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2019 Sustainable Event Trends in Event Technology

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Brand Experience, Breakout Sessions, Corporate Social Responsibility, Design Thinking, Education, Engagement, Environmental Leadership, Event highlights, Event Trends, Exhibits, Expo, Freeman Face to Face blog, Hot Technology, Industry News, News, Photos, Scenic Design, Video walls

You could say the quest for sustainability has touched all industries at one point or another. The event industry is no different in that organizers are constantly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. From outdoor festivals to interactive exhibits, companies are increasingly opting for eco-friendly solutions.

When it comes to event technology, Freeman AV Canada is making a conscious effort to offer sustainable experiences. From digital banners to virtual reality headsets, there are many ways to deliver an exciting experience that has little to no impact on the environment. So let’s take a look at some of the biggest sustainability trends to hit the industry this year.

Digital Banners

From flyers to posters, there’s no doubt the amount of paper used to promote an event. That’s why many organizers are looking to digital solutions instead. Digital banners are an excellent alternative to hard-copy signage. This innovative marketing tactic is much more versatile than a traditional banner. A digital backdrop not only saves on paper and printing costs — but allows event organizers to create an impressive visual display that will captivate their guests.

Digital banners work well when they’re incorporated into your stage’s set design. You can also display them prominently along venue walls for a truly immersive experience. Freeman AV Canada can help you capture your event’s theme and messaging in a series of digital banners. This medium is also ideal for sponsorship loops, corporate branding or animated content.

Mobile Event Apps

Hard-copy event itineraries are becoming less popular as organizers look for paperless solutions instead. One of the best ways to share information with your attendees is through a mobile app. Freeman AV Canada has the expertise to help planners build an app that all guests can tap into on the day of the event.

A mobile app is an eco-friendly way to provide venue directions, share event photos or notify attendees of special highlights ahead. This paperless solution also allows organizers to make last-minute changes to information and send out updates in real-time.

Virtual Reality Headset

Virtual reality headsets are promoting sustainability by cutting down on the need for physical transportation. That’s because these innovative devices can send your guests to far-off places, which would have been otherwise inaccessible. VR’s popularity comes at a time when event planners are debating whether virtual experiences would replace face-to-face interactions. Although many companies still prefer in-person gatherings, VR can be used as an intriguing side component.

Virtual reality headsets can place attendees in an alternative state where they can experience interesting situations. By immersing the user in a 360-degree view of entirely different worlds, organizers are giving users an opportunity to interact with the environment in a very sustainable way.

Live Streaming

Live streaming is an excellent way to incorporate sustainability during an event. Keep your travel footprint low by allowing guests to watch the gathering online or on a projector at a remote location. By keeping the in-person guest list down, organizers can opt for a smaller venue, which will help reduce the event’s overall carbon footprint. Live streaming also allows for digital advertising, which will dramatically reduce paper waste and provides an additional revenue source for your event.

Energy-Efficient Technology

Event technology devices tend to consume a lot of energy, especially when it comes to interactive displays. That’s why the industry is turning to event technology with energy-efficient components. LED lighting, for example, is becoming increasingly popular — as is the use of daylight instead of artificial light to brighten a venue. Preference is also given to Energy Star products, especially when it comes to sound and stage equipment. Set-up crews are also turning down lighting levels during the event’s setup and tear-down phases.

Be ‘Green’ with Freeman 

Our friendly team of event technology experts can help you design and implement an event that has little to no impact on the environment. Conservation and reduction initiatives are an excellent way to drive profits. By showing customers that you care about the social impacts of your company’s actions, doors may open to new clients and opportunities.

Rely on Freeman AV Canada to deliver technology solutions that are responsible and motivated. Together, we can help the event industry raise its ecological-consciousness — and bring consumers a truly sustainable experience.

For more information on sustainable event technology, call Freeman AV Canada at 1-800-868-6886 or contact us here.

Empathy, Emotion and Technology with Purpose…For the Win!

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Brand Experience, Breakout Sessions, Design Thinking, Education, Engagement, Event highlights, Event Trends, Exhibits, Expo, Freeman Face to Face blog, Hot Technology, News, Photos, Scenic Design, Video walls

A Look at the 2019 Edition of South by Southwest in Austin, Texas

When people hear South By Southwest mentioned, they typically think of the music festival founded in 1987, however over its 30+ years, it has grown to encompass many more attractions than just the grass-roots music festival that it was once intended to be. Also known as “South By,” SXSW now includes an interactive media conference, a huge variety of education sessions and music, gaming and film festivals. Lasting for almost 3 weeks, South By sees nearly 80,000 people attend the various conferences and festivals, also bringing nearly $350 million dollars of economic impact to Austin, Texas.

