Meeting Professionals International

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

Freeman Audio Visual Canada featured in MPI Toronto ME3TING Magazine discussing community involvement

By | Corporate Social Responsibility, Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Interesting Articles, Meeting Professionals International, Women in AV

*La version française suit le message anglais.


Toronto Account Executive Sandra Lijoi, Freeman Audio Visual’s ECOS Project liaison with the MPI Toronto Chapter, is quoted in this July/August issue of MPI Toronto’s ME3TING Magazine, discussing social responsibility initiatives. Read the full article here.





Freeman audiovisuel est fière de continuer à parrainer cette initiative ECOS dans les années à venir

La gestionnaire de comptes Sandra Lijoi de Freeman audiovisuel Toronto, agente de liaison entre Freeman audiovisuel et MPI pour le projet ECOS à Toronto, discute dans le numéro de juillet/août du magazine ME3TING de MPI Toronto des initiatives de responsabilité sociale. Pour lire l’article.

Corporate Social Responsibility: ECOS Project Final Report

By | Corporate Social Responsibility, ECOS, Environmental Leadership, Event highlights, Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Meeting Professionals International

MPI Foundation Canada and Freeman Audio Visual Canada partnered for a sixth year on our joint corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, the Events for Communities of Sustainability (ECOS) Project – a framework to support sustainability in communities based on the principles of People, Planet and Profit.

Having taken place between July 2014 and May 2015, all MPI Canadian Chapters participated with respective local Freeman branches. Although the impact of the project varied widely between chapters, overall the teams positively impacted approximately 3095 community members with volunteerism and generosity.

Atlantic Canada Chapter
Eleven members volunteered for five hours at Feed Nova Scotia greeting sponsors, receiving donation drop offs, sorting donations and re-packing donations for shipment for Feed Nova Scotia’s Adopt-a-Family program.

British Columbia Chapter
During the annual BC Education Conference (BCEC), attendees were given two opportunities to support the ECOS Project. A wine raffle resulted in $125 being raised for the BC Hospitality Foundation, and a food drive led to two boxes of food being delivered to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.

Calgary Chapter
In support of Making Changes, an organization that empowers women to make meaningful contributions to the community through education and meaningful work opportunities, the ECOS team collected donations of gently-used clothing and volunteered at bingo games that raised money for the charity.

Edmonton Chapter
In-kind audio visual support was provided for the Edmonton Food Bank Awards Gala. MPI Edmonton also donated its social fund money and member contributions.

Manitoba Chapter
The team collected three boxes of toys for the Christmas Cheer Board. They also donated $500 and 9,924 grams of baby food to the Winnipeg Food Bank.

Montreal & Quebec Chapter
Just in time for Christmas, a Freeman truck and driver picked up donated goods from the community and delivered them to Sun Youth, a Montreal organization that offers services to youth, seniors, low-income individuals and special-need families. Eighteen ECOS Project volunteers also assisted Sun Youth in distributing holiday gifts, books and food to very appreciative families.

The ECOS team also encouraged members to help make National Meetings Industry Day and Convivium 2015 sustainable events and donated left over food from both meetings to community members in need.

Ottawa Chapter
As part of a fundraising dinner that follows the CSAE Tête-à-Tête Tradeshow, the ECOS team supports the Ottawa Network for Education’s School Breakfast Program. In addition to a financial contribution, members also assist the program by serving breakfast at schools across the city over the course of the year.

Toronto Chapter

The Toronto team collected toys and cash for the Breakfast with Santa Foundation and the MPI Toronto Chapter Education Reserve Fund. Throughout the year, they also raised funds and dozens of books for the Children’s Book Bank. During the Toronto Education Conference, members collected stuffed animals and toys which were delivered to the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital. And lastly, the MPI Toronto Golf Tournament collected gently-used business clothing for the Yonge Street Mission.

*Labour estimated at a conservative $20/hour; value of food estimated at $2.00/pound (food bank valuation).

For a full version of this report, please contact the MPI Foundation .

Montreal Director of Sales Honoured with MPI Montreal & Quebec Volunteer of the Year Award

By | Awards, Corporate Social Responsibility, ECOS, Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Industry News, Meeting Professionals International, Women in AV

*La version française suit le message anglais.

Freeman Audio Visual Canada is very pleased to announce that Montreal Director of Sales Danielle Piche has been awarded Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Montreal & Quebec Chapter’s Volunteer of the Year Award.

The Volunteer of the Year Award acknowledges a planner or supplier who works in the shadows for the industry by getting involved in community and social causes.

