In The News

Freeman Audio Visual Whistler Achieves Sustainability Certification

By | Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Freeman Audio Visual President's Award, Hotels, Press Releases

Contact Madeleine Bart
905.366.9241

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Freeman Audio Visual Whistler Achieves Sustainability Certification

Whistler, BC — May 31, 2018 — In partnership with Tourism Whistler and the Whistler Conference Centre, Freeman Audio Visual has recertified their Level One of the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standards. The certification covers nine comprehensive standards for environmentally sustainable meetings introduced by the Events Industry Council’s APEX initiative, in partnership with ASTM International.

“We are proud and excited to continue with our APEX/ASTM audio visual company certification,” said Kevin MacKillop, General Manager—BC Region. “Certification to the event industry’s global standard gives us not only recognition for all sustainability efforts, but also a roadmap for measuring and improving our sustainable event programs on an ongoing basis.”

The APEX/ASTM standard specifies performance criteria in the areas of staff management, communications, waste, energy, air quality, water, procurement and community partners. The standards were created in partnership with ASTM International, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited standards development organization.

Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, President and CEO, Events Industry Council, the professional meetings association that led the development of the standards, added, “Responsible environmental and social practices in the events industry is a global concern. We are delighted to see a major Canadian organization such as Freeman Audio Visual continue their commitment to sustainability.”

iCompli Sustainability, a division of BPA Worldwide, a nonprofit international auditing organization headquartered in Shelton, CT, developed the certification protocols for the APEX/ASTM standards and performed the independent third-party certification of Freeman Audio Visual compliance. Glenn Hansen, CEO of BPA Worldwide, said, “Our certification to the event sustainability standards created by EIC, and now adopted by Freeman Audio Visual, continues our long-standing commitment to promote transparency in the events industry.”

ABOUT FREEMAN AUDIO VISUAL

As part of the world’s largest brand experience organization, Freeman Audio Visual uses the power of technology to make meaningful connections with a multitude of audiences through the production of meetings, conventions, special events and trade shows. Freeman invests heavily in maintaining and growing its stable of state-of-the-art technology around the world. Freeman Audio Visual provides a full range of services to support the way audiences engage with content as the landscape continues to change.

Freeman Audio Visual has a deep, rich history of success and has received numerous awards recognizing its outstanding performance in technical, staging, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, customer service excellence and partnerships. Together with its customers and partners, Freeman Audio Visual will continue to serve clients throughout North America and the rest of the world through its growing global network. For more information, visit www.freemanav-ca.com.

ABOUT FREEMAN

Recognized by Advertising Age as the world’s largest brand experience company, Freeman uses the power of integrated digital and live brand experiences to move markets, connect markets, connect people, support growth and generate revenues for the world’s leading companies and associations. Freeman derives insights that help define program strategies, target key audiences, deliver meaningful messages and drive revenues and results. Through its expansive network of offices, talent and global partnerships, Freeman has the reach and access that is unmatched in the industry. A family- and employee-owned company, Freeman is known for its stability, strength, customer service mentality and its success over its 90-year history. A values-driven company with a strong and purpose-built culture, Freeman is dedicated to making meaningful connections with audiences. This is accomplished through a process of continuous innovation and improvement. Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually and 11,000 other events worldwide. Freeman has been awarded multiple consecutive J. D. Power awards for its Customer Call Center. For more information, visit www.freeman.com.

ABOUT EVENTS INDUSTRY COUNCIL

The Events Industry Council’s more than 30 member organizations represent over 103,500 individuals and 19,500 firms and properties involved in the events industry. The Events Industry Council promotes high standards and professionalism in the events industry with the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program and signature program initiatives. The CMP credential is recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the events industry. The qualifications for certification are based on professional experience, education, and a rigorous exam. The four signature programs — Sustainability, Industry Insights, Knowledge, and Leadership — represent the key initiatives, assets, services and products for the Events Industry Council. Learn more at www.eventscouncil.org.

ABOUT ICOMPLI SUSTAINABILITY

iCompli Sustainability, a division of BPA Worldwide, is a not-for-profit auditing organization established in 1931 to audit audience metrics for publishers, advertisers and their agencies. Today, BPA’s audit services have expanded to include external assurance of government and industry standards and independent verification of technology and service claims. iCompli provides third-party certification to APEX/ASTM and ISO event standards, sustainability framework services (SASB, GRI, CDP), and verification of sustainability data (GHG emissions, waste diversion, water withdrawal, safety performance). Learn more at www.icomplisustainability.com and www.bpaww.com.

