3 Factors to Consider When Thinking About Audio for Your Next Conference

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Audio, Breakout Sessions, Education, Engagement, Event highlights, Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Power Point, Technicians, Video, Video Conferencing, Webcasts

There are many variables when it comes to organizing a successful conference, from selecting the right presenters to taking breaks at the right time for networking. When it comes to audio, one of the variables that deserves attention is sound reinforcement. The point of reinforcing or amplifying your presenter’s voice in a ballroom, or any room for that matter, is not just so that he/she can be heard from the front to the back of the room, but more importantly, that he/she is comfortably understood from the front to the back of the room.

In addition to sound reinforcement, sound quality is equally important. This is especially the case if you plan on recording your conference. This documented evidence of your event is likely to be used in the future for promotional videos, training or archived for private or public record.

So when thinking about the type of audio support needed for your event, we encourage you to consider the following three key factors:

  1. Your Purpose

The audio needs for a Town Hall, a sales rally and an awards gala with entertainment are all different. Fail to match the type of meeting with the appropriate audio solution and you could end up with understated audio or audio overkill. For example a meeting with the purpose of imparting new information or learning requires a focus on clarity of speech and equal coverage throughout the room (arguably this should always be the goal). Therefore, the audio system selected should complement the dominant frequency range of the human voice which is generally accepted to be around 300Hz – 3kHz. This is the spot where intelligibility and recognition like to get together and party.

  1. Your Equipment

Once you’ve understood the purpose of your meeting or event, list out your audio needs as this will dictate the equipment required. Use your agenda to visualize the day from your attendee’s and presenter’s points of view. A sound system comprises of four main elements that will work together to capture and amplify sound at your event. They include:

  1. Input devices –wired and or wireless microphones, discussion systems designed for multiple participants and playback devices.
  2. Processing devices –audio mixers and signal processors for adjusting the quality of sound through equalization, compression, feedback suppression, etc. Used skillfully audio processors can eliminate/minimize unwanted echoes, vocal pops, feedback, etc. and aim to control the audio being amplified.
  • Amplification devices – amplifiers to boost the input sound to the loud speakers. This boosting is required regardless of system configuration applied, hence the term ‘sound reinforcement’. Amplifier configurations can either run independent of loudspeakers or they can form part of the loudspeaker itself. In the latter form this is usually indicated by the term ‘powered speaker’.
  1. Output devices –loudspeakers and headphones, depending on how the audience intends to receive the sound.

Depending on the nature of your conference, you may need additional ancillary equipment for recording, teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or streaming. This is uniquely beneficial when all attendees or presenters cannot be at the event at the designated place and time.

  1. Your Audio Partner

When the audio fails at event – people notice. And keeping in mind your purpose and equipment, having the right partner’s onsite can make or break the experience you are trying to create. An audio company that takes the time to understand what matters most to you and your brand, is creative in their approach, and has the experience to troubleshoot, are always worth more in the long run. Consulting with your sound/audiovisual company early on in the process will ensure that the event space you have selected is suitable for the type of audio-visual support your event will need. For example, low ceilings, pillars, rigging points, built-in counters, big windows, proximity to other meetings on the day, power distribution and other factors can dramatically affect the setup of your audio equipment, your budget and ultimately the intended experience of your presenters and attendees.  Ultimately your audio engineer’s efforts towards achieving great sound on your event are governed by the laws of physics, not magic, and takes years of training, experience on show sites, and continued learning to master these skills.

Focusing on your event purpose, understanding the equipment you need, and selecting the right audio partner, are three ways to guarantee exceptional sound at your event. And remember, a good sound engineer is ALWAYS listening.

For more information, contact the Freeman Audio Visual Canada team today.

Rene Barrow
Freeman Audio Visual Canada, Account Executive

Joining Freeman in 2009, René Barrow brings nearly 20 years’ experience of customer relationship management experience in the banking industry and 13 years’ experience as a technician in the performing arts. His extensive expertise and positive approach means that clients never have to worry about their audiovisual solutions when René is in charge.

