Video negates distance

meetings industry.

But videoconferencing is proving its worth with companies that operate from many different locations.

Videoconferencing has taken the place of many of the face-to-face business meetings common in the corporate world.

With the technology available today data, sound and video images can be sent virtually anywhere in the world.

For example, a project involving several divisions of a company spread around the country could “meet” through videoconferen-cing and exchange ideas and data.

And the cost of some of the basic systems is coming down.

Advanced Visual Design sales and support officer Martin Todd said the cost of setting up a videoconferencing system needed to be balanced against the cost of flying key people in for meetings.

“Another option for some companies is hiring rooms with videoconferencing facilities,” Mr Todd said.

Central Park offers video-conferencing facilities to its tenants and the take up has been strong. At the least its facilities receive between two and three users per day.

St John of God Healthcare Subiaco set up a videoconferencing facility when its conference centre was built.

Videoconferencing in the St Johns centre has been well utilised, split between broadcasting medical procedures around the world and public usage.

Woodside, one of Central Park’s tenants, is probably the biggest user of videoconferencing in WA.

Woodside telecommunications analyst Keith Durrans said the company’s videoconferencing facilities were well used.

The company turned to video-conferencing because its staff are spread through the CBD and based in remote locations.

Mr Durrans said Woodside’s Perth, Karratha and Houston, US, offices soon would have the ability to send data and video simul-taneously.

“Videoconferencing is saving us a lot of money on travel,” he said.

However, those in the meetings industry do not see video-conferencing as that much of a threat to their business.

A Perth Convention Bureau spokesman said videoconferencing would never replace the face-to-face contact of a convention.

“I don’t think it will impact on the number of people attending conferences,” he said.

“There are not that many opportunities to network with colleagues via video.”

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