Environmental Leadership

2019 Sustainable Event Trends in Event Technology

By Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Brand Experience, Breakout Sessions, Corporate Social Responsibility, Design Thinking, Education, Engagement, Environmental Leadership, Event highlights, Event Trends, Exhibits, Expo, Freeman Face to Face blog, Hot Technology, Industry News, News, Photos, Scenic Design, Video walls

You could say the quest for sustainability has touched all industries at one point or another. The event industry is no different in that organizers are constantly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. From outdoor festivals to interactive exhibits, companies are increasingly opting for eco-friendly solutions.

When it comes to event technology, Encore Canada is making a conscious effort to offer sustainable experiences. From digital banners to virtual reality headsets, there are many ways to deliver an exciting experience that has little to no impact on the environment. So let’s take a look at some of the biggest sustainability trends to hit the industry this year.

Digital Banners

From flyers to posters, there’s no doubt the amount of paper used to promote an event. That’s why many organizers are looking to digital solutions instead. Digital banners are an excellent alternative to hard-copy signage. This innovative marketing tactic is much more versatile than a traditional banner. A digital backdrop not only saves on paper and printing costs — but allows event organizers to create an impressive visual display that will captivate their guests.

Digital banners work well when they’re incorporated into your stage’s set design. You can also display them prominently along venue walls for a truly immersive experience. Encore Canada can help you capture your event’s theme and messaging in a series of digital banners. This medium is also ideal for sponsorship loops, corporate branding or animated content.

Mobile Event Apps

Hard-copy event itineraries are becoming less popular as organizers look for paperless solutions instead. One of the best ways to share information with your attendees is through a mobile app. Encore Canada a has the expertise to help planners build an app that all guests can tap into on the day of the event.

A mobile app is an eco-friendly way to provide venue directions, share event photos or notify attendees of special highlights ahead. This paperless solution also allows organizers to make last-minute changes to information and send out updates in real-time.

Virtual Reality Headset

Virtual reality headsets are promoting sustainability by cutting down on the need for physical transportation. That’s because these innovative devices can send your guests to far-off places, which would have been otherwise inaccessible. VR’s popularity comes at a time when event planners are debating whether virtual experiences would replace face-to-face interactions. Although many companies still prefer in-person gatherings, VR can be used as an intriguing side component.

Virtual reality headsets can place attendees in an alternative state where they can experience interesting situations. By immersing the user in a 360-degree view of entirely different worlds, organizers are giving users an opportunity to interact with the environment in a very sustainable way.

Live Streaming

Live streaming is an excellent way to incorporate sustainability during an event. Keep your travel footprint low by allowing guests to watch the gathering online or on a projector at a remote location. By keeping the in-person guest list down, organizers can opt for a smaller venue, which will help reduce the event’s overall carbon footprint. Live streaming also allows for digital advertising, which will dramatically reduce paper waste and provides an additional revenue source for your event.

Energy-Efficient Technology

Event technology devices tend to consume a lot of energy, especially when it comes to interactive displays. That’s why the industry is turning to event technology with energy-efficient components. LED lighting, for example, is becoming increasingly popular — as is the use of daylight instead of artificial light to brighten a venue. Preference is also given to Energy Star products, especially when it comes to sound and stage equipment. Set-up crews are also turning down lighting levels during the event’s setup and tear-down phases.

Be ‘Green’ with Encore Canada

Our friendly team of event technology experts can help you design and implement an event that has little to no impact on the environment. Conservation and reduction initiatives are an excellent way to drive profits. By showing customers that you care about the social impacts of your company’s actions, doors may open to new clients and opportunities.

Rely on Encore Canada to deliver technology solutions that are responsible and motivated. Together, we can help the event industry raise its ecological-consciousness — and bring consumers a truly sustainable experience.

For more information on sustainable event technology, call Encore Canada at 1-800-868-6886 or contact us here.

Freeman Audio Visual Canada Achieves New Milestone in Sustainable Event Standards

By Certifications, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Leadership, Facilities, Green AV, Industry News, Press Releases

*La version française suit le message anglais.

Freeman Audio Visual Whistler APEX-ASTM certification

In partnership with Tourism Whistler and the Whistler Conference Centre, Freeman Audio Visual Canada has recently become the first AV company in the country to achieve Level 1 APEX/ASTM sustainability certification.