Tips to Consider for an Effective Audio Visual Presentation

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Audio, Breakout Sessions, Education, Engagement

Presentations have gone far beyond the traditional setting we’re very accustomed to. Technology is quickly being adopted in many forms for the purpose of reaching a much broader audience. Whether you are webcasting, hosting a webinar or videoconferencing, you are connecting with a virtual audience.  As streaming technology advances, becoming much simpler and cost-effective, we’ve put together some tips to consider so your messaging is on-point.

Sound Quality

It is imperative to ensure that the quality of sound is top notch. Having muddled or a weak sound is not only annoying to those present, but far worse for remote attendees. Engagement is key to the success of your event, and poor audio quality will largely decrease the amount of people interested. Not only is it important the presenter is heard, but remote attendees and those sitting in the back of the room need to be able to hear audience members when a question is being asked. Ensuring a microphone is available is paramount!

Internet Bandwidth

Internet bandwidth is easily something that gets overlooked; purchasing enough bandwidth to cover the entirety and scale of your event is crucial. Internet bandwidth determines how much data can be transmitted and at what speed. Having shaking or freezing video streams will be frustrating for your live virtual audience. Be sure to check that you are getting what you are paying for and demand time for testing, as you don’t want to be scrambling on the day of.

Types of Cameras

To figure out how many cameras you’ll need, begin by determining which sessions you plan on live streaming. Streaming events need at least one fixed camera, and multiple cameras can be helpful if you have the budget for it, as they allow different angles and shots to be taken, keeping things engaging.

Mobile Friendly

Mobile and tablets are increasingly popular with everyone using them to do all of their tasks. Having scalable streaming capabilities that are available on iOS and Android will make a huge difference in your event. Your remote audience will be able to tune in from wherever they are, and you’ll reach a larger group of people regardless of the device they’re using.

Virtual Audience

It’s easy to forget about those streaming in once your event is up and running. Making sure you engage your virtual audience is very important. Speakers should greet them at the beginning, use their name and where they are from when a question comes in, and remember to look into the camera when speaking, as the speaker will most likely be trained to look only at the local audience.

A mediator or MC is a great way to engage the audience, help them develop some conversation and allow them to feel part of the event, and as latency (delay) of streaming services becomes more immediate, also look to add engagement tools like polling and live Q&A for both your local and virtual audiences.

Following these tips for an effective audio visual presentation will help your event thrive and give your audience something to remember. Contact us for more information.

Victor Paan
Freeman Audio Visual Canada
Director of Digital Services

Victor Paan is Director of Digital Services for Freeman Audio Visual Canada. Since joining Freeman in 2002, Victor has worked diligently for his clients, advancing his career from a delivery technician role to his current position as the Director of Digital Services. In this capacity, he draws on his technical and sales experience to support Freeman’s teams and clients in integrating state-of-the-art event solutions that will transform, grow, and extend the world of live engagements.

Freeman Audio Visual gets EPIC in Ottawa with Jeff Hurt!

By | Audience Engagement, Creative Services, Education, Event highlights, Projection Mapping
*La version française suit le message anglais

With the goal of transforming and extending the world of live engagements, Freeman Audio Visual Ottawa partnered with leading meetings industry authority Jeff Hurt to host a half-day learning workshop at the Ottawa Marriott for 60 of Freeman’s top clients. The overarching theme of the event was EPIC, an acronym which represented Hurt’s four event success principles: Experiential; Participatory; Image-driven; and Connexity.

With Hurt’s PowerPoint presentation as a guide, our Creative Services team produced an image-driven environment designed to encourage information retention among audience members. Similar to the scheme of the Periodic Table of Elements, each letter in the word EPIC was given its own colour and two-letter symbol. While two traditional widescreens hanging at the front of the stage displayed the bulk of Hurt’s PowerPoint presentation, three centre LED columns and bordering projection-mapped 3D cubes accentuated each of the four EPIC event success principles with their periodic table representations as Hurt discussed them.

“The EPIC meeting was educational and brought new energy to the thought process,” noted an audience member in a thank-you letter to the Ottawa branch. Click here for a Storified recap of #freemanepic in Ottawa!


C’était EPIC pour Freeman audiovisuel à Ottawa avec Jeff Hurt !

