7 Popular Event Trends We Saw This Summer

By | Audience Engagement, Brand Experience, Engagement, Event Trends, Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Industry News, LED Technology, Lighting, Live Social Media Wall, Media Event Staging, Meeting Planners, Meeting Professionals International, News, Quotes, Room Décor, Scenic Design, Social Media, Staging, Tools & Tips

One part of the hysteria surrounding summer is the excitement that comes with its sun-soaked events – low necklines and cold drinks, dancing outside, and enjoying the hazy days of summer with friends and family.

Everything is better in the summer heat, and every year, event planners aim to make their event the talk of the season. The summer represents a great opportunity to stage an event, with it being one of the most lucrative seasons for professional event planners.

Event attendees – especially those who are accustomed to high-budget corporate events – won’t be wooed by the same gimmicks as last year. It may come as a surprise to those who aren’t in the business of planning amazing events, but there are trends that are ushered in each summer that can take an event from same-old to never-be-the-same-again.

It’s all about differentiation and making your event stand out in the minds of your guests. It’s about finding ways to bring people together, fostering connections, and making everything a bit more efficient to set-up and tear down. Here are seven summer event trends we’ve seen this summer that take events to the next level and impress guests with thoughtful ingenuity.

  1. Technology (Apps, Live Streaming, Live SM Interaction)

It’s hardly news at this point; people are plugged in. Over 90% of North Americans own smartphones and are on them for multiple hours a day. It’s the perfect opportunity to connect with guests and have them put their cell phones to good use.

Specialized event apps are amazing for large events that span a day or more, especially when multiple locations, speakers, and itineraries are involved. For a sprawling corporate event with several types of speakers and seminars, it can help to have an app developed that is specific to your event for widespread download.

Encourage your guests to live tweet and post with personalized event hashtags. Modern weddings often combine the last names of the spouses-to-be, allowing everyone who posts to look up each other’s photos and moments easily. Live streaming your event will let those who couldn’t be there feel included. It’s an extension of hospitality that will truly add a caring and trendy touch.

  1. Drone Videos

We all know someone with a drone, and they’re amazing for capturing aerial video. If your summer event is being held in a beautiful outdoor space, capture its magnificence with drone video. You’ll get a beautiful perspective you never thought you’d see, and it makes for great content in a post-event video for attendees to look back on after your event is over.

  1. Non-Traditional Spaces

Barns, warehouses, factories; don’t limit yourself to traditional event venues. Non-traditional spaces offer different pricing than conference centres or banquet halls, have enormous capacity, and have interesting interior elements. Exposed bricks, metal beams, thirty-foot ceilings – your guests will be wowed by your event as soon as they arrive.

  1. Memorable Bars

One of the best parts of any event is the food and beverage. Go the extra mile and create a memorable bar setting. Great drinks are a given, but the bar area itself is a spot where people gather, laugh a little harder, and find the courage to connect with strangers. Up your hosting game from a traditional bar to make your guests feel like they’re at a truly all-out event.

  1. Food Trends on Point

Next to the drinks is the food. If you have mediocre food, often that’s what people will remember about your event. Amazing food will have your guests on cloud nine, pleasing their inner foodies and appreciating your attention to culinary detail.

Donut walls and live cooking are two food trends that are catching on. People also appreciate plant-based, healthy options as more and more folks develop open minds to different diet preferences.

  1. Bring the Dancers

It isn’t a party until there’s dancing! Exploring entertaining with acrobatic tricks and aerial arts, it’s like having a free show alongside your gathering. Your guests will feel so much more inspired to dance when they see the professionals joyously busting out their moves.

  1. Bold Yet Classic Colours

2018 has been a year of experimentation as well as a year of returning to traditional roots, and colour and design schemes are reflecting this. The need to be modern has fallen away and classically beautiful colour combinations are proving to be classics for a reason. It’s always a good thing to give your colour scheme a slight edge, a personal touch that reflects you.

