Article Courtesy of Monaco Wealth Management
The Principality of Monaco hosts almost 700 events each year. Those who know and understand life in Monaco agree that it is hard to stand out from the crowd when your event competes with established functions such as the Monaco Grand Prix, the Rolex Masters, the Monaco Yacht Show, the Rose Ball or the Red Cross Gala. However this year it seems that Monaco’s lifestyle club Club Vivanova will do exactly this, thanks to the vision, reputation and hard work of its founder Bradley Mitton.
We approached Europe’s preeminent culinary and gourmet wine expert Bradley Mitton with a few questions regarding the upcoming Luxury Lifestyle Gala Dinner 2016 organised by his premium lifestyle club, Club Vivanova.
MWM: What is the main message and idea behind the Club Vivanova Luxury Lifestyle Gala Dinner 2016?
BM: The message of the event is enjoyment in life, meeting new people and partaking of those luxuries in life that when consumed in moderation, make us content and fulfilled. By that I don’t just mean a wine dinner with fine wines, as attendees will also be able to benefit from new business opportunities and friendships, whilst enjoying wine, cuisine, fashion, contemporary art, supercars, yachts and all of those luxurious elements in life that will make our night extra-special. The Club Vivanova Luxury Lifestyle Gala Dinner 2016brings all of this together into one weekend. Our motto is “Living Rare and Unique Gourmet Experiences” and our members, partners and friends follow our events as we make them feel special in exclusive but affordable surroundings without the superficiality that often surrounds luxury promotions. Furthermore, we want to encourage charitable donations, we want to give back to society and so we involve the Prince Albert Foundation, running an auction and offering donations for this great cause. In principle, the main message is enjoyment in life with friends, in what we have now, a celebration of life – of course combined with fine wines and a gourmet dinner, this always helps.
MWM: This is the second time for the Luxury Gala and you obviously have the attention and support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, so what will be different this year?
BM: In 2015, we launched this incentive, hosting an haute couture fashion gala to bring all of our club members together in a special location. It was a tough call trying to sell tickets and show the local business sector that we could really put on such a special show to compete with all of the other huge international events that Monaco hosts. However, we persevered and had excellent partners on board – the Fairmont Hotel management helped us greatly with the logistics and we ran a brilliant and sold-out event with 140 people. This year, the interest has been amazing, both private and business clients are really inspired to be involved and with only two months to go until the 2016 gala, we have sold 200 tickets and we’ve raised the capacity to 268 so shortly we will be sold out. The difference between last year and this year is our marketing and promotional strength; we are regarded by many as Monaco’s leading premium wine club. We host around 50 events per year in the Principality showcasing the brilliance of the local gastronomy industry and our smaller events act as leverage to steer international guests to our gala for our big annual celebration.
MWM: What was your inspiration behind the Luxury Lifestyle Gala dinner 2016?
BM: Most international business people want to promote and market their products and services but without the hard-sell and we want to let these people mingle and discuss and build relationships but in a luxurious manner, almost as if courting each other in a beautiful moment. This ambience of good company, wine and food, well-managed, drives relationships and my inspiration comes from seeing my friends, clients and club members really enjoying themselves while we put the show on around them. I never stop running around at my events, and this is a long night so it’ll be a lot of work and management. We started preparation for this as soon as the last one was over, in April 2015 and each and every little detail will be beautifully and efficiently managed ensuring that each guest feels like royalty from the moment they book to the minute they leave the dancefloor at 2am on Sunday 13th March to go to bed! Inspiration comes from others and the satisfaction of the attendees is my biggest challenge and we will make sure everyone is satisfied and content in every way possible.
MWM: Almost full booked already in 2015. Obviously it is a bold message to Monaco regarding the quality you represent. What does this mean for you?
BM: The fact that we have sold 200 tickets and we are two months from the event is a big achievement; it shows that we are doing the right thing, the club is moving in the right direction and that we have great supporters. We have attendees flying in from all over Europe with fashion brands showcasing from Portugal and Germany, VIP Partners investing and travelling in from the United States, India and Central Europe. We are showcasing Monaco as a place that can offer culinary events at the highest global quality in wonderful, tranquil and ambient locations with amazingly good value. It is an honour for me to be involved with my business in the Principality and in return for our efforts and positive approach, we have built a wonderful club.
MWM: The Gala features a charity auction as well, could you please tell more about this?
BM: The gala auction will be held after dinner and we have twelve VIP Partners including Carlton International Properties, Galerie d’Art Lifetime, 19 Rivoli Photography, The Riviera Times, VITALE Jewellery & Diamonds, Lana Mueller Couture, Currencies Direct, Expat Advisory Worldwide, MOHAKO, Ingenium Media, Sebastian Cruz Couture, Luxoria, Sunseeker Monaco, João Rôlo Couture, Armand de Brignac Champagne, DTS Classics and Berkeley London who will all donate one item. There will be a catalogue prinited and published before the event as the donations will be one-off exclusive items and opportunities and we’re expecting to raise a good amount of money to then give to the foundation. We must give back, that’s what this is all about, giving to receive.
MWM: Are you excited?
BM: Absolutely and in an extremely positive way as we have worked hard to build the brand of the club in the Principality and times are tough, business is not easy, we’re all up against a global recession, but we’ve managed to build and grow and the gala will be a moment of payback to everyone who has supported and followed us.
MWM: Obviously it is a lot of work for you to manage the weekly Club Vivanova events and organise a Luxury Gala in Monaco and you have recently published your new book “Around the World with Bradley Mitton . Wine Pairing Recipes”. In fact, your culinary and wine pairing book is already listed as the “#1 New Release in Wine Pairing” by Amazon.com. Congratulations for this exceptional achievement. On one hand, you are a role model for young entrepreneurs showing that hard work pays off in life, however in the other hand it must be very exhausting for you. What makes you move forward on a daily base? What motivates you?
BM: That’s a great question and something that many people ask me. I think I’m driven to do the best I can in everything I do. I don’t have to be the best, it is not a competitive issue, I just try and do the job right. I have always believed that, there are no short-cuts, building a business takes time, it involves pain and sacrifice and it involves joy and satisfaction but before the reward, there is always the battle; against yourself and against all those issues that challenge you. I’ve worked for myself in different parts of the world but my wine company and Club Vivanova, that were established 15 years ago in Berlin, began from nothing, they were start-ups, an acorn and I nurtured that seed to grow with roots and reputation and still work daily to make sure the company is seen as fair, professional and efficient and, like a racing car, we are continuously fine-tuning every part of the operation. My motivation comes from seeing this vehicle/company run and grow and receiving praise and support helps me to build more and gives me strength to persevere and continue and we have some amazing clients and club members who really love what we do. On top of that I try and keep mentally and physically fit, I run most mornings, I try to eat well and lead a balanced life surrounded by the right people who will motivate me to become a better person; it’s a challenge but we have to rise to that and succeed without surrender. We all fail, in many things and on a daily basis but we just have to keep going and one quotation I do enjoy reminding myself is from Winston Churchill, “When you’re going through hell, keep going!”. Not that I’m going through hell however life and work puts hurdles in our way all of the time and we just have to keep going, get over them, onwards and upwards..