In The News

Freeman Audio Visual Canada partners with Neweb Labs

By | Press Releases

MONTREAL, September 25, 2018 – Freeman Audio Visual Canada (Freeman) is excited to announce a new partnership with visual effects company, Neweb Labs. This partnership will enable both organizations to leverage one another’s event services and capabilities, providing a one stop shop for their clients.

Multiple event contracts have already been signed with the newly partnered companies for various conferences, meetings and events around the globe including: Vancouver, Atlanta, Frankfurt and Ottawa. Neweb Labs will be working closely with Freeman across the country, with particular focus in Montreal.

“What a great opportunity for us at Freeman to join forces with the Neweb Labs team! Neweb Labs is  pioneering the customization of virtual characters for events, ranging from town halls, conferences and more,” said Freeman Client Solutions Manager, Gabriel Larose. “Their unique expertise coupled with our attention to detail and global presence will be a powerful combination for our clients. Neweb Labs’ virtual characters are unlike anything I’ve seen before. If you’re looking to add a really innovative activation to your event, this is something you’ll want to check out.”

By promoting one another’s solution offerings, both Freeman and Neweb Labs will be able to better serve their existing client needs and enhance attendee experiences. “Like Freeman, Neweb Labs is always looking to bring something new and exciting to our clients, which is why we knew this would make a great partnership,” said Yves St-Gelais, CEO for Neweb Labs. “Partnering with a global organization like Freeman will be critical for the flawless execution of our newly developed event solutions like virtual graffiti artists, talking heads, and other out-of-the-box offerings.”

Freeman and Neweb Labs are set to make their mark on the meeting and events industry through helping clients create memorable experiences for their audiences.

About Freeman Audio Visual Canada

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 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 Neweb Labs

Neweb Labs creates and combines 3D animated assets with interactive technology for use as holograms on all social media platforms, and in mobile applications to be used for concerts, events, social engagement, brand activations and virtual humans. Neweb Labs is the sister company of the 3D animated show based on current affairs and news, Vox Populi Productions, and was officially launched after two years of R&D in 2015. Neweb Labs is also first in the world to create interactive holographic singer, Maya Kodes (https://vimeo.com/285950552), and is known for providing cutting-edge experiences where attendees emotionally connect with interactive characters that have different personalities. For more information, visit www.neweblabs.com.

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For further inquiries and more information, contact:

Jenna West
Digital Marketing Specialist
jenna.west@freemanco.com
T: 905-366-9144

7 Popular Event Trends We Saw This Summer

By | Audience Engagement, Brand Experience, Engagement, Event Trends, Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Industry News, LED Technology, Lighting, Live Social Media Wall, Media Event Staging, Meeting Planners, Meeting Professionals International, News, Quotes, Room Décor, Scenic Design, Social Media, Staging, Tools & Tips

One part of the hysteria surrounding summer is the excitement that comes with its sun-soaked events – low necklines and cold drinks, dancing outside, and enjoying the hazy days of summer with friends and family.

Everything is better in the summer heat, and every year, event planners aim to make their event the talk of the season. The summer represents a great opportunity to stage an event, with it being one of the most lucrative seasons for professional event planners.

Event attendees – especially those who are accustomed to high-budget corporate events – won’t be wooed by the same gimmicks as last year. It may come as a surprise to those who aren’t in the business of planning amazing events, but there are trends that are ushered in each summer that can take an event from same-old to never-be-the-same-again.

It’s all about differentiation and making your event stand out in the minds of your guests. It’s about finding ways to bring people together, fostering connections, and making everything a bit more efficient to set-up and tear down. Here are seven summer event trends we’ve seen this summer that take events to the next level and impress guests with thoughtful ingenuity.

  1. Technology (Apps, Live Streaming, Live SM Interaction)

It’s hardly news at this point; people are plugged in. Over 90% of North Americans own smartphones and are on them for multiple hours a day. It’s the perfect opportunity to connect with guests and have them put their cell phones to good use.

Specialized event apps are amazing for large events that span a day or more, especially when multiple locations, speakers, and itineraries are involved. For a sprawling corporate event with several types of speakers and seminars, it can help to have an app developed that is specific to your event for widespread download.

Encourage your guests to live tweet and post with personalized event hashtags. Modern weddings often combine the last names of the spouses-to-be, allowing everyone who posts to look up each other’s photos and moments easily. Live streaming your event will let those who couldn’t be there feel included. It’s an extension of hospitality that will truly add a caring and trendy touch.