Several members of our Freeman AV Canada team traveled down to Austin, Texas in March to see what South By had to offer, and here are some key things that stood out!

Focused on Improving the Attendee Experience

As conventions and festivals grow in size they often develop a detached feeling for the individual attendee, and rightfully so; how do you create an individual and personal experience for each person when dealing with 80,000+ attendees?

South By has employed several empathy tactics to help connect with attendees on a personal level. Creating spaces such as a Wellness Areas, focusing on attendee’s safety through the use of holding graphics in sessions and implementing live breakout room capacity monitoring via public boards and the conference app are all fantastic ways to show your attendees that you really are thinking about their experience.

The Future Understands You 

Several major technology players including LG and Sony were showcasing futuristic concepts that can actually understand what you are feeling. Whether it is small robots that greet you while reading your facial expressions to understand your needs, or a mini robot dog that can really tug on our need for companionship and do it strategically 😉, it’s all exciting to us! Then we got thinking, and these questions arose:

  • What will this mean for events of the future?
  • Will we have event signage that customizes messages based on your feelings and needs?
  • Will we have event experiences that change based on the collective heart rate of the audience?
  • Can you imagine the possibilities?

Let us know how you see this fitting into your event!

Something For Everyone 

South By can certainly say they have something for everyone, with nearly 300 sessions per day, variety is in no short supply. Fortunately, the conference app allows you to search by things like interests to help focus on what applies directly to you. Smart event planning also meant that most sessions in the same track resided in the same or adjacent venues. This allowed you to maximize your time especially when sessions are held in basically every venue in the city. Some of the key tracks that our team focused on where: Cities, Government & Politics, Coding & Development, Design, Experiential Storytelling, Food, Game Design & Development, Intelligent Future, Social & Global Impact, Tech Industry & Enterprise, Touring & Live Experience and VR/AR/MR.

Standing Out – Brands Creating Their Own Spaces

Major brands are always looking for that way to make them stand out from the crowd. Over the last several years the tool for this has been activations, and South By was no exception to this. From shipping container structures, to bars completely transformed into a brand experience space – these installations truly do provide a unique personalized experience that focus directly on the brands defining traits and characteristics.

Some highlights for our team were the Dell installation at a bar across the street from the Austin Convention Centre, featuring an outdoor main stage and an indoor Dell feature tour showcasing some of their key technologies.

LG also made a big splash at South By, but perhaps we won’t see the ripple from the splash for a few years as their activation was VERY future focused. Robots that know your feelings, roll-up LED displays, ice cream/frozen yogurt capsule machines and even capsule based home breweries; LG certainly took us for a quick ride in a time machine to the maybe not so distant future. We even noticed several brands create impactful, personal activations right in the convention space and we see this as a great opportunity for a lot of our corporate clients looking to get a personalized message across to their attendees in a more personalized manner than typical plenary setups can offer.

DELL Technologies Activation

LG Electronics Activation

The common threads of Empathy, Emotion, Personalized Experience and Technology with a Purpose were evident in all aspects of this show. What can you do to create a more personalized experience within your next event? Understanding who comes to your event and why they are there are key factors to help you tailor your event to meet your attendees needs and wants. Taking the time to plan out the details, brainstorm them with your colleagues and/or industry partners will help you focus on what’s important. Creating those personalized experiences provides better value and meaningful interactions from live events for your attendees. So we ask you, “are you helping connect people in meaningful ways?”

Author
Brian Johnston
Freeman Audio Visual Canada
National Director, Creative Innovation

What is PepperScrim?

By | Freeman Audio Visual Products & Services

Untethering lighting designers from limited holographic systems, PepperScrim is now one of the most popular fabrics designed for use on stage. For set designers and lighting teams throughout the entertainment industry, PepperScrim is changing the way in which shows are staged, and providing audiences with a completely new, ultra-realistic holographic experience. In this latest post, we’ll explain more about PepperScrim and its value within the industry.

