In DeSouza Associates

We say we are an experienced team but you may not know the experience each team member has in the industry. Lida, Catherine & Kate have written a short blog about their work experience and how they ended up working in events and being at DeSouza Associates.

Finally but no means least – here is Lida!

I’m a very private person however in this day of ‘Social’ one feels the need to share and, in any case, I love getting to know our clients and to learn about their background and their likes and dislikes, so I suppose I have to reciprocate, so here goes!

I was born in Mombasa, the chief port of Kenya in East Africa and came to the UK when I was 10 years old, so I’m filled with lots of happy memories of my childhood.  My family settled in west London, so I’m your Queen for any Heathrow Airport hotel enquiries!!

I began my career in the pharmaceutical industry and left it in 1995 to set-up DeSouza Associates.

I worked in a number of sales and marketing roles in pharma and my most enjoyable and fulfilling was my penultimate role, when I was organising medical events, both in the UK and internationally.

Within the UK, I was responsible for organising small and large meetings and conferences, working closely with colleagues from sales, marketing and often other stake holders too, fulfilling agreed marketing plans.  The role encompassed venue sourcing and negotiation, liaising with the appointed AV and production suppliers, budgetary planning, speaker liaison, delegate management, onsite management, to name just a few of the activities that we undertook.

We booked hotel and unusual venues across the UK and I still have some fond memories of some amazing launch and other events in London and elsewhere around the country.  I’m sure it was in this role that the seeds of my love for everything event related began growing!

Internationally, I was often responsible for organising and accompanying a group of senior medics to conferences and handling their VIP status.  I had to liaise with conference secretariats of international congresses (based across the world), organising registration of our sponsored delegates, arranging flights (through an in-house provider) and numerous onsite activities in the appointed location which often involved working with an appointed Destination Management Company (DMC) to organise transfers, dinners and other activities.

I hope that I’m using all the skills and knowledge that I gained from my early career and am now applying it to everything that we do at DeSouza Associates, plus learning all the new stuff too of course!

Over the years one of the biggest changes that I’ve seen has obviously been in terms of social media as well as all the different on-line platforms, not only within the hospitality industry but across business per se.  This encompasses how we contact venues, to generating our proposals to prospecting news clients, to invoicing etc. I often feel as though I’m from the Dark Age when I pick up the phone to people but struggle to speak to anyone and am faced with yet another recorded message!  Hey ho, I’m still convinced that people are the most important and fun part of a life in business, so will continue to build new relationships with clients and suppliers, whilst maintaining existing ones.

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