Case Study

How FreightWaves turned a supply-chain event into a rockin’ festival experience




FreightWaves Annual Event


Business Services

Event Services

FreightWaves, a leading SaaS provider for the transportation, logistics, and supply chain industries, hosts an annual Future of Supply Chain event. During the show, industry experts showcase insights, future trends, and emerging technology through panel discussions, rapid-fire demos, and interactive kiosks.

While the event was a big hit for exhibitors and attendees, FreightWaves wanted to go bigger  — by designing a rocking, experiential destination.

Together with Freeman, FreightWaves turned a traditional event set-up into a rockin’ festival experience. Here’s how:

1 The environment was open


The conference layout design was inspired by “festivalization” — a large open environment where the expo, keynote, broadcast sets, and networking spaces are spread across one location.

This approach reduced over scheduling and allowed attendees to engage with content in multiple ways (and locations), change their perspective, and avoid event fatigue.

2 There were experiences (so much more than presentations) 

Dynamic Staging

The keynote stage and several satellite stages (including a concert – more on that below!) throughout the show floor were designed with dynamic elements and shapes that added interest to demos and fireside chats.

LED screens placed strategically throughout the space allowed attendees to watch what was happening on stage while moving throughout the expo.

Shark Tank Pitch

Instead of long, uninspired stage presentations (which let’s face it, sometimes could put Jaws to sleep), exhibitors promoted their businesses in an exciting Shark Tank-style experience, with an opportunity to directly connect with attendees after.

How it worked: Each brand was given six minutes to pitch captivated audiences before the lights suddenly cut out and switched to the other side of the stage, where another brand was eagerly awaiting their turn.

The result was a continuous, rapid-fire succession of business pitches, new innovations, flashing lights, LED-lit branding, tons of excitement … and zero boredom.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert

Attendees were treated to an outdoor concert at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame featuring lookalike hall of famers such as Prince, Poison, and Michael Jackson! Despite challenges such as a nearby airport with FAA regulations on lighting and unpredictable weather, our AV team ensured that the music played without delay.

3 It was easy to connect

Conversations + Content  

Fireside chats on smaller stages helped engage attendees and allowed them to have real-time interaction with FreightWaves leaders.

Networking Areas

Cozy networking lounges included LED walls with a live stream of the event so attendees could step out, get comfortable, or make calls, without missing a beat.

Digital Content

FreightWaves, which serves as a media company for the supply chain industry, broadcast its Check Call podcast from the event — so attendees were able get a sneak peek behind the scenes and feel like part of the production.

Today’s attendees expect more from the events they choose to attend — more of an experience that relates to them, gives them an opportunity to connect, and that provides real value. FreightWaves built this new experience to help its exhibitors meet (and exceed!) these expectations.

As a result, breaking from past norms and setting up an experiential, festival-like environment  worked, with audience participation and engagement trucking in higher ratings than the year before.

Find out more about how expectations are changing here. Check out this infographic to learn more about building audience trust through live events.

Want to rock your next event? Get in touch with us!

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