Freeman, the global design and production company for trade shows, expos, conventions and other events has announced a strategic partnership with virtual events platform Hubilo. Freeman, which produces well over 10,000 events annually in North America, will now offer a ready-to-use digital component for events of all sizes.

Freeman was founded in 1927 and has spent almost a century creating in-person events. Hubilo, only five years old, will bring virtual components like custom branding, personalized networking, break out sessions, digital booths and virtual happy hours.

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Why we care. Few trends in the event marketing space are more obvious than vendors that once focused on in-person who are adding virtual capabilities to their portfolio. Splash developed their proprietary Splash Studio in house. CEO Eric Holmen told us, “If you’d asked me when I joined Splash two years ago, would we be doing virtual events, I’d have said, no, we’re going to focus where we’re strong, on in-person events.” 

The voice of the customer was decisive for Splash. As brands look for single solutions for in-person, hybrid and virtual events, event management companies that can offer only in-person or virtual will be at a disadvantage. Here we see a legacy event agency, with strengths in healthcase and technology conferences, choosing to leverage a virtual specialist to offer customers the full range of options.

Read next: How to tackle the challenges of running successful hybrid events

About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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