Based in London, Susan Bassam is the conference and events organiser at renowned global charitable foundation, Wellcome Trust. Along with her team, she manages around 60 events each year – from conferences, workshops, dinners and receptions – which attract anywhere between 30-200 attendees.
EventTech Talk had a quick chat with her to find out a little about her best event experiences, favourite venues and her biggest event nightmare.
What has been your best event experience?
Organising a celebration event for the Wellcome Trust’s 75 Anniversary. It was a special occasion and involved transforming the ground floor of our headquarters in London into a glamourous event space for an evening dinner. We invited 180 people to a drinks reception, followed by dinner cooked by Albert Roux.
What is your favourite venue?
For conferences, I would definitely say One Great George Street in Westminster, London.
What is your favourite restaurant?
Le Pont de la Tour by Tower Bridge, London – French cuisine at its best!
What would you say is your biggest challenge when planning an event?
Time or lack of! Short lead time to organise an event is our biggest challenge.
What has been your biggest event nightmare?
The day before I was due to fly to Uganda for a conference for 70 people, we heard that there were demonstrations and national unrest in the city, and the only road from the airport to the city was blocked by protestors! After many discussions, the even had to be cancelled.
Mobile app you couldn’t live without?
Whatsapp – it is essential while travelling aboard for keeping in touch with family and friends.
Best event app experience?
Yet to happen; but currently working on our own event app with Insight Mobile to integrate with Eventsforce.
Aside from our own event app, would l like to see a hologram speaking at one of our conferences!
And lastly, if you could have one superpower, what would it be?
To click my heals and instantly be transported home.
If you’d like to take part in our ‘60-Seconds’ series of Q&As with event managers, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to hear from you!