  1. Drone Videos

We all know someone with a drone, and they’re amazing for capturing aerial video. If your summer event is being held in a beautiful outdoor space, capture its magnificence with drone video. You’ll get a beautiful perspective you never thought you’d see, and it makes for great content in a post-event video for attendees to look back on after your event is over.

  1. Non-Traditional Spaces

Barns, warehouses, factories; don’t limit yourself to traditional event venues. Non-traditional spaces offer different pricing than conference centres or banquet halls, have enormous capacity, and have interesting interior elements. Exposed bricks, metal beams, thirty-foot ceilings – your guests will be wowed by your event as soon as they arrive.

  1. Memorable Bars

One of the best parts of any event is the food and beverage. Go the extra mile and create a memorable bar setting. Great drinks are a given, but the bar area itself is a spot where people gather, laugh a little harder, and find the courage to connect with strangers. Up your hosting game from a traditional bar to make your guests feel like they’re at a truly all-out event.

  1. Food Trends on Point

Next to the drinks is the food. If you have mediocre food, often that’s what people will remember about your event. Amazing food will have your guests on cloud nine, pleasing their inner foodies and appreciating your attention to culinary detail.

Donut walls and live cooking are two food trends that are catching on. People also appreciate plant-based, healthy options as more and more folks develop open minds to different diet preferences.

  1. Bring the Dancers

It isn’t a party until there’s dancing! Exploring entertaining with acrobatic tricks and aerial arts, it’s like having a free show alongside your gathering. Your guests will feel so much more inspired to dance when they see the professionals joyously busting out their moves.

  1. Bold Yet Classic Colours

2018 has been a year of experimentation as well as a year of returning to traditional roots, and colour and design schemes are reflecting this. The need to be modern has fallen away and classically beautiful colour combinations are proving to be classics for a reason. It’s always a good thing to give your colour scheme a slight edge, a personal touch that reflects you.

Author
Summer Filippopoulos
Freeman Audio Visual Canada, Sales Manager

Freeman Audio Visual Canada Announces new Partnership with TimePlay

By | Press Releases

TORONTO, Ont. (August 3, 2018) – Freeman Audio Visual Canada is excited to announce a new partnership with TimePlay, bringing TimePlay’s unique digital entertainment platform to its clients. TimePlay’s award winning patented technology which has been delivering rich interactive experiences for consumers and brands is now excited to take its success from the Cinema industry to expand into Meetings and Events. Freeman’s clients will now be able to leverage TimePlay’s phone-to-screen experience to better integrate and enhance their content using dynamic gamification.

“We’re thrilled to be adding TimePlay’s innovative technology to our portfolio of digital solution offerings,” said Victor Paan, National Director of Digital Services. “Our clients are often looking for new ways to engage and connect their attendees, and TimePlay’s platform will be another option we can now offer them”.

TimePlay will work with Freeman to customize experiences for clients and bring this to the forefront of the meetings and business events industry. “This collaboration is a natural fit and allows companies to deliver more captivating and effective meetings” said TimePlay’s CEO Jon Hussman. “Through the gamification of content, we can deliver increased engagement and retention. Furthermore, the behavioral data collected provides companies with insights on the effectiveness of their event, ultimately leading to greater ROI”.

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 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 TimePlay Inc.

With its award winning and patented technology, TimePlay’s rich interactive platform creates captivating digital experiences for any event, big or small. It’s changing the way companies run meetings by empowering attendees to use their mobile devices to interact with the presenter’s content on digital screen(s), in real time. Through gamification, companies can engage the audience to ignite social competition by leveraging TimePlay’s breadth of customizable product offerings for optimal event integration. Throughout the experience, TimePlay captures valuable data that goes deeper than the competition to help measure effectiveness. The TimePlay app reaches millions of consumers and can be used in a variety of venues to bring any presentation to life. Visit http://timeplay.com/meetings-events/

For more information, please contact:

Madeleine Bart, Freeman Audio Visual Canada
905.366.9241, Madeleine.bart@freeman.com

Rob Persiko, TimePlay Inc.
416-432-7730, rpersiko@timeplay.com

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Your Purpose

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

  1. Your Equipment

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

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

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

  1. Your Audio Partner

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

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

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

Author
Rene Barrow
Freeman Audio Visual Canada, Account Executive

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

Tips to Consider for an Effective Audio Visual Presentation

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

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

Sound Quality

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

Internet Bandwidth

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

Types of Cameras

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

Mobile Friendly

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

Virtual Audience

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

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

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

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.

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.