Fidèle à son objectif de transformer et de faire grandir le monde de la participation en direct, Freeman audiovisuel Ottawa s’est joint à Jeff Hurt , une sommité dans l’industrie des congrès, pour tenir un atelier d’une demi-journée au Ottawa Marriott pour 60 clients importants de Freeman. Le thème central de l’événement était l’acronyme « EPIC », qui résume les quatre caractéristiques à la base du succès d’un événement selon M. Hurt : Expérientialité, Participation, Imagerie, Connexité.

En suivant la logique de la présentation de Jeff Hurt, nos services créatifs ont produit un environnement axé sur l’imagerie, conçu pour favoriser la rétention d’information chez les participants. Imitant le schéma du tableau périodique des éléments, chaque concept formant le mot EPIC était associé à une couleur et un symbole à deux lettres. Pendant que Jeff Hurt parlait et que deux grands écrans suspendus à l’avant de la scène affichaient la majeure partie de sa présentation, trois colonnes centrales à DEL et des cubes tridimensionnels de mapping vidéo situés aux extrémités accentuaient chacune des quatre caractéristiques EPIC faisant le succès d’un événement et leur représentation en tableau périodique.

« L’atelier EPIC était éducatif et a apporté une nouvelle énergie à notre réflexion », a noté l’un des participants dans sa lettre de remerciement à la succursale d’Ottawa. Cliquez pour un aperçu de l’atelier EPIC d’Ottawa sur les réseaux sociaux.

Heidi Welker Elected to 2016 PCMA Education Foundation Board of Trustees

By | Education, Industry News, Leadership, PCMA, Press Releases, Women in AV

*La version française suit le message anglais.

Heidi Welker

Freeman Audio Visual Canada is proud to announce that Heidi Welker, vice president marketing, has been elected to serve a two-year term on the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Education Foundation Board of Trustees.

PCMA is a multi-channel professional resource and premier educator for leaders in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries. Headquartered in Chicago, IL, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 39 countries. The PCMA Education Foundation is governed by the Board of Trustees that is responsible for fundraising, guardianship of the Corpus and funds raised, and support of PCMA and the industry.

A loyal, veteran PCMA member, Welker joined PCMA in 1982, and is a founding member and past president of the Canada East (CE) Chapter. She was instrumental in establishing and co-chairing the PCMA Canadian Innovation Conference, which in its first two years has raised more than $20,000 for CE Chapter education and the PCMA Education Fund. In 2012, Heidi was awarded PCMA CE’s Outstanding Service to a Chapter Award, and in 2013, she and her chapter were recipients of the PCMA Chairman’s Award.

“Committed to professional development and shaping tomorrow’s leaders, the PCMA Education Foundation fuels innovative and critical educational programming and research for our industry,” said Welker. “I am looking forward to contributing to its continued success story.”


Élection d’Heidi Welker au conseil d’administration 2016 de la Fondation de l’éducation de la PCMA

Heidi WelkerFreeman audiovisuel Canada est fière d’annoncer qu‘Heidi Welker, vice-présidente du marketing, a été élue pour un mandat de deux ans au conseil d’administration de la Fondation de l’éducation de la Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

La PCMA est une ressource professionnelle multicanale et un fournisseur par excellence de programmes de formation pour les leaders de l’industrie des réunions, des congrès, des événements et des salons professionnels. Ayant son siège social à Chicago, en Illinois, la PCMA a 17 divisions réparties aux États-Unis, au Canada et au Mexique et compte des membres dans plus de 39 pays. La Fondation de l’éducation de la PCMA relève du conseil d’administration qui est responsable du financement, de l’administration du capital et des fonds recueillis ainsi que du soutien de la PCMA et de l’industrie.

Fidèle membre de longue date de la PCMA, Heidi Welker a adhéré à l’association en 1982, et elle est membre fondatrice et ancienne présidente de la division de l’est du Canada. Elle a joué un rôle-clé dans l’établissement et la coprésidence de la Conférence canadienne de l’innovation de la PCMA qui, au cours de ses deux premières années d’existence, a recueilli plus de 20 000 $ pour la division de l’est du Canada et le fonds d’éducation de la PCMA. En 2012, Heidi Welker a reçu le prix Outstanding Service to a Chapter (prix pour services exceptionnels) de la PCMA pour la division de l’est du Canada, et en 2013, elle et sa division ont été lauréates du Prix du président de la PCMA.

