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Publisher can't get enough of portable LCD projector

Riverside Publishing outfits its sales force with Mitsubishi portables
Riverside's Ransom with a new Mitsubishi projector.
"One trip was enough," says Riverside Publishing's Tomi Ransom. One trip out of town with a portable LCD projector was enough to convince the firm's salespeople that they wanted more of this lightweight, time-saving technology. The only catch was that the projector they liked so much after their initial purchase was discontinued by the time they were ready to buy more, and its replacement was heavier. That's when they turned to the Mitsubishi X70.

Size and easy operation

The marriage of laptop and projector was such a successful union, says Ransom, Supervisor of the National Sales Support Center, that the Itasca, Illinois-based publisher decided to triple the number available to its staff with a purchase of eight more units. Size was a critical factor in choosing the seven-pound Mitsubishi, though it was not the only factor.

"We were looking for something really, really portable," says Ransom. "When you carry a projector on your shoulder or on and off airplanes, you need something small and very lightweight." The machines also needed to be user friendly, since Riverside's 35 sales reps and staff people are all at different levels of technological know-how. "This model isn't intimidating at all," says Ransom. "Basically it's an on and off button, an input/output cable and a power plug." Brian Sheridan from United Visual let Ransom try out the projector before making her final decision, and she was as impressed by the bright, crisp image as she was by its size.

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Riverside Publishing develops and markets educational and psychological student assessments. Ransom says they recently outfitted all their sales people with new laptops, which work hand in hand with the projectors when they call on school districts and state education departments. But these sales reps don't just sell the software, they also teach clients how to administer the tests and how to read the results. "Quite often, we're talking to large groups of people, and the projector allows us to put the materials on a big screen," says Ransom. That's a huge plus, especially when they want to project samples of score reports and teach people how to read them, or when they lay out the tests and explain what they contain.

Ransom recently returned from a national sales meeting in California where she used the projectors to train anywhere from 10 to 40 people at a time. A number of speakers used the projectors for PowerPoint presentations, while others trained staff on several different computer applications. Ransom couldn't have been happier with the projectors' performance.

"The only negative comments that I've heard are that we don't have enough of them," says Ransom. "They all ask, "When am I going to get my own projector?"