We’ve all been there, a conference for weddings and events with speakers and booths and a ballroom style environment. This is all good and there is a place for it in the industry, but we are an industry of creatives… There HAS to be another way!
I’m SO excited to share today’s guest, Chris Anderson, Director of Sales & Marketing at Conrad Punta de Mita in Sayulita. I visited the property at the beginning of the year for their Crazy Little Thing Called Love event and it was show stopping. Listen in as we share the experience with you!
How to drive company culture by including geographic culture
How to think outside of the box and create something memorable
How to showcase a property through experiences
Create an environment your employees are proud of and they will make you proud
Quality service is everything
Think outside of the box, create something awe inspiring
MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST
Christopher Anderson who brings nearly 15 years of luxury hospitality industry experience to the table in his new role. Helming the resort's global communication and sales efforts, Anderson will provide strategic leadership and direction to drive revenue and implement business goals that will propel the newly opened property as a leader in the region's hospitality market.
Having worked on all corners of the U.S. from Washington D.C. to San Francisco, Anderson joins the Conrad Punta de Mita team from Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas, where he oversaw all sales and marketing efforts for the luxurious non-gaming resort for nearly three years. As he kicks off his new role at Conrad Punta de Mita, Anderson adds a new market to his impressive resume, bringing a fresh perspective of sales and marketing experience to the CALA region (Caribbean and Latin America).
A California native, Anderson is a lover of nature and celebrates an outdoor lifestyle, fitting naturally well with the open-air Conrad Punta de Mita resort, that is sprawled across the miles-long white sand beach. Bringing his admiration for good food and music to the new resort, Anderson aims to implement new programs, activations and partnerships that will elevate the property's position in the market and propel it onto the global stage, as his goal is to expand awareness in new markets around the world.
Hey, y'all. It's Angelo. I'm back for another episode of business unveiled. I'm so excited to talk to our guests today. Because when I got back from this amazing experience that this brand and this property put on for luxury wedding and event planners, I was completely blown away.Continue Reading
It's like, probably one of my very favorite that I've ever been to. And I've been on a lot of trips. So we're going to talk about that today and share some of the behind the scenes. So if you don't have um, flip flops and shorts and a hat, like put that on and come to the beach with us. So Chris, welcome to the show.
Angeles, so good to see you. And this is awesome. It's great to reconnect.
Yay, I'm so excited. I clearly we're not sitting on the beach together. But it's all good in the future. Right. But we were and you know, not too long ago. And so before we jump off and talk about where we were, in the whole experience, give us a little bit of background on whose credits how'd you get into hospitality? And how did you end up in the position that you're in right now?
Sure, sure. It's just kind of a fun story. I grew up in the hospitality industry. When one of my family members was involved in hotels and going to school to be a teacher studying history, thought I would go into law school and eventually become a lawyer and started parking cars in college. Yeah, so I did like valet from the house and then work my way through the operations. And one day, someone approached me and said, you know, you're, you're wasting your talents and the operation, you should join us on the tail side of things. And, and rest is kind of history. I've been moving around my careers, you know, landed me in some amazing destinations. Born and raised in Southern California, I've been on the east coast, the Bay Area out to Hawaii multiple times. And now, in my most recent role was with the Waldorf Astoria here in Las Vegas, so I still get to Call Las Vegas home. But I get the extreme privilege to now represent the Conrad Punta de Mita from home in Vegas. And it's really rough, I have to spend half my time on destiny in the destination and have my time home office. So somebody has to do it. And it's just lucky to be me.
Sounds so exhausting. And okay, you're watching this, like, whenever y'all first reached out, which you reached out through one of my, he's my travel has been, and we just got off the trip together. And he's like, there's this thing and Punta Mita. And I really think that you should come and see it, and like, get some footage of it. We can, like do some tic TOCs. I just think it would be really good. Like, there's a spot open, are you available? And I'm like, Punta Mita. What's that? And I'm pretty well traveled. And we've done a lot of weddings, like in islands in the Caribbean, and Mexico. And I'm like googling it, right. But you know, when your travel husband says you got to come, it doesn't really matter what Google says, right? Because it's all about the relationship. And so I'm like, Well, I asked my sister, and she's like, we'd have to move this and do that. But like, we can make it work. I'm like, okay, then we're gonna make it work. And then on top of that, I got, like, you know, the formal invite, and they're like, you can bring a plus one. And I'm like, what? I don't ever bring plus, well, I don't have a plus. But usually, like, you know, my assistant, or one of our team members, you know, but that's rarely offered from any brand or any resort to to now, if you don't travel a lot, guys, I know it seems super luxurious, but it's still work to like pack and go through all the travel stuff. And, you know, it's it's not a tough life, but oftentimes, we're the ones taking care of everything. And so it was so nice to actually be treated like an actual guest. And it was just it was done so friggin well, but we're gonna jump into that, but I want to know even before the event, can you share a little bit about Conrad? The the brand I know for me, it's kind of a newer brand because we had we the first time we worked with Conrad was just a handful of years ago for a A huge entrepreneur organization event. And people call us a little high maintenance. I'm like, we know what we want. How's that happening? And so we're good communicators, like we run businesses. But I'm like if this hotel can nail it, and if they can nail this group of 500, plus executives from around the world, I'm pretty sure they could pull off a luxury wedding. And that was in DC. And that was just a few months before. So when when Brian told me it's the Conrad and Punta Mita it's much more private than he's like, it's not like a Cancun or a cabo and, or Playa Del Carmen, and in he's like, just just move your schedule and come and he's like, I'm bringing my best friend, and he's like, but you can bring a plus one, I'm like, Well, you would be my plus one. So it's, um, so everything was just done. So well. But I would love to know, from your perspective, like, how did how was the idea born? And what collaboration took place to like, get it going? On the behind the scenes of it?
