Forget traditional conferences. TFest, as its name might imply, is a festival, along the lines of Glastonbury or South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin TX. This is what the Chairman of Worldwide Events, Peter Gould – formerly running Great Hotels of the World, Great Golf Hotels of the World and a myriad other essential ventures – had in mind. He was hippy-lifing in Bali, oh so laid back. Let’s do yet another festival and add a travel reason to exist.
Fortunately, perhaps, his original concept was considerably toned down and the result could well please left and right, festival fanatics and business buffs. What is billed as TFest Chapter IV: Voyage opened Sunday 7th May 2023 at FAIRMONT MAYAKOBA. Some 520 participants arrived from many lands, to be greeted at hotel check-in by scented towels, refreshing hibiscus water, hotel room pressure pads worn as beaded bracelets, and ribbon wrist bands ensuring TFest legitimacy.
The first night’s welcome party, above, was a riot of colour, dancing, margeritas and quesados, taquitos and much more, hosted at the Fairmont’s La Laguna (indoors and out, on a precarious network of paths around swimming pools and overwater boardwalks above Mayakoba’s magnificent mangrove lagoons).
Food is an essential element of all Worldwide Events and, impressively, the company – which organises about 19 events a year – has its own F&B Manager, Emma Ridges, whose varied experience includes Compass Group catering and hotel housekeeping. To feed event participants you need to think along army lines, and it’s essential, she says, to plan food that gives a sense of place, and food that is easy to eat. She, and the organisers and the fab Fairmont folks, work together on little details. Meeting halls, for instance, have fruit flavoured waters and coffee breaks include really flavourful decaf and no less than five well-labelled milks… MORE TO COME