This week, Megan A. Dutta was featured on the 16:9 podcast. Thanks to Dave Haynes for giving us a platform to expand the reach of Women of Digital Signage!
You can listen to the full podcast here: http://www.sixteen-nine.net/2018/04/18/169-podcasts-megan-dutta-on-the-launch-and-goals-of-women-of-digital-signage
Is it just me or does anyone else feel like they attended DSE six months ago? It’s hard to believe the show was just about a week ago! As usual, the show was a myriad of eye-catching displays, very cool interactive products, and, of course, lively discussions. It seemed like your typical tradeshow on the surface, but something was distinctly different this year.
This year was the birth of the Women of Digital Signage's annual networking breakfast. How exciting! The room was filled with women who work in technology and were specifically interested in digital signage. How cool is that? We all know people tend to gravitate towards others with like interests, so it was a perfect networking forum and, frankly, a great way to start the day.
As with any inaugural event, there was a lot of excitement and promises to become involved in the group (and gratitude to Megan Dutta and Andrea Varrone for putting the event together). It appeared the breakfast was a success. But, how many of you women have thought about it since? How many of you made contacts that day that you have already followed up with? In my mind, the true success of this event should be the initiative it inspired in all of us to be willing to invest our time in growing this organization as well as our own careers.
I have been a sales manager for years (ahem, how many I refuse to reveal at this point). In all due respect to training folks, I have always maintained that sales teams typically have everything they need in order to be successful if individuals are willing to share their talents. I feel the same way about the Women of Digital Signage group. I guarantee there was a woman in the room who was an expert at content design for interactive kiosks. She was possibly sitting near a female manager of a retail store who is currently evaluating that type of software. Across the way was sitting a woman from a kiosk hardware manufacturer. Was there a knowledge transfer? I hope so, but, I am not so sure.
We are all in this business together. Let’s figure out a way to use this group to help each other grow in our knowledge of the industry, in forming partnerships, and celebrating our successes. I believe our breakfast meeting was a terrific start. Now it is up to us as individuals to keep the momentum going. Who’s with me?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Loretta Rederscheid is an accomplished business leader with over 25 years of experience in direct and indirect sales and LOB management, primarily supporting enterprise software sales. Currently an account manager at ComQi, she can be reached at email@example.com.
The Digital Signage Federation (DSF) has awarded Sonia Darlison the DSF Geri Wolff Scholarship for the 2017-18 year. Darlison, a student at the University of Waterloo’s in the global business and digital arts program, has been studying and working in multimedia development, UX and UI design, marketing, and business analysis. She will receive an award of $2,000 to be applied to her academic fees for her senior year of study at the University of Waterloo.
The DSF’s Geri Wolff Scholarship is designed to raise the awareness of digital signage as a career choice among qualified young women who are committed to a professional career in computer sciences and related technology and digital design fields. This award is also intended to help broaden employment diversity, by encouraging employers to hire qualified women in a variety of IT capacities.
DSF board member and High Street Collective co-founder Laura Davis-Taylor led the selection committee for the scholarship. “We are so proud to have had so many strong candidates this year,” she said. “Ms. Darlison represents the type of candidate we know will represent our industry in the future and she is clearly a wonderful example of the professional diversity we celebrate.”
Ann Holland interviews Colleen Brace, SVP of Sales, Venue Services, at ANC.
Ann Holland: Tell me a little bit about your work in venue services at ANC.
Colleen Brace: I started at the company in 1999 managing sports venue signage, which had not yet gone digital. Very quickly, the world of signage started to go digital with the introduction of LED signage and the static printed banners slowly went away. ANC differentiated itself early on by providing services with the signage, but, as the LED began to take over, there was a higher demand for content and day-to-day services. ANC created a software platform to run the LEDs on the fascia levels of sports venues, the scoreboard, and other digital signage in the venues. Then, we added a design division within the company to create content. For live sports venues, we had to hire local people in each market to run the software and maintain the hardware on site. Our core business of client service became the backbone of the company as demand grew for content delivery, managed operations, and daily communication with the clients and venue technicians. Today, I am responsible for overseeing client relations while monetizing the company’s services including the graphic design, content consulting, account management, game day operations and equipment management.
AH: Wow! That’s a broad set of responsibilities. Are you still specialized in only sports venues?
CB: Actually, no. A few years ago, we entered the commercial space with the World Trade Center in Manhattan. It’s very similar to a sports venue; you still need content creation, managed schedules, and operations, but for our commercial accounts, we manage and schedule the content from our headquarters in Purchase, NY. We do all sorts of interesting and unique installations in the commercial space including malls, transit, retail and office buildings.
AH: Sounds like there’s a lot of growth opportunity on the commercial side. Is that right?
CB: Yes, absolutely. The growth opportunity in this broader digital signage market is enormous. I look forward to potentially doubling our revenue in the commercial space this year.
AH: What’s your favorite thing about working in the DS space?
CB: I like the fact that it’s always changing and evolving. From one year to the next, I am never doing the same thing. Changing technologies continue to offer new opportunities. For example, we now have a business in consulting for many of our accounts. The customer knows they should have signage, but they don’t know how the technology works, where to start, how to manage it, etc. We can help with that.
AH: How many years have you gone to the DSE?
CB: Our technology group has been attending DSE for many years. I attended for the first time last year. From the technology side it’s great to stay on top of the latest innovations and on the relationships side it’s great for networking.
AH: Tell us one thing about your personal life that drives you.
CB: My family. I have two kids—five and six years old. They are the reason I do what I do. I think it’s important for kids to see their mom work. My kids see me get dressed up and go to work every day. For women in the industry that may feel some form of guilt about being out of the home, traveling, etc. I want them to think about the positive role model they are for their kids.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ann Holland is currently vice president of marketing at BrightSign, and serves on the Women of Digital Signage Advisory Board. Connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ann-holland-56b22a2/