Meet our people : Mary Ann Pierce of MAP Digital
Hello, I'm Mary Ann Pierce, and for over 20 years, my work has fused the digital space to investment banking conferences and I have co-created with clients, MetaMeetings, an integrated, compliant and scalable event content and webcasting platform with a conference app. I am now starting a new company, Smart Venues which embeds MetaMeetings and other best-of-service event tech within conference centers worldwide.
MAP Digital is headquartered in New York City, produces events globally, and our Corporate Social Responsibility is promoting Cognitive Diversity and Economic Equality for Women.
At MAP Digital we have 3 rules:
1. The Attendee is at the Center
2. Integration is Innovation
3. Data is Currency
Last year I was named as one of “The Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry” by Meetings & Conventions Magazine and noted: “Pierce is ahead of the curve, as the rest of the industry now embraces data capture and analytics as the next frontier.”
I also sit on the board of Digital Irish and am an advisor for Inspirefest and the UN sponsored Economy Equality for Women task force. I have worked with J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, The Wall Street Journal, Novartis, Pfizer, and Havas. I've taught digital event design at New York University and been a speaker at “Masters & Robots,” “Evolve or Die,” PCMA EduCon, and MPI Conferences.
Q. What do you love about event tech?
A. I love that event tech makes the complex – simple and transforms a click into intelligence. Good technology is seamless. It is an art to design an engaging user’s experience. What I am really excited about in the event tech space is the growing impact of platform integration of the API Economy. It is time to partner or perish… and use a fully integrated stack of event tech to build better events.
Q. How can women make an impact in the event tech space?
A. By clearly articulating what they want the software to do, how they want the user will feel when engaging with it; and demanding that the design, programming, product management and quality assurance teams are cognitively diverse. Women build experiences and software differently from men. We built our MetaMeetings platform with a team that was diverse in gender, generationally and culturally. We believe because of our diversity, MetaMeetings has fluid functionally and a curated user experience based on our client’s business objectives.
Q. What are some of your personal favourite tools/brands/products/biz?
A. I have two favorites: GRIP and Vivastream. Grip is an elegant app that uses Artificial Intelligence to match attendees via their metadata from their LinkedIn profile and Web presence. It is wonderful for attendees be severed up a list of people with similar interests before going onsite. Grip also shows the organizer the attendee’s interest so that they can make sure that the conference content is in alignment. or to qualify potential clients to sponsors and exhibitors. However, my favorite platform beside our MetaMeetings platform, is Vivastream. This remarkable event data analytics platform crunches registration, marketing, content and webcast usage, attendee tracking, surveys – all data and map the attendee’s journey within the event. We highly recommend Vivastream and Grip to all our clients.
Q. Who do you most admire in event tech?
A. I have deep admiration for Michelle Bruno and Dahlia el Gazzar. They are the smartest, most articulate, passionate and compassionate people in the event industry. When they evaluate event tech, they deeply examine its features, benefits and determine if it is transformational or not.
Q. What's your one piece of advice to other women in event tech?
A. Join a board and make the non-profit’s events better. In doing so, you will be able to implement solutions and also have real case studies to show clients. I was the pro-bono producer of Inspirefest’s New York Salon. I experimented with transforming their presentations into a content and social media campaign to build up Inspirefest’s brand awareness in North America. The result was an uptick in tickets sales from the region. We fed all our data into IBM Watson and got real insights about the community of interest that surrounded Inspirefest and the power of their Speakers in building Inspirefest’s brand.