Blogs

Aug 06, 2020
Right now, it’s a challenge for many to simply visit the grocery store. What will it be like once things start reopening on a large scale? Will people immediately resume their pre-coronavirus behavior, or will they be wary about being in places with large groups of people? For the events industry, this is a crucial question to unpack, as it determines how they will approach business going forward. What steps will they need to take to ensure that people will continue to attend conferences, expos, panels, and the like? Combining in-person and virtual events With infection numbers on the rise… more
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Aug 04, 2020
Many trade show and conference producers have found themselves in unchartered territory as they’ve made the in-person to online event pivot over the past several months. These professionals have been reading about best practices, researching new vendors, consulting with industry peers and otherwise learning as they go. Meanwhile, there’s another group of industry professionals—a subset of Freeman called Freeman Digital Ventures—that has been producing digital events since 2015. I asked three of the strategists that align with this group, Mark Fein, Stacy O’Connell and Tyler Day, to share what… more
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Jul 30, 2020
As we’ve watched events be forced to postpone, change location and/or go virtual, it got us thinking—do these changes affect an event’s brand? Not if the brand story is strong. Your brand story is a narrative you create around your event that inspires an emotional response. It goes beyond the standard value proposition of describing show features to convey how the experience helps participants be more productive, make more money and advance their careers. In telling a brand story, you draw people into a narrative they not only want to be a part of but also feel they need to be a part of.… more
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Jul 28, 2020
After months of social distancing, people are craving human connection more than ever. As stay-at-home orders expire and the country reopens in some areas, people will return to life — not necessarily as they knew it, but life nonetheless. Restaurants are allowing dine-in customers in limited numbers, and stores are once again opening their doors, albeit cautiously. Another part of life that will return? Experiential marketing. Although the country has been quiet for several months, brands have not. While the world embraces its new normal, experiential marketing will do likewise. Creating… more
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Jul 23, 2020
Do you know how large of a role the live events industry plays in our nation’s economy? If you’re in the events industry, you likely do — but not all Americans are aware. As Congress prepares to deliver new business relief legislation in the upcoming weeks, it’s important to note how big that impact is, as well as the critical characteristics for that legislation to be most effective — for all small businesses and especially those in the events business.  The live events industry employs roughly 2.8 million people, and when factoring in direct jobs and indirect jobs (which includes labor,… more
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Jul 21, 2020
Running a news organization that is focused on trade shows and corporate events, both of which have been stopped in their tracks since mid-March when COVID-19 firmly took hold in the United States, I view our main responsibility to not only report on what is happening in our industry, but also try to highlight as much of the “positive” news as possible. Once the first wave of cancelled shows came in one right after another, and we reported on several of them for TSNN and Corporate Event News, it became clear the hits would keep on coming, so we switched our focus. More reports were released… more
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Jul 16, 2020
Teaching proper trade show etiquette to your booth staff is a must if you want to grab attendees’ attention. Properly greeting, understanding expectations and keeping attendees engaged are all highly important and will impact your exhibiting results. Since COVID-19 has brought on what’s now globally known as social distancing, the rules of etiquette are already shifting. Here’s how some etiquette expectations may shift moving forward once trade shows are back up and running. Greeting Attendees It’s important for your booth staff to stand and greet attendees warmly at the front of your… more
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Jul 14, 2020
The following blog is a response to a recent article that ran on Barron's. In case you were worried, trade shows are not going away, but they will forever change. And that’s an exciting thing. We at Freeman extend our congratulations to Apple and its marketing teams. Apple's Virtual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) was impressive – excellent, even. After all, it was organized by a company with incredible technology and message discipline wrapped in one of the most potent brand narratives, all built around user-centered design. For WWDC, Apple leveraged all the advantages of a… more
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Jul 10, 2020
In the past four months, events have radically shifted from in-person gatherings to virtual events. Speakers play an integral role and can make or break the attendee experience. Understanding the importance presenters play into this dynamic, here are some tips for helping you to create a positive virtual experience for your attendees.  1. Test, Test, Test To ensure everything runs smoothly, schedule a rehearsal with your speakers.  Here is a short checklist of items to practice: Test microphone and audio to confirm optimum sound. Test lighting (i.e., not sitting with back to a window).… more
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Jul 06, 2020
While virtual events are not new to the industry, there’s no doubt that the pandemic has accelerated the switch to online-only conferences considerably. In fact, 70 percent of the respondents in this survey report moving their face-to-face event either partially or fully to an online platform.  This shift to virtual will likely go on until the virus is defeated, as new research suggests large-scale events were at the core of the spread of COVID-19, and many experts predict a second wave is still ahead. Now tasked with holding online events that deliver just as much value as in-person ones,… more
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