What a year 2018 was at Hickory. From award wins and new venue contracts to working with lots of fabulous clients, it was jam-packed, and we loved every minute!
In 2018 we delivered over 360 events – that’s almost one event every single day! During December alone, we served more than 3,000 Christmas dinners at Eskmills Venue – that’s a whole lot of turkey!
We celebrated a fantastic year in awards, including being named the Best Eco-Friendly Business in Scotland and scooping the best small-medium business award at the VIBES Awards, recognising our commitment to sustainability and environmental practices.
During 2018 we started working with some beautiful new venues. In September we welcomed Oxenfoord Castle into our exclusive portfolio of Hickory managed venues. We’re also super excited to be working with Carphin House, Arniston House and Newhall Estate. Plus, we’ll be working with the breath-taking Culzean Castle on some of their gorgeous marquee weddings this year.
We worked at some amazing events and festivals throughout 2018. Our Botanical Garden Bar travelled to the Borders Book Festival, The Royal Highland Show, George Square Glasgow and the Braemar Gathering, providing delicious cocktails and craft beers to keep everyone going. To round off the summer, we oversaw the catering and bar requirements at the stunning Gleneagles PGA golf course, as part of the European Championships 2018.
One of our favourite events saw us working with Virgin Hotels, to transform the historic India Buildings from a building site to a lavish setting to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Virgin Hotel Edinburgh!
Guests were treated to an intimate acoustic set performed by Scottish singer songwriter Nina Nesbitt as luxury canapés and creative cocktails were circulated. It was great fun to utilise the building’s magnificent features to create an inviting space in time to celebrate the launch of development. With guests including the Lord Provost, Edinburgh councillors and the man himself, Richard Branson, it was an unforgettable event.
We were overjoyed with the success of the evening, roll on 2020 when we can see the stunning buildings converted into the Virgin Hotel Edinburgh!
Our team has continued to grow, and we welcomed many new faces over the year whilst also recognising our team’s hard work and dedication through internal promotions.
The year got off to a brilliant start with 4 members of Team Hickory receiving HIT Scholarships to help further their development and 3 more team members are in the process of applying for 2019 scholarships – the very best of luck to them.
2018 was also a fantastic year for our Deputy Managing Director, Steph who was elected to join the Women in Tourism Board. As an advocate for diversity in the workplace, Steph has led Hickory to win Best Place for Women to Work at the Business Women Scotland & Women in Tourism Awards, as well as Employer of the Year at The Business Women Scotland Awards. Well done Steph!
2018 was the year of technology at Hickory. We successfully launched our custom-designed Hickory Hub, a bespoke customer-relationship-management software that allows us to market, sell and plan all our events in real time using the one system. We also continued to invest in our systems such as Deputy and EPOS, ensuring Hickory remains at the forefront of technology.
For the fourth year in a row, instead of giving presents and cards, we decided to donate our Christmas cheer to the local elderly residents of East Lothian. We invited over 300 guests to join us at Eskmills Venue for our Community Christmas Lunch on the 27th November. It was a great day filled with fun, laughter and festive cheer!
We’ve had some absolutely amazing feedback in 2018 – but don’t just take our word for it…
“From day one I found Hickory to be professional, highly competent and with a drive to exceed expectations. During the event, Hickory were completely self-sufficient and had clearly spent a great deal of time creating a detailed and comprehensive plan. The quality of the food and service were very high and received daily praise. I would highly recommend Hickory – nothing appeared a challenge to them and they had an energy to surpass expectations that was great to see.”
Kit Gartrell, Assistant Championship Director, European Tour
“Thank you so much to you and your team for all the help with this event. Everything looked great, we couldn’t have done it without your professionalism and hard work.”
Ana Lanzas, Director of Communications & Social Media, Virgin Hotels
“Working with the team at Hickory bars was a refreshing, creative process. Their professional can do attitude made the process of setting up, delivery and derigging of the temporary bars very easy – we look forward to working with Hickory Bars again in the future.”
Olivia McLean, Event Manager, Borders Book Festival
“Where do I start? My husband and I got married at Eskmills Venue on Friday and what a day it was. It was honestly PERFECT! I couldn’t have asked for a better day. The ceremony was brilliant, food was INCREDIBLE (all my guests agreed as well!), reception was brilliant, and everything in between was just brilliant.”
Lauren Neill, Eskmills Venue Bride
All of this wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing clients that we’ve worked with over the last year. Thank you for inviting us to be part of your event.
We wish you all a very happy New Year. We’re looking forward to all that 2019 has to offer!