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/