My recent Valentines trip to Venice couldn't go without a blog write up so I'm delighted to be sharing this with you today, and also to be giving thanks to everyone involved in putting together this remarkable trip.
As my readers know, back in November we were lucky enough to be invited to the Private Luxury Forum in Athens which you can read all about here.
Having met some wonderful suppliers and buyers during the Athens event, I was even more excited as a luxury Destination Wedding planner to be attending the very first Amour forum, specifically targeted at the Romance industry with the added extra of being invited to the Love Travel Awards.
With 100 buyers and 111 suppliers from an incredible mix of stunning hotels, villas, unique properties, DMCs and tourist boards I was determined to do my best to speak to everyone in attendance (if that were possible!!) With 54 meetings booked in over the course of 3 days and a fantastic schedule of activities and networking evenings I knew that I would be coming away with some valuable contacts, even if I couldn't remember everyones names right away - that's what business cards are for right!
To kick off the event & upon arrival at Venice airport we were swiftly whisked off on a private speedboat, courtesy of the wonderful IDI Travel who looked after all attendee transport for the event.
We checked into our beautiful rooms at the Neo-Gothic former flour mill, Hilton Molino Stucky of Venice before joining the other event attendees at the open evening.
Planned to perfection by Wedding Planner White Emotion, we were treated to a fantastic opening evening and signature Amour Cocktails by mixologists at Pernod Ricard (I can personally say they were both delicious!) During the evening we were also shown round the rooftop suite and pool, a perfect location for that dream proposal!
After our first morning of meetings we were separated into groups for our team building challenge to hunt for Casanova in the centre of Venice.
With a number of challenges including singing, game playing and fact finding we explored the narrow canals and back streets of Venice in all their glory. We even managed a stop off at the gorgeous book shop I was introduced to during my last trip, which you can read more on here.
Visiting the iconic St Mark's Square, the Basilica and Doge's Palace we didn't stop till all the clues were found and our team had completed its task! Unfortunately we were not the winners, but we thoroughly enjoyed the sights of Venice whilst getting to know our team members! Thank you to Target Motivation for organising this awesome activity for us.
The evening was a delight & we had the opportunity to chat with new faces over dinner whilst listening to the Opera singing waiters who were very talented!
Being part of the very first Love Travel Awards ceremony was a real treat and it was fantastic to see so many wonderful suppliers being recognised for their work and dedication to our industry.
Day three and another round of meetings to start off a great day ensued. I found such value in speaking with every supplier and each had something unique and interesting to offer their guests.
After lunch we put our creative skills to the test and joined in the Venetian mask making workshop let by DMC Target Motivation. I tried my very best but art was never a strong subject of mine, therefore I make no claims the beautiful mask below was my own!
With our masks left to dry we washed off the excess paint (which I seemed to get everywhere?) and prepared for another exciting evening.
We started with a private of Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Dating back to the 1228 & positioned on the Grand Canal next to the Rialto Bridge, this department store once served as living quarters for the German Merchants. With stunning views across the city this recently restored building is now a contemporary urban store perfect for social and cultural events & activities.
With our masks in place we enjoyed another evening of celebrations and partied into the early hours with our new and old friends! With just one more morning of meetings left I felt sad to be leaving, but grateful for the new relationships I'd developed during my time in Venice.
I came away from the Amour Forum with not only a huge bag full of wonderful brochures, goodies & leaflets but some really fantastic connections, nearly all of which I know will be valuable to my business and the service I provide my clients in the Destination Wedding market. I can't wait to showcase some of these wonderful locations to my couples and explore International Wedding Planning further over the coming years.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to the wonderful Amour Forum team for all that you do. It was a pleasure to spend more time with your team and to be invited on this fabulous trip. Cheers!
Images taken from Amour Forum.