A Foldable, Transparent Gauze

PepperScrim is now being used throughout the entertainment industry to provide audiences with unparalleled show experience. The transparent gauze material can be added to any performance to show holographs and present unique lighting effects on stage. The material is placed at the front of the stage at an angle to the audience. The images reflected on the gauze appear to be on the stage from the audience’s perspective. And because PepperScrim is designed to be highly reflective, there are no double-image or image refraction issues that might mitigate the effect.

The Potential Applications

One of the most exciting elements of working with PepperScrim in your production is the endless potential the material has for entertaining audiences. For example, it can be used in the following ways:

  • To create 3D floating animations

    You can use PepperScrim to create 3D floating animations that look as if they’re moving with the action on the stage. The floating animations have no clear connection to outside technology from the audience’s perspective, truly providing an immersive show experience.

  • Interaction between the artist and the 3D content

    Because of the way PepperScrim is created, the artist on stage can actually interact with the 3D projections, helping boost the value of the illusion to the audience. The projection of the image can be moved along with the artist’s movements to give directors a sense of control over the result. One of the key benefits of this is to keep the audience closely engaged in the content.

  • Projections can surround the artist

    While other holographic systems have projections that can be placed above the artist’s head, the PepperScrim system is designed to be truly immersive for the audience, and so it appears as if the person on-stage is completely surrounded by holographic content. This is ideal, for example, when you are creating a production for a children’s show, and you wish to inspire wonder and amazement in your young audience. Imagine the reaction of the audience when the lead character is surrounded by life-like holograms as they make their way through a fairytale land. This powerful imagery is changing the way content is consumed and building a greater connection between the audience and the artist.

Adding Virtual Actors

Holographic content created with PepperScrim can also be used to add virtual actors to a scene or virtual presenters to a show. This is a great option for productions in which acting talent is required for specific scenes, but only for a short period of time. Instead of having the actor involved in each production, PepperScrim can be used to present a virtual representation of the actor on stage. To the audience, the actor will appear completely real. This gives the lighting design team and the directors a greater level of creative license when choosing how to tell a story and present their content to the world.

The Many Benefits of PepperScrim

Now you know a little more about how PepperScrim can be used and the value of the material within your productions. So let’s talk a little more about the benefits of PepperScrim compared to some of the other materials in the marketplace today. The benefits of PepperScrim include:

  • Lightweight and Foldable

    For those with travelling productions that require a team of professionals to pack their materials and transport them from venue to venue, the lightweight and foldable value of PepperScrim is essential. This means that PepperScrim doesn’t require significant transportation considerations. The material can simply be packed as with other materials and then taken to the next venue. Because it’s lightweight, PepperScrim can also be carried by one person in a carrying case, thereby limiting the need for a large team of technicians to move the product and put it into place.

  • Vertical Screen

    The design of PepperScrim also means that production teams have more space to work with on-stage when working with the material. Unlike other holographic systems, PepperScrim is designed to be used vertically, limiting the need for large amounts of stage space. You can simply add the layer to the front of the stage at a 45-degree angle to the audience to achieve the full effect. This gives you several meters behind the material to work with in creating your production content.

  • Simple Setup Process

    One of the foremost challenges associated with holographic systems is that the setup time can take away from the value the system provides in terms of content. But PepperScrim has been designed with limited setup time. Teams simply have to attach it to the truss, lighting bar, or frame, and then tension the material. They are then ready to begin projecting content onto the gauze to delight their audience.

  • Unparalleled Effects

    One of the reasons the leading production companies across the entertainment industry are now working with PepperScrim is that the material can be used to create truly unparalleled effects that the average audience member has never before seen on-stage. The holograms created by the system look real and the way in which the artist interacts with the holograms makes it appear as if a tangible connection is being made. This will add clear value to any production and can help to immerse audiences of all ages in the production.

This is an example of the exceptional innovations being made in the world of holographics. PepperScrim is captivating audiences and giving lighting and production teams more freedom to create truly memorable performances. To learn more about PepperScrim and its benefits for your upcoming productions, give the team at Freeman AV a call today!

The Benefits of LG Video Walls for Business

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Brand Experience, Breakout Sessions, Creative Services, Digital Signage, High Definition, Hot Technology, LED Technology, Press Releases, Product Launch, Smart Devices, Technology Satire, Technology Update, Touchscreens, Video, Video Conferencing

Video walls are now used to present commercial material across a range of environments. From trade shows to product unveilings, video walls have quickly become one of the best ways to engage audiences and provide comprehensive information in an entertaining format. In this new post, our team explores the value LG video walls can bring to your business and its upcoming events.

