Hi there — it’s Micaela here!

I can’t quite believe it’s been almost three weeks since we held the inaugural Connections Luxury in the sumptuous surroundings of the Four Seasons Hampshire.

During the event, I was so delighted to see our attendees — both buyers and suppliers — mixing with each other and clearly getting a lot of value from each other. As the event organiser, this is the absolute dream scenario.

On the first morning, I saw two of our delegates (fishing rods in hand) walking toward the Four Seasons lake. They had opted to hold their assigned meeting whilst fishing! This is precisely what we’d hoped. We weren’t sure how many attendees would choose to do similar. I’ll need to check the numbers but I’m so pleased to report that almost everyone had a ‘non standard’ meeting during the event.

The value of these types of meetings cannot be overstated. It’s much easier to form a lasting business relationship when you place yourself outside the standard confines and restrictions of a table-top meeting environment.

I thought you’d like to read some feedback from four of our suppliers.

First up, here’s Richard Blousfield, Regional Director of Global Sales, Europe & Middle East of Rocco Forte Hotels.

“A huge thank you to you and your team for putting on such a superb event. I’m delighted to have been part of it. The majority of my one-to-one meetings were very worthwhile and I thought the speakers were engaging and relevant. The choice of venue and weather also helped in achieving some strong connections! And now the follow up begins – and there’s lots of it to be done!”

Thank you Richard, it was wonderful to see you again!
Next up, let’s hear from Anna Hayward, Regional Sales Director of the Dorchester Collection:

“Thank you for a fantastic event. I was honestly the best I have ever attended – top quality buyers, amazing setting and the format worked perfectly. It was so good to have proper time to chat and bond with the clients, especially over such fun activities. I hope that Dorchester Collection will attend the 2015 event in Portugal at the very least, and do keep me posted on any MICE events. Thanks again, and speak soon!”

Thank you Anna and we will most definitely keep you updated on our MICE event activities. Standby!

Now, let’s hear from Edward Mitchell, Director of Sales for Rovos Rail:

“[It’s my..] First day back in the office after my recent business trip to the UK. Therefore belated, but most sincere thanks for a truly wonderful show! Best wishes, and congratulations on a monumentally successful Connections. You’ve quite ‘ruined’ me for any other travel shows! Also please pass my thanks on to Evangeline, Peter, and all the other staffers involved…”

Thank you so much Edward! I am so pleased we were able to feature Rovos.
Finally, let’s hear from Mike Bonner, General Manager UK & Ireland for Silversea Cruises:

“We liked the general concept of not being stuck in a conference room and having longer appointment so that you could engage with agents in a more relaxed environment. It also had a more intimate feel than some other shows which added to the sense of exclusivity and luxury. The quality of the speakers was good – particularly enjoyed Jason Atherton.”

I’m so pleased you felt that Mike, we worked really hard to select a compelling venue that would support our aim of changing the way business leaders connect in travel.

So there you have it! I can’t be more delighted, truly. It’s been simply wonderful to receive such high praise.

The challenge now will be to make sure we raise the bar again. Standby for more news on that front soon.