The occasion was Thirst Thursday, Computer Weekly's networking event for IT professionals. The idea of the evening was to give people in the industry an opportunity to meet in an informal environment, have some free drinks, tell us what they would like to see in the paper, and perhaps even find a new job.
This month the venue was the First & Last pub in the heart of the City of London.
The event attracted a good mix of ITers from a variety of sectors, with the public sector particularly well represented. Internet consultants, network analysts and IT managers mingled with technical support staff, helpdesk administrators and project managers, and by 8pm the room was buzzing with the gossip of almost 100 IT professionals.
It was good to see some familiar faces from previous Thirst Thursdays, many of whom brought along colleagues new to the event. Some even tried to bring their whole department - ITers from Bupa and the Corporation of London turned up in large numbers and succeeded in upping the noise level by quite a few decibels.
Thanks to the generosity of recruitment specialist tmp.apex, which sponsored the night's festivities, there were two magnums of champagne to be won during the course of the evening. Sally Morales from Bupa nabbed the first in a free prize draw and merrily staggered away with her weighty prize.
The second magnum was reserved for the winners of the infamous Thirst Thursday quiz. As usual, quizmaster Martin Couzins had to struggle to make himself heard above the music, the groans from the crowd and the complaints that the questions were about IT.
After desperate attempts to get questions repeated, assorted cheating, collusion and gamesmanship, the bubbly was eventually won by a motley crew of IT's finest who had clearly been making liberal use of the bar all night.
Lager was the favourite drink of the evening, with Grolsch the top tipple, followed by Budweiser. For the first time since 2000, Smirnoff Ice failed to make it onto our booze graph (below), with only 10 bottles quaffed. However, Red Bull squeezed into the top five, ensuring that there wasn't a sleepy ITer in sight.