I’m always grateful for the number of fun-filled events I get invited to and last weekend was a particular highlight: I was lucky enough to be hosted by Alfa Romeo to attend the prestigious Portsea Polo in Melbourne – a perfectly magical few days of elegance and extravagance.
As you know, I’m a massive believer in the power of community and collaboration and there is nothing like being bundled together as a group for a weekend visiting the Polperro vineyard for a very special pre-polo party and later, to a rooftop after-party at Melbourne’s sleek and stunning QT Hotel. Like most events, each venue was brimming with people I’d never met and while I could’ve stayed firmly in my circle, I made a conscious decision to break the ice and make some new connections. When it comes to networking (and anything in life or business, truthfully), you have to use every opportunity that’s presented to you, even if it may seem a little confronting at first. Initially, the gathered group were just strangers awkwardly bumping shoulders but it only took a few friendly words to break that barrier before I was deep in honest conversation about past work and future ideas with people I’d met only hours before. Meeting new people is what I love most about coming along to perfectly planned events. The positive power of networking is never more apparent than when I’m making my way home and still thinking about the people I’ve met and made those lasting connections with.
While no stone was left unturned when it came to the dazzling detail of the event – from the atmospheric setting of the pre-polo party at Polperro vineyard to the elegant, red-rose accented polo marquee, everything was spot on – it was really the passionate people behind the brand that we connected with that took the weekend to new heights – including Lucy McLellan, Rachel Reed and Zac Loo. It was their passionate storytelling that really brought the brand to life.
Aside from the bells and whistles and glamour of a damn good party, I love discovering the host brand Alfa Romeo has a story that we can all connect with and admire. I, along with the Collective Hub team and our community love a brand that breaks the rules and is unafraid to be different – particularly one steeped in as much history as Alfa Romeo. I love it when brands are brave and courageous enough to buck the trend and go against what is expected to stay relevant and continue to rise to the top, especially when it also boasts such a long and impressive history. It’s been over a century since the company was first founded and it’s been through many a pivot and development since then, with their top engineers continually bucking creative conformism to break new ground with each product. There are 65 automotive brands in Australia alone but despite being part of such a crowded market, I love the fact that Alfa Romeo still manages to make a lasting impact and that speaks volumes about the company’s staying power and the people behind it. (It reminds me of a certain independent magazine that went into a market packed with competitors and still managed to keep thriving!)
Staying true to your values is one thing: being able to successfully – and continually – translate that into your product is another, and it’s definitely something to be inspired by. I hope Collective Hub will still manage to break new ground in decades to come! Considering how I felt making my way home from the Mornington Peninsula yesterday, I can safely say the brand has made a lasting impact on me too. Thanks so much for having me!