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High brightness makes portable projectors a hit at Pheasant Run Resort

Tim Novak leads a staff training session at Pheasant Run"We'll use LCD projectors with groups of up to 400 people," says Tim Novak, Audio/Visual Director at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. "We like the Epson because of its brightness. That gives us the ability to provide an impressive image even with a large audience."

Pheasant Run, the largest resort and conference center in the midwest, regularly draws groups from Milwaukee, Chicago and as far south as Peoria. The resort includes 41 meeting rooms, an expo center and a business center serviced by Novak and his staff. Novak has the luxury of picking and choosing his projectors even on a meeting by meeting basis, because he and his group are employees of United Visual. He's thus able to borrow as necessary from United's demo pool.

"We first began paying attention to the Epsons back in 1995," says Novak. "Customers began bringing them in to meetings they'd book at the resort. The performance that they were getting was impressive. Not only were they portable, but presenters were leaving the lights on and the image was clear as day on the screen. United had just signed on with Epson at that time, so we decided to bring a couple of projectors out here and try them out."

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The number of meeting rooms Pheasant has available gives the staff a great deal of flexibility. Novak says he can set up a meeting for anywhere from two to three people on up to a conference of 4,500. The largest room, outside of the exposition hall, seats 900, and the staff often sets this up for projection.

For a big group, Novak likes to set the room up so that the stage is on the longest wall, making for a very wide seating area, but one where the last rows are still relatively close to the podium. Of course, the problem with this setup is that a single screen can't serve such a wide audience. "The last time we did this," says Novak, "we put two LCD projectors on 9 x 12' screens. The images were noticeably brighter than what we're used to with CRT projectors, and audience members were able to see very well. The customer was very pleased. It really worked out well."

Even with a more typical 20 to 50 member audience, a bright projector like the Epson can offer big advantages. If the room lights can stay on, audience members can see the presenter, and he or she can see them, throughout the presentation. Note taking is easier and, as important, the projected images can stay up during questions and answers. "The Epsons are pretty impressive," says Novak. "They're a big help in providing the kind of meeting experience we try to offer at Pheasant Run."