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Heidi Welker Elected 2018 Board Chair for Meetings Mean Business Canada

By | Freeman, Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Meeting Planners, Press Releases

Contact:  Madeleine Bart
905.366.9241

Toronto, ON – December 7, 2017 – Freeman Audio Visual Canada is proud to announce that Heidi Welker, Senior VP, Business Development & Industry Partnerships has been elected as 2018 Chair for Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC). MMBC relaunched in January 2017 to advocate on behalf of the Canadian Business Events Industry and has since grown rapidly cross-country with over 100 senior executives signing on to show support and raising over $100,000 CAD in initial funding.

“It has been a pleasure being part of the board this past year. I am honoured to have been elected as the 2018 Chair and look forward to continuing the excellent work of the 2017 Executive Team” said Welker speaking about her appointment. “We need to keep the momentum going and gain support cross-Canada for our unified voice to be heard”.

Welker brings to the role an extensive track record of leadership within the Canadian Business Events Industry. An active member of various industry associations, she has served as President for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Canada East Chapter and was instrumental in launching the Events for Communities and Sustainability (ECOS) project with Meeting Professionals International (MPI). In addition to her involvement with MMBC, Heidi currently sits on the PCMA Board of Trustees and the Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners (CanSPEP) Advisory Council.

Alongside Welker’s appointment, the following individuals have also been elected onto the 2018 MMBC Executive Team: Clark Grue, President & CEO of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre, will serve as Vice Chair, Reggie Lang, Manager, Business Development Groups, Conventions & Incentive Travel at WestJet will serve as Secretary/Treasurer and Grant Snider, CEO of Meeting Escrow Inc. will serve as Past Chair.

About Freeman Audio Visual

As part of the world’s largest brand experience organization, Freeman Audio Visual uses the power of technology to make meaningful connections with a multitude of audiences through the production of meetings, conventions, special events and trade shows. Freeman invests heavily in maintaining and growing its stable of state-of-the-art technology around the world. Freeman Audio Visual provides a full range of services to support the way audiences engage with content as the landscape continues to change.

Freeman Audio Visual has a deep, rich history of success and has received numerous awards recognizing its outstanding performance in technical, staging, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, customer service excellence and partnerships. Together with its customers and partners, Freeman Audio Visual will continue to serve clients throughout North America and the rest of the world through its growing global network. For more information, visit www.freemanav-ca.com.

About Freeman

Recognized by Advertising Age as the world’s largest brand experience company, Freeman uses the power of integrated digital and live brand experiences to move markets, connect markets, connect people, support growth and generate revenues for the world’s leading companies and associations. Freeman derives insights that help define program strategies, target key audiences, deliver meaningful messages and drive revenues and results. Through its expansive network of offices, talent and global partnerships, Freeman has the reach and access that is unmatched in the industry. A family- and employee-owned company, Freeman is known for its stability, strength, customer service mentality and its success over its 90-year history. A values-driven company with a strong and purpose-built culture, Freeman is dedicated to making meaningful connections with audiences. This is accomplished through a process of continuous innovation and improvement. Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually and 11,000 other events worldwide. Freeman has been awarded multiple consecutive J. D. Power awards for its Customer Call Center. For more information, visit www.freeman.com.

Freeman Audio Visual Edmonton Wins Consumer Choice Award

By | Press Releases

Contact:  Madeleine Bart | 905.366.9241

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Edmonton, AB – September 27, 2017 – Freeman Audio Visual Canada is proud to announce that it has been selected by the Edmonton consumers and business community as the Consumer Choice Award (CCA) winner in the category of Audio Visual Services. CCA was established in 1987 and is considered the most distinguished business award in Canada.

“This is truly a testament of the hard work and commitment to superior service they have continued to provide over the past year,” said Marcel Sbrollini, President, Consumer Choice Award. “They are a part of a very select group of businesses recognized by the people of Edmonton for their excellence in business.”

Through an independent market-research survey, consumers and businesses in the Edmonton community voted Freeman Audio Visual as the top-ranked organization in its industry, without the influence of industry insiders, advocate groups or unethical business practices.

“I am extremely proud to represent a team that puts so much focus on customer service and performance excellence”, said Mike O’Brien, General Manager, Freeman Audio Visual Alberta. “We are immensely grateful for the support and confidence we receive from our clients and the surrounding community. Our team is 100% committed to providing customer service that is second to none. Having our efforts acknowledged means the world to us.”

About Freeman Audio Visual

As part of the world’s largest brand experience organization, Freeman Audio Visual uses the power of technology to make meaningful connections with a multitude of audiences through the production of meetings, conventions, special events and trade shows. Freeman invests heavily in maintaining and growing its stable of state-of-the-art technology around the world. Freeman Audio Visual provides a full range of services to support the way audiences engage with content as the landscape continues to change.

