Every time we host an event in Portugal, I’m always blown away. There is such a sense of momentum in this country – and in the Algarve, venues are getting more and more creative with their offering. During Connections Meetings in Portugal, we saw some cutting-edge examples of what’s possible.

I have to commend Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort – as a host hotel, you were unbelievable! Everything was executed impeccably, the meals we enjoyed were delicious and your slick facilities made the perfect base for our event. Lúis and André, thank you for having us, I’m so glad we made it happen!

To Isabel from VIP Chauffeurs, thank you for being our official ground handler for the fourth time! The professionalism of your drivers and your expertise always shines through – I really value our partnership and my team can always count on you to deliver

Cristina from Portugal No Limits – the experiences you provided were so personal, thank you for introducing us to Nina, your very own Portuguese Water Dog, she was amazing! You really put so much of yourself into these experiences, and that’s why we’ve loved working with you since Connections first started.

Our official dinner at Conrad Algarve was a night to remember – the performance from local children, the drumming, the dancing, the feast laid our for us, and the lit balloons. Thank you Katerina and Joao for pulling out ALL the stops!

And, for our closing dinner at Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort, we were treated to the “Pine Cliffs Underground Experience.” The venue went completely out-of-the-box and turned their car park into a subterranean festival just for us, with vintage cars on display, food stations suspended from tractors and a brilliant live band. Outstanding!

At Connections Meetings in Portugal, in our educational sessions, we explored the theme of safety and security, kicking things off with a fascinating ConnecTed Panel discussion, moderated by Russ Watts from Dynamo Academy.

I was so absorbed by Elena Altemir’s experience of working at Barcelona Convention Bureau during the terrorist attacks last summer, and Lalit Chadha from SEES India’s honest words about his own experience during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. And Marc Mekki’s live demo of his chatbot – and how it can help travellers in a crisis – really hit home how much people could benefit if we used everyday tech to communicate important messages during an emergency.

And we had some really useful insights from Alexander Goransson from Euromonitor International – I was really interested to hear which countries will gain more MICE business thanks to Trump’s immigration reforms! Thank you, Alexander, for some really great content.

Finally, we had a “Dynamic Improvisation” session with Russ Watts, where we all worked as groups to “creatively express” what we’ll take away from this event in terms after our educational workshops. As usual, Russ’s energy was infectious, and it was a lively, positive way to wrap things up.

To see what we got up to, take a look at the event video for Connections Meetings in Portugal, created by Action Video – Giovanni and Luca, thank you for doing such a great job of documenting our time together!

I cannot thank all of our sponsors and partners enough for making Connections Meetings in Italy
such a fantastic event: Turismo de Portugal, Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, Portugal No Limits, VIP Chauffeurs, Conrad Algarve, Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort, Euromonitor International and Dynamo Academy.

Next year, we will be taking Connections Meetings to the south coast of Italy in April. If you’re interested, my team and I are just a phone call away – we’d love you to join us!

Ciao for now!