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PSAV Adjusts to Meet Pandemic Challenges

PLSN Staff • News • November 3, 2020

SCHILLER PARK, IL – In the months since the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the meetings and events industry, PSAV has responded with initiatives to serve the needs of both its customers and work force.

More details from PSAV (

Last month, the company announced the launch of Presentation Stages, a remote presentation environment that creates a familiar stage setting to bridge presenters and attendees together in a live, virtual or hybrid environment.

Combined with its MeetSAFE guidelines, unveiled earlier this year, the company’s health and safety protocols, Presentation Stages promises a clean and safe pre-built location to produce, record and/or broadcast a high-quality online event.

Along with these initiatives, PSAV is adapting its employee training and career development programs to meet the needs of its work force.

The company recently submitted the following report of those efforts. It follows below:

Becoming a Swiss Army Knife of Value in Uncertain Times

How one company used a period of unrest to double down on skill development.

Derek Blake, Divisional Vice President, Global Learning & Development – PSAV

Growth is a good thing, but when growth has happened just before a global pandemic pushes all the new employees home, things can get tricky. Our team at PSAV, a global leader in event experiences, grew more than three times our original size over a short period. We found ourselves with more than 14,000 skilled professionals spread across 2,100 global locations, which meant there was a lot we needed to do to unify the teams. We thought the natural place to start would be to create a united learning culture and a new standard by developing a program that could elevate our talent in such a way that it would differentiate us within our industry.

And so we teamed up with Skillsoft and SumTotal – an organization delivering digital learning, training, and talent solutions to help workforces around the world unleash their edge. Our “Focus on You” program was born. This program was kicked off pre-pandemic, when our main goal was to ensure we were recognizing team members as the core of our brand. We strategically designed this program to be comprised of two key portions:

  1. Development: with five academies that include more than 10,000 new or updated learning activities, employees would be able to really dig in and become subject matter experts in a wide range of topics.
  2. Career pathing: by creating role-based development guides, we could lay out training plans for each employee that were powered by a skill set matrix with a comprehensive listing of the capabilities needed for every role

Originally, these training plans were organized and customize specifically for each employee. However, when the pandemic hit we saw the true value of flexibility and wanted to give our employees that option as well. By ensuring our most important asset – our people – have the ability to change and add on new certifications, consider career pathing, and strive for continuous improvement, we put some power back in their hands. By solidifying a way to ensure everyone felt in control in a time when there was very little they could control. Our point of view is that times of uncertainty call for becoming a “Swiss Army knife of value.” Not only is it our duty to provide as much support as possible, this is the path that will see the best possible outcomes.

The program has already had a big impact on our employees and customers. Comprehensive training equipped us to support our hotel partners in a critical time, providing essential guidance on how to safely and effectively meet new standards based on local safety guidelines backed by the CDC, WHO and similar agencies in various countries. As we move forward, the culture of continuous learning has set us up for success with a strong team ready to tackle whatever comes next.


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