Summer Filippopoulos
Freeman Audio Visual Canada, Sales Manager

Coloured spot lights on stage

Why the Lights are Important to an Event

By | LED Technology, Lighting

“Lights, camera, action!” There’s a reason “lights” comes first in this classic film quote. Lights are one of the most important elements at your event, and they go a lot further than you might think. Bad lighting is always remembered, so to provide an atmosphere of fun, good ambiance and focal attention on the presentation, paying mind to your lighting is the way to go. Here is a list of why the lights are important to an event. Read More

LED lighting is idea for events

Tips for Good Live Lighting

By | Lighting

There’s nothing that can throw off your presentation more than bad lighting. If the presenters are in the dark, your audience will not only be confused, but will quickly lose interest. Ensuring your entire show goes off smoothly and professionally is extremely important when trying to make an impression, so here are some tips for good live lighting to keep in mind for future presentations. Read More

'The Tech Side of New York Comic Con' with Projection, Lights and Staging News

By | Audio, Event highlights, Freeman, Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Hot Technology, Interesting Articles, Lighting, Projection, Video

comiccon ny

Kyle Gaul, technical director for New York Comic Con and director of technology for Freeman Audio Visual south of the border, shares a behind-the-scenes look at the logistics, audio, video, cable, lighting  and crew that work together to assemble and execute New York Comic Con, the largest comic convention in North America.

Read the article in Projection, Lights and Staging News.



Event Staging: Friends of We Care Vintage Circus

By | Event highlights, Lighting, Scenic Design, Staging

 *La version française suit le message anglais. 

The Friends of We Care organization relies on events as major fundraising tools. Throughout the year, the organization works with countless volunteers to bring the foodservice and hospitality industry together with the goal of raising funds to send kids with disabilities to summer camp. When asked to produce a Vintage Circus-themed event for their annual gala, Freeman solutionists’ imaginations went wild with décor possibilities.

Hall 1 of the International Centre was divided into two separate rooms, with completely different purposes. As guests entered the venue, the entrance to the first room was decorated with a red and white custom tent rooftop archway to make the attendees feel as though they were entering the Big Top for a night at the circus.

Once inside, the room was laid out in a carnival setting with gaming stations, a tented silent auction area and various theme-branded stages for entertainment acts. Freeman Audio Visual custom painted the front of the stages with a faux-antique coating using the colours and imagery found on Friends of We Care’s event invitation.

Red and white polysilk fabric swags were draped onto twin 32’ diameter truss circles on the ceiling, creating the peaks of an indoor tent. These configurations were perfectly positioned to hang various lighting fixtures, including sixteen 48’ long festoon light strings which helped to create that old school vintage circus vibe.

At the appropriate hour, a traveler curtain to the left of the main entertainment stage opened revealing the dining space. Dim lighting, hanging silk and crystal curtains helped to create an intimate dining environment. For visuals and speaker IMAG, a central 12’x36’ screen was positioned above the main stage and flanked by 9’x16’ screens on either side, while matching 9’x16’ screens hung at the back of the room.

The silent auction was facilitated by a Daana System which connected the bids from iPads to the main screen.

“The incredible experience and expertise of the entire Freeman Audio Visual team made our event an overwhelming success,” said Kevin J. Collins, Executive Director, Friends of We Care. “From start to finish, they were amazing to work with.”


Mise en scène d’événements :

Un cirque d’antan pour Friends of We Care

Le principal moyen de financement de l’organisme Friends of We Care, ce sont des événements. Toute l’année, l’organisme travaille avec d’innombrables bénévoles pour convaincre l’industrie de l’hébergement et de la restauration d’amasser de l’argent pour permettre à des jeunes ayant un handicap d’aller dans un camp de vacances. Lorsque les solutionnistes de Freeman se sont fait demander de produire un événement sur le thème d’un cirque traditionnel pour le gala annuel, leur imagination s’est envolée.