Freeman Audio Visual has a deep, rich history of success and has received numerous awards recognizing its outstanding performance in technical, staging, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, customer service excellence and partnerships. Together with its customers and partners, Freeman Audio Visual will continue to serve clients throughout North America and the rest of the world through its growing global network. For more information, visit www.freemanav-ca.com.

About Freeman

Recognized by Advertising Age as the world’s largest brand experience company, Freeman uses the power of integrated digital and live brand experiences to move markets, connect markets, connect people, support growth and generate revenues for the world’s leading companies and associations. Freeman derives insights that help define program strategies, target key audiences, deliver meaningful messages and drive revenues and results. Through its expansive network of offices, talent and global partnerships, Freeman has the reach and access that is unmatched in the industry. A family- and employee-owned company, Freeman is known for its stability, strength, customer service mentality and its success over its 90-year history. A values-driven company with a strong and purpose-built culture, Freeman is dedicated to making meaningful connections with audiences. This is accomplished through a process of continuous innovation and improvement. Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually and 11,000 other events worldwide. Freeman has been awarded multiple consecutive J. D. Power awards for its Customer Call Center. For more information, visit www.freeman.com.

 

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Helene Moberg Appointed General Manager to Atlantic Canada

By | Freeman, Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Press Releases

Contact:  Madeleine Bart | 905.366.9241

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toronto, ON – September 19, 2017 – David Campbell, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Freeman Audio Visual Canada, is pleased to announce the appointment of Hélène Moberg to General Manager for Atlantic Canada.

“We are thrilled to be bringing a game-changer like Hélène to our team.” said Campbell. “In this role, Hélène will continue to develop and build new partnerships for us in Atlantic Canada and remain very active locally and within industry associations such as Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners, and Meeting Professionals International.”

With extensive knowledge and over 35 years’ experience in the meetings and conventions and travel trade markets,  Hélène brings to the role a successful track record in developing and implementing innovative market strategies, securing new partnerships, and leading high performing teams.

“I’m a Proud Maritimer looking forward to leading the team in Atlantic Canada” said Moberg.  “I’m also excited to be working with industry partners as well as new and existing clients in this new role”. Hélène starts her new role effective September 26, 2017.

About Freeman Audio Visual

As part of the world’s largest brand experience organization, Freeman Audio Visual uses the power of technology to make meaningful connections with a multitude of audiences through the production of meetings, conventions, special events and trade shows. Freeman invests heavily in maintaining and growing its stable of state-of-the-art technology around the world. Freeman Audio Visual provides a full range of services to support the way audiences engage with content as the landscape continues to change.

Freeman Audio Visual has a deep, rich history of success and has received numerous awards recognizing its outstanding performance in technical, staging, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, customer service excellence and partnerships. Together with its customers and partners, Freeman Audio Visual will continue to serve clients throughout North America and the rest of the world through its growing global network. For more information, visit www.freemanav-ca.com.

About Freeman

Recognized by Advertising Age as the world’s largest brand experience company, Freeman uses the power of integrated digital and live brand experiences to move markets, connect markets, connect people, support growth and generate revenues for the world’s leading companies and associations. Freeman derives insights that help define program strategies, target key audiences, deliver meaningful messages and drive revenues and results. Through its expansive network of offices, talent and global partnerships, Freeman has the reach and access that is unmatched in the industry. A family- and employee-owned company, Freeman is known for its stability, strength, customer service mentality and its success over its 90-year history. A values-driven company with a strong and purpose-built culture, Freeman is dedicated to making meaningful connections with audiences. This is accomplished through a process of continuous innovation and improvement. Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually and 11,000 other events worldwide. Freeman has been awarded multiple consecutive J. D. Power awards for its Customer Call Center. For more information, visit www.freeman.com.

How to Bring a Sense of Excitement and Newness to Every Meeting

By | Freeman

Q&A with Michelle Smith of Real Communications on strategic planning for unique experiences


As a boutique event agency, Real Communications has thrived in a competitive and rapidly-changing industry for more than a decade. Owner and partner Michelle Smith shared with us the key elements of a sound event strategy and her unique approach to continually providing innovative, quality and meaningful event services that produce exciting brand experiences for clients.


Q: What principles drive you and the work you do for Real Communications?

