City Cruises

Interview with Emma Bason, Director of Meetings & Events UK, Amex GBT


 How is the meetings & events industry awakening?

We sat down with Emma Bason, Director of Meetings & Events UK at American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) to talk about getting back to business and what’s unique about her company.


Emma Bason

As a Meetings and Events professional, what do you enjoy most about working in this industry?

Its people! In 25 years, I’ve worked with the most interesting people from across the globe. Events throws combinations of people together in the most pressurised situations. They come together to deliver outstanding events, and then it’s on to the next one – you don’t know when you’ll cross paths again, but it’s a solid community driven by determination, grit and excellence.

Amex GBT is a global operator. How do you cater for the local needs of meetings and events clients?

Meetings & Events, as part of Amex GBT, is a global network of event professionals. We have a global and regional leadership team but the individual countries are managed locally. We have the benefits of a global infrastructure but are very much aligned with local nuances, culture and teams. It’s critical to our event delivery that we are closely connected to our clients at a local level. You can be assured of local points of contact to work with, our UK & Ireland teams are based across the countries – some office based and many based virtually.

What would you say is your typical meetings or events client like in terms of company size and industry?

We support a wide range of services including venue sourcing, event management, attendee registration, creative production and travel for meetings. Typical meetings for us could include an island-based incentive trip and entertainment for a client’s 50 top performers, a local pharmaceutical event with education content for 100 doctors or a 10-person internal team meeting at an airport location. Our range is vast and our teams are skilled in different types of event execution.

How can you help professional assistants to arrange outstanding meetings and events for their companies? And how does that differ from other meetings and events service providers?

Our first action is to listen. We need to understand what you already do, where you have been and what challenges have presented themselves along the way. Understanding your meeting and event objectives is key. Your company’s goals will drive the shape of the event. We need to understand what level of support you may need. We are adept at offering the right level of support – leading from the front or supporting in the background. We can flex our service level, visibility and delivery according to the environment we operate in, appreciating that every client and event is different. It’s important for the event planning experience to be a positive one for all.

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You may also enjoy reading our interview with Rachel Tonge, UK Vice President & General Manager at American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) on connecting communities.