Freeman’s Brand Experience Lab (formerly Thinking Thursdays) events are an ongoing educational series designed to bring industry thought leaders and creative minds together to discuss current trends in the marketplace. We invite top leaders from our industry to share information on various topics, including new technology, industry news and best practices, innovative meeting solutions, and more.
Listen to a Podcast of our Past Events
Brand Experience Lab: Engaging Audiences Through Brand Experience
Theme: "An Idea Exchange On Event Strategies For Tomorrow’s Audiences"
Create a must attend event, you want your audience to feel empowered, engaged and excited. As more and more channels vie for your attendee’s attention it is paramount to build meaningful engagement that fulfil the needs and wants of your audience. To do this we need to fully understand our event community ecosystem and what drives audiences to action. In this month’s BEL session, Engaging Audiences Through Brand Experience, we will share a dialog around the methods and best practices to creating audience engagement that leaves attendees wanting more. Panelists: Jeff Cameron, Sr. Experience Director, Freeman; Tonya Almond, VP Knowledge and Experience Design, PCMA
- It was a great interactive session. The speakers did an awesome job in engaging the audience. As always the Freeman staff is awesome, hospitable and welcoming.
- This was a perfect blend of networking and education! Thank you!
- Great workshop! Thanks.
- You have a great team, they create great events.
- I thoroughly enjoyed Tonya Almond and her input into the conversation. Getting to speak to her afterwards was also extremely informative.
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Brand Experience Lab: Measure What Matters
Theme: "Deduping Complexity in Data Strategy"
Learn to use data with a purpose; enabling you to not only deal with a rapidly-changing event environment but to be out in front, effecting change for the good. Navigate through our online resources as we look to improve our brand experiences, learn from the past, transform the present, and predict the future. Facilitated by: Ken Holsinger, SVP- Data Solutions, Freeman. Panelists: Parul Shah, Sr. Director Data/Strategy, Freeman, Susan Apollonio, MNR, Senior Director for Educational Leadership and Faculty Development Training, American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and Jamie Simpson, Director of Meetings, American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC).
- Actually labbing with others was a great benefit. I prefer the combined learning of hearing experts and then doing.
- Ken was an excellent presenter. I enjoyed the experience and definitely thinking differently about our surveys and how we use collected data. Thank you.
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Brand Experience Lab: Sustainability
Theme: "Apply Earth-friendly Event Planning and Production Ideas Without Increasing Costs"
Explore easy-to-implement, cost-efficient ways to make a bigger impact with your events while making less of an impact on the earth. Facilitated by: Melinda Kendall, SVP, Freeman. Panelists: Cathy Griffith, Vice President, Operations at Emerald Expositions, Philip Costa, CVP, Director of Client Services, Baltimore Convention Services, Mike Pietraszek, Sr. Director Sustainability Services, Freeman.
- Freeman sees & partakes in a lot of shows so they understand what planners want & need. Sustainability was a great hot topic & provided great ideas for me to implement in my association.
- Got lots of great easily implementable ideas! Thank you!
- Great job today and thank you in advance for everything!
Brand Experience Lab: eLearning
Theme: "Creating Engaging Education Onsite and Online"
Creating an eLearning program is simple enough. But creating a successful and engaging eLearning program requires additional approaches and efforts. Facilitated by: Bill Mott, Director, Digital Services, Freeman. Panelists: Joy Davis, CAE , Managing Director, Member Products, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS); Penelope Freire, CMP, DES, Meetings & Exhibits Manager, American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG); Philip G. Forte, President, Blue Sky eLearn.
Brand Experience Lab: Marketing
Theme: "Marketing: Under the Influence"
Create a buzz among marketers looking to capitalize on the power of social influence to drive attendance at their next event. Our panel shared a high-level overview of influencer marketing, including best and next practices, and spoke to leaders about their technology platforms that effectively make word-of-mouth scalable. Facilitated by: Kristen Ferrer, Director of Digital, mdg, a Freeman company. Panelists: Aidan Augustin, Co-Founder, Feathr; Michael Barnett, CEO, InGo & Heather Holst-Knudsen, Head of North America, Gleanin.
Brand Experience Lab: Experiential Sponsorship Activations
Theme: “Transform Sponsorships to Enhance the Attendee Experience and Offset Costs"
Our panel of experience designers and planners shared ideas and insights that will transform the traditional event model into an exciting and activity-based experience. Facilitated by: David Saef, CTSM Gold, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Freeman. Panelists: Tom Maher, Digital Experience Director, Helios Interactive — a Freeman company; Melissa Riley, Vice President, Convention Sales & Services, Destination DC; Ashley Forrester, Corporate Director of Communications and Marketing, Events DC; Bob Lynch, President & Founder at SponsorUnited; and Jennifer Swanson, Senior Director- Sponsorship Engagement, Freeman.
