In The Heart Of Zimbabwe: A Recap Of The Xth Annual DWP Congress

April 15th-17th 2024 were 3 iconic days that will go far along the way in DWP history! We still cannot get over the aura, enigma and charisma of the milestone decade annual of the world’s strongest B2B platform for destination weddings!

The Xth Annual DWP Congress, or the ‘Xperiential Xth’ as we proudly call it, was an unforgettable event, leaving attendees utterly speechless and spellbound. The vibrancy and excitement in the air, attracted guests from all corners of the world, for an experience like no other! From the stunning allure of Victoria Falls to the lively African Dance performances, every moment was truly captivating. The rich culture, delicious food, and warm hospitality made a lasting impression on everyone who attended the event. It was a celebration that truly captured the essence of joy and community.

We would like to express our gratitude to our Strategic Partner Tapiwa Mukoti and the entire team of RSVP Events for hosting us and for making the event a success.  

The Xth annual holds a special place in our hearts, that shall be remembered for years to come. But what truly makes the event memorable is the experiences that come with it. Here’s a glimpse of what happened at the experiential Xth Annual DWP Congress.

Arriving In Zimbabwe, Where Even The Baggage Claim Is A Party

As attendees arrived at the stunning destination of Victoria Falls, they were greeted with a delightful surprise! Zebra-designed boxes awaited them at the airport, each containing gifts to kick off this year’s extraordinary event. Following the adorable surprise at the airport, the attendees made their way to their rooms at their designated hotels and were welcomed by yet another gift hamper consisting of gifts that were inspired by this year’s African theme. The hamper was a specially curated advent calendar that included ten gifts symbolizing the 10th annual! The exquisite and elegant white and gold box, designed by Nahhal Printing Group left everyone excited for more!

A Day Of Thrill & Adventure To Kickstart The Xperiential Xth! 

The highly anticipated Xth Annual DWP Congress kicked off with an unforgettable start. On Day One i.e., 15th April, attendees were treated to one-of-a-kind experiences as they began their day with an adventurous and thrilling experience- The Breakfast With Elephants. It was a sight to behold, witnessing these majestic creatures from up close. Guests not only enjoyed their meal but also had the chance to interact with the elephants, feeding them by hand. These unique moments created memories that will undoubtedly be cherished for a lifetime. This was followed by Take A Piece of Zim With You, where our attendees explored a unique local artisan tour through marketplaces and fine art galleries (Elephants Walk), filling their bags with goodies along the way. A few of the places visited include Tami Walker Fine Art Gallery, Patrick Mavros, and Sinathankawu Open Curio Market.

But, the journey for DWP had only just begun! Following a unique and thrilling encounter with the elephants, attendees were in for a surprise as they strolled through the Victoria Falls Rainforest. Donned in transparent raincoats, they captured adorable moments, with the cascading falls as their backdrop. What made this experience something totally out of this world was the water droplets that drizzled from the falls, giving them the perfect warm welcome. 

Welcome To Africa Opening Night

After a breathtaking and memorable day of unique experience, the attendees headed towards the Lookout Cafe, for the Opening Cocktail. In association with our Welcome Reception Event Partner, Tangerine Company, this year’s Opening Cocktail was full of joy and colours. Embracing Zimbabwe’s rich culture and heritage the attendees were welcomed by dancers who were seen dressed in traditional attire. As they grooved to lively Zimbabwean music and dressed in colourful outfits they welcomed everyone, the attendees looked happy and excited. What’s even more captivating about this reception is the venue. It gives its guests unparalleled and panoramic views of the mighty Zambezi River and the Victoria Falls Bridge. With breathtaking lighting welcoming all the guests, the opening cocktail was a lively celebration with emceeing done by one and only Asa Jogi, from ProBar, our Barmen Service Partner. The evening began with a few insights from our esteemed Advisory Board members for 2024- Tapiwa Mukoti, Evelyn Mills, Zillah Chilowa, Bhavnesh Sawhney, Fabrice Orlando, Joanne Gregoli, and Precious Thamaga, followed by an inspiring speech by Sidh NC, Director, QnA International, welcoming everyone to Zimbabwe, for the exciting three-day event. The day came to an end with a splendid drone show by our drone show partner Lumasky Drone Show, where they welcomed everyone to the congress, leaving everyone speechless and mesmerized. 

Conference Day One – 16th April 2024

Victoria Falls Grand Makasa Hotel (previously known as The Kingdom Hotel) provided the stunning African backdrop to host the conference sessions of DWP which brought together over 70 countries together under one roof to discuss destination weddings. Bedecked with pampas grass and florals, the conference room exuded a rustic yet elegant look giving a warm welcome to all the attendees and speakers, thanks to the efforts of our Conference and Gala dinner Decor and Furniture Partner, Kuyana Event Design and our Conference AV Partner, Divine Concert Sound.  

The conference kicked off with a warm welcome from Sidh NC, director of QnA International, setting the tone for an engaging event. Our host, Tapiwa Mukoti, captivated the audience with an inspiring speech highlighting Zimbabwe’s rich diversity and its abundance of destinations. 