« Engagée dans le perfectionnement professionnel et le façonnement des leaders de demain, la Fondation de l’éducation de la PCMA alimente des programmes éducatifs novateurs et essentiels ainsi que la recherche pour notre industrie, de dire Mme Welker. J’espère pouvoir contribuer à la poursuite de sa brillante réussite. »

Drupa awards exhibition education program contract to FreemanXP

By | Education, FreemanXP, Industry News, International Events, Leadership, Press Releases



DRUPA leverages international capabilities and strategic and creative expertise of FreemanXPFreeman Audio Visual Canada‘s sister company — to broaden reach of exhibition education program

LONDON, UK – May 2015 – FreemanXP, the brand experience agency at Freeman, today announced the agency has been selected to deliver the education program for drupa 2016, the leading international trade fair for print and cross-media solutions.

Known as the drupa cube, the education program will showcase a mix of digital, social and face-to-face marketing content and initiatives aimed at attracting both traditional delegates, as well as new audiences such as marketing agencies and brand owners. FreemanXP will leverage drupa’s deep industry knowledge and experience, working with FreemanXP and industry leaders such as EFI and HP, to deliver a data-driven approach to the education program. The team will use pre-show market trends and audience analysis to ensure that relevant content is delivered to each audience segment. In addition to its role helping drive strategy, FreemanXP will also manage speakers, sponsors and partner integration, conference space design, social media planning, onsite management and post-event analytics.

“With our long-time participation at drupa events, FreemanXP is particularly pleased to collaborate with the drupa team to enhance the experience for attendees while adding new content to the program that will help marketing agencies and brands prepare to take advantage of the marketing challenges ahead,” said Kim Myhre, senior vice president, international, at FreemanXP. “The multi-channel content creation and amplification campaign that we are working with drupa to develop and execute will add value not only for the delegates, but also extend to audiences beyond the show floor.”

“To create a successful education program for our delegates, an event of this scale requires a global partner, and FreemanXP is the ideal fit to execute the education sessions – a centerpiece of the exhibition,” said Sabine Geldermann, director of the drupa. “In addition, FreemanXP’s international footprint and strong network across industries added to their strategic and creative competencies in order to look at the program through a wide lens and create a valuable experience for our delegates.”

For more on how to create successful global event strategies, click here.



Corporate Social Responsibility: Industry Talks 2015

By | Corporate Social Responsibility, Education, Event highlights, Freeman Audio Visual Employees

One of Freeman Audio Visual Canada’s foremost corporate social responsibility goals for 2015 is making a concentrated effort to fulfill its obligation to the industry’s future leaders by getting involved in student development and awareness programs and post-secondary speaking engagements.

Industry Talks, presented by final-semester George Brown College Special Event Planning Students, is a Ted-Talks style educational event, which provides students an opportunity to learn from and connect with industry experts in food, décor, AV, sales and marketing.

In addition to providing all the audio visual support for the event, Freeman Audio Visual Toronto Inside Sales Representative Alex Crockard-Villa was one of the key presenters highlighting the latest trends and innovations in AV.
Overseen by Toronto Account Executive Mark Cooney, Freeman Audio Visual’s partnership with George Brown College also includes student tours of our office and warehouse facilities; an AV 101 course covering sound, projection, lighting and staging basics presented exclusively by experienced Freeman staff members; and sponsorship of the College’s annual Hospitality Awards Gala.

“Mark, thanks for all your help with this program,” said Paul Araujo, MBA, Professor, Coordinator, Special Events Diploma, George Brown Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism. “The event went off well, and Alex was great.”