Ultra-Thin Bezel

The ultra-thin .044 mm even bezel used within LG video walls makes all content pop on the screen and provides a life-like appeal that will transfix audiences. One of the reasons video walls are used throughout the entertainment industry is that the ultra-thin bezel makes the content appear without any distortions to the original image, helping to completely immerse the audience in the content.

Wider Viewing Angles

Across an environment such as a trade show floor, it often becomes important for businesses to captivate audiences at unique angles to the content. If the content cannot reach this audience, then the value of the screen is limited. However, those using LG video walls for their business can now achieve exceptionally wide viewing angles. The use of the LG IPS panel technology helps ensure content can be viewed more easily from all viewing angles, capturing greater attention at events.

Higher Viewing Angles

The need to present content across higher viewing angles is also critical for many business events. For example, a company unveiling their new product as part of an event at an auditorium will require those in the box seats to have just as good a view of the content as those in the orchestra seating level. The latest video walls from LG present crystal clear content to each member of the audience, with higher viewing angles limiting the distortion to those seeing the content from above.

High Scalability

One of the great advantages of the latest LG video walls is they can give software developers the chance to produce their own content for display at events. The built-in WebOS smart signage platform helps products such as the 55SVH7E execute various tasks at once, ensuring that software teams have complete control over the scale and style of the content showcased. In addition, the content can be produced without the need for an additional media player, simplifying the process of showcasing content for event management teams and those in control of the video wall on event day.

Reduced Image Gap

Perhaps one of the most common gripes associated with video walls is the black lines that separate the various boxes forming the wall. These black lines can interrupt the view of the audience and may take away from the return on investment of the content producer. The latest video walls from LG work to limit this issue with a reduced image gap. Working with an image improvement algorithm reduces the gaps between the tiled displays when video playback is in process. The audience sees a cleaner image that resonates with them.

Consistent Colour Expression

Another common issue associated with video walls is the lack of a uniform and consistent colour throughout the entire display. In some walls, the sides of the tiles bleed colour, which leads to a darker appearance around the edges, and limits the quality of the finished product. But the latest LG video walls are designed for consistent colour expression. The video walls display vivid colours, even in the corner space near the bevels, ensuring that promotional content is crisp, clear, and well-received.

Content Flexibility

One of the reasons many are now choosing LG video walls is that the systems provide true content flexibility. Teams can display various styles of content at the same time on screen. For businesses presenting related content, material such as graphs and charts can be shown alongside video at events to show the progress the company is making within the industry, while also highlighting product features. Companies can also choose to stream content in real-time to their video walls, keeping audiences at the leading edge of developments.

User-Friendly Menus

Presenters operating the video wall have to be given full control at the event. This is achieved by adopting user-friendly menus that can easily be utilized while the event is ongoing. Similar actions are grouped together within the unit so that presenters know where to go within the menus without interrupting the presentation.

Simple Adjustment

A leading challenge for those creating presentations for a large audience is adjusting pictures so the images can be optimized for all viewers. A great advantage of the LG video wall is that the system is designed for simple colour and white balance adjustment. The latest systems allow for full grey-scale level adjustment to the white balance so that colours are blended more effectively within the content.

Why Turn to Freeman AV for LG Video Walls?

It’s clear that LG video walls represent the next innovation in the video presentation marketplace. Our team at Freeman AV are leading this industry and providing our clients across the market with a range of options designed to help respond to their unique demands. Below are several reasons to turn to our company for your LG video walls:

  • Experience

Our experience in the industry means we can provide you with the best video wall system for your event. We can work with you to assess your requirements and choose systems that fit with your event objectives and your budgetary parameters.

  • Technology

Our understanding of the latest technology means you can impress all audiences with the video walls offered through our team. We can help you to set up your displays within any venue and ensure your presenting team has a clear understanding of the technology’s functionality.

  • Support

We’ll be with you throughout your events to support you in using the video wall. If you have any questions about your system’s performance, you can turn to us at any time for answers. It’s a level of support that ensures the success of your events.

To learn more about Freeman AV and our company’s services, call us today.

 

 

 

 

Freeman Audio Visual Canada Announces Heidi Welker as Winner of 2019 Smart Women in Meetings Award

By | Press Releases

Freeman Audio Visual Canada is proud to announce that Senior Vice President, Business Development and Industry Partnerships, Heidi Welker has been named a 2019 Smart Women in Meetings Award winner in the Visionary category. This prestigious awards platform honors women who are making significant impacts on the meetings industry and inspiring female meeting ambassadors worldwide.

