Lida, Catherine, Kate & Laura would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas and New Year and we look forward to working with you in 2019…
Here are some of our highlights from 2018……..
My highlight is the celebration this year of 23 years in business for DeSouza Associates. I started the company in October 1995 and how the business has changed!! However the one thing that hasn’t changed is that the most important thing in business is the people and I have a great team around me in Kate, Catherine and Laura and without my team and of course our loyal clients, we would not be here 23 years later.
Another thing which has remained constant is the service level we provide and continually strive to offer a bespoke service. In our very competitive market, I believe clients still want to use and work with smaller agencies like ourselves.
This year DeSouza Associates have organised 3 medical conferences; 2 in London and 1 in Washington DC. All three were very different and I enjoy working on these alongside the venue finding side. Among all the incredibly positive feedback that we had from the Washington Conference, I would like to share one with you and I think my Mum would have been proud too!! “Outstanding conference – Lida was really amazing in how she made each person feel like they are the only one in the conference. I don’t think I ever felt that kind of hospitality in a conference before.”
Here’s to 2019!
During the year we always host a couple of client events to catch up with and get to know some of our clients better. They are also a great way to say thank you for the business that they give us and to showcase venues for potential future enquiries.
DeSouza Associates have organised two of these very successful events this year, one at the Richmond Hill Hotel back in January which was themed around a Burns Night. The hotel did us proud with a full Burns Supper, whisky tasting and even a piper.
The 2nd event we hosted down in Brighton in October at the Jurys Hotel located on the seafront. The evening started off with cocktails & canapes in the lounge before we headed through to the private dining space ‘Salon Prive’ with panoramic views of the sea & Brighton Pier. We enjoyed a 3 course dinner and drinks and chatted the night away before all retiring to our rooms for a comfy night’s sleep!
Next morning, we were blessed with a sunny day; the views on to the seafront were beautiful! We enjoyed breakfast and then afterwards we were met by a representative from British Airways i360. A short walk along the promenade to the attraction, we boarded and then enjoyed our trip up in to the sky, sipping our drinks with 360 degree views of buzzy Brighton.
This was a fantastic event and a highlight of my working year – incorporating work, fun and enjoying one of my most favourite UK seaside resorts!
One of my highlights this year has only just happened! I recently helped Lida run a medical conference in Washington DC and it was great to experience running an event at a Hotel in the States. The last event we ran in the USA was in Austin at a University so a completely different experience. Lida works very hard on these events and works on them from concept to delivery which includes liaising with speakers, organising sponsorship, abstracts etc so not just the event management side. I help as much as my workload allows prior to the event and then it’s all systems go once on site!
The conference was held at the Hilton Rockville Washington/DC which is approx. 35/40 minutes from downtown Washington. The hotel staff were fantastic, always willing to help out to ensure the event ran smoothly. We had a few last minute hiccups (including our box containing additional lanyards stuck in customs!) but we had a very successful event and have had some great feedback.
By the way….
- Washington cannot cope with a snowstorm just like us in the UK – who would have thought! The place came to a standstill but it didn’t stop our delegates!
- I ate far too much! Not a surprise there but the Hotel refreshment breaks were very tempting and I am afraid my resolve was not strong….
After the event finished I took the opportunity to stay on and explore Washington DC and become a tourist! It was great to see the famous buildings you see on the TV such as the White House, Capitol Hill, Lincoln Memorial to name a few! I didn’t get to meet Mr Trump though!
I have enjoyed hosting client events and attending a number of FAM Trips this year but one of my most memorable ones was a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed ball at South Lodge, part of the Exclusive Hotels group.
Myself and my friend had a beautiful room situated in the old stable blocks. It had a large lounge area along with two bathrooms, one had a jacuzzi bath complete with a tv!
At 7pm we headed to the ‘Factory Gates’ where we were greeted by Oompa Loompas. We headed to the dinner room which was fully decked out with giant candy canes, chocolate bars and sweetie centrepieces. We dined on creative and quirky dishes in keeping with the Willy Wonka theme and the dessert station encompassed a vast variety of sweet treats, including a chocolate fountain, there was no risk of going hungry… even the menus were edible!
Following dinner, we headed down to the party room, yet another dressed up and themed space! KDM put on the entertainment for the event and they didn’t fail to impress, there was an edible bubble machine, a sweetie flavoured smoke station and edible perfume. We got all dressed up for the photobooth, sipped away on sweetie cocktails and danced into the night to the music from the band.