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Category Archives: From the Desk Of

Engage!20 Dubai : 3 Take Aways for Engaged Couples & Entrepreneurs

NOTE: I know that it can feel implausible or impossible to do anything but focus on the reality that is unfolding in front of us across the world right now, but I also know that through 9/11, 2008, hurricane after hurricane and so many other natural disasters, is that IN the face of a crisis, it is exactly the moment that we humans can band together and the importance of gathering, celebration is even more important.

Obviously right now we’re being asked to stay home, stay safe, and reduce the impact of Coronavirus. It is imperative that we minimize the impact that this has on each other, allowing us to rebound as soon as we can. I’m of the firm opinion that these set backs are actually huge opportunities to refine, re-calibrate, and reconnect — we always bounce back, and weddings are no different. We’re doing our part to evaluate the scene for our clients and colleagues, and am always here for anything anyone might need — in person or virtually. In the meantime, I’m going to keep eating my Cadbury mini-eggs and take a moment to consider some big(er) picture thoughts all the way from the deserts of the Engage!20 Dubai.

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Video by Derek Chan Films

Engage!2020 kicked off the year in Dubai last week, marking the 30th Engage! since it’s inception and I wanted to take a moment to share the 3 biggest take aways from my time there for both wedding professionals and couples and families planning weddings.

I recently attended my first Engage! this past December in Mexico at the Nizuc Resort in Playa del Carmen, and found myself signing up for the Dubai session this past March 3-5th, 2020. Out of the three options offered in 2020, Dubai called to me as it was being hosted at the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper — a  blast the past as I spent 4 years in the marketing department at SOM, the architecture firm that designed it. I figured, what better time to see it in person? I also believe that experiencing cultures and places through travel is important for me to better understand the global world of destination weddings, as well as a huge source of creative inspiration.

A quick background: for those wondering, Engage! Conference was created by Kathryn Arce and Rebecca Grinnels as a place for the wedding industry to come together to share, connect, and educate themselves across the board by some of the best in the industry. They host a 3-4 conferences each year, highlighting different properties around the world.

After spending a week sitting with the experience and reviewing my pages of notes from the general sessions, here are my biggest take aways:

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State of the Union : Evolution

The Nouveau Romantics // Creative Business Evolution

There is a scribbled piece of paper in my kitchen here in LA that holds the title “State of the Union” and a bunch of mashed up business-oriented blog ideas that are clamoring for my attention, antsy to get out. Ideas that have sat on the back burner for far too long, been kept silent for months, years, and finally — after a phone call with a wise industry sage two weeks ago — I gave myself permission to own up to this raw authenticity and the reality and evolution of where The Nouveau Romantics sits.

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The Unique CAMP // Collaboration + Community

The Unique Camp // Creative Business Conference Liz here, returning to reality after spending last weekend in Big Bear, California at Sonja Rasula’s brainchild Adult-Summer-Camp-Creative-Business-Summit, also known as the Unique CAMP. After a busy winter and spring season, I wanted to take some time to expand my perspective, shake things up a bit, and hear from other business professionals within the creative field. And I did, x1000. [I’m a long-time summer camp graduate + ex-staff, so this is totally my jam. And I mean, Whitney was going, there was an epic last-night dance party, and they take away your cell phone for four days. Easiest decision ever.]

While I’m still digesting everything that happened, not to mention all that I learned, there were two theme that struck me from the experience: Read More