Responsabilité sociale de l’entreprise: Conférence sur l’industrie 2015

L’un des principaux objectifs de Freeman audiovisuel Canada pour 2015 en matière de responsabilité sociale de l’entreprise est de faire un effort spécial pour s’acquitter de son obligation envers les futurs dirigeants de l’industrie. Pour ce faire, elle participe à des programmes de sensibilisation et de perfectionnement des étudiants et ses employés donnent des conférences aux étudiants de niveau postsecondaire.La conférence Industry Talks, organisée par les étudiants du dernier semestre du programme de planification d’événements spéciaux du George Brown College, est une activité éducative dans le style des conférences TED. Elle fournit aux étudiants une occasion d’entrer en contact avec des experts de l’industrie et d’apprendre d’eux pour tout ce qui touche à l’alimentation, au décor, à l’audiovisuel, à la vente et au marketing.En plus de fournir tout le soutien audiovisuel pour cette activité, le représentant des ventes internes à la succursale de Toronto de Freeman audiovisuel, Alex Crockard-Villa, a été l’un des principaux conférenciers à parler des dernières tendances et des innovations dans le domaine de l’audiovisuel.

Sous la supervision du gestionnaire de comptes de la succursale torontoise, Mark Cooney, le partenariat de Freeman audiovisuel avec le George Brown College comprend également des visites de nos bureaux et de nos entrepôts organisées pour les étudiants, un cours d’initiation à l’AV portant sur la sonorisation, la projection, l’éclairage et la mise en scène, donné exclusivement par des membres chevronnés du personnel de Freeman, et le parrainage du gala de remise des Prix hospitalité que le collège organise chaque année.« Mark, merci pour l’aide que vous apportez à ce programme », a tenu à dire Paul Araujo, MBA, professeur et coordonnateur du programme menant au diplôme en événements spéciaux de la faculté de l’hospitalité et du tourisme du George Brown College. Puis d’ajouter : « l’activité s’est bien déroulée et Alex a été fantastique ».

Intriguing results from’s 2014 Marketing Technology Survey

By | Education, Industry News, Interesting Articles, Meeting Planners, Statistics

Despite the time-consuming nature of planning and executing an exhibit-marketing program, many exhibit managers have a lot of unrelated items on their to-do lists. In fact, data from EXHIBITOR Magazine’s 2014 Salary Survey indicates the average exhibit manager spends less than half of his or her time devoted to trade shows. So what else is demanding face-to-face marketers’ attention?

According to the results of our 2015 Meetings and Events Survey, the vast majority of exhibit managers are spending at least a portion of their time planning and hosting off-site meetings or events. While most exhibit managers plan fewer than five off-site events per year, one-fourth of them plan more than 10 additional events, with average attendance figures ranging from less than 50 to more than 5,000.

Click to read more and view larger image.

Freeman XP says 'Give Attendees What They Want: Second Screen'

By | Education, FreemanXP, Hot Technology, Interesting Articles, PCMA, ROI

Thousands of event marketers and marketing managers are descending upon the Windy City this week to learn more about what’s new and next in the live engagement space at PCMA Convening Leaders. One hot topic is the changing nature of today’s event audiences: Attendees are savvy, sophisticated, armed with smartphones, and eager to have their voice be heard. But events are not necessarily evolving as quickly as audiences, with many still relying on the stale “sage on the stage” format for general sessions and education.

Smart event marketers are shifting gears, and embracing today’s participatory economy. Encouraging attendees to share their ideas and engage in a two-way dialogue increases brand affinity and makes the overall experience much more enriching. And leading the charge in this transformation is second screen, a technology that will be on display this week at Convening Leaders.

Here are three reasons why embracing second screen technology is an incredibly powerful way to transform a live event…

Read more

AV highlights from PCMA Canadian Innovation Conference

By | Creative Services, Education, Event highlights, LED Technology, Meeting Planners, PCMA

*La version française suit le message anglais.

Planned for Canadians by Canadians, the second annual PCMA Canadian Innovation Conference (CIC) was a three-day educational event designed to stimulate and motivate meeting and event professionals to think outside of industry norms and create innovative experiences – for themselves and their organizations. The conference drew 360 pre-registered attendees from across the country, an increase of 32% compared to last year. Freeman Audio Visual created a chic, trendsetting environment inside The Queen Elizabeth Fairmont to host the sensational line up of keynote speakers.

