Suzanne Singleton, Head of Associations at London & Partners

Suzanne Singleton took over as Head of Associations at London & Partners in September 2016. Her background is in the hotel hospitality sector and she was formerly part of the MICE sales team at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge and The Grove, home of the 2016 British Masters golf. London & Partners is the official promotional company for London, the official London Convention Bureau. In recent years, London has risen from 19th to 5th place in the ICCA rankings, having attracted big medical congresses.

WINNING STRATEGIES

Q: How do you prepare a successful bid?

The key to a successful bid is to understand the needs of the Association. It’s not just about finding the right venue and the right accommodation, it’s showing the client how the city can add value to their event, through its expertise, its connections and the support it can provide.

London & Partners works with hundreds of companies, venues and hotels across the city in order to guarantee that every client will find what they are looking for. London is also a world-leading centre for technology, finance, life sciences and the creative industries, and can facilitate links with local experts.

Q: Who should be involved in the preparation of a successful bid?

A collaboration between the Convention Bureau Team, venues and local ambassadors across the city, brings together knowledge and expertise, which can be combined to create a compelling bid for the city.

Q: What is the role of a PCO agency in the bidding process?

The role of the PCO is dependent on the bid criteria. In some instances, usually where budgetary planning and scientific content is required, the PCO works in collaboration with the city and local society to bid for the conference. In other cases, the PCO is appointed after the bid has taken place and the city has been awarded.

Q: Who should cover financial investments in the bidding process?

London does not, as a rule, offer financial support for congresses, however London & Partners does invest resources to help unlock the city, working in collaboration with venues, businesses and stakeholders to produce the bid. We also offer city support where needed and help deliver activations, and value added services, such as negotiating delegate rates for activities outside the congress. If financial investment is required, we are happy to make connections between relevant partners and gather local sponsors in support of the congress.

Q: Latest stories of success?
London recently won the bid to bring the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) back to England for the first time since 1975, after IPA initially approached London & Partners in 2013. With support from the QEII Centre, London secured the 51st congress, which will take place in July 2019, bringing more than 2,000 international delegates to the city.

London skyline

Q: What always makes you smile?

Looking out of the window from our office and seeing the wonderful Tower Bridge. It’s a constant reminder of how lucky we are to promote such an extraordinary city.

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