The senior marketing director, Europe, at Cvent discusses how he got into the industry, his inspirational children and why he’s called The Doctor.
I was born and raised in Scotland, in a small village near Edinburgh, but left there to go to university in Liverpool and then afterwards to London for work.
I have lived in London ever since, but my heart is still in Scotland.
I’m the middle child who grew up in a lively household.
I was more interested in animals than school subjects and always wanted to be a vet.
I spent far more time with my pets than doing homework. That all changed when I went to university though – I suddenly had to learn how to study.
While at university, I worked on a beach in the south of France selling ice-cream and donuts, which was a lot of fun – I got a great tan and perfected my French.
My first job was in logistics for Phillips Medical Systems. It taught me a lot about the basics of logistics and project management, which helps me to this day.
When I first moved to marketing at Phillips, I was responsible for managing all the UK events and delivering the trade shows we exhibited at.
When I moved to Cisco, I was responsible for marketing technology, including event registration systems.
I’ll never forget the first big user conference I worked on in 1999. I worked on the desk managing our first-ever online registration and check-in system. It was quite a pressurised job, but I had great fun and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Nothing else can beat the thrill of seeing the results of all your hard work when the event goes live, and being able to see your audience experiencing it all and give you instant feedback.
When I joined Cvent there were only seven people in the London office, and now there are more than 50 people working here. The growth has been phenomenal.
With the Lanyon merger now complete, that growth is set to continue apace, so I’m really excited for what’s coming next.
My colleagues call me The Doctor because I fix things and make people feel better.
I got married for the second time last year to my husband Jon, which was a very special day and one I never thought would be possible in my lifetime.
I have two teenage kids. Both of them are an inspiration to me, always challenging me and making me think differently about the world.
I made myself do a bungee jump at the original site in New Zealand where they invented it, hoping for the thrill and adrenaline rush, but I was just terrified.
Stanley Tucci, who my kids say looks just like me, would play me in a movie.
I really like to dance and go clubbing and to festivals regularly – I’m lucky to have found a club for grown-ups, where lots of old ravers like me go and don’t have to worry about young people judging them, so I have no plans to stop until my body gives up.
I love the production that goes into pulling off such a massive event, and the excitement of an opening keynote in a darkened room just before the lights go up is like nothing else.