Wednesday, 13 March saw the 2013 Annual Dinner for the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) at London’s Park Lane Hilton. The black-tie event – which had its casino and drinks sponsored by Cast UK – was a great success, with around 500 people soaking up an evening set in motion by CIPS president Paula Gildert’s impassioned speech.

Only a spot of divine intervention changed the schedule a little – Huw Edwards, the guest speaker, had a little last-minute appointment at the Vatican to attend and was replaced by Jeremy Vine. The ex-Newsnight presenter was definitely an equivalent rather than an understudy, and filled the role with all the aplomb you’d expect of such a pro (and it turns out he’d give his brother Tim a run for his money as a stand-up comedian).

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) is the body representing the UK’s procurement and supply chain professionals, and offers accreditation, expertise and support to its members. Qualifications accredited by the CIPS create authority in its members and maintain high standards throughout the industry.

Cast UK is a recruitment consultancy headquartered in Manchester but linking businesses with suitable candidates in locations throughout the UK and beyond. They are focused on just three sectors – supply chain, procurement and logistics – and recruit only at managerial and executive levels.

Cast UK’s founder and MD, Wayne Brophy, found the evening enlightening and entertaining. “With so many familiar faces and so many new faces to meet, everyone’s evening was filled with non-stop networking and catching up,” he said. “I’d also like to say a big thank you to Jeremy Vine for stepping in – you’d have no idea he was parachuted in at short notice. In fact, with such juggling skills and last minute planning ability, it’s a wonder he didn’t leave the event with a new job in the supply chain industry!”