The Supporters Advisory Board held its latest gathering on Tuesday 6 December and had three special attendees.
Sam Allardyce brought along Abdoulaye Faye and Carlton Cole to meet those fans who have helped shape the direction of the club in 2011 by taking an active interest in key areas such as matchday experience, ticketing and retail.
There was a real festive atmosphere at the evening event in the BM6 Lounge at the Boleyn Ground, with the star guests taking time to meet everyone who had come along and offer their thanks for the support shown.
Big Sam said: "It is nice to see the club actually allowing a group of people to get their viewpoint across on what they think in all areas. Mostly you would think they'd be asking about what is happening on the pitch, but actually it was about all areas of the club from what happens on the field all the way to the possible move to the Olympic Stadium.
"It was a pleasant evening and informal for me, rather than standing up talking. I wandered around each group and had a chat with them and got some very positive feedback.
"The owners must take a lot of credit because I have not heard of this type of thing before at other clubs I have been at. It was very, very good to attend."
The evening was organised by marketing director Tara Warren and she thanked everyone for helping to make the SAB a success in 2011.
Reflecting on its progress, she believed there was much more that could be achieved in the coming 12 months - with the Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold, as well as Vice-Chairman Karren Brady, all having attended events in recent months and giving their blessing to future initiatives.
She said: "The Supporter Advisory Board is a truly innovative and constructive forum. Its members have generously coupled the expertise they have from their various fields with first-hand supporter experience to become a genuinely useful resource instrumental in helping to drive the club forward.
"The Board, key personnel and playing staff are grateful for the time, commitment and the passion Supporter Advisory Board members show at this forum. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the Supporter Advisory Board is that it is still in its infancy - we are still learning as we go and can only grow .
"Many of the smaller initiatives have already been implemented and the end of the year will see the SAB play an instrumental part in some key decisions in terms of allocating resource in 2012/13 season.
"It's a truly positive forum and I can't thank the SAB enough for their contribution."