Sam McNeill, 31, works in London as general manager at SongDivision U.K./Europe. As a 2017 40 Under 40 honoree, McNeill discusses his passion for the events industry.
What I do: I am responsible for the sales, design and delivery of all our events across the U.K. and Europe. SongDivision helps organizations communicate their event messages by delivering unique, interactive and engaging songwriting experiences with help from musicians who tour and record with acts like Sting, Michael Buble and Beyonce. We call it teambuilding disguised as a rock concert. Within my role at SongDivision, I am also an in-demand emcee, facilitator, keynote speaker, singer and global party starter!
How I got here: After finishing my degree in classical voice in 2007, Andy Sharpe (SongDivision founder) saw me performing in Sydney and asked if I would help with a large event with Microsoft. I fell in love with the concept and asked how I could get more involved. From there I worked my way up the Australian office before Andy asked me to move to London and help him set up in the U.K. and Europe.
My greatest career accomplishment: Bringing heart and soul to meetings and events around the world using the power of music, and helping connect people from all walks of life, from CEOs to cancer survivors, Fortune 500 employees to disadvantaged kids. That—and being kissed onstage by Sir Richard Branson!
Impressive stats: I have delivered more than 300 events throughout Australia, the U.K., Europe, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and the United States for leading organizations. I grew the turnover for our Australia business 50 percent per year for three years in a row, and have already beaten first-year targets for the U.K. and Europe launch.