The Smart Women in Meetings Awards recognizes the industry’s top female meeting professionals in seven prestigious categories including Hall of Fame, Visionaries, Industry Leaders, Innovators, Entrepreneurs, Stellar Performers and Rising Stars. Nominated by their industry peers and colleagues, and ranked against hundreds of remarkable, qualified meeting candidates, these award winners have earned top honors for their commitment and significant contributions to the meetings industry.

“As the leader of a Woman Owned business under the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), I am honored to promote such a worthy cause for my fellow women in meetings to celebrate our industry, and support and salute each other’s goals and accomplishments,” said Smart Meetings founder and CEO Marin Bright. “The Smart Women in Meetings Awards are especially close to my heart. I am proud to provide a platform for all the women in our industry who drive change and celebrate our progress together as one united community.”

Freeman EVP & Chief Operating Officer, David Campbell responded to Heidi’s award stating, “It’s no surprise to our team that Heidi has been selected for this award!  Heidi is a vital member of our team, representing all of Freeman who is passionately involved in improving various aspects within our industry through her involvement with the advocacy group, Meetings Means Business. Furthermore, she’s an avid volunteer within the industry, contributing to associations like the Professional Convention Management Association and her ongoing mentorship. We are so proud of her!”

Heidi was quoted on Smart Women In Meetings website, sharing thoughts on her leadership, saying, “My role is not to provide answers. Instead, I ask the right questions, stay engaged in thought-provoking dialogue and support decisions regardless of the success or consequences that go with it.”

Smart Women in Meetings Award winners will be featured in the March issue of Smart Meetings magazine and will receive on-stage honors at the fourth annual Smart Women in Meetings Awards gala on May 8 at the Smart Woman Summit in Las Vegas.

2019 Smart Women in Meetings Awards Winners

The Smart Woman Summit

About Smart Meetings
Smart Meetings is the leading media company and the most trusted resource for meeting professionals. Providing best-in-class service, Smart Meetings publishes cutting-edge meetings content in print and digital magazines, hosts world-class hosted-buyer networking events, provides CEU-accredited webinars and offers myriad digital resources.

About Freeman Audio Visual Canada

As part of the world’s largest brand experience organization, Freeman Audio Visual Canada (Freeman) 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 provides a full range of services to support the way audiences engage with content as the landscape continues to change. Freeman 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 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

 

Media Contact

Jenna West

Digital Marketing Specialist

Jenna.west@freemanco.com | 905 366 9144

Choosing the Best Sound System for your Event

By | News

Choosing the Best Sound System for your Event

You could have the best written speech in the world, but it doesn’t matter if no one can hear it. Without a reliable sound system, your audience can not hear, and your message will fall flat.

If you want to plan a truly exceptional corporate event, you’ll need a sound system that can keep up with the job. Here’s our guide on choosing the best sound system for your event!

A Public Address System (PA system), is comprised of many parts, starting from what goes into the PA, to what comes out of it. Having the right equipment in place will help you get your message out to the masses.

Let’s work our way through the system:

Inputs

You will need to make sure that you have the right microphone in place for your presenter. The microphone takes the sound in the air and coverts it into an electrical signal that can be used throughout your PA system. There are many types of microphones that are designed to do this.

If your presenter likes to move around on stage, you will want to have a wireless microphone at hand. These typically come with either a Wireless Handheld Microphone (which as the name suggests would be held by the speaker), or the more popular choice would be the Wireless Lavaliere (or Lapel) Microphone.  With the lavaliere, the presenter is free to move around and free up their hands so that they can easily make gestures, or hold an object that they wish to show the audience without fumbling around.

Should they wish to just stay at the lectern, then a well-placed lectern microphone will be sufficient.

Now that you have the microphone in place, it is important to give your presenter some basic instruction on its proper use.  You could have the biggest PA system in the world, and the best sound technician in the world, but if the presenter is not talking properly into the microphone, or it is not placed properly, no one is going to hear them.

Another element of your system would be that if you are planning to have any video playback, either from dedicated devices, or if you have videos embedded in your presentations that all of these devices will need direct boxesso that the computers can interface with the system properly. It is important that you let your technology provider know, so that they can make sure that they have an audio console that has enough inputs available for all of your devices.

