Our Engage!22 Ireland Travel Diary

Photo: Ben Finch

It’s no secret that Engage! is one of our favorite times of the year. Not only do we get to reconnect with our favorite industry professionals and friends, we also get to experience a new place, and this fall’s Engage! Summit didn’t disappoint. This time, we were whisked away to the Irish countryside outside of Dublin, where we participated in traditional Irish activities—falconry was involved—and mingled with new and old friends at the scenic K Club and Carton House in Kildare. Here’s our full recap, and our best recommendations for your next trip to Dublin.

Photo: Arte De Vie

Most memorable speaker

Julie: How can I pick? I admire all of the speakers so much! I’d have to pick Lynn Easton as my favorite. Her commitment to excellence inspires me every time I hear her speak.

Courtney: I am a sucker for Marcy Blum from the mainstage every time, and I always love hearing from Michelle Rago, too. I especially enjoyed two of my breakout sessions: one with Laurie Arons, and one with Lynn Easton. If you didn’t already notice a trend, all of these women are incredible planners, and I admire them all greatly.  

Photos: Corbin Gurkin
Photos: Corbin Gurkin
Photos: Ben Finch

The industry friend we were most excited to see again

Julie: Of course all of our E3 friends, which meant my favorite dance floor hangs were with Molly McCauley and Daniel Shackleford.

Courtney: There is only one answer to this: Daniel Shackleford. Enough said.

Photo: Theo Milo

We thought we knew everything about weddings, but this trip we learned…

Julie: That there is no length too far to go to take care of your team. Thank you Lynn for reminding us that making sure your team is able to perform in their best environment means ultimate success of your event—and a thrilled client.

Courtney: That we should be flooring, heating, cooling, lighting, and tenting our BOH to the same aesthetic/service level as our FOH.

Photos: Corbin Gurkin
Photos: Corbin Gurkin
Photo: Ben Finch

Where we stayed

Julie: The iconic K Club. The grounds are storied for a reason. I also specifically enjoyed the oversized bathrooms. 😀

Courtney: We spent the week at The K Club in Kildare, Ireland. Fun fact: it’s home to the Ryder Cup!  

Best part of the venue

Julie: It was so essentially Irish. The staff were completely accommodating and welcoming. You couldn’t help but smile anytime you walked in any room.

Courtney: The staff. My goodness, are the Irish special people! So genuine, hospitable, warm, welcoming, and with the best sense of humor. 

Photo L: Theo Milo ; Photo R: Ashley Ludaescher

Life-saving product that I packed in my suitcase

Julie: I don’t know about lifesaving, but it turns out a good hat will be a hot conversation starter, which is all you could ask for when meeting new folks like you do at Engage! I purchased one specifically for the week when I got into Dublin, and I think I made a great choice. 😉

Courtney: Extra space to get all my Engage!22 goodies home! 

Photos: Story of Eve
Photos: Theo Milo

Best pen and notebook for taking notes

Julie: The ones Engage! gives you, of course!

Courtney: What she said. 😉 

Photo: Ben Finch

Best suitcase for international travel

Julie: I live and die by my Away Travel set.

Luckiest moment of the conference 

Courtney: Getting upgraded on both my flights. Thanks, Delta!

Most Irish thing we did the whole trip

Julie: The welcome party at Luttrellstown Castle was the best. I couldn’t help but party late with the Irish dancers, who kept the dance floor hot!

Courtney: Activities (think: clay shooting, horseback riding, archery, falconry, and fly fishing) in the wind and rain. The weather in Ireland can be all over the place, but everything and everyone carries on. 

Photo L: Corbin Gurkin; Photo R: Josh Gooden Cinema
Photo: Eric Kelley
Photo L: Josh Gooden Cinema; Photo R: Theo Milo
Photo: Story of Eve
Photo: Eric Kelley

Tourist attraction that’s actually really fun

Julie: Every activity that The K Club offers!

Courtney: Grafton Street in Dublin city center is a great spot for shopping, eating, and drinking.  

Favorite Engage!22 Ireland memory

Julie: Walking into any Engage! gala is a sight to behold. While we walked down the grand outdoor stairs to the gala tent that was waiting for us on the lawn, Courtney said: “This feels like we are in the Succession episode when they have the wedding!” She’s right. Everyone knows you will get me hooked if you transport me into a cinematic scene.

Courtney: I have two: enjoying a three course dining experience in St. Patrick’s Cathedral and partying in a castle (the same one that David and Victoria Beckham got married in). 

Photo: Story of Eve
Photos: Corbin Gurkin
Photo: Ben Finch
Photo: Story of Eve
Photo L: Josh Gooden Cinema; Photo R: Arte De Vie
Photo L: Josh Gooden Cinema; Photo R: Corbin Gurkin

Advice for first time Engage! Attendees

Julie: If you have chosen an international Engage! as your first, you are already putting yourself in a new environment, along with everyone else in the room. Lean into that setting and you’ll find everyone is ready to engage with you!

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