Event agency Freeman will go virtual and hybrid with Hubilo

The strategic partnership with virtual events platform Hubilo will offer alternatives to in-person only events.

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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 adding virtual capabilities to their portfolio. Compare Freeman’s approach with that of Splash. Splash developed its 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. Freeman wants to offer its customers a seamless vitual and hybrid option, but has gone the partnership route. Here we see a legacy event agency, with strengths in healthcare and technology conferences, choosing to leverage a virtual specialist to offer customers the full range of options.

Dig deeper: How to tackle the challenges of running successful hybrid events

About the author

Kim Davis
Kim Davis is currently editor at large at MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for almost three 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. Shortly thereafter he joined Third Door Media as Editorial Director at MarTech.

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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