La salle no 1 de l’International Centre a été séparée en deux sections aux vocations complètement distinctes. L’entrée principale, par laquelle les participants accédaient à la première section, imitait un toit de tente rouge et blanc afin que les invités aient l’impression d’entrer dans le chapiteau d’un cirque.

Une fois à l’intérieur, la pièce présentait un décor de carnaval avec des kiosques de jeu, une tente abritant un encan silencieux et des plateaux thématiques où l’on donnait divers spectacles. Freeman audiovisuel avait donné un fini patiné au devant des scènes et y avait reproduit le graphisme de l’invitation dans les mêmes couleurs.

Des festons rouges et blancs en PolySilkMD étaient drapés sur deux treillis circulaires de 32 pi de diamètre afin de suggérer les sommets d’un chapiteau. Ces configurations étaient parfaitement placées pour y suspendre divers appareils d’éclairage, dont 16 guirlandes lumineuses de 48 pi de longueur qui contribuaient à créer une ambiance de cirque traditionnel.

À l’heure prévue, un rideau à la grecque s’est ouvert sur le côté gauche de la scène principale pour révéler une salle de banquet. Un éclairage tamisé de même que des rideaux de soie et de cristaux ont permis de créer une atmosphère de réception intime. Pour diffuser des photos et de l’imagerie, un écran central de 12 pi sur 36 pi était placé au-dessus de la scène principale et flanqué de deux écrans de 9 pi sur 16 pi, auxquels correspondaient deux autres écrans de 9 pi sur 16 pi suspendus au fond de la salle.

L’encan silencieux a été facilité par un système Daana qui transmettait les offres des iPad à l’écran principal.

« L’expérience et l’expertise incroyable de toute l’équipe de Freeman audiovisuel a fait de notre événement un énorme succès », explique Kevin J. Collins, directeur général de Friends of We Care. « Du début à la fin, ç’a été impressionnant de travailler avec eux. »

Event Staging: RE/MAX Integra Awards

By | Creative Services, Event highlights, Lighting

*La version française suit le message anglais.

When 150 of RE/MAX’s top sales producers walked into the ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel, they were greeted by a peculiar round stage positioned in the centre of the room and encircled by a silk curtain. Once attendees took their seats, the lightweight fabric fell to dramatically reveal two twin harp players on stage. At the front of the room, a projection surface comprised of a seamless 16’x36’ white material stretched across a custom aluminum box-tube frame displayed a multimedia presentation, designed by our Creatives Services team, highlighting RE/MAX’s highest achievers. Demonstrating a Spring theme, LED lights were utilized to project cherry blossoms around the room, complementing the cherry blossoms that were painted and uplit on the ballroom wall. Several other lighting effects were used to enhance the environment, performers and speakers. “Thank you for your efforts in making yet another event a fabulous success,” said a RE/MAX representative. “We had a room full of very high-end clients that were blown away.”


Mise en scène d’événements : Prix RE/MAX Integra

Lorsque 150 des meilleurs vendeurs de l’agence immobilière RE/MAX sont entrés dans la salle de bal de l’hôtel Quatre Saisons, ils ont trouvé une étrange scène ronde entourée d’un rideau de soie qui occupait le centre de la salle. Une fois tous les participants assis, ce léger rideau est tombé, révélant soudain la présence de deux harpistes jumelles . À l’avant de la salle, un écran de tissu blanc d’une seule pièce, mesurant 16 pi sur 36 pi et tendu sur un châssis en tubulure d’aluminium, offrait à tous les regards une projection multimédia conçue par notre équipe des Services créatifs et mettant en vedette les agents RE/MAX les plus performants. Illustrant un thème printanier, des ampoules DEL projetaient, tout autour de la pièce, des fleurs de cerisier, qui complétaient l’effet créé par d’autres fleurs de cerisier peintes et illuminées sur le mur de la salle. Divers autres effets d’éclairage rehaussaient le décor et mettaient en valeur les lauréats et les conférenciers. « Merci de vos efforts qui, encore une fois, ont transformé un événement en fabuleux succès », de dire un représentant de RE/MAX. « La salle était remplie de clients très importants qui n’en croyaient pas leurs yeux. »

Future Lighting Trends and Predictions for Corporate Meetings and Events

By | Hot Technology, Industry News, Lighting

*La version française suit le message anglais.