Speakers

Now that you have all of your inputs figured out, it is time to figure out the size of the PA that you need to have so that your message can be heard.

The size and placement of you system can vary from event to event. What works for a small audience of 10, doesn’t work for an audience of 2000. People are great absorbers of sound! Couple that with natural sounds coming from your audiences’ side conversations and clanking dishes, and you will need to make sure that your system gets out over the voices. One voice can be louder than 2000 voices with the right system in place.

That’s why it is best to speak with your audio professional, so that they can make sure that your message is heard by everyone at your event.

To learn more about how to bring the right sound to your event, call Freeman AV at 1-800-868-6886 or contact us here.

Author
Jason Tobin
Freeman Audio Visual Canada
National Audio Services Director

Industry Leader Krista Cameron Joins Freeman Audio Visual Canada as Business Development Director

By | News, Press Releases

Industry Leader Krista Cameron Joins Freeman Audio Visual Canada as Business Development Director

Cameron’s leadership, creativity, and passion will enable Freeman Audio Visual Canada to further their growth in the marketplace

TORONTO, Friday, January 25, 2019 – Freeman Audio Visual Canada is excited to announce that Krista Cameron will be joining the company as Business Development Director as of February 19, 2019. In this new position, Cameron’s responsibilities will include expanding Freeman AV Canada’s portfolio in the Canadian corporate and association marketplaces, fostering client relationships, and representing the organization at industry events

“Krista is a proven leader and industry veteran who will playing a key role in developing our Canadian growth strategy as we continue our evolution in the marketplace,” said Jay Lanchbury, Vice President Client Solutions. “Her exceptional client relationship skills, creativity and passion for both people and our industry will be extraordinary assets to the team.”

Cameron brings to Freeman over 20 years of leadership experience in the meetings and events industry including her destination participation in up to 25 national and international shows annually. Cameron has actively engaged in the industry by sitting on numerous committees, was inducted into the M&IT Hall of Fame as Industry Mentor, and serves on the Professional Convention Management Association’s Board of Directors for the Canada East Chapter as Co-Chair of the Canadian Innovation Conference. Most recently, she was the Director of Sales at Destination St. John’s for 10 years.

“Krista is a celebrated dynamic leader in the industry who takes a hands-on approach with her clients,” said David Campbell, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Freeman Audio Visual Canada. “We are thrilled to bring this industry ‘rock star’ to the team and are so excited to watch her accomplish amazing things in this role.”

About Freeman Audio Visual Canada

As part of the world’s largest brand experience organization, Freeman Audio Visual Canada (Freeman) 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 provides a full range of services to support the way audiences engage with content as the landscape continues to change. Freeman 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 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

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For more information, contact:

Jenna West
Digital Marketing Specialist
jenna.west@freeman.com

CES 2019 Trends and Innovative Tech

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Audio, Brand Experience, Creative Services, Design Thinking, Digital Signage, Education, Engagement, Event Trends, Exhibits, Expo, Industry News, News, Product Review, Touchscreens, Trade Shows

CES 2019 Trends and Innovative Tech

By Victor Paan

National Director, Digital Innovation

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) provided a scope and scale of technology that had a common thread. Ai and 5G provided the foundation that powers smarter TVs, smarter homes, smarter cities, and the vehicles that will navigate them. The future is here. Below are a few of the biggest trends we noticed at this year’s CES.

Screens: Flat, Roll-up and Holographic Displays

A few of the trends we observed when it came to screens included the roll-up OLED screen that, not unlike Saran Wrap, rolls up and back into a long rectangular box. Its pure futuristic eye candy design holds promise for live event activations as it’s space efficient, easily portable, and overall awe inspiring technology.

Mostly every brand that offers flat panel displays on the show floor featured 8K LED screens. These screens have beautiful detail and colour that would allow PIPs over High Res backgrounds to be displayed at a high resolution, whether 4K content or HD 1080 content.

Although not something that is defined as a ‘screen’, HYPERVSN’s 3D Holographic Display System provided a wow-factor via their new LED rotor units.  Upgraded in size and framerate, the new units are breathtaking and provide an extremely crisp hologram.  A showstopper.  Along with a new customer portal to easily turn 2D content into 3D content for these displays, makes jumping onboard with this technology an easy uptake.

