I'm Ashley

Creative Director and agency owner with over 20 years experience in branding, digital design and marketing.

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Engage Conference – First Timers Take

March 15, 2018

I had been eyeing the Engage Conference since I started our business in 2013. The more and more I got invested in the wedding industry, I couldn’t ignore that Engage was where our clients were hanging out too. One of the beautiful things about this industry is clients who become friends and after countless calls with past and current clients, everyone raved about their experience.
Initially I had signed up for the Breakers Engage ’16 but after finding out I was expecting, I had to cancel. But a few weeks after Isla was born, the locations were announced for 2017 and I jumped to head to Italy…a little business and a little fun! While we had thought it was going to be a family trip with our baby girl, the closer our extended trip got the more overwhelmed I felt. During the Summer we managed to buy a new “fixer-upper”, sell our house and embark on a massive renovation. Then add closing our house while we were travellings, just added too much pressure. We ended up shortening our trip and Dallas and I flew to Italy, on our first trip away from our baby. Let’s just say there were tears but in the end, it was the best decision.
We arrived in Venice a day before the conference started and drove to this quaint little town below the Dolomite Mountains called Asolo. We stayed in this gorgeous boutique hotel at the peak of the town and ate some of the best food we’ve ever had. I mean, does anyone ever complain about the food in Italy? The next morning we headed back to Venice and took our water chariot to The Belmond Cipriani. And I say water chariot because I think we spent more money on private water taxi’s than anything else in Venice – too bad you can’t swim everywhere πŸ™‚

Upon arrival you could feel the Engage energy, the hotel staff always professional and helpful, the friendly faces of all the attendees and I little rush of nerves too. Luckily, we had a few clients attending which made the experience that much more special.
A few highlights of the event included:
The Parties: I mean, I was literally blown away by the decor, beauty, entertainment, food and overall ambiance of every single event we attended. It was truly spectacular!

The People: I think going to any new event, especially when there are so many new faces, big names and attendees who have been going to Engage for years, you wonder where you’re going to fit in. I’m a bit of a introvert, but I felt so welcomed and relaxed at each talk and party. I met so many wonderful people and two new contacts who quickly became clients too. The people make Engage special.

The Location: Venice had been on my travel list for years, so it was great to be able to tie in travel with work. The city is magical, especially at night! We actually witnessed a proposal in the middle of St. Mark’s square at midnight. It also helped that our lovely client Eleonora, a born Venetian made some great recommendations and reservations for our stay. Thank you!!

So it’s safe to say, I’ve officially drank the Engage kool-aid and will be back year after year to see old faces, meet new ones and have some much needed party time πŸ˜‰
All photos by Joee Wong: http://joeewongweddings.com/
Host // Belmond Belmond Hotel Cipriani
Summit // Rebecca Miller Grinnals and Kathy Margeson Arce of Engage! Luxury Wedding Business Summits
Planning // Eleonora of Venice First – luxury experiences
Concept, Design, DΓ©cor // Vincenzo Dascanio of VINCENZO DASCANIO
Entertainment + Artistic Direction // Nuart Events
Lighting + Sound // Tecnoluci
Escort Cards, Table Numbers + Menu Design // Two Paperdolls
Event Furniture + Linen // Oltre il giardino
Sparkling Wine // Ferrari Trento

Ashley Malone