Satellite business meetings

Gerry Bascombe is betting that a new and evolving technology - large-scale tv link-up of companies by satellite - is the wave of business communication in the future.To this end, Bascombe's Toronto-based Bascombe Group, a corporate television production entity, has joined...

Gerry Bascombe is betting that a new and evolving technology – large-scale tv link-up of companies by satellite – is the wave of business communication in the future.

To this end, Bascombe’s Toronto-based Bascombe Group, a corporate television production entity, has joined forces with CTN Cancom Teleconference Network, The Financial Post and CP Hotels and Resorts to create Canadian Business Week, an electronic business conference program running Nov. 5 -9.

Bascombe Group will provide the television production, ctn the satellite link and cp the conference venues. The Post, will advertise the program to the business community via house ads.

The broadcasts will emanate from Toronto’s Royal York Hotel and will be beamed across the country to satellite dishes in the participating cp hotels.

Each day over the five-day course of the program, two two-hour programs will be broadcast.

The technology used provides for one-way video and two-way audio, thus enabling participants to communicate with one another.

Bascombe Group wants to sell each two-hour slot – there are 10 – to a different company for use in communicating such things as new marketing strategies, new product introductions, and employee motivation and training programs.

Bascombe says he hopes to interest 10 companies unfamiliar with private tv to experiment with the medium.

The cost per company in the program is $49,750, which, according to Bascombe, is about one-third less than what it would cost for an individual company to hold a one-time broadcast of similar duration.

Both figures include the costs of program production and conference site rental.

Bascombe says that while the price of private tv broadcasting might appear steep, it is less costly than holding live conferences in centres across the country.

If Canadian Business Week gets off the ground, Bascombe plans to expand the program in the spring, possibly increasing the number of companies invloved.

Last March, Bascombe Group sold its satellite business tv expertise to a California-based drug company, Amgen, which has a Canadian branch in Mississauga, Ont.

Amgen wanted to launch a new cancer drug, Neupogen, and Bascombe Group complied by putting together a four-city satellite broadcast.

For his part, Bascombe is confident his business will continue to grow.

‘I don’t want to bet the farm on business television [of this type] now, but it will be the wave of the future.’