Venice is often described as one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. It was the perfect location to host an event for an industry that specializes in beauty and romance.

 

JOEE WONG x Belmond Hotels x Engage!17

Every year, I have the privilege to work with one of my best commercial clients, Belmond Hotels, somewhere in Italy. As a highly specialized documentary photographer, my role for them is to curate images from their exclusive private events to showcase the bespoke Belmond Experience.

I've been part of many kinds of Belmond events that offer a glimpse of what luxury travel means to Belmond. Some events include documenting an exclusive group of car aficionado's travelling in a fleet of luxury sports cars from Florence to Portofino and hiking up Sicilian backroads to visit the breathtaking Church of Madonna della Rocca in Taormina. They are all specially tailored to their clients.

This special Belmond Experience I'm about to share with you takes place in Venice, Italy. I was there documenting Engage!17 held at the magnificent property, Belmond Hotel Cipriani (yup, where George Clooney married !). Below is a snippet of what to expect from events working with Belmond Hotels.

Thank you to Kathryne and Rebecca of  Engage! Summits for putting on such an amazing event collaboration. It was a joy to be there to document the events. Beside learning from some of the industry's best, I met the creme de la creme of the luxury event + hospitality industry. It was incredible seeing some of my talented, successful friends and also forming new relationships.

Belmond Hotels, as always, thank you for the incredible opportunity to work with you, yet again. 


CONTRIBUTORS

Host // Belmond Hotel Cipriani
Summit // Engage! Summits
Planning // 
Eleonora of Venice First
Concept, Design, Décor // Vincenzo Dascanio
Entertainment + Artistic Direction // Nu'Art Events
Lighting + Sound // Tecnoluci
Escort Cards, Table Numbers + Menu Design // Two Paper Dolls
Event Furniture + Linen // Oltre IL Giardino
Sparkling Wine // Ferrari Trento 
Wine // Masi Agricola
Greenhouse Design // Le Coperture

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DAY 1

After 12 hours in transit, I was greeted by a private boat that shuttled me over. The views en route were nothing I have ever seen...only in movies. Venice is the real deal. Just incredibly beautiful in every way. The opening day was packed with lots of informative speakers from the industry's best... and amazing artistic entertainment. The welcome party took place at the exclusive Palazzo Pisani Moretta where guests were treated to top-notch performance art, food, and music.

 

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DAY 2

After another exciting morning of inspirational talks, the attendees were treated to a nice outdoor lunch. They were also given a free afternoon to explore Venice and the beautiful culture, history, and architecture. In the evening, attendees visited different historical areas of Venice in small groups for a history lesson and delicious dinner. For myself, I visited the Rubelli Fabrics Museum to get a taste of the fine textile and linen history of the Rubelli family. I learned a lot about the traditions and techniques and was thoroughly amazed by the work displayed before me. All groups met at the end of the night for interactive dessert atop of a luxury department store overlooking the Grand Canal.

The evening was meticulously planned by the ever so wonderful (and beautiful) Eleonora of Venice First

 

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DAY 3

The Engage! gala night was the day everyone was waiting for. This was the night for attendees to be wowed by the entire team with event planning, design, and execution. It was also a time to showcase the strengths of each collaborator and the type of service and vision they could offer. It was a great way to show what new ideas and insights the luxury event planners could bring to their own clients. I have never any event like this.

Cocktails started at the Cipriani Granaries where the artists from Nu'Art provided the eye popping entertainment again. Everything from a wall of talented dancers sitting on chairs to a live marionette show to even floating singers in mini-gondolas. 

The Gala itself was incredible. You would never have guessed this was an outdoor space. It was completely transformed by the floral God, Vincenzo and the team at Le Coperture, who built a greenhouse for the gala. There was no detail left untouched: tablecovers raised to unveil beautiful flowers under, remarkable acrobatic performances, live music combined with performance art, and delectable food. It was the perfect setting to end of another successful event. 

 

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EXPLORE VENICE

As I sadly said my "See you soon!" to all my friends, old and new, my assignment for Belmond Hotels continued. The best way to explore Venice was to get lost. And that I did. I walked for 6 hours straight looking for unique perspectives for the Belmond image vault. Here is just a peek.