Engage!16 Europe Borgo Egnazia Puglia, Italy
In October 2016 we took the next step in the Engage! evolution by heading to Puglia, Italy for the first Engage! Europe. Interest had been growing among the international event community, and Italy was an ideal location for the event, centrally located for attendees from Europe, North America, the Middle East and beyond.
The host for this special event was Borgo Egnazia, an award-winning resort known for its beautiful design and high-end service. To bring Engage! to life, they pulled in creative partners from all of the world. The result was an authentic, exquisitely designed three-day affair.
Attendees came from 34 countries, drawn by a world class list of speakers. On the main stage, superstars Preston Bailey, Colin Cowie and Marcy Blum were joined by the UK’s celebrity planner Sarah Haywood, Germany’s high-energy TV host Froonck!, and a panel of top luxury specialists from Italy, India, the UK, Hong Kong and Dubai, who shared cultural and planning insights on their respective regions and client bases.
Breakout sessions got into the nitty gritty of luxury events, with top talent from Canada, China, Ireland, Russia and the UK joining popular U.S. Engagees including Ed Libby, Michelle Rago, Angela Desveaux and Lisa Vorce, and surprise guests like Vogue photographer Robert Fairer and top designer Suzie Turner.
As always, the Engage! magic was completed by the details. The opening night party “Festa del Borgo” designed by the brilliant Pino Brescia was held in an open-air courtyard with fresh pasta and cheese stations, local artisans and exquisite set design highlighted by rustic farm tables, paper-wrapped bouquets, copious candlelight and a surprise fireworks show. Attendees networked during signature “Nowhere Else Experiences” like driving vintage Fiats or enjoying wine- and olive oil-tastings, and everyone joined in an epic group bike ride to the Seaside Lunch, which recalled the 1960s La Dolce Vita era with crudo bars and a retro, swim-themed dance party provided by Elan Artists, who created an immersive entertainment experience from start to finish.
At the final gala, a bevy of languages filled the room for a four-course plated dinner highlighted by masked ballerinas, operatic tenors and followed by an all-night dance party. Through it all, the mood was clear: Engage! is a worldwide community, and Engage! Europe is the first of many to come.