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  • Freeman Vice Chair Carrie Freeman Parsons promoted to Chair replacing Don Freeman, who will become Chairman Emeritus in July.
  • Nominations for 2019 Trailblazers Opens for Trade Show Executive’s Trailblazers program which recognizes the industry’s up-and-comers.
  • Marketplace Events (MPE), producer of 66 consumer shows in North America, acquired the Arizona Bridal Shows from Townsquare Live Events LLC.
  • ASBPE names Trade Show Executive as finalist for Magazine of the Year. In addtion, TSE was named as a finalist for three regional awards.
  • Informa Exhibitions reported a 6.7% jump in underlying revenues for 2018 even as it absorbed the blockbuster acquisition of UBM.
  • Reed Exhibitions acquires India BIG7 one of India’s largest trade events for gifts, office supplies, and home décor categories.
  • LVCVA selects Elon Musk’s The Boring Company to collaborate on the creation and operation of a high-speed, underground people mover.
  • MCI launched Investment & Management Partnership, which provides capital & management resources fueling growth of assoc. event portfolios.
  • TSE’s Fastest 50 Class of 2018 Unveiled! These top growth leaders will be celebrated June 18-20, 2019 at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City.
  • Endeavor Business Media acquired multiple PennWell events & media properties from Clarion. They included three trade shows.

An Inside Look at Freeman’s New Data Solutions

Danica Tormohlen
, Editor-at-Large
January 13, 2019
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PITTSBURGH — Earlier this week at PCMA Convening Leaders (#PCMACL), Freeman officially launched Freeman Data Solutions, which includes five software and service offerings engineered to support the full event-data life cycle. 

What does that mean and how will it impact event organizers? Trade Show Executive sat downto see a demo, watch a product presentation, and interview two Freeman executives on the rollout. Here’s what we learned from Ken Holsinger, Vice President of Data Solutions at Freeman, and Skip Cox, Senior Vice President of Research and Measurement, Freeman.

Real-time comprehensive data is critical to a successful live event, but having a holistic system to capture and examine that information has been an ongoing industry challenge, Holsinger said. 

“We have worked on putting this together for the last three years,” said Holsinger, who joined Freeman three years ago through an acquisition of his company. “Not all of the products and services are new, but we have put them together in a digestible, scalable package for the first time.”

Holsinger gave us a deeper dive into the five key offerings that make up Freeman’s Data Solutions.

First, Fuzion by Freeman™ integrates digital solutions by connecting data across all points of the event life cycle in an effort to create a seamless experience for organizers and attendees.

“Freeman has spent the last couple of years building a partner network that today includes 90-plus companies,” Holsinger said. “This product offers APIs (application program interface), security, and exchange of data.” For example, if a customer makes a change in one system, like registration, Fuzion talks to other systems to update that information across platforms. “That’s not trivial,” he said.

Freeman’s open (vs. closed) system allows organizers to integrate data signals from any number of other sources and suppliers.

“We live in an open marketplace,” Holsinger said. “Our data and digital teams work with competitors. In fact, our first big Fuzion and Quant pilot for show was for a GES customer.”

Quant by Freeman™ provides metrics via data visualization in a real-time dashboard with custom views for event organizers, marketing, operations, exhibit sales and more. Trade Show Executive viewed a few samples of the dashboard (see photos). Users can examine the real-time data before, during and after the event. A sampling of the metrics offered includes: registered attendees, first-time attendees, verified attendance, verified attendance index, average sessions attended, mobile app users, mobile app ad impressions, registration demographics, chatbot interactions and more.

Freeman also offers Data Analysis (formerly Exhibit Surveys Inc., acquired by Freeman in 2016), which delivers insight into data while offering data research and measurement based on 50-plus years of industry research from Exhibit Surveys.

“There are 130 benchmarks that show organizers can choose to view,” said Cox. “You can see where your strengths and weaknesses are compared to other shows. We pull together the data in a way that makes sense to tell the story to see how your show can improve.”

Freeman’s Data Design team provides insight into what data must be collected to drive growth, and creates a decision-based framework to support the collection of that data. Holsinger said this team helps organizers determine “what data signals do we have? How do we want to map and adjust for your particular needs?”

Finally, Freeman is investing in Data Science through research and development. Freeman partnered with the University of Southern California on a return on experience (ROX) environment study and the University of Missouri on a growth drivers study.

“USC told us last week they have developed an experience algorithm for the first time,” Holsinger said. “We are aggressive about identifying what’s next on the horizon. How do we finally measure ROX — return on experience?

“Today we can gather data in real time and adjust decisions concurrently. In the future, predictive data will help automate the decision-making process. As this data story continues to evolve, capturing and using data with purpose will be key to thriving in a rapidly changing event environment. We need to learn from the past, transform the present and predict the future. That is the true value of data.”

Pricing for the Freeman Data Solutions is based on scale, customization, research needs and depth of design services.

“In terms of costs, it starts with baseline level integrations all the way through a very high level of customization,” Holsinger said. “It’s approachable for all sizes of shows. Everyone can take advantage of Fuzion and Quant to some extent.”

What’s next?

“Freeman is experimenting with facial recognition and cameras to analyze sentiment,” Holsinger said. “We have also started to look at block chain, but it’s not fully implemented for scale yet. The technology is inexpensive enough, but it’s just a matter of putting it together. We are in a research phase right now.”

Reach Ken Holsinger at (208) 391-4591 and ken.holsinger@freeman.com; Skip Cox at (732) 741-3170 or skip.cox@freemanco.com.

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