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In Era of Tight Budgets, PSAV Enables Businesses to Extend and Regionalize Events for Less with Polycom Telepresence

June 22, 2009 | Chris Payatagool

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LONG BEACH, CA and PLEASANTON, CA -- PSAV Presentation Services, the leading supplier of audiovisual and event technology support to hotels, associations, producers and meeting planners worldwide, is deploying high-definition (HD) telepresence from Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCM), the global leader in telepresence, video and voice communication solutions. With Polycom telepresence, PSAV is enabling businesses to cost-effectively extend the reach of events and host sales conferences, industry events and other meetings at a time when eight out of 10 companies are cutting back on business travel.

"This economy has created a new reality for meetings and conventions. The traditional way of hosting meetings -- where hundreds or thousands of attendees travel to one place to meet -- no longer works for many companies," said Brian Lagestee, senior vice president of technology and business development at PSAV. "Polycom telepresence offers us a way to recapture the part of the industry that has evaporated in the economic downturn. The initial response has been tremendous."

Many businesses and associations are downsizing their gatherings. In April, the National Business Travel Association reported that 84 percent of travel buyers say they have cut travel budgets since October 2008, and more than 70 percent expect to reduce spending further through 2009.(1)

With telepresence, meeting planners can reduce the financial and productivity impact of traditional meetings -- without sacrificing the crucial elements of interactivity, collaboration and face-to-face communication. For instance, instead of bringing 300 people to one central location, event hosts can bring 100 people to three regional locations and connect them all through telepresence.

Telepresence is also an effective way to enhance the content of events by bringing in high-value keynote speakers more cost-effectively. It can also serve as a contingency plan when event speakers or large groups of participants are unable to travel for any number of reasons.

In a strategic move to extend its offerings among more than 800 luxury hotels, resorts and conference centers, PSAV is investing in Polycom HDX 8000(TM) room telepresence systems, which allow people to meet and work together naturally across distances with an UltimateHD(TM) experience including HD video, HD stereo audio and sharing of multimedia HD content. PSAV is also leveraging the Polycom RMX 2000(TM) media conferencing platform for greater scale and flexibility for meetings and events. PSAV plans to offer telepresence to bring new cost efficiencies to small meetings to large, general session-style events involving hundreds of participants in each location.

PSAV and Polycom are demonstrating these capabilities this week at the InfoComm Expo conference in Orlando, Fla. In addition to Polycom's presence at the conference, PSAV is helping the company stage live musical performances via telepresence from the Belmont Club in Austin, Texas. Performances will be transmitted live to the Polycom booth in Orlando, as well as to sites in Santa Clara, Calif., New York, and Sao Paolo, Brazil. See additional press release today titled "With UltimateHD Fest at InfoComm, Polycom Shows How Telepresence Can Extend Reach and Impact of Events."

"Our investment in conferences like InfoComm is significant and through telepresence we can extend those efforts to reach a wider audience of customers and partners not attending the show by creating regional customer and partner appreciation events with direct interaction to the show floor," said Joan Vandermate, vice president of marketing, Video Solutions, Polycom. "It's an exciting new model to improve the ROI and impact of major events that also addresses the new realities of the current economic environment."

PSAV supplies hotels and other event venues with audiovisual equipment and expertise from its network of 32 regional Event Services facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Its initial roll-out of Polycom HDX 8000 systems will target its largest U.S. markets, though PSAV expects to outfit all 32 Event Services facilities with Polycom solutions. Eventually, the company plans to make telepresence available in some of their locations internationally.

PSAV chose Polycom after evaluating proposals from six vendors and testing solutions from two finalists. Among the reasons for choosing Polycom: superior features, including full HD support for the entire user experience; and Polycom's Lost Packet Recovery(TM), which provides a more consistent, high-quality experience across typical broadband network environments; and support of open standards, ensuring the ability to interoperate across platforms. The Polycom systems are also portable and easy to use -- both essential criteria for PSAV.

PSAV sees HD telepresence as a way to remain the market leader in an environment that seems to present one challenge after another. "We are excited about the customer reception to our telepresence services," said Lagestee. "We see it as a differentiator not only for us, but for our hotel partners as well. It's something they can offer that another hotel can't."

About PSAV (R) Presentation Services


PSAV is the leading supplier of audiovisual and event technology to hotels, associations, producers and meeting planners worldwide. With over 800 luxury hotels, resorts and conference centers worldwide, PSAV is totally committed to making every live event an unforgettable experience. PSAV's goal is to turn ordinary meetings into memorable experiences so the message lasts. For more, please visit: www.psav.com.

About Polycom

Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Please visit www.polycom.com for more information.

(C) 2009 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM, the Polycom "Triangles" logo and the names and marks associated with Polycom's products are trademarks and/or service marks of Polycom, Inc. and are registered and/or common law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

(1) "NBTA Report Highlights Importance of Travel Management in Down Economy," National Business Travel Association press release dated April 20, 2009, accessed June 9 at http://www2.nbta.org/usa/pressreleases/Pages/rls042009.aspx







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