APEX is spearheaded by the US Environmental Protection Agency and its relationship with the Green Meeting Industry Council. Standards were developed in collaboration between APEX and ASTM (an ANSI-certified international standard development organization). The standards are referred to as the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standards. There are nine independent standards, relative to meetings and events. Each standard is comprised of eight environmental impact areas including staff management and environmental policy, communications, waste, energy, air quality, water, procurement and community partners.

Freeman Audio Visual Canada has been influential in implementing sustainable operational and event practices for several years. Recognized by the industry with InfoComm International’s Sustainable AV Technology Award in 2010 and 2014, the company also achieved REfficient’s Waste Diversion Champions Master Level twice for diverting between 10,000 and 99,999 pounds from landfills in 2014 and 2015.

“Freeman has a reputation as a responsible leader in the audio visual industry, due in no small part to its invaluable business relationships,” said Kevin MacKillop, National Director of Operations, Freeman Audio Visual Canada. “We are fortunate to be the in-house audio visual provider to facilities like the Whistler Conference Centre which prioritize green-meeting options and help us to meet our sustainability goals.”

Tourism Whistler led the certification process achieving a level 1 certification in the following four standards: Meeting Venue, Food and Beverage, Destination, and Audio Visual.

“We celebrate this achievement with Freeman Audio Visual Whistler, the conference centre and the entire resort,” said Karen Goodwin, Tourism Whistler’s Vice President of Market Development and Sales. “The certification offers event organizers added assurance that they are working with proven leaders in sustainability.”


Freeman audiovisuel Canada franchit une étape clé relativement aux normes d’événements écoresponsables

En partenariat avec Tourism Whistler et le Whistler Conference Centre, Freeman audiovisuel Canada est devenue tout récemment la première entreprise de technologie audiovisuelle au pays à obtenir la certification de durabilité APEX/ASTM de niveau 1.

APEX (pour Accepted Practices Exchange) est une initiative menée par l’EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) des États-Unis en coopération avec le Green Meeting Industry Council. Les normes élaborées pour cette certification sont issues de la collaboration entre APEX et l’ASTM, un organisme voué à la création de normes internationales et certifié par l’ANSI (American National Standards Institute). On les appelle « normes APEX/ASTM pour événements écoresponsables ». Chaque norme inclut huit aspects ayant un impact environnemental, soit la gestion de personnel et les politiques environnementales, les communications, les déchets, l’énergie, la qualité de l’air, l’eau, l’approvisionnement et les partenaires communautaires.

Freeman audiovisuel Canada fait école depuis plusieurs années pour ce qui est d’adopter des pratiques durables en entreprise et dans l’organisation d’événements. La compagnie a reçu non seulement l’approbation de son industrie en 2010 et en 2014 lorsqu’elle a reçu le Prix de technologie durable d’InfoComm, elle s’est également illustrée en atteignant à deux reprises le Waste Diversion Champions Master Level (le niveau « maître » des Champions du détournement de déchets) de REfficient pour avoir détourné de 10 000 à 99 999 livres de déchets des sites d’enfouissement en 2014 et 2015.

« Freeman a la réputation d’être un chef de file de l’industrie audiovisuelle, en grande partie grâce à ses précieux partenariats d’affaires », rapporte Kevin MacKillop, directeur national des opérations chez Freeman audiovisuel Canada. « Nous avons le privilège d’être le fournisseur attitré de services audiovisuels pour des établissements comme le Whistler Conference Centre, qui mettent la priorité sur les options écoresponsables et nous aident à atteindre nos objectifs de développement durable. »

Tourism Whistler a coordonné le processus de certification qui a abouti à une certification de niveau 1 pour les quatre aspects suivants : installations de congrès, restauration, destination et services audiovisuels.

« Nous célébrons cette réussite avec Freeman audiovisuel Whistler, le centre de conférences et tout le centre de villégiature », déclare Karen Goodwin, vice-présidente du développement d’affaires et des ventes à Tourism Whistler. « Cette certification donne aux organisateurs d’événements une assurance accrue qu’ils travaillent avec des chefs de file reconnus du développement durable. »


Partner Announcement: MTCC says farewell to zero-waste events. But don’t worry; it’s a happy goodbye!