In today’s modern meeting environment, lighting is used for so much more than enhancing a speaker’s presence on stage and ensuring a quality video recording. In many cases, lighting is vital to the overall energy of an event.

Meetings in Progress editors recently had a chance to sit down with Freeman Audio Visual Canada’s Lighting Director Daniel Sonenberg and talk about the latest developments in live-event lighting. From current and future trends to Freeman’s newest lighting offering, Sonenberg enlightened us with the industry’s brightest advancements.

MIP: Based on your observations at the last Live Design International (LDI) tradeshow—which caters to the live show and lighting markets—can we expect any exciting new products to impact the industry in the near future?

DS: In the past few years, we haven’t seen any revolutionary products emerging in the market. Manufacturers continue to tweak and improve upon existing products. We are continuing to see a larger number of LED replacements for our standard conventional fixtures, as well as LED conversion kits. The costs of these items are starting to come down, while the light output is increasing to almost match that of their incandescent counterparts.

MIP: What is currently popular, in terms of lighting design, for corporate meetings and events?

DS: Recently, moving beam fixtures have been in greater demand in the market, so there has been a resurgence in Arc fixtures, as LED fixtures cannot compete with the output and narrow beam found in this segment.

MIP: What do you predict the lighting trend for corporate meetings will be in the near future?

DS: Based on what we’ve seen at industry tradeshows, it is likely there will be a complete shift from incandescent lights to LEDs, as LEDs continue to become more cost-and-energy efficient and their intensity increases. This has been a long-term trend that I believe will come to full fruition in the next ten years or so. LDI featured the first LED strobe light that behaved like an incandescent strobe light, with both the feel and decay (dimming curve) of its conventional counterpart. This shows that manufacturers are making good headway into making LED the standard.

MIP: What is the coolest new lighting product we have in inventory?

DS: I’m really excited about our Robe Pointe moving lights with zoom capabilities from two degrees, all the way to 20 degrees. They are brand new to the market and boast beam, profile and wash functionalities. They allow us to incorporate a variety of diverse effects with a fraction of the equipment.

For more information on how Freeman Audio Visual’s range of lighting offerings can set the scene or add vitality to your next event, contact your Account Executive, or drop us a line today.


Dans l’environnement moderne des réunions, l’éclairage sert à beaucoup plus que simplement mettre en valeur les conférenciers et assurer des enregistrements vidéo de qualité. Souvent, l’éclairage est essentiel à l’énergie générale d’un événement.

Récemment, la rédaction de Réunions en progrès (REP) a eu l’occasion de s’entretenir avec un directeur de l’éclairage de Freeman audiovisuel Canada, Daniel Sonenberg, et de parler de l’évolution récente dans le domaine de l’éclairage des événements en direct. Des tendances actuelles à celles de demain, en passant par l’offre de Freeman en matière d’éclairage, M. Sonenberg a passé en revue une gamme de brillants avancements dans ce domaine.

REP : D’après ce que vous avez pu voir au dernier salon Live Design International (LDI), consacré au marché des spectacles en direct et de l’éclairage, pouvons-nous nous attendre à ce que de nouveaux produits emballants viennent bientôt changer notre industrie ?

DS : Ces dernières années, nous n’avons vu aucun produit révolutionnaire apparaître sur le marché. Les fabricants continuent à modifier légèrement leurs produits pour les améliorer. Nous continuons d’assister à un grand nombre de remplacements de nos luminaires standard traditionnels par des DEL ainsi qu’à l’apparition de trousses de conversion DEL. Le prix de ces articles commence à baisser tandis que l’intensité du flux lumineux atteint maintenant des niveaux presque comparables à ceux de leurs équivalents incandescents.