MS: We strive to develop that special kind of experience you’d find at live sports events, concerts, and music festivals. I’m not a huge sports fan, but I love going to sporting events and witnessing how excited people get in that environment. Take, for instance, the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team; they haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967 and rarely make the playoffs. They can easily draw 18,000 fans — most of whom, at any moment, can just jump to their feet and go crazy. Why does this happen? It’s because fans really don’t know what’s going to happen and they get caught up in something electric and unforgettable — something that will truly only happen at that game for those fans. Attendees get excited by the entertainment and the unpredictability of the event.

When planning an event, we try to find out how to tap into that same energy for the audience — that feeling of anticipation for something new and unexpected — then walking away with wonderful memories to share with their friends, families, or coworkers.


Q: What are some ways to tap into that energy for meetings and shows?

MS: It’s focusing on producing innovative, creative, and meaningful events — each one with a unique spin or tweaked in a completely different way. Sometimes it’s simply finding a unique venue, entertainment or content that an audience hasn’t experienced before but still aligns with the event’s objectives.

For example, we worked with a client who wanted something remarkable and different for its two-and-a-half-day conference. For the more casual gala we recreated a pep rally atmosphere including bleachers, food service in the stands, a marching band, and cheerleaders. The experience was like being at a sporting event or going back in time to a high school assembly. The high point was a basketball game between the executives and management on a regulation-size court with professional nets, paired with professional referees, intermittent music and state-of-the-art time clocks to make it completely authentic. The gala was hugely successful! At the same time, we reached the client’s goals of increased participation and found an unforgettable way to uplift the employees who were being honored.


Q: How does strategy play into leveraging such amazing creativity and originality?

MS: Strategic planning is simply the “how” of making an event successful. It’s also about being clear on what the objectives are and working towards reaching those objectives. Let’s say it’s a sales meeting: What needs to happen to ensure that members of the sales force leaves the meeting or rally with all the information they need to sell a product? What can be done to motivate them during the meeting, while at the same time educating them on the product?

Going back to the gala example, a primary objective was both entertainment and recognition for some of the attendees. Our client wanted a small group of 30 people at this event to feel special, almost as if they were winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Beyond the basketball game, we honoured them with a marching band introduction and VIP, front-row comfy game seats. The second goal was broader corporate recognition: ensuring that the two-hundred managers present were thanked in various ways and immersed in an atmosphere of camaraderie. And, of course, it was important that everyone could unwind after a taxing day of work meetings.

Basically, creativity was harnessed as part of the strategy to reach and go beyond the client’s objectives. And originality is always part of a good strategy because, as I mentioned, it encourages and creates a special, unique and memorable experience that guests and employees will remember and treasure.


Q: How important is measurement with strategy?

MS: It’s essential. You always need measurement in place to track an event. There isn’t one way to measure, as it all depends on the type of event and the overall objectives. In the case of a sales event, the metrics would be tracking the product sales after the event. For something like a golf tournament or charity event, we would measure how much money was raised and how enjoyable the experience was for guests. You are measuring ROI, but ROI is different for each kind of event.

Real Communications utilizes various measurement tools. We often employ a feedback survey or a post-event interview at the exit to gauge attendee reactions. This information is invaluable because we can capture fresh insights. We often develop event specific apps that allow attendees to vote on certain aspects of the event, providing very reliable, real-time data.

We also create and archive comprehensive post-event reports for every event we produce, which includes the agenda, feedback, budget, technology, creative, entertainment, menus, etc. These documents serve as solid precedents for us to develop new and even more engaging and memorable events.


“Good strategy always involves taking a risk.” —Michelle Smith


Q: Once you’ve found a successful template or enough data, can your strategy take on risks?

MS: I would say good strategy always involves taking a risk. An old mentor used to tell me, “If you don’t risk, you risk a lot.” I mentioned our documented precedents, but we never recreate the same meeting or event. We always build upon previous successes to develop even better options. I believe you must challenge yourself if you want to stay ahead of the competition and grow with your clients. If you’re armed with data and have a grasp on the latest trends, it’s both about taking a risk and elevating the experience.

We had a corporate client who always did the same cross-country roadshow every single year. We proposed one year to change it to a national simulcast, feeling it would create a more unified and turn-key brand message. Today simulcasts are common, but this was about ten years ago so the idea was very radical and the tech very green! There was no precedent. This shift would involve events in different theatres across Canada with executives in each location. The objective of education was optimized by the fact that all stakeholders received information at the same time and in real time, from Vancouver to Quebec, instead of different offices waiting days or weeks to receive available information or updates.

The simulcast went very well, which was reflected by the incredibly positive satisfaction results we received from attendees. Any of the technical glitches we encountered were unnoticed by guests.


