The great, the good and the glitzy of the corporate learning world assembled at the Dorchester Hotel in London’s Park Lane on the evening of 2nd February for the first annual Learning Awards. Oddly enough, these awards were also the 16th annual awards. The previous 15 events had been held under the auspices of the Institute of IT Training which, last year, morphed into the more ubiquitous, charismatic and, frankly, relevant Learning and Performance Institute.

This year, the awards were presented – exceptionally professionally – by the two-time British Sportswoman of the Year and former British Olympic swimmer, Sharron Davies MBE. This year there were even more categories than before – 14 in all. The 450 attendees, well fed (with beetroot and goat’s cheese salad; roasted corn-fed chicken, and then green apple mousse) and watered (with Tierra Antica, Central Valley, Sauvignon Blanc 2011 and Tierra Antica Merlot 2010, plus port or brandy) maintained their energetic and exuberant enthusiasm to the end.

Sadly, goFLUENT’s two shortlisted entries – in the Staff Development Programme of the Year and the Training Department of the Year categories – were unplaced on the night. Nonetheless, we still went away with two ‘finalists’ trophies because – as the Institute’s chairman, Donald H Taylor, wisely reminded his audience: “To get to this stage is a great achievement in the face of some stiff competition. So everyone here tonight is a winner.”