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Hotel Business, A Day in the Life – Gavin Wheeldon

Leanne Donovan 27 April 2017
Hotel Business, A Day in the Life – Gavin Wheeldon

Gavin Wheeldon, CEO of intelligent spaces company . Purple provides WiFi and real-time analytics and marketing for businesses, including hotels. By helping venues to engage with visitors and learn about their customers and location, Purple helps them take positive action to improve customer experience and increase loyalty.


After dropping off my daughters aged 3 and 7 to nursery and school, I head straight for ‘Purple Towers’ – that’s what we call Purple HQ in Oldham. There are 70 of us here in the office and I usually have a chat with a few people as I arrive. I have an office, but the door’s always open, as I want people to feel free to come in and chat through whatever they are working on. Sharing ideas is where innovation comes from, so I am always keen to be part of that process.


I make a call to Sir Terry Leahy, who is on our board of Directors. I update him on the progress we’ve made with our recruitment drive and also the new offices we’re opening around the world. The team in Santiago, Chile, has settled into a brand new building in a very nice part of the city. The building is also home to Cisco’s Santiago team. We’ve also opened a new office for our staff in Melbourne, Australia; and the rapidly expanding Madrid team has moved into a bigger office.


A senior analyst from ABI Research calls to discuss a report he is writing about in-store analytics technology. The platform we’ve developed enables retailers, as well as hotels and other venues, to learn more about their location and customer base.  With these insights, they can take action to improve customer experience and increase loyalty. I’m so passionate about this, so it’s never a chore to talk about the exciting ways our WiFi and real-time analytics and marketing tools are helping businesses. This guy really knows his stuff so we have a great conversation.


Time for a stroll and some lunch. I usually meet with my CFO, Pete Lee and CPO, John Oliver for a bite and a chat. Our favourite place to go is Puccini’s, a great Italian restaurant that’s just a few minutes’ walk away from the office.


I’m joined by Tom, our Product Manager, and John, our CPO, for a meeting. We discuss the detail of how the Purple platform can be integrated with a hotel’s PMS system, so that WiFi login is connected to an individual’s room and room key.  Director of Marketing and Alliances, Kerry Wright; Sales Director, Bill Williams; and Regional Sales Manager EMEA, James Dale, join us to brainstorm other new features for hotels. We’re looking at all the types of data that can be connected within a hotel and how the Purple platform can help create an ‘intelligent hotel’ that benefits from a rich source of data.

Building on what we offer hotels is really important to us. Already hotels installing Purple get instant benefits including more social media engagement, a database of verified email addresses and increased reviews on Trip Advisor. But I never rest and the team and I have a great discussion about building on this service.


I receive a call from Mike Greig, VP of Americas, who wants to discuss his pipeline business and plans for recruitment, with a view to adding new heads. Mike’s been in this role for nearly a year and he’s doing great work to grow our brand in his region.  Expanding the team is crucial and we have a good chat about how to approach this.


My PA Jenny flits in and out of my office all day to book in meetings and ask any questions she may have. She’s very busy, but very organised, which is great for me.  She comes in as we near the end of the day and actually takes a seat for once so that we can talk through what’s in my diary for tomorrow. I’ll be heading off early to  attend meetings in London and Jenny has everything planned meticulously.