Q: What advice do you have for planners when creating a strategy?

MS: Never be ambiguous or make assumptions about objectives and certainly not budgets.

Everything needs to be clearly stated and agreed to. If you veer away or start making assumptions about what you think your client wants or is prepared to do, then it’s going to be very hard to develop a strategy that meets any goals. Everyone needs to be on the same page from beginning to end.

Also, having a checklist and regular checkpoints is very important. We have bi-weekly meetings with our clients to communicate exactly what’s going on and how the timeline is progressing on each event. That way if there are sudden changes we can act quickly to modify the objectives and revise the scope of the event.

I like to say life is art and art is life — so always keep an eye on the latest trends, best practices, new technology, and evolve accordingly. What’s old often becomes new again. Lastly, I believe in empowering the people you work with and always asking for feedback because that keeps you honest, vulnerable, and focused on always doing your best work.

Freeman Audio Visual Canada Launches an Innovative Event Opportunity Management System

By | Press Releases

Contact:  Madeleine Bart | 905.366.9241

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toronto, ON – September 6, 2017 –  David Campbell, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Freeman Audio Visual Canada, is pleased to announce the upcoming release of an Event Opportunity Management System that will interface with Ungerboeck ( formerly EBMS), Delphi, to name a few, venue management systems.

“This new tool will allow venue and Freeman teams to work seamlessly together by integrating the venue business system to a robust sales funnel functionality that will provide a level of integration, visibility, and reporting unique in our industry,” said Mark Bullen, Vice President IT, Freeman Audio Visual Canada.

“We have also signed an exclusive agreement with David Cotton, Owner of Keynote Consulting Ltd.,” said Bullen.  “David’s experience supporting venues across North America, expertise in business process design, data mapping and integration will be a big assist as we move forward with installation and integration of this tool into our partner venues.”

Freeman continually innovates to provide cutting edge solutions to its customers and venue partners.   “This exclusive tool is a collaborative technology solution that will be used by our Freeman and Venue partners to grow mutual revenues and market share, “said Campbell.

About Freeman Audio Visual

As part of the world’s largest brand experience organization, Freeman Audio Visual uses the power of technology to make meaningful connections with a multitude of audiences through the production of meetings, conventions, special events and trade shows. Freeman invests heavily in maintaining and growing its stable of state-of-the-art technology around the world. Freeman Audio Visual provides a full range of services to support the way audiences engage with content as the landscape continues to change.

Freeman Audio Visual has a deep, rich history of success and has received numerous awards recognizing its outstanding performance in technical, staging, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, customer service excellence and partnerships. Together with its customers and partners, Freeman Audio Visual will continue to serve clients throughout North America and the rest of the world through its growing global network. For more information, visit www.freemanav-ca.com.

About Freeman

Recognized by Advertising Age as the world’s largest brand experience company, Freeman uses the power of integrated digital and live brand experiences to move markets, connect markets, connect people, support growth and generate revenues for the world’s leading companies and associations. Freeman derives insights that help define program strategies, target key audiences, deliver meaningful messages and drive revenues and results. Through its expansive network of offices, talent and global partnerships, Freeman has the reach and access that is unmatched in the industry. A family- and employee-owned company, Freeman is known for its stability, strength, customer service mentality and its success over its 90-year history. A values-driven company with a strong and purpose-built culture, Freeman is dedicated to making meaningful connections with audiences. This is accomplished through a process of continuous innovation and improvement. Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually and 11,000 other events worldwide. Freeman has been awarded multiple consecutive J. D. Power awards for its Customer Call Center. For more information, visit www.freeman.com.

Heidi Welker Appointed Senior Vice President, Business Development & Industry Partnerships

By | Freeman, Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Madeleine Bart
905.366.9241

Toronto, ON – August 1, 2017 – David Campbell, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Freeman Audio Visual Canada, is pleased to announce the promotion of Heidi Welker to Senior Vice President, Business Development & Industry Partnerships.

“This new role is truly one Heidi alone created after leading the Marketing Group at Freeman since inception” said Campbell. “Heidi will lead the development of new and exciting cutting-edge research and development initiatives to help our customers and partners achieve their goals.”

In addition to these new responsibilities, Heidi will continue to remain engaged in the industry through her current roles on the PCMA Foundation Board of Trustees, Meetings Mean Business Board of Directors and 2017 CanSPEP’s Partner Advisory Council.

Heidi brings to the role a successful track record in driving organization growth through sales, business development and event marketing with over 35 years of experience in the industry. “I am thrilled to be taking on this new position within our organization”, said Welker. “We have so many great customers, venue and industry partners. I look forward to working in close collaboration with them to ensure their objectives are accomplished.”