Sure, sure. Well, thank goodness for your your work husband, right for the for cluing. You in because it was awesome to have you. But you know, the, the Conrad brand is a luxury brand within the Hilton family, right. And within Latin America, we were the first to come, you know, to come alive, we opened the hotel in September of 2020, probably the worst time in the history of our of the world, not even just our industry to try to open a resort. But, but we did it right. And one of the things that we saw, not just with with Conrad and Punta de Mita, but overall, like with our collection of hotels is that one of the things that continued on with weddings, right? corporate events, it was very easy to say, hey, this doesn't work due to the pandemic or whatever, but to tell a bride that your date has to move, or that we have to cancel or they had to cancel, like, what, you know, the thought was that love continues on, right. And these weddings were so important, not only to our success as a hotel, but also just to keep that relationship alive with these couples, because it's heartbreaking, you know, the pandemic and the shifts of all the different rules and regulations in the different destination. So one of the things that, you know, when we thought about this, it was kind of, we knew that this market segment was going to continue on, right, love is going to conquer. All right. And so that was really the starting point. Right? And, and so when we started thinking about it, we said, well, we want to be sure that we showcase the resort, and its full capabilities, but also culturally to that, that we're diverse, right, that we're open to, you know, multiple cultures, cultures, LGBTQ, you know, whatever it may be. And so we kept thinking, and then we said, you know, this really should act like a wedding. And so that's where the plus one concept came on. Right? Because, you know, again, traveling, you travel, I travel a lot being away from your spouse, or your plus one is difficult, right? And so we were like, if this is really going to be a wedding, let's include those people and really throw a party that's going to be memorable, right. And so that's where it kind of started and then and then we kind of continue to brainstorm and invite came out as the general managers wedding. And, and that's where you know, it all kind of, you know, the think tank opened up wide. And we and we really got creative as a team of how we could really have some fun with the event.
Let me just give you like an overview, like a snapshot, y'all. So first off, you know, get on an airplane, you go, and then you get there. And it's like, everything was super smooth. The airport was nice, it was clean. It was a part of an area mixup. Never been to even heard of it. And you know that that matters, you know, when people land, and then you all took care of the transportation. It was very comfortable. Everyone was very, not only polite, but it's just like, they're trained well, like from every single thing from the person opening the door to put your luggage in. get you there. And then, you know, there were every day y'all had a theme. And I think one of my favorite things ever was getting, it was almost kind of like a Pinterest board that Brennan sent me and he's like, here, this is all the stuff you need to pack. And I'm like, damn, this is kind of a lot, I think like three and a half days but, but I'm like, but I love the concept. And then I loved it even more when I got there. But I'm like, This is so well organized. And everything was thought through and it's like oh my god, it actually inspired me I came home my team they're like, Oh dear God, what did you learn this time? What are we changing? But it's like, you know, one of the most common questions we get as a planner is what should I wear? Especially if it's an outdoor wedding. And so I'm like what if you know we did like inspiration boards and start putting them on the our Brad's websites which we don't do a ton ton 10 ton anymore just because I like to be on the education side of You know, bringing people together. And so we're selective, we work with a certain number of people who want to do destination. But then we also have gotten into like executive travel and, and I think from a perspective of like, being an EO member, and then working with people who have very high expectations, and then working with the luxury. Brad's like the way you are married, literally married it all together. Especially like the diversity. I mean, one day, a theme was Jewish. And so at the wedding, where we were guest, it's like, instead of like having a, and it was, it was a cute little ceremony. And I just I loved although outfit changes, and everything was so fun. But you all explained it. And there were planners there, like high end luxury planners that had never done a Jewish wedding before, they never done an Indian wedding before, they had never done an LGBTQ wedding before. And so it was so cool to like, experience that within being like, oh my god, I had no clue. And it also, like, I just feel like leveled up, that CR song level up. It really like it took the education to the next level. And I think for people that I'm specifically talking about the plus ones, just because I've had a lot of conversations with people like wedding planning in in our area of the world. And design isn't taken as serious as it's getting better. It's getting better. But it's like a luxury. It's not like needed, right. But actually these days, like it kind of is needed. But the way that everything was explained, the plus ones were like holy cow, like there's so many different not only to the look in the colors, but the education and knowing like you. Some of them in there were like, What are these hats, you know, like the key for the Jewish part in in the weather was perfect. And that was something else you can always count on. But it was like the whole in everything that was done like with the Baroque in the Indian ceremony, and then the reception and like the wow factor and the smoke machines and, and then the pool party with the floats. That was the best. I mean, we've never, ever done anything like that for a client. And every planner, most of us had not done that before. And we're like we could sell this any day. And then of course, it was all over social media. And not only was it all over social media, but from a marketing perspective. Again, the way you guys did, it was so amazing, because you told us exactly what you wanted. We got I go to conferences, and sometimes I mean, I'm paid to speak and be there. And I'm like, Well, do you want me to do a video? What hashtags do I use? Who do I tag? What are all the I mean, it's like you guys had the, I don't want to call it like a brochure. But it was like a booklet of like, all the people's pictures and like our BIOS and what the f we do, and like it was in the Jennifer sent me the digital copy. Because of course I'm like, I want the digital copy. But every event was so well thought out. And on top of that the team and the staff and the experiences and the vendors and the partners. I did not have one, one negative or bad experience at all. Like and I'm not just saying that because I'm talking to you. I mean, I kind of noticed everything you because we want yeah. But that's what so I want to go to the brand and go to the hotel. Yeah.
