No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Scrounger’s Awards – CIPD 2001


Yet again, the Scrounger has made another stop on his irreverent tour of the shows and exhibitions in the HR World, on his never-ending quest for the best freebie. Following last year's CIPD Scrounger Awards, read on to find out whether the quality of the experience has improved!

The HR army marches on its stomach, and one of the surest tests of a conference venue is the quality of the nearby hostelries. Those familiar with the culinary disaster
zone that is HRD week at Olympia descend annually on Harrogate for CIPD with loud whoops and a general feeling of internal promise. For Harrogate, queen of t’north, caters for the gastronomic needs of delegates with experience and aplomb. Within a couple of hundred paces of the main halls are to be found the finest of French, Basque, Greek, Italian, Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Indian, Vegetarian, and even English eateries. Scrounger was, it must therefore be admitted, quite looking forward to Harrogate 2001, when Lydia opened the door of his Bentley outside the VIP drop-off zone.

But it is in the exhibition halls that the real business of schmoozing and scrounging takes place, between opening and lunchtime. As usual, a first quick tour showed the most promising sites, and there were a goodly collection of old and new friends to be spotted, albeit with some rumour-feeding absences. Where were Stepstone, so obvious last year, with their rather nice jars of pebble-shaped sweets? No Xebec – excellent ice cream – and no LearnDirect stand. And why had Monster pulled the plug at the last minute?

Nevertheless, with diligence and assiduity, Scrounger steeled himself for the task in hand, and is now able to announce the winners of the Scrounger Awards for CIPD 2001. Alas, a vital meeting at “Sous la table” means that once again this year, the prize money has been previously disbursed in the interests of world domination and the eventual conquest (by selected TrainingZone acolytes) of anyone in a fish costume or a corporate orange tee-shirt.

The Brucie Awards for entertainment having nothing to do with the product. Step forward MPCG, ( who were featuring “Play your cards right”. It seems that the management team at MPCG has been playing their own cards right, as an MBO means that the Michelin name and logo will vanish in the new year – so this was the last chance to garner rare Bibendum trophies at Harrogate, including last years worst sticky notepad award.

Best Gadget award. nearly won again this year with an intelligent PC mouse in tasteful blue, which alas sold out on the second day, shortly after Scrounger got one at the second attempt. The prize this year however goes to GlobalHR ( for a well made and useful key ring torch in a natty black satin finish.

So where does the money go? award. Microsoft must be a bit short of readies after acquiring Great Plains, ( so they were giving away single wrapped mint chocolates. At least Edexcel ( had their own label mints in grabbable bowlfuls.

Better Than Sex award. This must go, without a smackeral of doubt, to AP information services ( for their substantial, gap filling, half pound blocks of chocolate. They take the award from Happy Computer who won it at Training Solutions for their scarce but yummy chocolate fish.

The That’ll Get Nicked award. Goes to XpertHR for their well designed and useful silver snap-top tins of breath fresheners.

Worst sited stand award. Shared by all exhibitors in the converted cellar that is hall Q. As usual, many of the training providers were in this little ghetto, surely not a fair reflection of the CIPD view? It is high time Harrogate Conference Centre spent some of our money on replacing this hall with a modern facility. Either that, or offer a price reduction to anyone (exhibitor or visitor) prepared to endure it for three days.

Best hosts. Personnel Today ( for their willingness to dispense decent coffee, nuts, exhibitor survival kits, dubious dice, and general chuckles and bonhomie to all comers to their refreshment bar.

Nicest paper award. Goes this year to the extremely elegant brochure from The Principle Practice, ( a local Yorkshire training provider. If they can afford printing like that, they must be doing something right!

The “It’s a smaller van going back” award. Barony, ( in hall A, were literally shovelling their handy torches, tackypads, and screen wipes into any bag presented to them at 1.00pm on Friday.

The Tailors Guild award for services to pocket damage. This has to go to NEBS management ( for a remarkable heavy, yet elegantly crafted, mouse-shaped key ring, only distributed to a select few. Scrounger, who doesn’t carry his own keys, was flattered to obtain one, although he had to cruise back and forward for three whole days to get it.

Slightly worrying message award. Last time this was awarded, it was to EAL, the Engineering awarding body, for its inspired rubber spanner. The CIPD 2001 award in this category goes to Arinso, ( for a crushable Volkswagen Beetle. MMMMmm.

Most improved stand award. This must go to Dr Susi Strang. ( Susi and the Stranglers are old friends, and this year they invested heavily in new laminated posters for their remarkably functional stand. However, as they say in Yorkshire (although not in whippet-free Harrogate), “Thou eats the chips, not the paper!”

Finally we turn to the overall accolade for the Best pen award. Again, a closely fought contest. Special mention again to Croner.CCH ( for their timeless chunky white number. A creditable showing too from Prospects, ( for a smart blue and yellow pen. Runner up has to be, for their silver and blue freebie. But for overall elegance, and a nice ball action, the prize goes to Roffey Park ( for their pleasing white and green offering. Congratualtions – it shows what MBAs can do when you really stretch them!

And so another CIPD week ends, with sighs of relief from the trees, hand rubbing from the accountants serving the restaurants and hotels, and resigned groans from Harrogate’s cleansing contractors. Scrounger’s next outing is expected to be the first elearning exhibition in 2002, when it will be interesting to see how many of the dotcoms still have advertising budgets to blow.


(Who also writes an occasional column for “Modern Management”, the journal of the Institute for Supervision and Management,


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!