About Freeman Audio Visual

As part of the world’s largest brand experience organization, Freeman Audio Visual uses the power of technology to make meaningful connections with a multitude of audiences through the production of meetings, conventions, special events and trade shows. Freeman invests heavily in maintaining and growing its stable of state-of-the-art technology around the world. Freeman Audio Visual provides a full range of services to support the way audiences engage with content as the landscape continues to change.

Freeman Audio Visual has a deep, rich history of success and has received numerous awards recognizing its outstanding performance in technical, staging, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, customer service excellence and partnerships. Together with its customers and partners, Freeman Audio Visual will continue to serve clients throughout North America and the rest of the world through its growing global network. For more information, visit www.freemanav-ca.com.

About Freeman


Recognized by Advertising Age as the world’s largest brand experience company, Freeman uses the power of integrated digital and live brand experiences to move markets, connect markets, connect people, support growth and generate revenues for the world’s leading companies and associations. Freeman derives insights that help define program strategies, target key audiences, deliver meaningful messages and drive revenues and results. Through its expansive network of offices, talent and global partnerships, Freeman has the reach and access that is unmatched in the industry. A family- and employee-owned company, Freeman is known for its stability, strength, customer service mentality and its success over its 90-year history. A values-driven company with a strong and purpose-built culture, Freeman is dedicated to making meaningful connections with audiences. This is accomplished through a process of continuous innovation and improvement. Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually and 11,000 other events worldwide. Freeman has been awarded multiple consecutive J. D. Power awards for its Customer Call Center. For more information, visit www.freeman.com.

Freeman Audio Visual Canada Wins Leadership in Greener Purchasing Award

By | Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Heidi Welker
905.366.9232

TORONTO- JULY 13, 2017 — Freeman Audio Visual Canada is proud to announce that Grand & Toy (G&T), an affiliate of global office products provider Office Depot, Inc., has awarded Freeman its Leadership in Greener Purchasing Award in the Technology and Telecom Sector. This awards program recognizes customers as leaders in their sector for purchasing products with environmental attributes and ecolabels.

The leadership awards were based primarily on the percentage of the customers’ expenditure on products with greener attributes including recycled, remanufactured, energy-efficient, and/or ecolabels such as FSC, EPEAT, GREENGUARD, GreenSeal, EcoLogo, etc., with G&T in 2016. Customers whose business relationship with G&T was based primarily on one or two product categories were excluded to ensure recognition was given to those with broad-based greener purchasing programs.

“Sustainable management continues to be an integral part of our company culture,” said David Campbell, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Freeman Audio Visual Canada. “We are grateful to G&T for providing us with office product recycling solutions that align with our company corporate social responsibility goals.”

 

About Freeman Audio Visual

As part of the world’s largest brand experience organization, Freeman Audio Visual uses the power of technology to make meaningful connections with a multitude of audiences through the production of meetings, conventions, special events and trade shows. Freeman invests heavily in maintaining and growing its stable of state-of-the-art technology around the world. Freeman Audio Visual provides a full range of services to support the way audiences engage with content as the landscape continues to change.

Freeman Audio Visual has a deep, rich history of success and has received numerous awards recognizing its outstanding performance in technical, staging, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, customer service excellence and partnerships. Together with its customers and partners, Freeman Audio Visual will continue to serve clients throughout North America and the rest of the world through its growing global network. For more information, visit www.freemanav-ca.com.

About Freeman

Recognized by Advertising Age as the world’s largest brand experience company, Freeman uses the power of integrated digital and live brand experiences to move markets, connect markets, connect people, support growth and generate revenues for the world’s leading companies and associations. Freeman derives insights that help define program strategies, target key audiences, deliver meaningful messages and drive revenues and results. Through its expansive network of offices, talent and global partnerships, Freeman has the reach and access that is unmatched in the industry. A family- and employee-owned company, Freeman is known for its stability, strength, customer service mentality and its success over its 87-year history. A values-driven company with a strong and purpose-built culture, Freeman is dedicated to making meaningful connections with audiences. This is accomplished through a process of continuous innovation and improvement. Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually and 11,000 other events worldwide. Freeman has been awarded multiple consecutive J. D. Power awards for its Customer Call Center. For more information, visit www.freeman.com.

