DeSouza Associates are a specialist event and venue finding agency who have been offering a personal and efficient free service covering UK and worldwide. They work with a variety of venue types and specialise in medical conference management. From on-site assistance at an event to full event co-ordination, DeSouza offer a variety of event management services. We speak to Lida DeSouza, MD, to find out more.
Lime Venue Portfolio: For those that don’t know, please can you give us an introduction about yourselves and what you do?
Lida DeSouza: My name is Lida DeSouza and I am the MD of DeSouza Associates. When I left GSK in 1995 to set up my own company I never thought that 20 years later I would still be running a successful company which has evolved so much over the years. I am proud that as a company we offer our clients a great service, sourcing venues for their corporate events both in the UK and worldwide. Being privately owned and run, our aim is to provide all of our clients with a personal & extremely high standard of service & expertise. What is great is that many of our clients come from personal referrals so we must be doing something right !
What sort of clients do you work with?
We work with a range of clients in all industry sectors and from SMEs to Blue Chip companies. We work with a diverse group of people with a range of requirements and needs which can be challenging but because of this the upside is that our venue knowledge is vast.
Why do your customers choose to work with you?
Being a smaller team we provide a friendly, personal service to our clients and there is always someone in the office to help with any queries, if their contact is unavailable. Many of our client relationships go back many years so we get to know them as people and we know the type of venues they like and don’t like and what works well for them. Any new client receives the same high standards of service and our proposals are tailored to their specific requirements.
We are not contracted to any hotel groups, so we are free to choose from a wide variety of venues that have been personally selected for the enquiry, matching the clients brief.
What is the best project you have worked on and why?
That’s really hard to answer as we’ve been in business for over 20 years so there are lots to choose from!
I have personally been involved with international medical conferences that we have organised over the last 5 years in Rio, Hanoi, Tokyo and Austin which have definitely been highlights as they each had their individual challenges which we managed to overcome. Generally I would say that when a particular enquiry has been tricky to place whether it is due to availability or struggling to match all the clients requirements, then when we finally get there and confirm, there is huge satisfaction that we have provided the client with a great service and great venue.
When looking for a venue for events you’re planning, what are the key elements you look for?
We look to match the best possible solution to the clients brief and often we will include a wild card option ‘thinking outside the box’ that could be something that the client hasn’t thought about but would work perfectly. We have to be objective in our venue search as sometimes the client can surprise us with their final choice. We have great relationships with venues which are just as important as our client relationships as we are working together for one goal – a perfect event. When we select our venues we hope that they will provide a good service to our client, along with offering good conference facilities, food, flexibility and will work with our client to make sure they have a successful event.
Do you enjoy organising events at unusual venues?
Yes of course! Our clients are always looking for something unusual or different for events to make their events stand out from the crowd. LVP have a great diverse range of venues which really help us in our searches.
How do you find working with Lime Venue Portfolio?
LVP are always very timely and efficient in their response, which is most helpful to us as a venue finder, as it enables us to get back to our clients promptly and with the relevant details.
What are your 3 top tips to anyone wanting to join the events industry?
1. It’s hard but enjoyable work; it can be a challenging industry so don’t forget to have fun too
2. You can never know too many people, venues or destinations.
3. You have got to like people. Remember people buy people!