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When Outrageous Ideas Catch On

By Bob Priest-Heck

One of the most rewarding things in the world is seeing an outrageous idea come to life and enjoy so much success that it no longer seems outrageous. Almost eight years ago, Freeman leadership supported the outrageous idea of applying brand marketing concepts to the live experiences we produced. Many of our customers told us they needed not only the best logistics and operational support that Freeman was known for, but also integrated strategic, creative and digital expertise. It was clear to us that the future of the live medium called for a full orchestration of each brand experience.

We had the vision, but also knew we had to establish the capability at scale and build credibility before we could declare Freeman a full-service brand experience company. That was the genesis of FreemanXP, our boutique creative agency within Freeman. It gave us a way to build trust with our customers, from small associations to huge corporate brands, who quickly learned Freeman could partner with them to solve the myriad challenges they faced in elevating their events, conferences and expositions. FreemanXP proved that the market is ready for an integrated, full service offering.

Our team has worked to not only strengthen the company’s core service of excellence in delivery, but to actively design the future of Freeman and the medium of live. A few highlights from just the last few years:

Executed industry-leading work
Expanded Global Services
  • In addition to successful offices in North America and the U.K., Freeman recently expanded into Australia, Singapore, China, and UAE.
  • Acquired Staging Connections Group, a leading agency and event technology company.
Launched new digital and data initiatives
  • Launched Fuzion by Freeman™, an open product ecosystem that solves industry-wide integration issues between digital tools by connecting data across all points of the event ecosystem.
  • Introduced data consulting services and our data visualization platform, Quant by Freeman™.
  • Acquired the digital technology company Info Salons, a leading provider of registration and attendee database management solutions.
  • Acquired the leading interactive agency, Helios Interactive.
  • Launched Blueprint by Freeman™, a web-based floor plan management system designed to transform the way show organizers plan, manage and sell event booth space.
Invested in Strategic Resources
  • Acquired Exhibit Surveys, a leading research and measurement firm.
  • Acquired Com/otion, a U.K.-based strategy organization that specializes in delivering customer-centric strategy, transformation and talent solutions to clients globally.
  • Acquired mdg, a full-service event marketing and public relations agency.
  • Expanded our sponsorship team to help solve clients revenue and audience engagement challenges.
  • Expanded into sports marketing with the acquisition of BaAM, a leading sports marketing agency.
  • Received the prestigious ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System certification, the first in the industry to do so on a global scale.
Expanded Design Expertise
  • Brought on design luminary Bruce Mau, author of the Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, as our Chief Design Officer.
  • Acquired Fusion, a boutique agency that develops innovative creative solutions supported by a best-in-class production team.

All of this work has enabled Freeman to better serve its customers as the world’s leading brand experience company, with deep expertise in strategy, creative, logistics, digital, and event technology to help clients increase audience engagement and drive business results.

It all comes down to answering our clients’ demands for integrated solutions — making it easier and more rewarding for them to engage with Freeman. To this end, we have already integrated our Freeman Expo, Freeman AV, and Freeman Digital divisions, and several acquisitions. And at the end of January 2019, the group known as FreemanXP will simply become Freeman — an acknowledgment that we are all part of an integrated enterprise organized around our customers. FreemanXP talent is now everywhere throughout Freeman, working alongside our experts in logistics and delivery, designing and orchestrating brand experiences for clients who are realizing the full potential of live events.

They say the best way to predict the future is to create it. We’re not done creating our future — but, for those of us at Freeman, we are most excited about the future we are creating together with our clients.

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