Susan Spibey

Susan Spibey

“Changemaker and pioneer in making a difference creatively, commercially, professionally, and socially in both internal and external communications through the power of events”:

Susan has spent more than 30 years creating and delivering event strategies for business, professional and social impact with clients across a range of organisations and professions globally.  She has lived and worked in the UK, Belgium, France, Germany and Italy, and travelled extensively worldwide for business.

Susan speaks French and Italian, and has a good understanding of German and Spanish.   Before founding SJS International in 1992, Susan was first employed in the Conference Division of NATO at its Headquarters in Brussels and then for more than 10 years with the United Nations Specialist Agency in Rome, where she developed and managed a wide range of ‘events’ and programmes across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

In 1992 Susan won a contract with the European Commission to launch CORDIS and established SJS International as a Professional Conference and ‘Events’ Organiser.    The company’s client list included multi-national businesses, inter-governmental, government, public, professional bodies, industry sector trade associations and organisations.  Contracts ranging from small meetings to large scale congresses [up to 15,000 delegates], major business and industry sector exhibitions, technical study visits and special events in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North America.   Susan has created and organised a number of unique one-off global events, created new business networks and implemented many successful fresh ideas; leading teams of up to 200 people.

Susan’s international consultancy role has included European Commission Projects, United Nations Development Programme, German Fair Authorities of Frankfurt, Hannover and Leipzig, Italian Fiera di Padova, global Professional and Trade bodies, and private clients in Italy and USA.  Susan continues to advise on creative strategies for the development, organisation, management and delivery of events.  Her ‘fresh ideas’ approach ‘thinking outside the box’ is consistently recognised as innovative.

More recently Susan has created significant business networks to support supply chain development.  She has also put her lifetime of global experience in events to championing the recognition of Event Management as a Profession; led on the development of new event management standards and is a qualified Assessor.

She led on the creation of the professional body for event management and founded the Institute of Event Management [] in 2012 just ahead of the London Olympics to offer professional recognition; raise awareness of the importance of upskilling to deliver events for business, professional and socio-economic benefit; support lifelong learning and provide a significant body of knowledge. The Institute will benefit individuals, employers and organisations globally.

A consummate professional in ensuring events deliver ‘above and beyond’, Susan used her knowledge and skills to support EFAPCO [European Federation of Professional Event Organisers] as their adviser on professional development.  In the post-Brexit era she is keen to maintain her Europe-wide network of event organisers and further develop links to IEM for mutual benefit.

Susan is a Fellow of the RSA [Royal Society of Arts], Independent Governor at Wigan & Leigh College and Public Governor at Wigan, Wrightington and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.  She was involved in the development of the UNEP Global Reporting Initiative and a member of the UK Mirror Committee for ISO20121 Sustainable Event Management launched ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.

COP-26 The United Nations Conference on Climate Change held in Glasgow in November 2021 was an opportunity to support the Race to Net Zero Campaign for Events.  Susan is now leading on the transformation of the professional standards in sustainable event management.  This will enable the Institute of Event Management to be fully open to membership and also to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals through a number of initiatives.

Personally, Susan’s passion for music and in particular singing some of the great choral works has provided additional opportunities for travel.  She enjoys cooking which her family and friends benefit from and the long experience at home and abroad provides a wide range of specialities!

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