Most Innovative Meetings 2016: #14 Engage!16

The wedding-industry summit pours on the perks.

By Martha C. White October 17, 2016, 5:50 AM EDT

As with all Engage events, the color scheme reflected the destination: a coral palette evoked Palm Beach.

Photo: Jeremie Barlow

Wedding industry pros make their living ensuring that a couple’s wedding day makes them feel special. The Engage luxury wedding summit cultivates that same spirit by lavishing its 375 attendees with thoughtful touches and luxurious details strategically designed to delight and inspire.

For its sold-out event at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, this June, organizers Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce, who own wedding consulting firm Engaging Concepts, said attendees were appreciative of the over-the-top gifting Engage events have become known for.

“The gifting really just became a hallmark of the event. Now it’s expected and well-known,” Grinnals said. “We’re always finding ways we can surprise and delight.”

Even the speakers get treated with perks such as complimentary hair and makeup before they face the audience. The showpiece of Engage’s gifting strategy, though, is its gifting suite, created with longtime partner Gifts for the Good Life. Grinnals and Arce said they realized that people want to be able to pick out the gifts that were meaningful to them, so the gifting suite lets attendees choose their own goodies from a curated selection of products.

Grinnals and Arce also set the theme with pre-event gifts that offer a taste of what’s to come: luxurious leather luggage tags, for instance, help build anticipation and excitement, while in-room and turndown gifts anticipate attendees’ needs on site. “The idea is to have gifts our attendees can use throughout the events,” Arce said, adding that they prefer not to solicit sponsored gifts so they can tailor offerings specifically to the event and the destination. For instance, in Palm Beach guests received a pashmina shawl for the cool evenings, along with a water bottle to stay hydrated during the warm days.

“At every possible touch point that makes sense to include some sort of gifting element, we do,” Grinnals said. “People love to feel like they’re getting a gift.”

Previous: #13 Collision 
Next: #15 Code Conference

Sign up for the BizBash Daily - stay current with the event industry.
Your email inquiry will be sent to 3 venue