And, of course, The Grocer was there to keep tabs on the key speeches and all the big stories to emerge.
Leahy (pictured) stole the headlines as he slammed the "woeful" standards of UK schools - prompting speculation that the he's set to come out fighting for the Tories at the looming election. On a similar theme, Clarke cited a "downward sprial of illiteracy and innumeracy" among school-leavers, calling for retailers and manufacturers to revive apprenticeships.
But it wasn't all doom and gloom, with Unilever chief Paul Polman striking an optimistic note and a raft of gongs handed out for achievement in the grocery trade.
Rising input costs are still biggest challenge
Unilever boss confident that company is fit
Asda’s Clarke urges industry to offer jobs to ‘lost generation’
Little Dish’s Fenton wins Leading Light
Analysis: Sir Terry criticising education standards hints at defection