Headset advancements and eye tracking

A much subdued presence at CES this year.  Some headset advancements of note are to do with ocular tracking.  The HTC Vive Pro Eye adds eye tracking that allows users to control in-game experiences using eye-movements.  This also allows developers to track what users are attracted to and spending time looking at within an experience, providing user data that can enhance future development of products/designs through the VR tech.

To take this further, the company responsible for developing the aforementioned eye tracking, Tobii allows for this type of eye movement capture for any digital assets seen on a screen.  Stakeholders can obtain data on user’s habits as to what they focus on during a browse of a soon-to-be-launched website or service.

Compounding this, and providing a use case for the events industry, is the ability for individuals to wear glasses that track what an attendee’s eyes are drawn to while, say, walking an exhibit floor or a creative staging setup.  This data can provide insights towards best practices on brand and design elements; honing the process in how designers deliver on realized projects.

Ai (and the IoT) in action!

If VR & AR were the buzzwords of recent years past, Ai was the newly crowned monarch of CES 2019.  Everything from TVs that ascertain what you are watching and adjust picture and sound settings to match the experience, to smart home appliances powered by your favourite voice assistant that communicate and learn together, Ai was everywhere.  The real shift in the idea of what Ai means to the masses is that no longer are we expected to adapt to the technology, rather, the technology is shifting to a model that adapts itself to each of us and the context of our experiences.

Robotics, from a concierge standpoint, remained stagnant for the most part.  Designs felt either overly stylized (read ‘cute’) or were downright creepy. The rush towards 5G connectivity is absolutely being driven by the onset of Ai and the Internet of Things.  All of this connectivity will only benefit from the accelerated speeds and bandwidth of 5G… which is really what the hype is all about; more things online, faster!

Author
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.

PSAV® and The Freeman Company Announce Purchase Agreement for PSAV to Acquire Encore Event Technologies

By | News, Press Releases

SCHILLER PARK, IL, and DALLAS,TX – January 14, 2019 – PSAV, a global leader in event experiences, and The Freeman Company, jointly announced today that the companies have entered into a purchase agreement for PSAV to acquire Encore Event Technologies, a global provider of event technology, staging and production services.  The combination of PSAV and Encore will join two companies with deep expertise and a shared commitment to be an invaluable global partner for the meeting industry.  This transaction reinforces PSAV’s mission of Connecting and Inspiring People by expanding the breadth of its capabilities throughout North America and Asia Pacific.  The transaction is expected to be finalized later this year. Terms of the transaction will not be disclosed.

Encore has a long and distinguished history dedicated to helping create high-impact meetings and live events for the hospitality industry. Encore operates as both an in-house partner to some of the world’s leading resorts, hotels and casinos, as well as a creative production company for clients around the world.

“Encore is an ideal partner for the PSAV family of companies given its shared commitment to meeting and event planners, and strong alignment with our purpose and mission,” said Mike McIlwain, CEO of PSAV.  I am excited about what this means for PSAV, and more importantly our customers, as we continue to focus on more ways to create amazing event experiences wherever an event is held.”

“We’re extremely proud of the success everyone at Encore – including our FAV Canada operations – has created in building one of the world’s leading in-house hospitality, event technology and production service businesses,” said Joe Popolo, CEO of The Freeman Company. “At Freeman, we continue our mission to provide powerful brand experiences, which include our audio visual solutions, for association and corporate customers around the world.”

“It has been an honor to lead and develop Encore and to witness its growth,” said Ken Sanders, chief development officer, The Freeman Company. “I want to thank everyone at Encore for applying their work, skills, dedication and creativity to build this world-class company, and I look forward to watching their continued prosperity as part of PSAV.”

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Peter Wallace and David Kestnbaum of Blackstone’s Private Equity team commented, “We are excited about the combination of our portfolio company, PSAV, with Encore.  Blackstone sees continued growth opportunities in live events, and we are pleased that Encore will bring additional capabilities to support event planners and our venue partners.”

Bill Stein of Blackstone’s Real Estate team added, “The combination of PSAV and Encore will further enhance our strong capabilities to serve meeting event planners and our venue partners across a diverse suite of services as part of our mission of creating a world-class, diversified global live events platform.”

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal counsel to PSAV.

JP Morgan is serving as financial advisor to Freeman and Encore, and Baker McKenzie is serving as legal counsel to Freeman and Encore.