Brand Experience Lab: Food Trends
Theme: “How to Blend Trends, Diets and Sustainability for Delicious Experiences”
Our expert panelists shared their "recipes" to help you understand the F&B trends that can make or break your meetings. Facilitated by: Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CFPM, CHC, President & Chief Connecting Officer, thrive! meetings & events. Panelists: David Creamer, Executive Resort Chef, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center; April Cunningham, Executive Chef & Owner, Aprils Table; Penelope Freire, CMP, DES, Meetings & Exhibits Manager, American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG); and Suzanne Morrell, MBA, Founder of STM/enterprises, LLC & the DC Event Food Waste Coalition.
Brand Experience Lab: Audience Acquisitions
Theme: “Insights, Innovation and Inspiration to Grow Event Attendance”
Participants get a first look at recently released data on organizer strategies and tactics aimed at growing event attendance. Highlighted will be the most commonly used tools, techniques and technologies, with an emphasis on what’s working, how the marketing mix is changing and what’s on the horizon. Panelists: Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, President, mdg - a Freeman company; and Nancy Drapeau, PRC, Vice President of Research, CEIR.
Brand Experience Lab: Branding Part 2
Theme: “The Power of Event Branding - Bringing an Event Brand to Life"
You’ll learn how event teams translate brand strategy into creative execution, effective marketing tactics, and unique onsite experiences that build an event promise attendees want — and keeps them coming back year after year. Facilitated by: Christie Kim, Associate Creative Director, Freeman. Panelists: Shauna Peters, CEM , Senior Account Strategist, mdg; Daniela Smith, Brand Strategy Director - Creative & Branding Team, American College of Cardiology; and Maureen E. Varnon, Director Membership - Marketing and Communications, ASCRS•ASOA.
Brand Experience Lab: Branding Part 1
Theme: “The Association Brand Dilemma”
Associations operate in two simultaneous yet different brand hemispheres. One hemisphere represents the work the association does on behalf its members and the benefit of its industry; the other hemisphere represents the annual meeting. Facilitated by: Steve Coldiron – Healthcare Strategy Director, Freeman. Panelists: Brian Manoogian, SVP - Territory Leader, Client Solutions Sales, Freeman, Bill Kitto, VP Client Solutions, Freeman and Claudia Girerd, Senior Business Development Manager, Freeman.
Brand Experience Lab: Gamification
Theme: "The Power of Play: Gamifying Your Live Experience"
At this brand experience lab, you will emerge with real-world digital gamification and analog play ideas that inspire, build relationships and drive engagement – all practical ideas you can apply at your next meeting or event! Facilitated by: David Haus, Director Digital Marketing Services, Freeman and Elizabeth Poston, MBA, Senior Business Development Director, Helios Interactive — a Freeman company.
Brand Experience Lab: Trends
Theme: "Designing the Human Experience"
Learn from industry leaders who are creating immersive event experiences by bridging the gap between physical and digital. Panelists from the Specialty Food Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology; moderated by Dan Sherman, Business Development VP, Freeman.
Brand Experience Lab: Security
Theme: "Priority or Paranoia: Security Intelligence Trends Before, During, and After Your Event"
Topics include data privacy policies; best practices for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); and itemizing security challenges and solutions at facilities. Panelists from ASIS International, the Consumer Technology Association, TokenEx, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; moderated by Richard Reid, VP of Innovations, Freeman.
Brand Experience Lab: Global
Theme: "Go Global, Limit Risks, and Increase Opportunities"
In this session, you'll hear from organizations that have successfully entered the global event stage and how they faced challenges by taking risks. We'll also share strategies to prepare your event and team for the global marketplace. Panelists from the GSMA, the National Business Aviation Association, the American Society of Hematology, and Rooster Teeth Productions, LLC. Moderated by Julie Krueger, Business Development Director, International, Freeman.
If you would like to learn more about Freeman’s Brand Experience Lab program, please email us at BrandExperienceLab@freeman.com.
Freeman is a CMP Preferred Provider. The program(s) identified with the CMP Preferred Provider logo meet the requirements to receive continuing education (CE) credit for the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential. The use of the CMP Preferred Provider Pre-Check logo is not an endorsement by the Events Industry Council of the quality of the session. For more information about the CMP credential or CMP Preferred Provider Program, please visit www.EventsCouncil.org.
Freeman is an approved provider of professional continuing education (CE) hours for the Certified in Exhibition Management™ (CEM) designation offered by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ (IAEE). For more information on the CEM designation, please visit www.iaee.com/cem.