Meeting Planners

Go Towards the Green Light

By | LED Technology, Lighting, Meeting Planners


Going green has become a bit of a buzz term– but unlike fads, this is for a good reason! The effects of global warming and the negative impact it has on our planet are finally being acknowledged. Becoming more eco-friendly and having awareness of sustainable products is a trend that we love and are definitely getting behind. Being in the know of what you can do to make your habits greener and minimizing your eco-footprint is beneficial to everyone.

Eco FriendlyNext time you’re planning a meeting or event, outside of basic set-up questions, asking about how big of an environmental impact the equipment has will leave you more informed about your decisions and help you choose the right gear. Here are a couple AV products that have eco-friendlier options.

When it comes to lighting, no one wants to skimp out. It really does set the stage for a presentation or meeting.Lighting can make or break the whole event. That said, lighting is also the biggest consumer of power at an event. How can you ensure that you are getting the effect you want, but at the same time remaining eco-friendly? Companies, us included, are moving towards using more efficient lighting solutions that that maintain the same great output as standard lighting systems.

The use of LED lighting and displays are making a significant difference in the way energy is consumed at events. LED lighting only consumes a fraction of the power of traditional options, like Tungsten lighting. Additionally, LED displays are slim, lightweight, and have a great, modern, edge–to-edge display that allows viewers to watch comfortably from any angle. A display that is great for sustainability measures, in addition to making a presentation clearer, more modern, and well-received by those in the audience, is a win-win for all involved. LEDlights

In addition to LED products being green and maintaining/exceeding the quality we’re used to, another large factor is the amount of money saved. While LED offerings may be more expensive up-front, the long-term benefits of using green products goes a long way in saving the amount spent on energy!

To really have your next meeting or event stand out, choose green solutions and keep everyone happy – including your wallet! Contact us for more information on our greener event solutions.

Social Media Management Tips for Conferences

By | Audience Engagement, Meeting Planners, Social Media

Running social for a conference is a TON of work, and the stakes are high. How a conference’s social team interacts with attendees can have a huge impact on their experience and memories of the event. A lot of planning is necessary and there are things you can do to make the process easier for both you and attendees.

I am going to break down some steps you can take if you are running social for a conference or an event that will include social interaction.

Before the Conference

There is a ton of social media prep work needed before a conference begins, and even before you start advertising for it. You essentially need to train your attendees, and potential attendees, on where and how to interact with you. You also have to make sure you provide them with lots of helpful information, and this means you have a lot of data to gather and schedules to create.

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10 Event Trends for 2015 via

By | Event Trends, Industry News, Interesting Articles, Meeting Planners’s most popular article of the year, 10 Event Trends, is out in its 2015 version. 10 Event Trends is a tradition of the blog. It’s a presentation featuring the 10 trends defining the event industry for the next year. This year for the first time they are also releasing a free report that can be downloaded, with no email required.

What will define the way we run events next year?

Click here to find out!

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.

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. »

CAEM & PCMA Canada East Further Professional Development within the Industry

By | CAEM, Education, Industry News, Meeting Planners, PCMA

*La version française suit le message anglais.


Earlier this month, the President of the Canadian Association of Exposition Management (CAEM) and the President of the Professional Convention Management Association Canada East Chapter signed an agreement that allows the two organizations to work together to further professional development within the meetings, conventions and exposition industry.

Sherry Kirkpatrick (left of picture), Manager Events Programming & Delivery at Workplace Safety & Prevention Services & CAEM elected President and Heidi Welker, Vice President Marketing at Freeman Audio Visual and PCMA Canada East Chapter elected President (right of picture) met to finalize the collaborative agreement.

This agreement allows CAEM members to attend PCMA Canada East social and educational sessions at the member rate. In addition, PCMA Canada East members also enjoy the CAEM member rate to attend social and educational sessions. A highlight of the agreement outlines the opportunity for a CAEM Track at the PCMA Canada East Annual Conference (November 23-25, 2014 in Montreal, QC) and a PCMA track at the CAEM Annual Conference (June 14-16, 2015 in Ottawa-Gatineau). This allows members of CAEM to gain education & networking opportunities relating to convention management, while allowing members of PCMA Canada East to gain education & networking on exposition management.

“I am pleased to sign this collaborative agreement on behalf of CAEM’s membership across Canada,” stated Sherry Kirkpatrick. “It will allow our members to gain valuable insights from our colleagues in the meetings and convention industry.”

“As a member of both associations, I know first-hand the value of the educational offerings provided by CAEM and PCMA Canada East,” noted Heidi Welker. “I am excited for my colleagues to have access to a balance of convention management and exposition management education and networking.”


Plus tôt ce mois-ci, la présidente de l’Association canadienne de gestion d’expositions (ACGE) et la présidente de la Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) (section de l’est du Canada) ont signé une entente qui permet aux deux organismes de travailler ensemble pour favoriser le perfectionnement professionnel dans l’industrie des réunions, congrès et expositions.

