Awakening to the second day of Engage!23 at The Boca Raton, attendees were greeted with a vibrant, 50s luncheonette-themed breakfast on The Grand Lawn. Underneath a spacious tent, the air was filled with the comforting aroma of bagels, arrayed in towering displays, accompanied by classic spreads and schmears, evoking a delightful 'retro chic' vibe in shades of green and white and this 'dough-lightful' morning offered a feast not only for the palate but also for the eyes, as every detail screamed nostalgia with a modern twist. The joy visibly spread among attendees, reinforcing the belief that great days start with bagels.
Post breakfast, the event shifted gears to an enriching series of breakout sessions. The general session buzzed with insights and powerful conversations led by eminent speakers like Emily Barry of MintedWeddings, icons Mark Ingram and Bryan Rafanelli, and Carla Ruben and Jeff Fowler of Creative Edge Parties. A highlight was WSJ Best Selling Author Laura Gassner Otting, making her first appearance on the Engage! Stage. Laura delved into the paradox of success, exploring its accompanying hunger, pace, and the roller coaster of emotions it brings. Her session was informative and an eye-opener, resonating deeply with the audience.
The stage then welcomed Rishi Patel of HMR Designs, who moderated a panel focused on the nuances of sales. Esteemed panelists included Corbin Gurkin, Élan Artists, Carrie Lauren, TPD Design House, Nuage Designs, and Anaïse Events, each bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience. The discussions were insightful, offering a rare glimpse into the art of sales in the luxury event industry.
The sessions took a playful turn, with Matt Landes from Cocktail Academy hosting the Rum Rumble Daiquiri Masters Game Show. Participants included industry giants like Marcy Blum, Hugh Howser of HThree Events, and Eddie Zaratsian. The event was competitive and a fun learning experience, ending with delicious daiquiris and mocktails for everyone and a special surprise from Lou Hansell Luxury Hangers for each attendee.
In a sweet twist, the Maison Rose Sweets Break offered a heavenly escape with classic French desserts - think macarons, truffles, bonbons, and Bailey's chocolate ice cream pops with chocolate crumbles. It was a moment of pure indulgence, providing a perfect networking ambiance as attendees mingled with media members from Perfete, The Knot, Destination I Do, WedLuxe, MaharaniWeddings, Aisle Society, Pretty Pear Bride, Equally Wed, B Collective Magazine, PartySlate, and notable freelance writers, including Ivette "Ivy" Manners from Brides Style and Charanna Alexander from the NY Times Weddings. The day at Engage!23 was a cultural immersion, a learning experience, and a celebration of the finer things in life, all rolled into one unforgettable experience.