WOW Experiential Celebrations Summit on Creating Heightened Aspirations

Weddings | July 12, 2018 | News

Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi Barcelona Turisme Palazzo Versace Dubai Fete Events Motwane Entertainment and Weddings

The WOW LAB at the recently concluded WOW Awards and Convention Asia 2018, featured the Experiential Celebrations Summit which saw experts from across Destinations, Venues, Décor and F&B segments as they dealt with the creation of value and up-selling to clients in the wedding industry.

The discussion revolved around the topic of Creating Heightened Aspirations – Cultivating Increased Spends, through three important aspects of a social event, i.e. venues and destinations, design and décor, and F&B. The session was moderated by Wedniksha Director, Bhavnesh Sawhney and had a set of speakers, leaders of each segment.

Through Venues and Destinations

The speakers in this panel were Elena Altemir from Barcelona Turisme, Sandra Tikal from Palazzo Versace Dubai, and Anna Olsson from Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi. While Anna dealt with the question of higher pricing and limiting the decorator’s creativity, Elena spoke on elevating the exclusivity of a wedding. Sandra Tikal discussed the workings of appealing to the Indian wedding sensibilities.

Anna Olsson, Commercial Director - Sales, Marketing, and PR, Emirates Palace

“I think Emirates Palace is a dream for many interior decorators and florists. It makes for the grandest platform to be either used as is or to be transformed entirely depending on the client's budgets and requirements. I think what creates heightened aspiration of this venue and also the outdoor venues of the Emirates Palace is the fact that it is created with the utmost grandness already, so you can build the occasion to match this level.”

Elena Altemir, International MICE Promotion Manager, Barcelona Turisme

“We came up with the Barcelona Weddings website to assist planners in planning a wedding in Barcelona. If you have the budget for a cultural site, go for it. And if you don’t, we have over 300 wineries to choose from. Still quaint and still very European. We have professionals who will be delighted to work with you. I believe, sooner or later, Indian weddings are going to make a trend in Europe, you create a story, and your decoration is amazing. Barcelona is all about the emotion that connects with you and the key selling points are good food, location, modernism and the beauty.”

Sandra Tikal, General Manager, Palazzo Versace

 “I think it splits into four categories, and the first is brand. Versace is a renowned brand in the world, it’s an aspirational brand. Everyone knows Versace as a fashion brand and knows less about Versace’s hospitality. The other thing about it is that we spend a lot on the authentic. Now when someone is flying in 400-500 guests for their celebration, less distraction is a good thing. Being 10 minutes away from the airport is a benefit. It is a value to have a wedding here. We’ve offered complete buyouts for a few weddings where it then became family celebrations. We participate to make a celebration. We like to talk to the family, to make sure they’re okay. It’s exciting for us as well. We try and create a family environment, so everybody feels comfortable”.

Through Design and Décor

Mallika Singh of Dubai based Fete Events spoke about how they ensure décor creates heightened aspiration in a time when less is more.

Mallika Singh, Creative Design Director, Fete Events

“When you’re working on a wedding you’re trying to bring a bride’s vision alive. People are now looking for a very personalized approach. For example, you choose a décor where the table settings are very dynamic. You do not want people to leave without talking about your event. So there’s always something at an event which is a conversation starter. And something that makes the guests talk about it for a long time.”

Through Food and Beverage

The speakers in this panel were, wedding planner Aditya Motwane, food stylist Rakhee Jain and restaurateur and celebrated caterer, Varun Tuli. The discussion of this session was around the question; what is considered of more value: Taste or Presentation? and discussed topics like unique food curation concepts, food presentation, and catering collaborations.

Aditya Motwane, Director, Motwane Entertainment, and Weddings

“The food business is a very important pillar in Indian weddings. We’ve all done weddings over the world and in India. The food and beverage business in India is massive and every client is looking for something different and special, and we try to help them by getting the specialist catering team. We work with all local and international catering teams to offer the best culinary experience at weddings in India and abroad.”

Rakhee Jain, Director, Rakhee Jain Designs

“The concept I am trying to bring in is a value-add. We create food as a part of the décor. What we have tried to do is blend the food décor with the décor of the event venue. Also, I believe the catering teams who come from overseas are so busy producing the food they do not have the time to think about how they will present it. It is a challenge for them to churn things out at the right temperature and make sure it is then presented well. We bring expertise in making sure everything is food safe.”

Varun Tuli, Director, Yum Yum Tree

“Being fairly new gave us the liberty to think about food very differently. We look at three types of collaborations. First is the holistic collaborations, which means there is a collaboration between the event planner and décor company as a whole. Second is between chefs. The third is with the actual guests.  Sit-down is another concept which we’re trying to bring in Indian weddings. Having a sit down dinner with the Indian audience is difficult and hence we’re coming up with unique settings for the seating and food that is served at the same place.”


The WOW LAB at the recently concluded WOW Awards and Convention Asia 2018, featured the Experiential Celebrations Summit which featured experts from across Destinations, Venues, Décor and F&B segments

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