And I think you know, there's so many beautiful parts of the world and so many beautiful resorts, but it's really the people that make a difference, right. And so for us to provide an environment for our team members to shine. And really, you know, we share the overarching concepts, but then we let the operation shine, right? Hey, here's our goals. And here's our plan, what are your thoughts and we had them buy in, and when you have total buy in, it just adds to the success of the event. You know, and we really going back to the itineraries, and you know, the outfits and you know all of that, like we wanted to really, for some people, this might have been the first travel coming out of the pandemic. So we really wanted to just take the thinking out of it and really provide something again, that was educational, but it had to have some fun. And I think we accomplished that.
Oh, my gosh, well, and also it was not like your typical like conference. And I don't even think the word conference was attached to it, right. I mean, it wasn't it, you all had a theme. And the theme, and the brand of the theme was carried out everywhere, throughout. And again, it was done. Everything was done. So tastefully. And then again, we really it was like a three day wedding y'all. And so it's like we did activities, and then we rotated. And then it's like you have a perception in your head. At least I do. I mean, I think everybody does. And when there's holes and there's gaps, you make shit up because you want to complete the story. But all the activities I'm like, Okay, there's an activity in the spa somewhere. Probably didn't get like a 20 minute chair massage, that'll be great. No, it wasn't like that at all the coolest experience of the local culture, and how you all really embrace the local culture and like, again, not only did you make everybody, everybody shine, and that's the culture is so different, it's one thing to make a brad shot on her wedding day, like every bride should feel like a princess. But when everybody's not on the same page from a culture perspective of the positivity and the, the yeses, and then they'll go behind the scenes, and they'll be like, okay, they're asking for this, what exactly does that mean? You know, it's like, behind the scenes, you know, as a planner, we get those funny questions sometimes. But it was just it was it was done so well. And then, and then again, having like, the GM, you know, renewing everything and all the makeup and the hair and outfits, and you all kind of treated us like bridesmaids. You know, with like, the the bags being delivered, like every little detail was done. So well. So from from a Conrad and from, like a company culture, specifically in Punta Mita like I, you know, the Conrad is, y'all, it's a great brand, it's a great luxury brand. And but the company culture was the same in DC, as it was there because you know, you how you'll go to one place or like one Ritz Carlton, you can go to every risk on it, usually. And it's pretty consistent because they have a great training program. Not everyplace does. And it was very consistent. And these people were so happy. And oh, my God, my favorite part is when you actually invited the all of the employees to like be part of like, the dancing, so they were like party motivated. And then they were introduced as like, kind of like we would introduce a wedding party into a you know, to the band or whatever, which was like the final night after the Indian ceremony after the bra, that means they're ready. And it was just, though, you could just tell how happy those people were to like, be at work. Right. Right. Right. Talk to us a little bit about like, what's the secret sauce of like, not that you're gonna give away secrets? But like, how is it the is it the culture in that part of Mexico? And the people are just like that? Or is it something that's more, you know, a combination of, you know, internal processes that really helped the foundation? of the culture there? Like locally?
Sure, yeah. No, I think it's a little bit of both. And, you know, and kudos to our general manager, Marcos habit. And he's such a good sport, right? So we brought him the idea. And we said, hey, you're, you're the guest, you know, you're the, you're the host, right? And okay, and he's thinking, I'm gonna get married once. And it's like, no, no, no, you're gonna get multiple, multiple times. And by the way, Danielle your wife has to buy into and so the two of them, they really did embrace it. And Marcos wife, she is such a good sport. She comes from the industry, she was in the events background, so she understood the goals of the event. And she she jumped right in and helped us out. So kudos to those two because it was a lot, right. Like she, you know, she was getting her hands on and multiple things and multiple gowns and choose just a great sport. So anyway, as it pertains to team members, I think again, just it is a little bit of culture, you know, the Mexican culture, specifically in that part of Mexico is very welcoming. You know, you hear the term you Casa su casa out to your house. But we elevate that a little bit. So it is very friendly. You know, I like to say, you know, when a server even presents a plate in a restaurant, you almost see them hover to see if you enjoy it, because it says if they cooked it themselves, that they didn't want to see that gratification, and if not, they're going to make it right immediately. And so you have that, and then again, you get that buy in on on the type of event that we're having. And because it is so inclusive, and you're touching so much cultures, including the Mexican culture, they were just totally bought in and had a lot of fun with it and to see it pay off and to see you guys with your smile. I think that is their their currency, right? So when they get invited into the ball, or then to be celebrated and see how spectacular it turned out at the end of the week, and all the smiles and all the questions and all the you know, assistance they provided you. That's the secret sauce, right? And so, now now they're they asked me because you know, like I said, I spent half my time there. Typically the first or second question I get is, when's the next event? Who's coming in? What weddings are they did they participate in crazy little thing called love, you know? So it's cool. They're bought in, right? And they're part of the team and they're part they're in the operation, but they're part of the sales and marketing team because without them, we can't have success in delivering these types of events.