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An audio visual and digital tech celebration of timeless solutions

By | Technology Update
By: Brian Hanes, Inventory Technology Manager, Freeman & Chuck Corrigan, National Director Event Production, Freeman Audio Visual Canada

The holidays come early in June for electronics aficionados, in the massive gift known as the InfoComm conference. This year did not disappoint. Another record-breaker featuring more than 1,000 exhibitors and 40,000 attendees from 100 countries, across 545,000 square feet of exhibit space and 24 audio demo rooms. The atmosphere at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center sizzled as the tech world converged for four-days of audio visual fireworks.

Let’s see what’s under the InfoComm 2017 tree; this colorful array of new and innovative products sets the tone for the rest of the year (as well as holiday shopping!).

Virtual reality is a staying reality

Virtual reality gained major marketing steam in 2016 thanks to major players like Google and Facebook, but it really crashed the tech party at the CES and PCMA brand experiences in January. That wasn’t too long ago, but since then VR has already rapidly evolved into a core tech solution for various industries. At InfoComm 2017, in the appropriately-named display, Immersive Technology Experience, VR verified its broad yet practical capabilities across many verticals like healthcare, education, architecture, public safety, and more.

Freeman provided hands-on VR demos and walkthroughs, including high-profile presentations such as a jet fighter simulation and a sensory tour of a NASA space suit paired with a stunningly realistic simulation of an astronaut spacewalk. These virtual experiences revealed the potential of highly effective and safe training that can save costs when replacing physical simulations. On the other hand, some VR presentations offered pragmatic solutions like a photorealistic European apartment for architects and designers. The virtual sky was the limit at the conference, and the presentations attracted hundreds of attendees and their imaginations.

Augmented reality, VR’s Pokémon-friendly cousin, also made a virtual splash at InfoComm. One illustration was a Microsoft version of the new HoloLens that displayed optimized 3D models of the human anatomy, the human heart, and an MRI machine — allowing users to be immersed in unchartered worlds while also seeing the potential for other medical explorations. The solution was designed as one of many cases showing how this tech can enhance learning environments.

Other trending trends

It would be impossible to document all the tech goodies at InfoComm 2017, even in one War and Peace-sized book. There were, though, many significant trends and standouts. For instance, distributing video over networks was showcased by many companies — not surprising considering how social media and online streaming have become so crucial for brands. That high-quality video signal over a network also can benefit exhibits, digital signage, breakout rooms, and other settings.

Ultra-short throw projectors utilizing built-in lenses or new lenses to fit existing machines were prevalent at the event — as were laser light source projectors.  At least three different exhibitors, including Canon, Panasonic, and the UNC School of Media, featured wide-coverage lenses able to project images on a dome for immersive, planetarium-style displays. On the audio technology front, the most striking advances centered on different methods for audience experience, including new format speakers like the K-Array Anakonda flexible array element.

Geeking out even more with audio visual, one salient trend on the horizon is the adoption of Dante: One cable that does it all. Dante replaces heavy, expensive analog or multicore cabling with low-cost, accessible category or fiber optic cable. It integrates media and control for an entire system over a single, standard IP network; it can easily scale from a seamless pairing of a console and a computer to large networks with thousands of audio channels. What’s more, Dante’s use of logical routes instead of physical point-to-point connections allows the network to be expanded and reconfigured with just a few mouse clicks.

Smart sound is here

When it came to merging audio and visual, the most impressive tech may have come from Sony. The company presented a demo of new sound field technology that could be highly useful in exhibitor sound applications or interactive poster tours. Three different displays along a wall showed three different video streams. A long row of speakers ran along the top of the displays and was obscured by a seamless speaker grille. As the attendee moved from one display to the next, the sound from neighboring displays silenced — even though the audio streams continued. Standing between two monitors left the viewer in a “dead zone” where almost no audio was heard. The demonstrator could also “move” sound around the room by tapping a diagram on his tablet.

The Sony product is a prototype, mind you, but that doesn’t mean audio visual enthusiasts should put away the caroling bells. A parallel tech was offered by several utilizing Soundscapes Processing, which leverages psychoacoustics (smoothly moving audio around a space). In short, sounds follow the visuals on a screen in relation to the audience. In one demo, a video of a jazz band lead by a female vocalist wowed audiences as every note fluctuated depending on the position of the listener. Essentially, the performance sounded live!

Beyond offering immersive experiences, this new generation of audio systems minimizes listener fatigue and actually increases attention — the hardest thing to maintain in the digital revolution. Now that’s a present that will keep on giving for brand experiences.

Speaking of stories…

Not everything at InfoComm 2017 was about getting a visual on the latest tech. Audiences were additionally rewarded with a vision of rising technology and ideas, and how they will continue to assist the business world. Case in point: The Innovation Showcase promoted the best from smaller exhibitors and startups. The conference also inaugurated TIDE (Technology. Innovation. Design. Experience.), a thought-leadership event for exploring the strategic effect of audio visual tech and the role of the AV industry in business.