REP : Qu’est-ce qui est actuellement populaire en matière d’éclairage pour les réunions d’entreprises et les événements ?

DS : Récemment, les luminaires à faisceaux ont connu une popularité accrue sur le marché, nous avons assisté à une résurgence des projecteurs à arc étant donné que les luminaires à DEL ne peuvent pas encore produire des faisceaux aussi étroits et intenses que ces produits.

REP : Que croyez-vous que sera la tendance des éclairages pour les réunions d’entreprises dans un avenir prochain ?

DS : Si nous nous fions à ce que nous voyons dans les salons de l’industrie, les dispositifs à DEL supplanteront probablement leurs concurrents à incandescence étant donné que les DEL deviennent plus efficaces et moins coûteuses. C’est une tendance amorcée depuis longtemps qui, je crois, arrivera à pleine maturité dans une dizaine d’années.

Au dernier salon LDI, j’ai vu pour la première fois une lampe stroboscopique à DEL qui éclairait aussi bien qu’une lampe incandescente, avec la même qualité et la même gradation. Cela montre que les fabricants de luminaires à DEL sont en bonne voie d’imposer leur norme.

REP : Quel est le nouveau produit d’éclairage le plus « génial » dont Freeman dispose aujourd’hui ?

DS : Je suis vraiment enthousiasmé par le projecteur rotatif Pointe de ROBE avec son effet de zoom de 2 à 20 degrés ! Il vient d’arriver sur le marché et on le dit doté de capacités de faisceau, de profil et d’effet Wash. Il nous permet d’incorporer à la volée toute une gamme d’effets avec une fraction de l’équipement.

Pour en savoir plus sur la manière dont l’offre de Freeman audiovisuel en matière d’éclairage peut ajouter à la vitalité de votre prochain événement, appelez votre gestionnaire de comptes chez Freeman ou écrivez-nous sans tarder.

Go Towards the Green Light

By | LED Technology, Lighting, Meeting Planners


Going green has become a bit of a buzz term– but unlike fads, this is for a good reason! The effects of global warming and the negative impact it has on our planet are finally being acknowledged. Becoming more eco-friendly and having awareness of sustainable products is a trend that we love and are definitely getting behind. Being in the know of what you can do to make your habits greener and minimizing your eco-footprint is beneficial to everyone.

Eco FriendlyNext time you’re planning a meeting or event, outside of basic set-up questions, asking about how big of an environmental impact the equipment has will leave you more informed about your decisions and help you choose the right gear. Here are a couple AV products that have eco-friendlier options.

When it comes to lighting, no one wants to skimp out. It really does set the stage for a presentation or meeting.Lighting can make or break the whole event. That said, lighting is also the biggest consumer of power at an event. How can you ensure that you are getting the effect you want, but at the same time remaining eco-friendly? Companies, us included, are moving towards using more efficient lighting solutions that that maintain the same great output as standard lighting systems.

The use of LED lighting and displays are making a significant difference in the way energy is consumed at events. LED lighting only consumes a fraction of the power of traditional options, like Tungsten lighting. Additionally, LED displays are slim, lightweight, and have a great, modern, edge–to-edge display that allows viewers to watch comfortably from any angle. A display that is great for sustainability measures, in addition to making a presentation clearer, more modern, and well-received by those in the audience, is a win-win for all involved. LEDlights

In addition to LED products being green and maintaining/exceeding the quality we’re used to, another large factor is the amount of money saved. While LED offerings may be more expensive up-front, the long-term benefits of using green products goes a long way in saving the amount spent on energy!

To really have your next meeting or event stand out, choose green solutions and keep everyone happy – including your wallet! Contact us for more information on our greener event solutions.