And that is one thing that I really, really want to highlight because we have Dun, we had events that were supposed to happen in 2020 that we just did like, recently, like, right before I came. And we had great relationships with these two sales managers. And we've worked with these girls for over a decade. And wherever they go, which one of them goes like every two to three years and opens up a new hotel, we go in the business goes, because she's amazing. But after COVID, the labor became a problem. And I didn't realize it until I was in it. In fact, I wasn't even there. I was at a party, a Christmas party, because it was a Christmas event. And my team was there. And my team lead was like, Angela, it's a sit down dinner, six courses, Italian family, and three servers showed up, we had 22 tables of 10. Yeah. And I'm like, I didn't Well, first off, I didn't even get the message or the Marco Polo two hours later. But this is again, it is training, because you know what, she stepped up, she took care of it. But the biggest problem, and this was a brand new hotel, and within their great brand, but they didn't think through the whole load in situation with events going up and down. They had one back, elevate, it was a shit show in the back end. And so I was like, Oh, my God, you know, we always do a wrap meaning at the end, I'm like, is there going to be this way, especially for destination weddings, you know, in my head, I'm thinking like, Oh, my God, it's gonna be hard to just ask different questions. Now, when you go through a pandemic that you've never been through before, it's like, okay, you're sure. And if all your servers have COVID, and call out, what's your backup plan? Who's the staffing company? Like? These are the questions you have to think about now. But going there, and I mean, I talked to people, I talked to the wall, I just asked him, What are you happy? How long have you been here? Like, how long have you worked at the brand? Or what Conrad did you come from or what Hilton property deed I was shocked at how many people were really vocal. And like they they had been there for a long time, or they had been with the Hilton brand for a long time where they both with another Conrad. So it's like, every single person has some type of a story that was five plus years, every person. So that just goes to tell you that it's like you get one or two great people, they bring their friends. And usually their friends are a lot like them. You know, some like the culture here, it's just, it's so good. And in the destination, things that I've been on, like for conferences and stuff you labor is, is a little bit a little bit of a concern. Everywhere, it's a worldwide issue right now, but it didn't seem to be an issue at all.
No, no, we're very lucky. Like where we are in our part of the world, like, we don't have the same labor issues that we're seeing, you know, in other parts of the world. And again, I was in Vegas before and it was a challenge, you know, running a luxury resort with with less staff, it's just the customer expectation is, is up there, when you're when you're driving these luxury brands, and, you know, fortunate for us, you know, the destination really is rooted in luxury, you know, with our competitors that have been in the market for for quite some time. And so when you open a new resort, obviously, that's the shiny new toy, and then you have to worry about retention, right. And I think that starts at the top with, with the culture that Marco the general manager, and the division has are leading is that, you know, we've even had some team members, you know, calm and then and then leave for other resorts and then asked to come back. And to me, that is a sign of, we're doing something right. And again, it starts with the leadership at the top. And we're just driving that culture of a really a family environment. And it is luxury driven. And it's a fun place to be, you know, we enjoy working with each other we enjoy, you know, showcasing the resort and just based on site inspections and things that we do, and try to be unique, special and different. When you get their buy in. It just translates to success.
And again, I just I love how you all incorporate everybody. So let's talk about the property a little bit because I it's like you guys do buy outs. And so for people that like, first off, let me just back up the device, the diversity and the training for the Jewish, the ending LGBTQ, everything was executed so well. And not only was it something that was talked about, but like, you know, Brian, and I talk all the time, it was actually done and done the right way. And again, that goes back to training. But that was amazing. Like how you all did that. And then I just want to highlight like the decor because there's this there's this little stigma. I think that's the right word in our industry that if you do a hotel wedding, it's cookie cutter, and everything looks the same and it's all packaged. And the chicken tastes like forever. I mean, you know what I'm talking about, right? So, of course, that is not at all a concern there. And not only are you all selling things and selling an idea and selling something culturally, that's very different. Being able to not pull it off, which is what happened to us at that Christmas wedding. It wasn't hurt the so it wasn't her fault. It was no one's fault. It's how you react. And it's how you communicate. And that's where you got to have people jump in and doing things. But I don't know, it was it was just like, can we go back? Go back right now. Like, can we just go back? And then y'all when we were leaving, it's like, the next big thing coming up was to loom because you all have something going on in saloon to Conrad does. And but I also want to highlight the the relationships and the connections that were made with like the planners, you know, like, from all the different places I want to, to group text with people. I mean, one of them has over 35 people in it. I think Brian started it. And, and like we still group text, and you know about different things like the other Sunday, somebody was like, Where can I get really cool, like these pool floats that were, you know, put to meet at Conrad. And so Brian's like, Oh, check this out. Angela has a pink cellphone float. So everybody is so like, you know, going back and talking about it. And so give us a little bit of perspective on like, because I know some people, they hear Indian wedding, and they're like, Oh, my God, that's like 1000 people. And then, but I mean, the rooms and the facilities and the property, the way it's laid out is done so well, logistically, because it's not too big. But it's not too small. And there's there's enough restaurants. And so tell us a little bit about like, just, you know, that part of it so that people know conceptually what we're talking about numbers.
