Owner, Event Technology Consulting
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Passionate, Friendly, and Reasonably Organized.
What was your first job?
Not counting small, part-time jobs growing up, my first “real” job out of college was working for a theatrical lighting company.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Oh, man. Probably Pizza, but some good Gyros or Shawarma is a close second.
If you could go back in time and talk to your 20-yr. old self for 15 seconds, what would you tell?Network. My biggest professional regret is that I didn’t start networking until my late 30s. I can’t even imagine what I’d be doing now if I’d gotten more of a jumpstart. That, and “there’s going to be a party in Glasgow you should probably avoid.” Eh, I take that back. A valuable lesson was learned that night…
What is your superpower in business?
I’m a bit of a social chameleon. I’m perfectly comfortable talking with anyone, no matter what their social or economic stature, so I’m just as comfortable talking with CEOs as I am with the folks unloading the trucks or cleaning up the washrooms. Treating each with the same level of respect will get you far in life as well as business.
The only way to achieve the impossible is…
To break it down into smaller, possible chunks. Going to Mars isn’t one giant problem, it’s solving a bunch of smaller problems, one at a time.
Your formula for a successful event…
Know your audience, and know your goals. Far too often people just launch in with what’s shiny or new, without asking themselves whether or not it fits the goals of the event, or how it’s going to improve the experience of the attendee.
Who would play you in a movie?
Kevin Smith would be a good one (I’ve actually been Silent Bob for Halloween before). Used to be he’d have to lose a lot of weight to play the role, now he’d have to gain a few pounds!
The event of your dreams…
Probably something in the video game industry. They seem to be pushing the bounds every year with what’s possible with technology, especially display technology which I’m a huge fan of.
What is the future of events?
There’s so much potential in personalization- that’s going to have to be a major part of it. But in the end, events are group experiences by nature, so ultimately the personalization can only go so far and you’re still going to have to generalize. I worry that planners are going to chase personalization to the extreme, searching for an ever-elusive 100% satisfaction rate, and lose sight of making the shared experience the focus of most of their efforts.
Technology is going to be a double-edged sword. While it can inform your decisions, it’s not omniscient. All it can do is help identify trends you might not have been aware of, or help make sense of disparate data points. AI is smart. People are smart. But it’s the combination of the two that can be better than either one alone.
The best advice you ever received?
There is no work/life balance- there’s only life. In other words, it’s not some scale that needs to be balanced, it’s just about setting your priorities. Sometimes your work has to take priority over your family life. Other times, it’s your family that has to come first. It’s a much healthier attitude, in my opinion.
What are you fully devoted to?
Wow, that changes over time, doesn’t it? Right now I’m devoting a lot of time and effort to my health, which in turn benefits my family and my work.
What is the price of success?
Often it equates to a bigger demand on your time, unfortunately, but hopefully it also affords opportunities that you previously didn’t have. Paying attention to priorities becomes even more important.
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