the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Guests - including NMBS members, suppliers and business associates - were treated to an evening of fine food, networking and first class entertainment. This included an appearance by Brian Conley - the comedian, television presenter, actor and singer - who acted as impromptu host for the evening, turning his hand to everything from stand-up to even acting as quiz master.

Other performers included amazing acrobatic circus acts, who thrilled guests during an opening cabaret with a dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment. Two bands, Fully Funktional and Simply Frank, also helped fill the dance floor after dinner while guests were also treated to a spectacular indoor firework display.

As ever, the 2013 NMBS Dinner Dance mixed business with pleasure and NMBS' current chairman, Tim Allen, took to the stage to give those attending an update on NMBS' performance and latest initiatives in its half centenary year.

In particular, Mr Allen spoke about how NMBS is on course to reach a record turnover of £640m in 2013 – with current year-to-date sales up 23% on 2012. He also drew attention to NMBS' Apprenticeship Youth Enterprise 50 campaign. This scheme aims to help a 'potentially lost' generation of young people find meaningful employment in a difficult economic climate by placing 50 apprentices with NMBS member and supplier companies. Keen to lead by example, NMBS has also taken on an apprentice itself.

Other highlights to the evening included the cutting of a special 50th birthday cake by Mr Allen and NMBS managing director Chris Hayward. There was also a charity draw which raised over £8,000 for NMBS' two chosen industry charities, The Rainy Day Trust and CRASH. Lloyd Barnes from Frank Howard Tools & Fixings scooped the main prize of an Apple bundle worth £1,000, including an iPad Mini. The prize was sponsored by Makita.

Speaking of the evening, Mr Hayward said: "NMBS held its first ever dinner dance in 1973 to mark our first successful decade of trading. It's perhaps befitting then that forty years later the same event has helped crown our celebrations of our half centenary. As you'd expect, we went all out to make our 50th anniversary event the best ever and it certainly seems that we achieved that goal. The feedback received has been fantastic and I would like thank all those who attended and who helped to make it such a great and enjoyable evening. I'd also like to thank the NMBS events team for yet another job well done."