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. »


By | Industry News, Leadership, Press Releases

*La version française suit le message anglais.


Freeman Audio Visual is pleased to announce the appointment of David Campbell as executive vice president and chief operating officer of its Canadian division, effective immediately. David brings to the organization a wealth of experience, having spent nearly 30 years in strategic leadership roles, including seven as vice president and general manager of a large audio visual firm.

“Never resting on its laurels, Freeman is a dynamic enterprise that nurtures and embraces the entrepreneurial spirit,” said Campbell. “My approach to business strongly aligns with the core values of the company, and I look forward to working with this incredible team to further build upon its history of success and leadership in Canada.”

As the Canadian audio visual division’s most senior executive, Campbell is responsible for developing strategies, driving continuous growth, maintaining operational excellence, and ensuring customer and employee satisfaction. He will set the company’s short- and long-range goals related to sales, operations, financial performance and quality.

“We feel very fortunate to have found someone of David’s caliber to fill this multifaceted position,” said Ken Sanders, president of Freeman Audio Visual. “With his comprehensive business background and enthusiasm for our sector, I am confident David will thrive and empower others to succeed in our progressive and service-driven company culture.”



DAVID CAMPBELL 2015Freeman Audio Visual est heureuse d’annoncer la nomination de David Campbell au poste de vice-président directeur et chef de l’exploitation de la division canadienne, en vigueur immédiatement. Il apporte à l’organisation une vaste expérience, ayant passé presque 30 ans dans des fonctions de leadership stratégique, dont sept en tant que vice-président et directeur général d’une importante entreprise audiovisuelle.

« Ne se reposant jamais sur ses lauriers, Freeman est une entreprise dynamique qui nourrit et encourage l’esprit d’entrepreneuriat, a déclaré M. Campbell. Mon approche entrepreneuriale correspond tout à fait aux valeurs fondamentales de l’entreprise, et j’ai hâte de travailler avec cette équipe formidable pour continuer à bâtir sur les fondations de son incroyable succès et de son statut de chef de file au Canada. »

En tant que plus important dirigeant de la division audiovisuelle canadienne, M. Campbell est responsable d’élaborer des stratégies, de favoriser la croissance continue, de maintenir l’excellence opérationnelle et de garantir la satisfaction des clients et des employés. Il établira les objectifs de l’entreprise à court et à long terme en ce qui concerne les ventes, les opérations, le rendement financier et la qualité.

« Nous sommes vraiment choyés d’avoir trouvé quelqu’un du calibre de David pour occuper ce poste aux multiples facettes, a déclaré Ken Sanders, président de Freeman Audio Visual. Avec sa solide expérience et son enthousiasme pour notre domaine, je suis persuadé que David réussira très bien et habilitera les autres à réussir dans le cadre de notre culture d’entreprise progressive et axée sur le service.

Freeman VP of Sustainability Jeff Chase an “Industry Leader and Hero,” says MeetGreen

By | Corporate Social Responsibility, Freeman, Industry News, Leadership


Years ago, I met Jeff Chase, Vice President, Sustainability, Freeman Companies, while he was supporting the sustainability efforts of his client, American Wind Energy Association.  He had called us in to assess their event and make recommendations.  As the event’s general services contractor, Jeff had taken it upon himself to find a donation stream in the Dallas area for the show floor discards.  He worked hard to make it happen, supplying extra time, labor and resources so the items could end up in the hands of those who needed them most.

Fast forward to 2015, Jeff continues to propel an industry toward finding sustainable solutions.  A 27 year veteran of the trade show/event industry, his energy and enthusiasm are unwavering, he is a true believer in the power of business to make a difference.  We recently had an opportunity to ask Jeff about his important work as a change agent.

Has your industry changed dramatically in the past five years? What have you seen from inside your company?

In 2006, there was a great movement to find sustainable solutions for tradeshow signs but it was not a full program for ALL the types of waste generated at shows.  In 2008-2010, with the economic downturn, everyone pulled back and lost some focus. But since 2011, I have seen a great up surge in corporations and some associations willing to find more complete solutions to the environmental impact at their shows.  At Freeman, we have always been client driven so the sustainability efforts were very client focused…

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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.



Freeman Ranked Largest Global Event Marketing Company by Advertising Age For Second Year In A Row

By | Freeman, FreemanXP, Industry News, Leadership, Press Releases



Also ranked among largest U.S. healthcare agencies

Freeman, the leading global partner for integrated marketing solutions for live engagements, announced its designation for the second year in a row as the largest global event marketing company in Advertising Age’s ranking of the “World’s 50 Largest Agency Companies.” This annual ranking and analysis of advertising and marketing services agencies includes companies in all marketing categories.