Sherry Kirkpatrick (à gauche sur la photo), directrice, Programmation des événements et prestation de services chez Workplace Safety & Prevention Services et présidente de l’ACGE, et Heidi Welker (à droite sur la photo), vice-présidente, Marketing chez Freeman audiovisuel et présidente de la PCMA (section de l’est du Canada), se sont rencontrées pour mettre la dernière main à l’entente de collaboration.

Cette entente permet aux membres de l’ACGE de participer aux formations et aux activités sociales de la section est du Canada de la PCMA au tarif réservé aux membres. De la même manière, les membres de cette section de la PCMA pourront participer aux formations et aux activités sociales de l’ACGE au tarif des membres. Un des points de l’entente prévoit que l’ACGE pourra suivre la conférence annuelle de la PCMA (section de l’est du Canada) qui aura lieu du 23 au 25 novembre 2014 à Montréal (Québec) et réciproquement pour la section de la PCMA à la conférence annuelle de l’ACGE, qui se tiendra du 14 au 16 juin 2015 à Ottawa-Gatineau. Les membres de l’ACGE pourront ainsi profiter d’occasions de formation et de réseautage dans le domaine de la gestion de congrès, alors que ceux de la PCMA (section de l’est du Canada) pourront faire de même en gestion d’expositions.

« Je signe avec plaisir cette entente de collaboration au nom des membres de l’ACGE partout au Canada, a déclaré Sherry Kirkpatrick. Elle permettra à nos membres d’aller puiser de l’information auprès des collègues de l’industrie de la gestion de réunions et de congrès. »

« En tant que membre des deux associations, j’ai pu constater par moi-même la valeur de l’offre éducative de l’ACGE et de la PCMA (section de l’est du Canada), affirme Heidi Welker. Je suis emballée à l’idée que mes collègues auront accès à des formations et à des activités de réseautage tant du côté des congrès que de celui des expositions. »

5 Networking Tips for Your Next Conference

By | Interesting Articles, Meeting Planners

Many business professionals go to conferences in order to gain new contacts, seek out new business opportunities, and to market products or services they may have to offer. If you are a business professional and you’re interested in making the most out of any conference or event, here are some tips for success.

Large group of  businesspeople discussing at work place.

  1. Take it easy on the business cards: While many people recommend carrying lots of promotional materials and business cards, sometimes using these prepared materials sparingly can provide you with better results. Quality networking involves actually forming relationships with individuals rather than simply handing out your business card or promotional pamphlets. Work at establishing quality connections rather than bombarding people with promotional printouts.
  2. Don’t cut interactions short: While working the room can be somewhat important at a conference, if someone you’re trying to connect with sees you constantly looking over your shoulder looking for an opening with another person, it’s tough to actually form a business relationship.
  3. Be prepared to showcase your strengths: If you can showcase some of the value you can bring to a company or the usefulness that your products or services offer an individual you’ll have much better results. Before going to an event, thoughtfully consider what unique strengths you have to offer. By doing this, you’ll set yourself apart from the crowd.
  4. Ask about other people’s challenges: If you can address their problems with your skills or come up with a solution for an individual at a conference, they are much more likely to contact you and remember you. Remember, networking is a two-way street, and a lot of times it’s about helping each other out.
  5. Have some great stories prepared: In addition to some great stories of your life in the professional world, it’s always important to show off your personality at any conference. Sharing your personal hobbies and passions will allow you to open up. Most people appreciate this authenticity and who knows–you may even find a new fishing buddy!

Are you planning your own conference event? Freeman Audio Visual offers audio-visual solutions that will dazzle your attendees. If you’re gearing up for your next event, consider the expertise of Freeman Audio Visual. Contact us now to learn more or request a quote.

Freeman’s VP of Sustainability Shares how to Plan a “Second Life” for Event Materials

By | Corporate Social Responsibility, Freeman, Green AV, Interesting Articles, Meeting Planners

Producing an event often requires truckloads of equipment, materials and supplies. Long before the final dumpster is hauled to the landfill, key decisions can reduce waste when planning an event.

At Freeman, the 5R’s: Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle are part of our company culture. We look for ways to keep materials out of the landfill and find new ways to repurpose leftover materials to be used in different ways. And when we have exhausted all other avenues we work hard to recycle as much as possible. As a market leader, we have adopted sustainability values into our purchasing and procurement processes. We look at the lifecycle of products and make recycled content and recyclability one of the criteria for consideration in vendor and product selection.

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Freeman President Bob Priest-Heck discusses the importance of attendees connecting on their own terms

By | Freeman, Interesting Articles, Meeting Planners

In Your Face?

Published by

Sometimes the world we love best – the world of Face-to-Face Marketing – appears a bit daunting to attendees. Specifically, some of them dread the conferences we help create.  Case in point: the Wall Street Journal just published an insightful article about the strategy one woman uses to approach the “soul-crushing” conferences she attends regularly. When we consider this woman’s perspective, we find it is rich with clues to help us at Freeman better serve audiences on our customers’ behalf.

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