Freeman Bolsters Audiovisual Capabilities.

October 1, 2014

DALLAS, TX – (October 1, 2014) – Freeman, the leading global partner for integrated marketing solutions for live engagements, announced today that they will acquire the audiovisual equipment rental, staging and hotel operations of Tampa, Fla., based AVI-SPL. Specializing in association trade shows, business meetings, and special events, this division of AVI-SPL will join other leading Freeman brands such as Encore Event Technologies, Stage Rigging and Alford Media, as part of Freeman Audio Visual.

“The acquisition is an important milestone for Freeman as it works to grow their international presence, beginning with the Americas region and through new opportunities in Mexico and Puerto Rico,” said Ken Sanders, president of Freeman Audio Visual. “We look forward to welcoming AVI-SPL rental, staging and hotel services group into our Freeman AV and Encore families so that, together, we can deliver an expanded suite of experts, resources and solutions, as well as exceptional customer results across an expanded geography.”

AVI-SPL’s hotel presence will become part of Freeman’s Encore Event Technologies, one of the industry’s most advanced hotel production companies featuring next-generation technology and full event production capabilities. The resulting combination gives Encore Event Technologies and Freeman AV Canada nearly 300 in-house and extended service hotel properties throughout North America.

Staging and AV rental employees will become part of Freeman. The addition of the AVI-SPL audiovisual group further enhances our AV portfolio, and ensures that Freeman, Encore and AVI-SPL’s customers have access to the broadest range and most innovative solutions available.

“Freeman has a long history as a leader in the live events space. We’re excited for the growth opportunities for our hotel, rental and event production employees,” said John Zettel, AVI-SPL CEO. “AVI-SPL is very proud to lead our industry as the largest pro-AV systems integrator. We’re dedicated to growing this core part of our business of design, build and integration services, product sales and managed services.”

Both companies chose to not disclose financial information related to this acquisition, which closed on September 30. Freeman AV and Encore Event Technologies will strategically manage the transition of all AVI-SPL’s hotel, rental and staging accounts, employees and operations, as well as communicate related developments in the coming months.

About Freeman

Founded in 1927, Freeman is the leading global partner for integrated experiential marketing solutions for live engagements including expositions, conventions, corporate events and exhibits. Headquartered in Dallas, with over 70 offices in North America and the U.K., Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually, including 135 of the 250 largest U.S. trade shows, and 11,000 other events worldwide. Customer-driven, Freeman offers a total package of solutions, with a scope of products and services unmatched by the competition. An employee-owned company, Freeman places an emphasis on respect for people and providing unparalleled customer service. Freeman has received numerous trade show industry awards for excellence in leadership, creative design, community service, innovation and customer-driven partnerships. For more information, visit


As the world’s leading collaborative technology provider, AVI-SPL designs, builds and supports the systems and environments that enable communication and collaboration. AVI-SPL has highly-trained and certified system engineers across the United States, Canada, and EMEA in addition to an international network of solution providers in 30 countries. AVI-SPL is a portfolio company of private equity firm Silver Lake Sumeru. Visit for more information.

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