“Experiential marketing and live engagements are commanding a more significant piece of the marketing mix than ever before,” said Bob Priest-Heck, president and chief operating officer of Freeman. “The category continues to grow which reflects our clients’ continued belief that face-to-face interactions deliver business results. Today’s currency is in the experience, and we are very pleased to again be recognized as a leading agency helping to fuel meaningful connections for our global clients.”

Researchers at Ad Age noted that overall U.S. promotion-agency revenue, including events and experiential, rose 5.8 percent over the prior year, an increase greater than media (1 percent), advertising (4.4 percent) and public relations (5.3 percent).

Freeman’s expertise in healthcare was also acknowledged, with Freeman ranked among the largest U.S. healthcare agencies, at number 33 overall and securing the number one position among live-engagement companies. This ranking is bolstered by the work Freeman executes through its brand experience agency, FreemanXP. In the past year alone, the agency has expanded its global footprint while growing its strategic, creative, digital, and account teams to support the growth of its healthcare practice.

“We are delighted to have earned this distinction in the healthcare sector, which we have achieved through our work helping clients navigate the complex and changing environment of healthcare marketing,” said Chris Cavanaugh, chief marketing officer of Freeman. “Freeman’s visibility into hundreds of healthcare events annually enables us to provide the unique insights and access that healthcare brands need to optimize their marketing portfolio to drive awareness and sales.”

What Ad Age’s Annual Rankings Mean For Experience Marketers



Hint: Big Growth in Events, Digital and Industry Marketing

Bradley Johnson’s annual industry benchmark, the Ad Age ranking of top global agencies is out and, as always, the report provides both an illuminating review and a look forward for marketers of all disciplines. The study unveils some of the dramatic changes in the agency landscape, driven by brands’ need to rightsize the marketing mix, and shows a continued evolution from traditional media into more integrated models.

A deeper dive into the data shows great news for marketers of all categories, with overall agency revenue from all marketing disciplines growing significantly last year compared to the prior year. U.S. agency revenue increased 5.4%, achieving an incredible record of $43.6 billion in sales in 2014!*

In addition to the overall growth of marketing agency revenue, a few significant trends stand out for experiential marketers:

Experiential Growth Outperforms (Almost All) Other Marketing Channels

Researchers at Ad Age noted that overall U.S. promotion-agency revenue, including events and experiential, rose 5.8% over the prior year—an increase greater than media (1%), advertising (4.4%), and PR (5.3%). The data shows experiential marketing and live engagements are commanding a more significant piece of the marketing mix, affirming that marketers are optimizing the face-to-face channel to drive brand experience, increase lead generation, and generate the all-important data points marketers crave. The rise of younger generations and the predisposition of both Millennials and Gen Zers to seek out experiences may continue to keep marketers’ focused on brand experience as the center point of integrated marketing.

Digital, Digital, Digital.

As Ad Age noted, “It’s a good time to be in the agency game—at least if you’re connected to digital.” Marketing continues to go high tech with digital growing 9.8% and capturing an incredible 40% of 2014 total U.S. agency revenue. And why shouldn’t marketers flock to digital? Digital is always on and highly measurable. Experience marketers should be leveraging an event’s digital power to the fullest, from marketing campaigns including mobile-friendly emails, event websites, and registration to content amplification strategies like streaming video, always-on content hubs, and social media extensions, as well as optimized engagement platforms like second screens and iBeacons. All of these, plus emerging new devices like the Apple Watch, will provide an incredible array of behavior tracking and data points to enable live events to go toe-to-toe with straight digital in the measurement department.

The Healthiest Industry is…

Healthcare marketing is roaring. It is the fastest-growing segment of all agency revenue, increasing 10.3% year-over-year. Driving factors include shifts in patient needs, an aging population, the Affordable Care Act, a robust pipeline, and advancements in technology. We’ve seen these changes in the event space through increased investment in the channel, plus the growth of consumer-focused fit tech, which impacted many events this year including SXSW, Mobile World Congress, and CES.

 And One Downside

It can’t be all good news, right? All this growth means employment is reaching an all-time high. There is now more demand than ever for creative talent across all disciplines, which means the talent war may be just beginning.


rAVe Publications recognizes Freeman Audio Visual president in First-Annual rAVe Hall of Fame

By | Awards, Industry News, Leadership, Women in AV

For years, we’ve been writing about, featuring and awarding some of the best products, technology and people with various accolades and monikers. Now rAVe, the AV industry’s leading AV news source, will recognize the people in the AV market who have shaped it with the newly-announced rAVe’s AV Hall of Fame.

This is a beginning. The eleven people represented here, below, are a start — not a finish. The AV Hall of Fame will grow each and every year with new inductees and we will recognize them, annually in June, at the AV industry’s PREMIER AV show, InfoComm — the show that started the AV market.

So, here’s the first class (in alphabetical order)…

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