Remarkable speakers packed sessions of InfoComm 2017. The keynote included Matthew Luhn, one of the original story creators at Pixar, and Nonny de la Peña, virtual reality pioneer. Both speakers stressed the importance of storytelling, even in highly technical and dry verticals. Let’s face it: more than ever, stories are what bring humanity to the digital revolution. And humans greatly reward brands that feel, well, human.

Adding to the inspiring keynotes, notable speakers included Nevin Steinberg, Tony Award-nominated sound designer (Hamilton anyone?) and Jason Crusan, Director of Advanced Exploration Systems at NASA.

Making audio visual better for brand experience

As with The Innovation Showcase, InfoComm 2017 was a haven for the expression of up and coming thought leaders, and this included speaker sessions. Another new initiative, Center Stage, offered a sequence of 20-minute talks on the show floor by tech practitioners, end-users, researchers, and fledging entrepreneurs. Topics covered environmental technology and design integration across diverse fields including healthcare, entertainment, education, and hospitality.

Let’s not forget InfoComm’s countless rewarding sessions. One of the most noteworthy, “UCC State of the Industry Lunch and Learn,” featured panelists who sought to improve the audience experience. This topic is essential in our industry, as one panelist explained that only four percent of meeting spaces in the world provide video functionality. That might seem ironic considering where the statement was said, but obviously a tremendous opportunity for marketers and audio visual providers to come together for the sake of better experiences.

InfoComm 2017 offered gifts for just about everyone this year. The tech solutions and breakthroughs presented will make a positive impact across industries today and far into the future.

Freeman Audio Visual Toronto Wins Consumer Choice Award for AV Services for the Fifth Consecutive Year

By | Press Releases

Contact: Heidi Welker
905.366.9232

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TORONTO- JUNE 8, 2017 -Freeman Audio Visual Canada is proud to announce that it has been selected by the Toronto consumers and business community as the Consumer Choice Award (CCA) winner in the category of Audio Visual Services for the fifth year in a row. CCA was established in 1987 and is considered the most distinguished business award in Canada.

“They are truly a testament of the hard work and commitment to superior service they have continued to provide over the past year,” said Marcel Sbrollini, President, Consumer Choice Award. “They are once again a part of a very select group of businesses recognized by the people of Toronto for their excellence in business.”

Through an independent market-research survey, consumers and businesses in the Toronto community voted Freeman Audio Visual as the top-ranked organization in its industry, without the influence of industry insiders, advocate groups or unethical business practices.

“It continues to be an honour and a pleasure to bring brand experiences to our customers in Southwestern Ontario, and we are immensely grateful for their continuing support and confidence,” said Derek Anderson, Vice President Event Production & General Manager, Freeman Audio Visual Toronto. “My colleagues take pride in their work and are 100% committed to providing customer service that is second to none. Having their efforts acknowledged truly means the world to them.

About Freeman Audio Visual

As part of the world’s largest brand experience organization, Freeman Audio Visual uses the power of technology to make meaningful connections with a multitude of audiences through the production of meetings, conventions, special events and trade shows. Freeman invests heavily in maintaining and growing its stable of state-of-the-art technology around the world. Freeman Audio Visual provides a full range of services to support the way audiences engage with content as the landscape continues to change.

Freeman Audio Visual has a deep, rich history of success and has received numerous awards recognizing its outstanding performance in technical, staging, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, customer service excellence and partnerships. Together with its customers and partners, Freeman Audio Visual will continue to serve clients throughout North America and the rest of the world through its growing global network. For more information, visit www.freemanav-ca.com.

About Freeman

Recognized by Advertising Age as the world’s largest brand experience company, Freeman uses the power of integrated digital and live brand experiences to move markets, connect markets, connect people, support growth and generate revenues for the world’s leading companies and associations. Freeman derives insights that help define program strategies, target key audiences, deliver meaningful messages and drive revenues and results. Through its expansive network of offices, talent and global partnerships, Freeman has the reach and access that is unmatched in the industry. A family- and employee-owned company, Freeman is known for its stability, strength, customer service mentality and its success over its 87-year history. A values-driven company with a strong and purpose-built culture, Freeman is dedicated to making meaningful connections with audiences. This is accomplished through a process of continuous innovation and improvement. Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually and 11,000 other events worldwide. Freeman has been awarded multiple consecutive J. D. Power awards for its Customer Call Center. For more information, visit www.freeman.com.