Sure, sure. So the resort itself, going back to the kind of the destination, we're the largest. Currently, we're the largest luxury resort in the destination, so 323 guestrooms with 59 suites. And you know, that's our biggest strength and our greatest weakness, right, because we need to fill more rooms and then our competitors do. But at the same time, we're able to offer something unique to you and your clients, right. So we've done weddings that are three day buyouts all the way down to like 10 people that are looking to do something intimate. And to your point of how the resort is laid out is you know, there's a main building, and then nine classes that work their way down to the ocean front. And so, you know, we can do some really special things for smaller, smaller weddings where we can do by out to those individual cocktails. So, you know, you may have a collection of five or six rooms and multiple buildings, but that's your family, your friends, your wedding party. So you kind of have your own, you know, bubble, if you will, within the resort. And again, we do also have those where it primarily we see that in Mexican culture weddings, where they want to buy the whole place out. And they throw 3d parties that are just non stop with their, you know, where we can explore and extend noise curfews. Because again, they're not disturbing anyone but their own guests. And it's crazy. It's a lot of fun. So that's a little bit about the resort. In regards to be your question or your point about, you know, how we hit those different cultures, it was really important for us to nail that and not just fake it. So we reached out to really like industry leading subject matter experts in each of those areas, and have been come in and not only educate our staff, but we did have some other sister hotels, as well as you guys come through and and learn from some of the best in the industry. And they helped us orchestrate those events. They were like helping us architect, you know, what part of the resort and what are the things that we really have to nail. And I think it came off very well and authentic. And that was the goal, right? And, you know, going back to how we invited all of you and how we continue to engage with you. We didn't do it the traditional route with an email, we did it through social media. And I think when we did that it did kind of help, you know, marriage, if you will, everybody, right? Because we were seeing each other in a different way. We were connecting on Instagram, and I could see, you know, we could connect on Instagram, I can see how you live your life and things that you do and find common interests differently through social media. And it's amazing, like how that chat continued even on after, you know, after everybody departed. And I think when we were all done, we realized this was quickly going to become a legacy event for Hilton. And knowing that we were opening a new Conrad into loom, they immediately had their hand up of like, we want to be the next house. So I think they're working through that now to be the next host for a crazy little thing called love part two.
Well and like, again, it's just, it was just it was so well done. And then on social media people, you know, in our industry, they're like, how do you go to these things? Like, how do you get to do these things? And I'm like, well, first off, let's not compare your today to my today. Like, I'm in my 40s have worked for 20 years retired out and said, I'm just going to do like b2b Consulting and like, keep our lifecycle clients and then like the executive travel and leisure, leisure travel, just because when I'm speaking at these conferences, and all over the world, connecting with entrepreneurs, like, you can't even imagine some of the experiences sometimes in some of its culture, but like, you'll learn a lot. And then it's like, if you're if you don't share that with anybody, what good is it doing? And what was so cool about those planners? And and I don't know strategically how you all chose what, but it's like, you got to have some pre qualification right? You can't be in business for two years never done a damn destination wedding never been out the country, you don't even freaking passport, but you want to be a destination planner and come to a luxury event, who you're going to sell to, you're going to talk to you do you have? You know, it's just like, and I love the people were asking the questions like the go getters, the hustlers, and I'm like, in weddings in the in, in America, like you got to put your blood sweat and tears in. And how some of these girls get in, walk into the luxury market is they do an internship. And yeah, if they do a great job, and they are genuinely passionate about people, you can't fake that you can't teach that I can teach a lot of stuff. But I can't teach people how to love people, and how to have empathy. And when someone is complaining, or screaming or cussing at you. You don't know what happened to them that morning, it may have nothing to do with you, you just happen to be the victim in front of them at the moment. And I learned that from working in a mental hospital as a therapist, it's always trying to, you know, teach the people around us like, you don't just fall into these things like you got to work for it. And I think social media is a great tool. But if someone said to you, like how do you get to these events? Like what would your answer be? Because that's we get it all
there. Yeah, there were some definitely some serious FOMO via social media, right. So you know, when we have some of the industry leading destination wedding planners, that was the goal, right in partnership with some media. So we did have some media join us as well. So when you combine, you know, those heavy hitters in the wedding destination, weddings market, and the media and people start seeing, you know, these posts, and these reels, and all these things happening on social media, they're like, I want to be there, which was awesome, because that was the goal. Right? And, and so honestly, I think, for us, like in order to participate in the event, it is to be someone that you know, has experience in this space that that has a connection to clientele, that looking at a luxury destination wedding. And you know, people like yourself that are doing, you know, podcasts and blogs and blogs, like that's important, because the whole it was an awareness piece, right to have someone come down and really experience it that has a connection to the right customer base, and then also can help be that megaphone and share our story. That's what we were looking for.
And, and you brought the right people together that naturally clicked because we had that experience. And then we were able to talk about it and appreciate it so much more, because you don't get that everywhere. And I will say it's just the way my schedule worked out. But I stayed an extra day. And so you know how sometimes when you go into an event and like, and I'm finding this more frequently all over the world where staffing companies are plopping people into these brands and moving them around, they don't know what's going on, but they'll bring in their team for like a luxury wedding. But then you you stay at the Hotel weddings over but then you get like shit service. Like I'm just being real here. It's just different, right? So the whole extra day, and then I had dinner with media team and some of your team members. And we were it was all women. And we're all like, you know, like, very, you can just tell like big personality, we had the best time. But the chef came out and what you were saying like when they put the food down in front of us because it was like the normal restaurant food. It wasn't the Special Event Food and like, how was this gonna be right? But it was all so just experienced in the restaurant is like, you know, seven of us sitting there for dinner. It was so consistent. The presentation was amazing. We couldn't stop video. And I was like, Um, can we turn up the lights a little bit? I know, it's like nine o'clock at night. And it's and they were like, Yeah, I was like, I just want a little bit. And then the girls like, Oh, let me just shine my iPhone. flashlight on there and then that and then that, you know, everyone jumped in, which means everyone's proactive and everyone wants to help And it was just you still got that same experience, you know, when the event was over. So I do want you to know that, and then for and just the going back to the stigma of selling something and then actually being able to execute it. Some of the vendors and the partners that they're all local, and y'all like they're not doing like chair cover the stigma of Oh, the hotels don't have it when you are with partners like that, who are so creative and out of the box. And so on top of trends. I again, for an eyelid, I was just like, wow, this was amazing. It really was, what, what did y'all do ahead of time, like with your vendor partners, so like, create all this stuff? Like, what did y'all do ahead of time to research, like the trends of what you thought was gonna happen? You know, coming out at COVID? Because y'all nailed it. I mean, you really freaking nailed it. It was amazing.
what were those discussions? Yeah.
