When in Rome!

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For the past seven years I have had the great fortune of planning the Leading Producer Conference for ACSIA Partners and, lucky for me, this year it was held in the Eternal City of Rome! It is no wonder why over 4 million people visit Rome each year! It seems there is history, wine, pasta & gelato on every corner. What’s not to love!?  

This past April, 75 guests of ACSIA Partners, a long-term care insurance agency, attended the annual four-day incentive trip and it was one of my all time favorite events to plan!

I contracted the Boscolo Exedra Roma Hotel back in December 2016 while on a site visit to the city. A year and a half later, it did not disappoint. It is located in the heart of Rome, next to the ancient Thermal Baths of Diocletian on Piazza Repubblica, just a short walk to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and more! The rooms were gorgeous and had a view of Michelangelo’s Basilica Santa Maria Angeli. With modern amenities and all marble bathrooms, this five-star property was perfect for the group! (Note to readers: The name of the hotel has since changed to Palazzo Naiadi)

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Guests were greeted in the hotel lobby by me (and my cute husband, Ferris!) with a goody bag filled with Roman treats! The items included local wine, biscotti, a Bialetti espresso maker (an Italian must have!), a commemorative wine bottle coaster & olive wood spaghetti spoon, plus pre-stamped post cards to send home. The bag also included an adapter which his super handy, but also just as ‘cute’ as the rest of the items!  :)  Pomp and Revel engraved the spoons, and also made acrylic laurels to go on the outside of all of the bags with each guest’s name. Red Sparrow did all of the custom graphics for the bag, welcome booklet, etc.

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That evening the welcome dinner was hosted on the beautiful rooftop of the hotel. I hired Marco Lori, an amazing master sommelier, from Off the Vine who chose some fantastic local wines for everyone to try and learn a bit about the Roman wine culture. The modern white on white decor setting for dinner was complimented by the ridiculously cute strolling quarter in red who crooned in Italian all night. They were so great!! Awards were given out to the top 10 agents that night and a bit of dancing closed the evening!

The next morning, we had our business meeting in the basement of the hotel. It sounds depressing, but the architecture is beautiful! The floor of the meeting space was glass showcasing the ruins of the Diocletian Roman baths. After the meeting guests ran around the city on a scavenger hunt for cash prizes – much better than sitting in front of a PowerPoint presentation all day!

Over the next few days guests enjoyed tours of the Colosseum, the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica, walking tours around the central squares & fountains of Rome, and food tours with the oh so fun, Katie Parla! I even took a small group to Florence for the day and got to revisit several locations that Ferris and I went to on our honeymoon! Aaaw!!

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Our final evening was spent at the Palazzo Brancaccio! This gorgeous palace served as the perfect setting for our farewell gala dinner! Each couple had their photo taken in the salon upon arrival and were then led to a glass hallway that served as our cocktail hour. It was a bit reminiscent of the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, on a much smaller level of course. Each room after that was just as stunning and unique from one another. I haven’t heard back from the palace about my rental application yet, but I hope to move in soon!  :)

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A delicious four-course dinner was served in their gorg ballroom, which we made glow a bit purple. I mean, that is the color of royalty after all! The wonderful Mint Afternoon created the escort cards for each guest. (Which, FYI, my new favorite thing is to have the color of ink be the entrée identifier instead of ruining a beautifully scripted card with the word ‘BEEF’ on it. Feel free to take that tip and run with it!)

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At the end of the meal each guest was given printed photos of their arrival in front of the fireplace as well as the group shot as a memento! Dancing and drinking continued until we had to depart back to the hotel. It was the perfect night to end a fantastic trip!!  

And it truly was phenomenal! When planning an overseas multi-day event, there are so many things that could go wrong. No one missed their flights or their ground transportation to the hotel, everyone had their luggage on time, there was no volcanic eruption that disrupted air travel, no one was pick pocketed or mugged, there wasn’t a single case of Zika reported, no one was in or near a terrorist attack, or needed to be rushed to the ER for various reasons. All of which have happened in the past that I have dealt with during these conferences! So yes, this trip was simply amazing in the most easy going sort of way!  :) 

Thank you for the memories ACSIA Partners! I love you guys and miss you all already!!

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