An 8’x24’ screen created a hard-wall surround, accented by crescendo pieces on either side. Five spandex sails served as screens for non-linear images and provided an edgy element to the setting. An additional two spandex pieces were positioned at the rear of the room to display supplementary images. All was supported by Sanyo and Christie projectors, a full Meyers sound system and a variety of accentuating lighting components. Freeman’s Creative Services team produced spectacular visual content, including a post-conference highlight video. Sponsor logos were exhibited prominently on 55” screens and enhanced by LED panel towers in the corners of the space. Adding to the stylish environment was funky, yet elegant, furniture provided by Lou Lou Lounge. The general consensus from attendees was inspiration beyond their expectations and anticipation for next year’s CIC in Toronto.

Here’s what some delegates said:
•“You knocked ‘em dead,” commented Deborah Sexton, President & CEO, PCMA.
•“I truly enjoyed working with everyone throughout this all-important process,” said Deborah Gardner, CMP, Author – Keynote Speaker – Consultant. “Amazing AV team.”
•”The entire set-up was absolutely stunning—I’ve never seen anything like it,” remarked Allan Isfan, CEO, MyEventApps. “However, the thing that impressed me most is the little things—the tech that lent me a charger for my mac, the presentation rooms that were set up absolutely perfectly, the gear that performed flawlessly—a level of professionalism that is rarely experienced.”


Canadian Innovation Conference de la PCMA

Canadian Innovation Conference de la PCMA — Planifiée pour les Canadiens et par des Canadiens, la deuxième Canadian Innovation Conference (CIC) de la PCMA est un événement de formation qui s’est étalé sur trois jours. La conférence a été conçue pour stimuler et inciter les professionnels de l’organisation de réunions et d’événements à penser plus loin que les normes de l’industrie et à imaginer des expériences novatrices, tant pour eux-mêmes que pour leurs entreprises respectives. Elle a attiré 360 participants inscrits à l’avance et venus de partout au pays, ce qui représente une augmentation de 32 % par rapport à l’an dernier. Freeman audiovisuel a créé un environnement chic et novateur à l’intérieur de l’hôtel Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth afin d’accueillir une impressionnante série de conférenciers d’honneur.

Un écran de 8 pi sur 24 pi formait une enceinte solide accentuée par des structures en crescendo/en forme de vague de chaque côté. Cinq voiles en élasthanne servaient d’écran pour les images non linéaires et ajoutaient de l’audace au décor. Deux autres pièces en élasthanne étaient placées à l’arrière dans la salle pour afficher des images additionnelles. Le tout était pris en charge par des projecteurs Sanyo et Christie, un système audio Meyers complet et un éventail d’accessoires d’éclairage pour accentuer le tout. L’équipe des Services de création de Freeman a produit un contenu visuel spectaculaire, dont une vidéo des faits saillants de la conférence. Les logos des commanditaires étaient mis en évidence sur des écrans de 55 po et rehaussés par des tours à DEL dans les coins. Un mobilier au style inusité mais élégant, fourni par Lou Lou Lounge, complétait cet environnement chic. Selon l’avis général des participants, l’événement était plus inspiré que ce à quoi ils s’attendaient et ils ont déclaré avoir hâte à la conférence de l’an prochain, à Toronto.

Voici ce que certains délégués en ont dit :
« C’était tout simplement renversant », a commenté Deborah Sexton, présidente-directrice générale de la PCMA.
Et aussi : « J’ai vraiment aimé collaborer avec tout le monde tout au long de ce processus très important », a déclaré Deborah Gardner, CMP, auteure, conférencière principale et consultante.
« Une équipe audiovisuelle fantastique… Toute l’installation était absolument superbe ; je n’ai jamais rien vu de semblable, a remarqué Allan Isfan, directeur général de MyEventApps. Toutefois, ce qui m’a le plus impressionné, ce sont les petits détails — le technicien qui m’a prêté un chargeur pour mon Mac, les salles de présentation qui étaient préparées à la perfection, le matériel qui a fonctionné sans aucun problème… Il y avait un niveau de professionnalisme comme on en voit rarement. »