I think, you know, going back to, you know, the planning that you saw, as it pertained to like, what outfits to wear, and all of that. So as we were piecing things together, and, and for me, you know, I was able to bring my plus one to two, my wife team. So it was awesome to be able to showcase, you know, what, what I do, and the resort and, and the destination, all that and she actually has a background in wedding. So for her, she was even more excited. But I think for me, like the event that I knew, like you have anxiety going into it, right? Yeah, multi day event, these amazing plants. But that opening night reception, the white party on the beach, and seeing the level of decor that went into that. That's when I like all anxiety went away, because he nailed it, you know. And we can talk about the specific event itself. But I think for me, going to our partners and explaining the thought, right? Like, listen, we know weddings is going to need to live on, we have a huge opportunity with the weddings market, and really be a true partner, and how can you help us and this is our thought of like how we want to design the event? And how can you add that extra value to it. And they bought into right, because again, if they're a key partner of ours, and we're doing these big weddings, they're going to be a part of it. And so it was really easy, honestly, to have them see the vision that we did. Because again, it's this market segment is weddings is so important to our success. So again, just sharing the basic idea with them, and then, you know, getting their buy in on how they can help design the events is great, but, but that opening night reception of the light party on the beach, and you know, it's funny, we went into a pre planning, like the day before, like you would for a big wedding. Right. And so we had the entire team there. And we're kind of going day by day meal period by meal period, event by event. And at the end of night, when we were asked, we were I said hey, we're the fireworks, and they're like, Oh, we didn't, we didn't budget fireworks, I said we're gonna we're gonna in this thing, the right way, we're gonna kick it off the right way. And so we we pulled the fireworks together at the last minute, but it was just such a fun event. And we had, you know, the fishermen come in with the fresh cat and meet chef and then sharing a beer. And then that's the you know, that's the cuisine and we were having on an open fire that night. And it was just so fun. It was just so much fun and a great way to kick it off. I think everyone was like, Okay, now I get it. I get it. I get what we're trying to accomplish here. Just off night one. So it was a lot of fun.
It was it was so so there's like a really funny story about that. Well, first off again, the decor y'all there were teepees, there were these rugs all over. It was like, which a lot of the people that work there say like It's like walking into a living room, you know, like welcoming people. It just it was beautiful. And and, and again, the pictures and the drone shot. Everything looks amazing, because you all told people what, what inspiration of things to wear. So it didn't look like this hodgepodge of just though. It was just every little thing. Okay, but two things so the fireworks were flippin amazing. And I mean, come on, we see fireworks all the time. Every client does it, you know, the longer it is the more it costs, like you know, but and also to like on some of these islands, the very first time I ordered fireworks from an island, I'm not going to say where it was. And then the amount of US dollars, we paid for it in the little box they brought and I was like that's the farmer where I live. There's like 10 pallets, and I'm a little confused and I'm a little worried. And then I thought to myself, oh my god, we're ready. We'll be drunk. They'll never. I'm like, but I have to ask these questions, right? Like, like if I'm paying you X amount of dollars for a 32nd firework display what exact Does that look like and? Because for that event, y'all I mean, it was it was blown out of the water in the fact that you did last minute like, kudos like, that's amazing. But the next insider
tip on firework insider tip on fire is okay for pay for five minutes and shoot them off into. So the whole thing is just a grand finale the whole plan. And that's really what we wanted to do is see your point, you know, like, we see fireworks all the time, but we're on the beach, we're outdoors, we're in Mexico, the weather is exceptional. We've just had a probably a few margaritas and ate some great, you know, things and the dance floor was just jamming the whole time. So we almost was like, we didn't want to stop the party. But at the end of the day, we it was time, right? So yeah, we we used five minutes and shot him in two. And it was awesome. It was awesome.
I think we were up till 4am and Brian and not mainly walking around with this old tequila because that's my favorite. And the bottle, not just the tequila. It was it was amazing. So funny story. So the next day, I'm talking and I'm like, I use this at Marco Polo. And I'm like Marco Polo, and brands listening. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, I'm like these fishermen caught this fish. And right in the middle of the party. They just walked right through the party with the fish. And then they like cooked it. And it was just I love like that local feeling like that. That was so cool. And Brian's like, Angela, are you stupid like that was like, he's like, it wasn't just a boat came up with the, but they did catch it that day. And he's like that, that just No. And I don't know why I made that up in my head. Right. But that's how local I was getting. I was like, wow, that was just perfect timing. I think I had a little bit too much. And then the next day, it worked. Well, and also to the next day, it was like everything was planned out perfectly. And again, it makes sense because you had, you know, luxury helping you guys it's like go to the experts. But you know, when you go to those conferences, or a wedding where it's like so effing jam packed, and it's like, you don't even have time to like pee or touch, you know, check your email or whatever. And so the amount of like, free time or the optional thing on the last day of like going into town and stuff I thought was really amazing. Because you got to go and like experience that. But then we didn't have to think about what activities we wanted to go do. Like, it was enough free time and choices, but not too much to where it's like teamwork planners, like we have to make these decisions all day every day for people, like I don't want to do it for myself. Like, that's how I feel. But it's like, but then we're control freaks. Because if we don't control it, and communicate, then our experience sucks. So it's like, you know, not a win win situation. But y'all did all everything was just done naturally.