“Danielle is committed to promoting the objectives of MPI Foundation Canada and its influence in our industry, whether acquiring financial collaborators for the Canadian Economic Impact Study 3.0 (CEIS 3.0), facilitating MPI educational initiatives or supporting the Events for Communities of Sustainability (ECOS) Project,” said Montreal & Quebec Chapter President Sarah Maisonneuve.

“She also helped pioneer our chapter’s participation in the Sun Youth Christmas gifts distribution program, a cause that is very close to her heart.”

Piche has been an MPI Foundation Canada board member since September 2012.


La directrice des ventes de Montréal décroche le prix du Bénévole de l’année de MPI Montréal et Québec

Freeman audiovisuel Canada a le plaisir d’annoncer que Danielle Piché, directrice des ventes pour Montréal, a reçu le prix Bénévole de l’année de la part de Meeting Professionals International, section Montréal et Québec.

Ce prix reconnaît le travail d’un planificateur ou d’un fournisseur de notre industrie qui a œuvré dans l’ombre au profit de sa collectivité et de causes sociales.

« Danielle a montré son engagement à faire la promotion des objectifs de la Fondation MPI Canada et à en renforcer l’influence dans notre industrie en recrutant des collaborateurs financiers pour l’étude d’impact économique canadienne (CEIS 3.0, pour Canadian Economic Impact Study), en favorisant les initiatives éducatives de MPI et en apportant son soutien au projet ECOS (pour Events for Communities of Sustainability) », a rappelé Sarah Maisonneuve, présidente de la section Montréal et Québec.

« Elle a aussi mené la marche pour que notre section participe au programme de distribution de cadeaux de Noël de Jeunesse au Soleil, une cause qui lui tient à cœur. »

Danielle Piché est membre du conseil d’administration de la Fondation MPI Canada depuis septembre 2012.

Happy North American Meetings Industry Day from Freeman Audio Visual

By | Industry News, Meeting Professionals International, North American Meetings Industry Day

*La version française suit le message anglais.

Meetings and events industry leaders from across Canada, the US and Mexico are coming together today to support the first annual North American Meetings Industry Day (NAMID). Inspired by National Meetings Industry Day (NMID), which was created 20 years ago by MPI Canada, NAMID is meant to showcase the substantial value of meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions.

Here are the facts:
• In 2012, business events in Canada attracted 35.3 million participants and involved $29.1 billion in direct spending across a broad range of participants and non-participants.
• These events delivered $27.5 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012 – approximately 1.5 per cent of Canada’s total GDP.
• Business events contributed $8.5 billion in taxes and service fees to all levels of government.
• Business events supported employment of more than 200,000 full-year jobs directly – nearly double that of telecommunications or utilities.
• Including indirect and induced employment effects, business events in Canada supported more than 340,000 full-year jobs.
• These economic effects were generated by more than 585,000 business events held in Canada during 2012 in more than 2,000 venues.

Freeman Audio Visual celebrates and promotes the achievements of this industry—locally and globally—and wishes its employees, customers, partners and peers across the continent Happy North American Meetings Industry Day!

Statistics source: Canadian Economic Impact Study (CEIS) 3.0., MPI Foundation Canada


Nouvelles de l’industrie :

Des personnalités de l’industrie des événements et des réunions venues de partout au Canada, aux É.-U. et au Mexique se réunissent aujourd’hui pour célébrer la première Journée de l’industrie des réunions de l’Amérique du Nord (JIRAN). Inspirée de la Journée nationale de l’industrie des réunions (JNIR) créée il y a 20 ans par MPI Canada, la JIRAN met en évidence l’importance économique des réunions, conférences, congrès, voyages de motivation, salons commerciaux et expositions.

Quelques faits saillants :
• Au Canada en 2012, les événements d’affaires ont attiré 35,3 millions de participants et occasionné des dépenses directes de 29,1 milliards de dollars touchant une vaste gamme de participants et d’autres personnes.
• Ces événements ont représenté une contribution de 27,5 milliards de dollars au produit intérieur brut (PIB) du Canada en 2012, soit environ 1,5 % du PIB total du pays.
• Les événements d’affaires ont rapporté 8,5 milliards de dollars en taxes et frais de service à l’ensemble des paliers gouvernementaux.
• Ils ont soutenu directement plus de 200 000 emplois à plein temps — près de deux fois plus que les télécommunications ou les services publics.
• Si l’on tient compte des répercussions en emplois indirects et secondaires, les événements d’affaires ont soutenu plus de 340 000 emplois à plein temps.
• Ces retombées économiques sont le résultat de plus de 585 000 événements d’affaires qui se sont déroulés dans plus de 2 000 endroits au Canada.

Freeman audiovisuel célèbre et souligne les réalisations de cette industrie, tant à l’échelle nationale que mondiale, et souhaite à ses employés, à ses clients, à ses partenaires et à ses homologues d’un bout à l’autre du continent une bonne Journée de l’industrie des réunions de l’Amérique du Nord !

