Faces Behind MeetingPlay: Meet Lisa Vann, Co-CEO
Here at MeetingPlay, we’re often asked, “What makes you different from other event technology companies?” If you asked any MeetingPlay customer, they would consistently tell you it’s the innovative, customized experience that we provide that captures everything that makes their events special. They would also highlight our outstanding customer service.
We know the great work we do comes down to the people that work here. So, we’ve created a new blog series to highlight some of our most integral people and how they go above and beyond for our live, virtual, and hybrid event customers. These team members work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that every customer event is not only successful, but our clients come out looking like rock stars.
In this first post in our series, we introduce Lisa Vann, MeetingPlay’s Co-CEO. Lisa is a strong, visionary leader with deep roots in the hospitality and bioscience industries. She’s also a mom of 2 and an incredible role model for women who work in technology.
1. Can you tell us about your job at MeetingPlay when it comes to client events?
My role in client events is to ensure a successful event happens. What that means to MeetingPlay, though, is a little bit broader than just “We had a great event.” It's all about understanding what our client’s needs are (whether virtual, hybrid, or in-person) and what a successful event means to them from the beginning. It’s taking the vision of what our clients come to us with, knowing what their goals are, and bringing that forward to execute it in the most effective, impactful way.
We bring that customer vision into operations and development and pull everything together to execute an event that achieves our client’s goals.
2. Can you give us examples of MeetingPlay’s white glove service when executing successful virtual events?
Our core is hospitality. And when you look at the pieces of hospitality that are most important, it comes down to customer satisfaction. That has played through with MeetingPlay from the very beginning.
For us, it’s always been about, “How do we best service our clients?” When you're planning an event and you’re in the trenches, what does that mean? It means we become a partner with clients from the beginning to the end. We have a dedicated, loyal team and that really shines through in how we work with our clients. For us, it’s not just about providing clients with event technology.
What's unique about us is that although we do have innovative technical capabilities and solutions, we also have the ability to show clients how to use them. For us, that’s a big differentiator. It's not, “Here you go. You figure it out.” Instead, we're right there with them. When we talk about being in the trenches, our team is in the trenches with our clients. We believe that is what makes a seamless event experience.
3. How do you keep your team motivated and working together to pull-off complex virtual events?
Remember when we talked about being in the trenches? Our MeetingPlay leadership team is in the trenches with our MeetingPlay employees. I think this is important for motivation.
In March, when COVID-19 hit, we quickly pivoted to virtual and accomplished this very fast. There were a lot of high expectations for different areas of our organization.
At first, it was on the development team with having to focus on a different area of events. It involved utilizing the platform and tools that we have, but in a different way. Then, those expectations moved into our business development team, which included communicating that we have a virtual solution to existing clients and new potential clients. Then we needed operations to make it all happen. There was a lot happening at different points in time. But as a leadership team, we were open and transparent with our employees. As a result, we all bonded together as a team and supported each other. I think we all realize how fortunate we are.
We appreciate our good fortune and are spreading it by giving new opportunities to more people. We want to change the event industry for the better. As we bring people back live events in a hybrid fashion, it doesn't mean virtual has to go away. It simply means new opportunities are available for everyone to utilize.
4. What’s the number one reason you think organizers of premier events should choose MeetingPlay?
The first reason is our technological capabilities are vast and put simply, they work. We are able to solve a lot of technical problems and issues that other companies can’t or perhaps are outside of their niche. Another is that we create seamless events. That’s key to what we do. Finally, our drive for customer satisfaction shines through with every event. Typically, the feedback we get from our customers is how happy and excited they are that they work with MeetingPlay. Because of this, they keep coming back.
5. What piece of advice would you give to planners as we embark into the world of hybrid events?
Be open and think about all the possibilities. Virtual has allowed us to go where we haven't gone before. Hybrid will do the same. In the beginning, hybrid events will be smaller on-site; larger virtual. But after we go back to in-person and COVID is over, there's always going to be the opportunity for a virtual component.
With virtual events, we’ve disrupted the industry by bringing more people together and enabling them to have a broader event presence. It has opened opportunities for more attendees, including people who may not have been able to travel or had budget constraints. Now, these are no longer barriers to attending events. In addition, more opportunities for attendees to engage and have a voice are at their fingertips. From an event organizer, sponsor and exhibitor standpoint, there's a lot of opportunity with a hybrid event because of this audience expansion and increased engagement.
There’s definitely a benefit of being on-site and making in-person connections. But the data that you can collect virtually is valuable for a multitude of reasons. User generated data is much easier to capture and analyze with an online audience.
We’ve changed what event technology looks like and there's so much opportunity as we move into a hybrid environment. As things grow in the face-to-face arena, much of the technology we’ve put in place for virtual events will stick.
6. What can we expect from MeetingPlay as we embark into a new year with all of this new technology?
Expect more innovation, more options and more successful, seamless events. There's so much more we can accomplish and new ways to connect people. What's really powerful about the MeetingPlay platform? Pre COVID-19, we made a difference with our mobile app and on property execution. Moving forward, our clients will have our mobile app, virtual platform and on-site execution to create a unified, seamless experience for their audience. You're going to see more connections as we bring people together in new, different, and meaningful ways. This will have a major impact on the events that MeetingPlay is a part of.
About Lisa Vann
Prior to becoming Co-CEO of MeetingPlay, Lisa served as Senior Manager of Corporate Strategy at both DSM and Martek BioSciences, biotechnology focused companies, where she played an integral role in advising senior executives on a range of topics, including corporate growth strategy, business unit strategy, competitive strategy and insights into future industry trends. Lisa holds an MBA from the University of Baltimore, Merrick School of Business, a M.S. from the University of Florida, and a B.S. from the University of Florida.
MeetingPlay would love to help you achieve your goals for your next virtual and hybrid event. Let us be your partner in the trenches to bring the vision for your events to life. Contact us.