They dined, they wined and then danced the evening away as the Press and Journal Energy Ball showed once again why it is the top night on the north-east’s social calendar.
And as the event celebrated its magnificent seventh anniversary, it also provided the perfect platform for the 600-plus guests to network with some of the region’s most high-profile business leaders.
The Energy Ball 2015 provided a more intimate feel than previous events – but was also every bit a celebration of 50 years of North Sea oil.
The spectacular Swan Band took the night’s energy theme to the extreme in what turned out to be a glittering debut gig for them in Scotland.
The multitalented collection of musicians and singers from Paris thrilled guests with the latest chart-toppers and some of the biggest hits of the 1970s and 1980s.
The evening’s host was Damian Bates, editor-in-chief of Aberdeen Journals, who acknowledged the current difficulties faced by the oil and gas sector – but also underlined the importance of ensuring the region has a strong economic future.
He said: “This is one of the best opportunities to network and develop business connections and show people there most certainly is life left in the UK Continental Shelf and the wider Aberdeen economy.
“We will emerge from the gloom.
“Yes, we will be leaner and lighter and more agile, but the world of oil and gas has many more decades to go yet and we need to show the next generation coming through not that we are battening down the hatches and hoping it will go away but that we continue to see a viable and prosperous future, one that will give them a fantastic life, too.
“This is a celebration of that future to come.”
Among the guests was industry expert Professor Alex Kemp, who was presented with a special framed picture to commemorate his induction into the Press and Journal’s Hall of Fame at the Gold Awards earlier this year.
The portrait took pride of place in the networking area, a new feature at this year’s Energy Ball which gave guests a chance to have a quiet breather in between energetic turns on the dance floor.
Prof Kemp’s Saturday night was made even more special when he won the prize draw for a diamond necklace from jeweller Rox.
Other prizes on the night included a weekend in a BMW i8 supercar courtesy of John Clark Motor Group, a luxurious two-night getaway at the Fairmont in St Andrews, and a flight for 10 over picturesque Aberdeenshire in an Airbus H225, courtesy of the event’s title sponsor, CHC Helicopter.
The prize draws were in aid of two charities on the night – the ARCHIE Foundation, the official charity of the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, and Wings For Warriors, which helps injured servicemen find a future worth fighting for.
The Energy Ball’s sumptuous four-course meal was made a bit more special thanks to celebrity chef Nick Nairn.
The theme of the night’s dishes was top quality seasonal and local produce.
Mr Nairn’s menu wowed the guests with its panache and combination of flavours.
The starter was a trio of Scottish salmon with textures of beetroot.
And the main course was a selection of Scottish filet, confit beef pie and melt-in-the-mouth braised blade.
That delight was followed by a “Wild Scotland” selection of fruit and berry treats for dessert, and a plate of taste bud-tempting Scottish cheeses.
Mr Nairn worked with the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre’s award-winning catering team, led by executive head chef Brian McDonald, to deliver the feast.
Mr Nairn said: “I am delighted to have been working with Brian’s like-minded team at the AECC.
“We created a menu that reflects the wonderful produce we have in Scotland.
“It’s a real privilege to have been part of the biggest night in Aberdeen. The event was an opportunity to enjoy great food in terrific company.”