What You Need to Plan an Event

By | Audience Engagement, Lighting, Projection, Video, Webcasts

event planning


The job of an event planner has many opportunities for fun, sociability and creativity. While this may be true, a lot of little things go into event planning that are not noticed by those attending, but are crucial in making or breaking an event. If you’re new to event planning or have received the responsibility of putting together your company’s next meeting, we’re here to help ease some of your concerns. Whether you’re putting together a press conference, product launch, sales meeting, awards ceremony, or company-wide meeting, here’s a quick guide of the technical side of meeting planning, so you can focus on the fun stuff!

When planning your event, whether it’s small-scale or large, having visual stimulation that compliments your company’s brand and makes a lasting impression is key. Think about creating a backdrop that draws attention to your speakers and looks great for photos. Custom sets are definitely a good option, depending on your time constraints. They help tie the theme of the event together and generate excitement amongst those attending.

Based on the nature of your event, video could be something required, or a great added plus. For pre-event promotion, on-site presentations and archived content, video serves a great purpose. Ensuring your videographer is of high quality and professionalism is important, as the after-experience is just as meaningful as what happens during the event. Having the option to choose from different digital video recording formats is helpful and saves you time after the event.

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of an event. To make speakers the main focal point, produce better-quality photos and videos, and create the right atmosphere, lighting is a main component. Having the choice of different lighting systems, from environmentally-friendly to coloured and moving options, set the tone for your event.

Live events can be broadcasted to any corner of the world, and your audience reach can be that much bigger with webcasting. Keeping this in mind, choose a webcaster that can give you the optimal viewing capability for your needs, as you want your event to go smoothly for those seated in front of you, as well as those on a computer or mobile device.

Projection is just as important as lighting when it comes to a live event. Your entire presentation must be visible to those in the audience, and having a projection screen that allows for maximum viewing is essential and can add great stimulation to the crowd. Think about graphics, animations, and video clips to ensure your message is put across in the best way possible.

Freeman Audio Visual Canada has all the solutions you need in order to pull off a fantastic event. Contact us for quotes, information, or ideas on how to create your best event yet.

Top 5 Christmas Light Displays Around the World

By | Lighting

richads-fmaily-home-lightsIt’s that time of year again! Time to dust of the old Christmas lights. While a row of lights over the garage is enough to participate in the holiday cheer, some people really take this tradition to the next level. The following are 5 of the best Christmas light displays you’ll find around the world.

Richards Family Home – Canberra, Australia

In 2013 David and Janean Richards set a new Guinness World Record with their home’s ginormous light display. With over half a million lights, the display has more lights than any other residential property in the world. David starts setting up the display in October and when it’s fully lit in December, it adds about $2,500 to his electric bill.

Callaway Gardens – Georgia, USA

Nestled in the large Callaway Gardens resort outside of Columbus, this incredible display features over 8 million lights depicting classic holiday scenes like ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. You can visit the annual display from November 18th to December 30th.

Kobe Luminarie – Kobe, Japan

This intricate light display in Kobe, Japan may look festive, but these lights aren’t here to celebrate the holidays. These lights commemorate the tragic earthquake that struck the city in 1995. Now an annual tradition, millions of people pay their respects and marvel at the lights every December.

grand-place-brusselsGrand Place – Brussels, Belgium

If chowing down on Belgian waffles and sipping on mulled wine sound like good holiday activities to you, this is one light display you won’t want to miss. The famous central square of Brussels illuminates its beautiful historic buildings and hosts a Christmas market with 240 chalets serving holiday goodies.

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights – Florida, USA

If you’re looking for something really over the top, it doesn’t get much better than Walt Disney World’s Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Over 2 million lights are synchronized perfectly with holiday music and topped off with enchanting snowflakes fuelled by 33 snow machines.

We may not be able to set up your family’s Christmas lights for you, but we sure know our sound and lighting. Our years of audio-visual expertise and numerous sound, lighting, and technology solutions come together to make your event best in class. If you’re looking for an AV partner for your next event, contact us today.