I'd say you know, I think too, like you're all 52 Right? You Have you have you know, your your events and stuff. But you also at the same time when you're out of office, the world doesn't stop. And so, you know, when we're putting together the agenda, you know, some people may need that, you know, extra hour to check email, the other people are like, Hey, I'm I want to go lay by the pool, or I want to, you know, do this activity, or I want to get off property. So we really did try to, you know, think about all of that when we were putting together the agenda. So I'm glad you appreciate that.
We did the bonus things like so there was Bollywood dancing. And the way that it was done is it was like leading up to the Indian wedding. And then they played some fun songs. And it was so cute. And of course I'm like videoing all this because it was like they wanted to get everybody on the dance floor. And we rotated. So I think it was like 30 minutes of like a great workout. And like learning three Bollywood dances and and they were easy, you know, and most people got up and they participated. And so it was just that was so fun. And then what was there was a like a yarn thing. I can't remember the local name for it. But it was like these
sticks. Yeah, I've got Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it's
like, the lady was telling us that when a new baby is born, they like make these symbols so that it like, protect, you know, I just, I'm not a history person at all. I'm not a geography person, but local culture and like learning those little things. I love that stuff. And it's meaningful, like, it means something. And every little thing that was given to us, I mean, we get so much swag, you know, it's like, I didn't want to leave anything. Like I wanted to take everything and I want to take pictures of everything. And I wanted to tell everybody, and I'm just like, it was so much fun. But every single person that was there provided value, every every person, there was nothing. I mean, you know, things happen behind the scenes, I'm sure. But again, it's just it's how you all train Your people and and you you preach and then you actually do it, you know, which is which is really to two different things. So one other topic I want to talk to things weather and golf course. So talk about the weather because people think Caribbean, Mexico, and the weather could not be any more different than like a Cancun or Playa Del Carmen Aqaba or, or potentiometers. So talk to us about that.
Sure, sure, weather wise. So just to give everyone an understanding of where we sit, so we're just about 40 minute drive from Puerto Vallarta, so you'd be flying in the portfolio markup. The airport PVR is the airport code, and we're just 40 minutes north. So we're on the Pacific side of Mexico. And it is very green jungle, we like to say where the jungle meets the sea. So you know, you have a bit of humidity. But really peak season is anytime in the first quarter all the way through to I would say June. And then again, September through the back half of the year. We do get a little bit of a rainy season over the summer months. But again, it's very predictable of when it's going to happen. But it's beautiful. I mean, we get a nice breeze, the humidity, for the most part stays pretty low. I mean, we were there at a great time of year the weather was exceptional. So yeah, that's that's a bit about where the location of the hotel is. And from a weather standpoint, you did mention golf. And so the hotel is within BBQ community, which has a golf course he gave her a golf course. It's under new ownership, and it's gone through massive investment improvements. And like I'm there every few weeks, and every time I go the course has already made massive improvements. So they've redone the clubhouse, they've added new refreshment stations. It is like an all inclusive type golf experience. So your food and beverages included in your round of golf in the course, is playing extremely well. I'm a golfer. So I appreciate that. And seeing those improvements go go a long way. They're looking to open a Golf Academy and really take it to the next level. I think their aspirational target is to be one of the top 10 resort courses in all of Mexico. So yeah, so we're very lucky to have that partner right there in our in our community.