Following this, a dynamic discussion unfolded between Mark Thompson, Jennifer Zabinsky, and Tapiwa, each sharing their perspectives and insights on the wedding industry. The key highlights for the day were keynote presentations by world-renowned floral designer Karen Tran and wedding planner Nadia Duran. 

Sheillah Chikomo, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs too made her gracious appearance at the event as the Guest of Honour from Zimbabwe.

Following these interesting sessions with some of the big names from the industry, the conference further commenced in the breakout rooms with the masterclasses. Some of the speakers for these sessions included Bonita Thompson, Daniel Langer, and Morin Oluwole. The sessions focussed on interesting and trending topics- Social media and how brands across the globe are becoming tech-savvy for marketing innovation by Morin Oluwole, Why luxury experiences must rebel against the sea of sameness by David Langer, and Achieving goals through collaborative leadership by Bonita Thompson. 

Gala In The Wild

Following an insightful discussion guests were in for a night of surprise and excitement at the DWP Gala night. To add a touch of adventure and thrill to the evening, attendees were taken on a breathtaking ride aboard a vintage steam train chugging towards the magnificent Victoria Falls Bridge! While the experience sure was exciting, the attendees did have a wonderful time with drinks and musicians entertaining them throughout the entire journey. After the enchanting train ride, the attendees were brought to the Marquee, created by our Gala Dinner Marquee Partner, Rooney’s Zimbabwe to enjoy and celebrate precious moments of the Gala dinner. With the breathtaking decor of the venue designed by Kuyana Design House, the Gala dinner featured some of the most renowned wedding planners across the globe being awarded the power list trophies, for their remarkable work and contributions to the industry. The evening was then filled with celebrations and frolic, with all the attendees grooving and enjoying on the dancefloor, thanks to our entertainment partners, Ngoma Nehosho and the Movement. The audience was seen vibing and enjoying every moment on the dance floor as the magical notes of Dzoka- The DWP theme song filled the air. Put together by our entertainment partner, The Movement, the song was curated specially for this year’s edition and was launched during the Gala Night. With melodious and power-packed performances filling the air, the attendees also enjoyed incredibly delicious dishes served by our Gala Dinner and Closing Cocktail and AV Partner, Wedding Gobo Guy.

Conference Day Two – 17th April 2024

Following a fun-filled experience on the second day of the Congress, the third and final day was filled with excitement and anticipation. The day began with an incredibly insightful all-woman panel discussion of notable speakers- Christina Holt, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, Elfi & Sylvia Boesinger, and Tapiwa Mukoti. For the session, Seyi Ogunmola Olusanya served as the moderator. The panellists discussed Africa as a destination for weddings, shedding light on the motherland and the pros and cons of having a celebration in this breathtaking destination. The session was followed by a series of Raffle draw winner announcements and masterclasses by Gideon Hermosa, Matthew Oliver, Kevin Lee, and Leah Weinberg. Each of these sessions had something interesting to offer to all the attendees. The sessions covered themes that are all set to trend this year in the wedding industry, these include, sustainable weddings, unveiling trends through your own lens, managing expectations, and legal must-haves and pitfalls at a wedding. These insightful sessions were followed by round table conferences across three regions- Asia, Africa, and Europe. These conferences were led by Kaival Patel, Cyrielle Mohara, Chloe Atlan, and Christina Holt. They were centred around client mentalities around the world, specifically in these three regions.

One-To-One Meetings, Exhibition Lounge & Networking Coffee Breaks

The Xth Annual DWP Congress not only offered insightful sessions but also provided attendees with the golden opportunity to network and do business, because after all the USP of the DWP Congress has always been providing the maximum opportunities for our attendees to collaborate and open doors for potential future business opportunities. With over 4000+ meetings across two days, the planners and sponsors left no stone unturned in understanding business requirements and finding the perfect partners for their upcoming destination weddings! 

And with over 30+ hours of networking opportunities, the attendees got the chance to exchange business cards and forge new connections among industry peers. 

Sunset Cruise & Afterparty

After two exhilarating days of enlightening sessions and business meetings, attendees embarked on a unique and pristine journey aboard a sunset cruise with Pure Africa. Against the majestic golden sunset and the tranquil blue waters of the Zambezi River, the perfect evening unfolded. Attendees savoured a range of dishes and drinks as they witnessed one of the most majestic sunsets and cruised towards the DWP decade bash. As they danced the night away, they created memories that would last a lifetime. And just like that, this year’s DWP Congress came to a close, leaving everyone with cherished moments and eager anticipation for next year’s edition.

So this was all that unfolded at the milestone and historic 10th anniversary of the DWP Congress in the gorgeous Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. It was truly an unparalleled experience and we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our partners, speakers, advisory board members, sponsors and valued attendees for yet again trusting us, believing in us, supporting us, and most importantly for making the 10th Annual DWP Congress a huge success! Until we see you in yet another breathtaking destination next year, keep sharing and reminiscing the African love by following us on @dwp_congress and having a look at our reels and other interesting content that shall keep the excitement alive and fill you up with sweet and lovely memories of the Xth edition. Stay tuned for updates on 2025 dates in yet another destination that shall sweep you off your feet!