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Freeman makes major marketing moves

freemanHaving recently sold Fern Exposition and Event Services and Party Time Rentals, officials for Freeman are focusing business efforts on “comprehensive experiential marketing” and have hired a long-time industry veteran to make it happen.

Freeman officials have hired Chris Cavanaugh to oversee its merging of several formerly independent units, including Immersa Marketing, Digital Products, Freeman Creative and EventMark. These units will now create one entity focused on providing the experience for the firm’s customers. Cavanaugh has more than 20 years’ experience creating strategic marketing plans for some of the world’s largest and most recognizable businesses, including Pfizer, IBM, Nokia and Target. He most recently served as president and chief marketing officer for Taft, a marketing agency specializing in advertising, public relations and corporate communications.

“Our business model continues to develop to meet changes in the market and the evolving priorities of our customers,” said Joe Popolo, CEO, Freeman. “We are excited to have in Chris an experienced and dedicated leader who is committed to working with his new team to develop a best-in-class experience for customers.”

Cavanaugh formally joins the Freeman team as president of the firm’s newly combined marketing-solutions group on Aug. 20.

Earlier this month, Freeman announced the sell of Fern Exposition & Event Services to Fern’s COO, Aaron Bludworth and an investment group. Freeman purchased Fern in June 2011 as part of the Wheelhouse Solutions acquisition that included Champion Exhibition Services. Fern has remained an independent brand since that time.

Fern is a national contractor, serving more than 1,000 expositions and events annually throughout the United States and Canada. The company has been in business for more than 100 years.

“During the past year, Freeman’s leadership team evaluated the two companies’ strategic goals and advantages, and it became clear that it was in the best interest of both companies for Fern to continue operating as a standalone entity,” said Popolo.

Party Time Rentals, which provides rental equipment for exhibits, parties, weddings, festivals, concerts and other large and small events was sold to Canada-based Groupe ABP. Terms of the deal, which took place in April, were not disclosed. Party Time Rentals operated as an independent unit of Freeman after the firm acquired the rental service in 2000. Freeman and Party Time Rentals will continue to collaborate on various events.

Freeman produces more than 15,000 events annually, including 54 percent of the 250 largest tradeshows in the United States. 


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