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Five luxury leaders gathered in Glion for an insightful panel discussion that was a source of insights and inspiration to all in attendance. But the real winners were the Master’s students who created the successful event as part of their degree curriculum…

It was called ‘Voices of Luxury’, and it delivered exactly what it promised. The ‘voices’ in question were drawn from a variety of sectors, but they were united in representing premium brands with peerless reputations.

The panelists and special guests line up with Glion Managing Director Frédéric Picard (first on left).

The panel which came together late last year comprised Eymeric Segard, Founder & CEO of Luna Jets; Isabel V. M. Gora, Director at Rolls-Royce; Jacky Epitaux, CEO of Rudis Sylva; Simone Gibertoni, CEO of Clinique la Prairie; and Cyril Baron, General Director, Caviar House & Prunier.

Their conversation was moderated by Dr. Eleonora Cattaneo, Program Director for our Master’s in Luxury Management and Guest Experience. And it was the students of Eleonora’s program who can claim the credit for the successful event, since it was their project, undertaken as part of the semester 2 curriculum.

Among the student organizers was Roshni Somani, who described being part of the team as “an incredible experience”.

She added, “Organizing events has always been a passion of mine, starting from smaller-scale parties. However, being involved in such an exclusive and prestigious event was a first for me, and it was a thrilling opportunity to work with a dedicated team to ensure its success.”

Roshni’s thoughts were echoed by fellow organizer Shao Jung (Michelle) Lin, who said, “Navigating through the hurdles and seeing the event’s successful outcome at the end was gratifying. Being a part of it was more than just a coursework requirement; it was a dynamic and impactful journey that shaped my understanding and proficiency in the realm of luxury event management.”

Real-world learning

The luxury event module is a prime example of how this Master’s program aims to ground the student’s academic journey in the real world, providing practical experiences in preference to theoretical case studies.

An inspiring event.

Worth 2 US credits, the module ensures students become actively engaged in the design, planning, promotion, and delivery of an event in a professional setting. They are also required to critically assess the success factors of luxury events and provide effective dissemination of their particular event.

Such a challenge certainly puts the students to the test, as Michelle admits. “We had no previous experience in this area, and holding a panel talk with all the high-profile speakers at this scale terrified us a bit. But we tried to build it up in a way that ensured the event would end up with good outcomes.

“Concepts we learned in class – such as effective communication channels, team dynamics, and adaptability – directly influenced our approach to addressing challenges within the team. The experience served as a real-world validation of the importance of these academic principles in successfully organizing and executing a complex event. It bridged the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.”

As a special part of the event, Glion Visiting Professor Nicola Munari led the attendees through a tasting that showcased Italian wines.

For Roshni, the experience can serve as an important career-shaper in several ways. “Firstly, it enhanced our skills in team building, as we worked together to overcome obstacles and achieve our goals. Secondly, it has taught us to be ‘street smart’, enabling us to navigate unexpected situations with agility and resourcefulness. And lastly, it has expanded our professional networks, providing us with valuable connections that will benefit us in our future endeavors.”

Tips for future organizers

And for Master’s student groups facing this challenge in future, what would Michelle and Roshni advise in order to get the most out of the experience?

“Start to plan as soon as possible. And don’t hesitate to propose your own thoughts during the process, because this is the best way to reflect and communicate so as to execute the best event,” said Michelle.

“Focus on delving deeply into the marketing aspect. Expand your efforts beyond just Instagram and Facebook to other platforms, even if they have a smaller reach. Every step taken toward building a brand is valuable,” said Roshni.

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