Stephen Minning, Founder and CEO, PAM
Stephen Minning, the founder and CEO of PAM, is working with major property developers all over the world to help them connect visitors to incredible experiences using its smart navigation software. As a leader, Minning has remarkable vision. Before founding PAM, he worked in brand and design, advertising, and wayfinding organizations in London, Dubai and Sydney.
With digitization taking every industry by storm, Stephen noticed that large, complex properties like stadiums, universities and transport hubs were struggling to manage their signage. Moreover, he noticed that digital signage was able to attract the attention of younger target audiences but generally failed to deliver useful information to visitors. Recognizing the need for software that could manage physical and digital signage and improve the visitor experience all in one, Stephen founded PAM —an intelligent navigation platform that’s designed to simplify connectivity.
Today, venue owners, property developersand architects use PAM to control all of their wayfinding touchpoints: physical signs, kiosks, digital kiosks, digital signs, and mobile maps. “By removing all kinds of barriers, we turn complex spaces into much-loved places. We’re now several years down the road. We’ve completed projects for universities, globally recognized stadiums, and airports. But we’re always evolving – we like to say we’re experienced in doing what’s never been done before,” says Stephen Minning, Founder & CEO, PAM.
Providing an end-to-end visitor experience has always been PAM’s end game. With an exceptional team committed to the mission, PAM has succeeded at making places more profitable, productive, and pleasurable.
APAC Business Headlines spoke with Minning about the challenges he’s faced along the way.
What factors influenced the inception of PAM? How has the company grown over the past years?
I have a background in experiential graphics and wayfinding, which is a very specialized field of design. I realized huge, complex properties like stadiums were struggling to manage their signage, leading to lost, unhappy visitors.
As costs have come down and tech has improved, digital signs do a much better job than physical signs. So, we launched PAM – an intelligent navigation platform that turns huge spaces into familiar spaces where people love to spend their time and money. PAM is used to manage complex signage systems, display information in real-time, and to solve many of the biggest challenges that district owners face.
Can you talk more in detail about the problems addressed by PAM in the market?
When a visitor can easily find their seat, or the perfect parking spot, the right meeting room, or the best shops or restaurants, the value of your property instantly increases.
People have less time and more choice than they used to. We all know retail has suffered at the hands of online shopping, and it’s the same for every physically located business – venues, universities, offices, resorts… practically every destination is suffering. It’s not because people don’t want to go out – it’s just that staying at home is easy, while going out is getting harder and harder. There needs to be more reward for that effort – a better experience from end-to-end.
For the owners and operators of built environments, increasing visits is really important. This means keeping people engaged, so they hang around longer and spend more, too. It’s reciprocal – happy visitors lead to more revenue in so many different ways. It’s up to PAM to make sure they’re connected to the district for the entirety of their visit and have an experience that’s memorable.
What is your customer value proposition?
We create places that work. Our software is partly about efficiency – easy parking, smooth, safe walks, and a secure environment. On the flipside, it’s about engagement. How can we make sure visitors know what is happening and where? How do we help them unlock the hidden treasures that they don’t know about? Connecting visitors with this kind of contextual information is a massive part of creating memorable experiences – the kinds of things you CAN’T get from sitting in front of your computer.
Who is your target audience?
PAM works with any destination that hosts visitors. This starts at the very top – cities and neighbourhoods – and stretches to airports, entertainment and sports venues, campuses, retail malls, resorts, hotels and convention centers.
Can you take us through the process of getting started with PAM from a customer’s perspective?
Our customers tend to have a unique set of challenges and so we’re geared towards providing much more than software. We help them to create solutions that solve their problems in real-time. We have developed a bespoke design, prototyping and implementation process. All of our clients enjoy regular reviews with the experts in our eXLabs, which exists to support districts as they grow and adapt.
PAM is a collaborative company: we know there’s no set-and-forget on this kind of critical infrastructure.
What kind of responses to PAM’s solutions have you received over the years?
We’ve just finished a project with a globally recognized stadium district. There are many different elements to the project and they couldn’t be happier. We’re making the recovery from Covid much, much easier because even with tens of thousands of fans, they’re able to make sure everyone knows how to safely find their entrance and find their way around with a minimum of risk and fuss. It’s not just about Covid either. The size of this project is unparalleled, and they are trying to provide the world’s most advanced, amazing fan experience, and PAM is a big part of that.
What business values do you think are critical for you to be successful in the market?
PAM’s success comes from tackling the future rather than the past. The way people live their lives is fundamentally different from 20 years ago, yet much of the technology was designed for a different set of problems and can’t possibly cope with what’s now required. We’ll keep focusing on the future and building in more and more smart technology to make the visitor experience not just easier, but also safer and smoother. AI, big data and improved location services technology will power us forward. With each innovation we can get more and more focused on the needs of each individual visitor.
We live in a convenience economy and people simply won’t sacrifice their time and effort for anything less than a wonderful, memorable day. Our goal is to make it happen for them.