Because I mean, it's right across the street. So I'm like obsessed with flying the drone. And, but like I don't get excited unless the camera goes up in the air. And then I'm like, oh my god, this is beautiful. And it doesn't happen everywhere. Like I have that expectation and I build it up in my head. Because what happens in some of these places in the Caribbean, and some of these beach places we work is that little areas really great. But then you go up Ariel, and it's like the poverty and just it's so sad, right? And so in some people have to drop paths that that it wasn't like that, like here, everything is super smooth. It's lush, it's beautiful. And like every single night, and every single day, I couldn't stop flying the drone. And then at the end of the trip, my team member was like you have over three hours of drone footage. Were you changing your batteries and your SD cards? And I'm like, Well, I bought a bigger SD card. Thank God and yeah, I had to change the batteries to run down quickly. And so but to say that is like the wind was like just the right breeze coming off the beach, but it wasn't too windy to wear, like I was just in Portugal. And I could not fly it wouldn't go up like the app was telling me it was beeping, but it's just too windy there. And it was like that every night. And so the wind factor and when we were there, it was like the weather was perfect it was but it was just perfect timing and the sunsets are so relaxing, and so beautiful. Like how that resort is positioned and the way that it's built and the way that it's done. Every little thing is is really top notch. It really is. So if somebody wants to learn more about Conrad and Poon to me to Well, first off, you guys need to like go through the blog, because we have a lot of content and pictures and videos and like, behind the scenes videos of like, this is what I experienced as a planner. So like other planners who do destination events, like you know, the watch it and they know that I'm real, and I'm not going to like make it because it will come back and haunt me, you know, because people will go somewhere and they're like, Well, you said this was bla bla bla bla bla. And that's happened a little bit pre COVID to now. And I'm like, listen, there's a lot of changes in hospitality that are good, but then some that are not so good when it comes to pre and post. And so I think it's important to understand for travel and destination weddings, and you said it a few minutes ago were you Sometimes for people this is their first trip post COVID. And some of these people, they're going to a wedding. And knowing that, like Conrad and, and punto me to took all the precautions, everything was super clean, like Overlake very clear, every little detail. Because that matters. And again, I started at the airport for a reason, because there's some airports, you know, flown into, even during COVID, before it was really bad, like, I was still traveling, and doing some consulting. And Mexico had not quite gotten there yet. You know, like, they it was like months behind what was happening in the US, at least in the south. But my gosh, it was like, night and day, within like a two month turnaround from where I had been there. And then this was when I could still fly. And like, we weren't shut down. And like I get there, and it's like, you know, ever all these things were put into place very quickly. And, and, and the Kandra has sustained it. Like, you know how some, it's like, oh, forget this, forget this. And things are going it's it wasn't like that all everything was very clean. And I tell people I'm like if you have any questions about it, like just ask me. And now I'm gonna say like, I listen to podcasts, like, you know, go watch all these things. Because it you know, if you're a planner, or if you do executive travel or destination or luxury, but really events, like any type of event, like you guys can pull it off, and you do the smaller intimate things. I love that you guys have 50 you just say 59 suites? We do? Yeah, yeah, not many hotels have that many sweets, when we're bringing in like VIPs wedding party, you know, it goes very quickly. So it's just good to know, you know, that you guys can do that. And really make the experience amazing, you know, from the time they land from the time that they leave. It's really amazing what you guys have done it, have you? Last question, I swear. You've probably done so many marketing campaigns in your career. Like, yeah, yeah. Was this like a one of a kind where it's like, you guys were again, like throwing it out. But you also brought in the experts. So you knew it was gonna be good, like, you know, one of the most like, fun, like, what was your experience? Just
what, you know, in all the campaigns you've done? Like, was this one of the ones that was just different? Or it's like, oh, no, we do show like this all the time?
I don't know. No. You know, it's interesting. Like, I think like destination wedding planners are constantly looking for the new new. And we checked both those boxes, right? It's a new destination, for the most part for most people that were invited. And it's a new brand, right? And so it's something unique, special and different that you can offer your clients that they may not be aware of. And that's why they go to people like you and wedding planners, because they're seeking advice of where can I pull off the wedding of my dreams? And that was the goal. But to your question about? Is this something we do all the time? Absolutely not. And I think this what this market with weddings is so specific, that we knew we had to do something different. You've all been to these conferences and seminars and you know, meetings and events, we do all these things where we go and we sit in a ballroom and we listen to someone talk. And we knew that's not what we wanted to do, we needed to have you actively experience the resort as a wedding guest. And that was the concept to start, we knew we knew we needed you to have a little bit of education, but to have it be well done and fun. And not just again, we're sitting in a ballroom listening to a speaker, and half of the people are on their iPhone, checking their email, that's not what we were looking to accomplish. We wanted you to come and experience it as a guest, and what your clients would experience. And that was the goal. And I think we did a great job in doing so.
You did and you broke out the little niche brand. And I mean, you guys have your own Instagram account, like so I just I loved that because that's how super hyper specific of like the community, you know, this that's been built. So we'll link it in the show notes, like the links to you know, where to look at everything I did like a bunch of room to and it's great. That's just what I love to do. It's like, I'm so visual, that you know, then we have people that want to read everything which you know, you have to do the detail part of it too, but I'm just so visual. I'm like, Okay, if I were a planner or abroad like this is these are the things that I would want to see. And again, getting the aerial footage and seeing like on the left and the right in the front, there's a beautiful golf course like it was just the whole landscape. It was just it's such a special property like so, so special. Like we'll be back like Brian and I were talking this morning.
I hope so. I hope so I mean, I want to welcome you back anytime you're ready. So please pick me up on that. And I don't just say that as lip service that is an open invitation as we come back. And again, Conrad Punta de mita.com is our vanity website, I think we've done an exceptional job of creating a sense of place on the website. Obviously, nothing can match the exact experience of being there. But we have done a lot of virtual tours, multiple, you know, room guest rooms and meeting space venues as well as our outlets in our in our SMB offering. So I encourage you, you know, and anyone that has questions that to check out the vanity website, and then CPM weddings.com, you know, at Instagram, that's a great Instagram account. I know you're gonna link it all. But you know, that's a great resource for you guys to just to see some of the fun stuff we've done, you know, and that we're going to continue to do with the weddings market.
This is awesome. Thank you so much for your time.
No, my pleasure. Thank you. So cool. And
if you're watching or listening, thank you so much for tuning in to business unveiled. Be sure to tune in next week to another episode. Bye. That's it for this week's episode of business unveiled. Now that you have all the tools that you need to conquer the world and GSD get shit done. Would you share this with your friends and fellow business leaders? One thing that would really really help us and help new listeners is for you to rate the show, and leave a comment and Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you tune in and listen to business unveiled. You can check out the show notes at Angela proffitt.com/podcast and link up with us on social media so you can share your biggest insights. And I want to know your aha moments. Until next week, remember, the profitable shifts and structures you're creating in your business, help you be more present in your life. So get out there and GSD