Meet the team | Suzy Griffiths
What is your role at IMG and how long have you been at the company?
Whether it has been for IMG or PWR Events though, I have been working on Winter Wonderland since 2008, so I’ve done every event except for the very first one.
What does your role entail?
I am the event’s chief designer and curator, so that means I get to try out lots of rollercoasters, see lots of shows, eat lots of food and find lots of new and interesting things to come to the event. I then design the plan and lay out all this great content, allowing for the best visitor experience.
What drew you to work at IMG and specifically within the Events Division?
I used to work for a fashion photographer and had the pleasure of seeing so many amazing shows come to life – most notably an Alexander McQueen show that literally transported you to a different world for a few minutes. I knew then that I wanted to work in an industry that built worlds and created new experiences. At no point did I know then that I’d end up at Winter Wonderland, but I’m very glad of the journey!
Have you noticed any significant shifts in your role for the event over the years you’ve been with the company? If so, could you elaborate on these changes?
16 years ago, my first job at Winter Wonderland was officially ‘Site Manager’ but was in reality ‘Jack of All Trades’ as it was pretty much just me and one other person running the event! Obviously, Winter Wonderland was much smaller then, so I had to be many things to many people, and generally think on my feet (read ‘make it up as I went along’!). As the event has grown and developed, thankfully now we have a great team of experts that can look after each element thoroughly, leaving me more time to go on rollercoasters (see above).
In your experience, what stands out as particularly unique or noteworthy about this year’s Winter Wonderland compared to your previous involvement with the event?
This year we’re delighted to welcome a new Market partner so we’re all excited to see what interesting things they can add to make it a fresh and vibrant destination at the event.
I’m also very keen to try out our new Fondue Restaurant which looks so cosy and welcoming.
What’s your winter wonderland highlight and absolute must at the event?
I’m not sure I only have one! I will never tire of the talent and creativity that the Magical Ice Kingdom team bring each year – it’s always such a joy to see blocks of ice be transformed into incredible frozen worlds.
And then of course there is the Munich Looping – the world’s largest transportable rollercoaster. It has five loop the loops and I always come off it so full of energy I feel I can take on the world!
What is your biggest achievement at IMG?
I’m honestly staggered every year by the size and scale of Winter Wonderland, as well as the passion and dedication shown by everyone who helps make it happen. I think my biggest achievement has been in developing it from a relatively small event to the ‘pop-up theme park’ it is today. I love how the event has now become part of so many people’s annual festive outing and will never get bored of watching people beam as they walk in through the gates.
What Christmas song do you have on repeat? ‘It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas’ by Perry Como. I prefer the old crooners…
What’s your favourite sporting event in the calendar? I’m afraid I’m not much of a sporty person, but I’ll try and catch as much of Wimbledon as I can. (I take it World Conker Championships don’t count…?)
Favourite movie? Not a Christmas movie, but I watch ‘Singin in the Rain’ every Christmas Day without fail. Otherwise, my favourite Christmas film has got to be Die Hard…