Coming to the stage...just!
I am, as I think I've mentioned, quite comfortable on stage. I've blogged in the past about doing amateur theatre in my spare time and "shrinking violet" is not an epithet which has ever been attached to me.
But this was a bit different.
Every year the great and the good of the travel retail industry descend on Cannes for the biggest conference and exhibition event of the industry's year. One of the jewels in the crown of this week is the Frontier Awards; more than 600 people at a glitzy black tie event hosted at a waterfront casino with free bars and entertainment.
It is huge and attended by the biggest names in the business.
No pressure then.
As a member of the Frontier team, I was up on stage to present one of the awards.
Now, as you might expect with any big event like this, it had all been perfectly scripted and rehearsed. I knew the presentation's started with the editor on stage, then I needed to head backstage to be introduced - simple.
So as I sat at my table and saw the presentations start I thought "how long have I got?"
Not long. As I glanced around the room, heaving with sharply dressed people merrily settling into their chairs I heard: "Please welcome the business editor of Frontier, Chris Madden."
That was literally all I could do. I nipped down the side of the venue, behind the screen, past the events team and bounded onto the stage.
It turned out it gave me the appearance of a confident entrance and absolutely no time to think about what was coming.
Luckily the rest of it ran like a charm.
But the lesson is simple here people: Always be prepared and always check.
Still, once the prizes were handed out the party began, and that was pretty good.
Shout out to Leo Johnson Photography for all these amazing pics.