Source des statistiques : Canadian Economic Impact Study (CEIS) 3.0 (Étude sur les retombées économiques du secteur des réunions au Canada), Fondation MPI Canada


Event Staging: MPI Ottawa Charity Auction

By | Event highlights, ImaginAction™, Meeting Professionals International

*La version française suit le message anglais.  

Freeman Audio Visual technically supported MPI Ottawa’s Charity Auction and Dinner which hosted over 650 industry professionals. The design strategy for the gala was to utilize the projection screens as décor elements in addition to content displays. Three 9’ x 12’ screens were hung vertically and at different heights to create a layered and textured effect to the stage, while two 12’ x 21’ outside screens were positioned horizontally. ImaginAction™ — our multimedia offering that combines several projectors and display devices to produce widescreen, immersive displays — tied all the projectors together to create seamless images across all five screens. Freeman Audio Visual worked closely with destination-management organizations to collect content, such as photos and videos, and reproduce it all in a format that beautifully complemented the unique screen configuration. Providing an array of special effects, lighting was extremely intensive and utilized to accent 240’ of grey drape, two white spandex set pieces and various trussing elements. All auction proceeds generated throughout the evening benefited the Ottawa Network for Education – School Breakfast Program.


Mise en scène d’événements : Vente aux enchères caritative de MPI Ottawa

Le concept pour le gala consistait à utiliser les écrans de projection non seulement comme support d’affichage, mais aussi comme éléments décoratifs. Trois écrans de 9 pi sur 12 pi étaient suspendus verticalement à des hauteurs différentes pour créer un effet multicouche dégradé, tandis que deux écrans de 12 pi sur 21 pi étaient disposés horizontalement aux extrémités de la scène. L’utilisation d’ImaginActionMC — notre solution multimédia qui combine plusieurs projecteurs et dispositifs pour produire un affichage surdimensionné et immersif — nous a permis de relier les projecteurs les uns aux autres pour créer des images continues sur les cinq écrans. Freeman audiovisuel a travaillé en étroite collaboration avec des organisations de tourisme réceptif pour rassembler des contenus, tels que photos et vidéos, et les reproduire dans un format qui mettait admirablement en valeur cette configuration d’écrans exceptionnelle. Produisant une gamme d’effets spéciaux, un dispositif d’éclairage particulièrement intense a été utilisé pour accentuer une tenture grise de plus de 240 pi de longueur ainsi que deux panneaux d’élasthanne blancs et divers éléments de pont . Les profits des enchères de cette mémorable soirée sont allés au Programme des petits déjeuners du Réseau d’Ottawa pour l’éducation.

MPI Toronto Chapter’s ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ Gala & Fundraiser

By | Environmental Leadership, Event highlights, Meeting Planners, Meeting Professionals International

*La version française suit le message anglais.

MPI Toronto hosted a Holiday Gala Dinner & Fundraiser at the Delta Toronto hotel for 450 meeting professionals. Illustrating the event’s theme, ‘Bright Lights, Big City’, Freeman Audio Visual created a silhouette of Toronto’s skyline using custom-built framework and a central LED wall. Timed with the lighting, this live skyline transitioned from a bright sunny day to a star-filled night through the span of the evening. LED panels were also positioned behind a customized Christmas tree structure which alternated with festive décor and lit up with percentage indicators as funds were raised in support of the MPI’s chosen causes. “We would like to thank Freeman Audio Visual Canada for working with the committee to create a visual of the theme, Bright Lights Big City,” said Lee-Ann Leckie, CMP, President of MPI Toronto Chapter.


Gala-bénéfice Bright Lights, Big City de la division torontoise de MPI

La division torontoise de MPI a tenu un gala-bénéfice des fêtes à l’hôtel Delta Toronto pour 450 professionnels de l’industrie. Pour illustrer le thème de l’événement, Freeman audiovisuel Canada a érigé une imposante structure assortie d’un mur de diodes électroluminescentes (DEL) spécialement conçu pour représenter la silhouette bien connue du paysage urbain de Toronto. Au cours de la soirée, cette structure a affiché une transition d’une journée ensoleillée à une nuit étoilée. Des panneaux de DEL servaient également de toile de fond à un arbre de Noël stylisé sur lequel alternaient des décorations de saison et des indicateurs du taux de succès des collectes de fonds pour les diverses causes soutenues par MPI. « Nous aimerions remercier Freeman audiovisuel Canada pour l’aide apportée à son comité pour la création du thème visuel de Bright Lights Big City » déclare Lee-Anne Leckie, CMP, présidente de la division torontoise de MPI.