Convene’s existing high-profile locations are just the tip of an iceberg the company is building from the top down. Within the next several years, Convene expects to open locations in virtually all major American business centers and greatly expand Convene’s global footprint. In fact, co-founder and vice chairman Chris Kelly said, the goal is nothing less than to “transform what it means to work in a modern economy” by “taking services that would typically be found in a full-service hotel and introducing them into commercial work places and offices.”
Describing the “full-service hotel-type” amenities offered in its workspaces, the Convene team places an overwhelming emphasis on environment, collaboration, and vision. They are focused on building elevated environments that inspire today’s top talent as they work, meet, play and learn. A large part of this best-in-class infrastructure includes a reliable technology platform.
“Convene has been a Panasonic customer since Day One. Given the equipments’ history of virtually flawless performance and the company’s expert, intelligent, and rapid-response support, we see no reason to contemplate a change as we grow both nationally and internationally,” said Michael A. Judeh, Convene’s New York regional director of technology. “Truth is, Panasonic’s extremely strong global presence is a big plus for our overseas expansion plans.”
One reason Convene’s hardware acquisition decisions are rooted in reliability metrics—as well as service and support availability—is the nature of its business. As a client-driven service provider, when a projector or any other piece of equipment fails, it is a challenge for Convene’s productivity and bottom line.
“To say that we are perpetually delighted that Panasonic’s projector failure rate is under one percent is an understatement,” Judeh said. “But that’s just one of the things we love about our Panasonic hardware. First and most obvious is the superb imaging quality.”
Judeh noted that when he says image quality is the “most obvious” of the Panasonic Solid Shine Laser Projectors’ attributes he’s viewing the “big, bright pictures” from a client’s point of view.
“We use a Creston digital backbone at all our locations and once a client inputs into the mixer he doesn’t care how the content gets to the screen, he doesn’t care about lumen ratings, lamp types, contrast ratios, or any of those things,” Judeh added. “What our clients care about is whether the image is as bright and vivid in a partially lit room as in total darkness. What they look for is how crisp and color correct the images are onscreen, how well defined the type in the PowerPoint is, or how flawlessly images replicate if a multi-projector is being used. In other words, our clients are looking at precisely the things at which the Panasonic projectors excel.”
Judeh explained that he looks for the same image attributes as clients, but that his interest is more long-term than that of the clients.
“Many projectors will show perfectly rendered images out of the box,” he said. “With the Panasonic projectors, I know the imaging is going to be just as perfect all the way through their 20,000-hour maintenance cycle. And if there’s one thing neither I nor any client would want to see in the middle of a workshop or seminar, it’s a black screen caused by lamp failure. With the Panasonic projectors, I don’t have to worry about black screens, sudden yellow, or dim screens or any similar issues.”
Convene initially standardized on Panasonic as its video provider because it wanted a national partner capable of providing 24/7/365 service and support at all its current locations and every stop on its expansion roadmap.
By the end of 2018, Convene powered 23 million square feet of space and served more than 6,000 clients, including the majority of the Fortune 500 based in NYC. More than 300,000 individual users have experienced Convene in 2018, and a large majority also experienced Panasonic’s laser-powered video projection technology.
With adding new cities from Chicago and London in the coming year, it’s unlikely that Convene is going to be giving up its Inc. Magazine ranking as one of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies anytime soon.
Which makes Panasonic’s ability to provide on-site service and support across the country through its regionally-based team of support engineers even more of an asset to customers like Convene.
“Other important factors to Convene were our unparalleled swap out/loaner program and our ability to implement and run feasibility tests on a proposed design in our labs before deployment” noted Panasonic’s Joseph Dolce, account manager to Convene.
Derived from the Latin convenientia, the word convene has numerous dictionary definitions. Assemble, gather, bring together, connect, meet, congregate, group, mobilize, and join together are just a few that could just as easily be applied to the company Convene.
But there is also another common, everyday English word descended from convenientia: convenience. Convenience, as in replacement units just a phone call away, access to gold-standard engineers to help solve the most insoluble problems, and worry-free product reliability.
Convenience, to Judeh, in the form of video projectors that go from off to brilliant high-definition action in under eight seconds. “I just love that they do that,” Judeh concluded.