About PSAV®

PSAV is a global leader in event experiences, providing creative, production, advanced technology and staging services to help meeting professionals deliver more dynamic and impactful experiences at their meetings, trade shows and events. The team consists of more than 9,000 professionals across 1,500 on-site venue locations and 49 branch offices within the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. It is the trusted partner and on-site provider of choice at leading venues worldwide. PSAV was recently named to the Forbes 2018 America’s Best Employer list. The company is headquartered in Schiller Park, Ill.  www.psav.com.

About The Freeman Company

The Freeman Company helps create meaningful connections for all types of global audiences. The family-owned company is comprised of leading brand experience company, Freeman; audio-visual and production company, Encore Event Technologies; and Alford Media, a premier event technology specialist known for the expertise and precision on large-scale shows. With more than 90 locations globally and 7,000+ employees who are dedicated to delivering the best experiences and business outcomes possible for their clients — from strategy and design to implementation and results. For more information, visit http://www.freeman.com/

About Encore Event Technologies

Encore is a leading global provider of audiovisual, event technology, staging and production services.  Encore serves as the in-house provider at more than 460 hotels, casinos, conference centers and resorts in North America and Asia Pacific.  Encore Productions, the production division of Encore Event Technologies, is a full-service creative production company helping clients tell their stories around the world.  For more information, visit www.encore-us.com, www.encore-anzpac.com and www.freemanav-ca.com.

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For further inquiries and more information, contact:

Media Contact – PSAV
Bob Niersbach
Director, Communications
rniersbach@psav.com
(847) 385-3619

Media Contact – Freeman
Stephen Phillips
Director, Communications
Stephen.phillips@freeman.com
(214) 445-1205

Latest Trends In Presentation Technology

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Education, Engagement, Freeman Audio Visual Products & Services, News, Presentation Management 4, Presentation Management 4.5, Presentation Tips, Simultaneous Interpretation, Social Media, Wide screen projection

A presentation is the finished product of months of research, analysis and practice. It’s your speaker’s chance to share information on your expertise with a room full of like-minded people who are interested in learning about your topic. But a good presentation is more than just the information itself; it’s also about how that information gets communicated. And that’s where unique presentation technologies play an important role.

It’s no secret that the world is rapidly advancing technologically. People have smartphones, high-tech televisions, at-home personal assistants like Alexa, not to mention everyone’s personal computer. This means it’s likely safe to assume that you’re speaking to an audience that’s familiar with some form of technology when giving your presentation.

The latest trends in presentation tools and technology revolve around this high-tech transformation. Without further ado, here are some of the latest trends we’ve identified in presentation technology that will wow your audience and create buzz around your brand:

Flat Screen Displays

A vivid flat screen display offers image quality that makes the viewer feel like there’s no separation between them and the visuals being depicted. Whether it’s a tundra, a busy city, the middle of an ocean or a calm village, modern flat screen displays really do these scenes justice.

Flat screen displays aid presentations by making it more pleasurable for your audience to view your slides, your video, and whatever other visual components you’re sharing. The quality of the image also makes it easier for a room full of people to view, taking in every detail. This means you can share more detailed images without worrying about them being grainy.

Simultaneous Translation

If your attendees are from global offices, incorporating simultaneous translation into your presentation can be hugely helpful. Simultaneous interpretation is a reliable option for bringing in remote parties when giving a presentation. Provide native-language messages through headsets so that every member of your audience is able to fully participate in your event. With fluid interpretation that allows your attendees to listen in their own language you leave no attendee behind.

Social Media

Social media is ubiquitous, so it might as well be put to good use. Many conferences, seminars, learning presentations and corporate meetups use social media technology to spread awareness of their brand and engage their attendees. Social media walls and live feed projections give event attendees their ‘five seconds of fame’ and get them excited about using their social media in a tangible way. It also allows them to share their ideas in a public forum, an example of using social media the way it was originally intended: for greater collaboration and communication.

Audience Response Service

Think, “Ask the Audience” on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Audience response technology allows you to ask your audience questions and get their responses in real-time. This makes for a much more engaging presentation, but also makes your audience members feel like their voices are really being heard. Gathering popular opinion in the midst of a presentation can help you underscore the points you’re trying to drive home. It can also help you get a sense of how engaged your audience is, and whether further education on a particular matter might be helpful to them.

Technology advances have given us so many more presentation possibilities. Now, with so many different types of event technology available, you can be as creative as you want with your events. For more information about the latest trends in presentation equipment, call us at 1 800-868-6886 or contact us here.