By Convention Centres, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Leadership, Partner Announcement
 *La version française suit le message anglais.
The Metro Toronto Convention Centre says farewell to its zero-waste events. But don’t worry; it’s a happy goodbye! In 2005, the Centre started a radical program designed to reduce the environmental footprint of events hosted there. Its name: the Zero Waste Event. They had been recycling as a facility for quite some time before launching this sustainable meeting solution, but this was to be something new. Read more.
Le Palais des congrès du Toronto métropolitain dit adieu à ses événements zéro déchets. Mais ne vous inquiétez pas, c’est un bel adieu ! En 2005, le Palais avait lancé un programme audacieux destiné à réduire l’empreinte environnementale des événements qu’il accueillait. Son nom : l’Événement Zéro Déchets. L’établissement faisait déjà du recyclage depuis un bon bout de temps avant d’offrir cette solution durable pour les congrès qui annonçait quelque chose d’entièrement nouveau. Lire la suite (en anglais seulement).

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 .

Freeman VP Sustainability Tells Us Why Green Events Are Everyone’s Business

By Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Leadership, Face-to-Face with Freeman blog
Published by Jeff Chase, Vice President, Sustainability | Source: Face-to-Face with Freeman blog

Who should be involved in helping show management achieve its event sustainability? During a recent gathering of the Freeman Sustainability Customer Advisory Group at the Green Meetings Industry Council Sustainable Meetings Conference, the answer was a simple: Everyone. Event sustainability does not only occur onsite during a meeting or trade show. In many cases, organizations have a sustainability policy or philosophy that all employees—and their vendors—are expected to follow. There are many stakeholders involved before, during and after an event that are critical to meeting event sustainability goals.

Read more


By Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Leadership, Press Releases

*La version française suit le message anglais.

waste_diversion_champions-2015Freeman Audio Visual Canada is proud to announce it has made the REfficient Waste Diversion Champions list for the second year in a row. The Waste Diversion Champions list recognizes companies that have reached impressive levels of reusing, buying, reselling and recycling surplus assets.

REfficient is an online marketplace that allows companies to buy quality telecom, AV and IT equipment at significant discounts from sustainable sources.

“We acknowledge Freeman for embracing the reduce-reuse-recycle concept,” said REfficient CEO Stephanie McLarty “The company not only puts the 3Rs into practice with their surplus equipment, they also share their results publicly with pride and enthusiasm. This is a great demonstration of leadership in sustainability.”

The Waste Diversion Champions program recognized 19 companies that have diverted at least 1000 pounds from landfills in the last year through buying, reusing, reselling or recycling their surplus assets. With three program recognition levels, Freeman Audio Visual Canada is included in the Master Level, which means it has diverted 10,000-99,999 pounds from landfills.

“Sustainable equipment management is an integral part of our company culture,” said Johanne Bélanger, President, Freeman Audio Visual Canada. “It is wonderful to be recognized for our day-to-day processes, and we’re grateful to REfficient for providing us with a recycling solution that aligns with our specific needs.”



Freeman audiovisuel Canada est fière d’annoncer qu’elle a été désignée championne en réacheminement des déchets par REfficient et ce, pour la deuxième année d’affilée. La liste Waste Diversion Champions reconnaît les entreprises qui ont atteint des niveaux impressionnants de réutilisation, d’achat, de revente et de recyclage de biens excédentaires.

REfficient est un cybermarché qui permet aux entreprises d’acheter au rabais des équipements de télécommunication et d’audiovisuel de qualité et provenant de sources durables.

« Nous sommes reconnaissants que Freeman adopte le concept réduire-réutiliser-recycler, » a déclaré la PDG de REfficient, Stephanie McLarty « non seulement l’entreprise met le concept des 3R en pratique avec leurs équipements excédentaires, mais ils partagent également leurs résultats publiquement avec fierté et enthousiasme. C’est une grande preuve de leadership en développement durable. »

Le programme de champion en réacheminement des déchets a reconnu 19 entreprises ayant détourné au moins 450 kilos des sites d’enfouissement l’an dernier grâce à l’achat, la réutilisation, la revente ou le recyclage de leurs biens excédentaires. Avec trois niveaux de reconnaissance du programme, Freeman audiovisuel Canada s’est classée au rang supérieur, ce qui signifie qu’il a détourné entre 4500 et 45000 kilos des sites d’enfouissement.

“La gestion responsable d’équipement est bien ancrée dans notre culture d’entreprise,” mentionne Johanne Bélanger, présidente, Freeman audiovisuel Canada. “C’est merveilleux d’être reconnus pour nos pratiques courantes, et nous sommes reconnaissants à REfficient de nous fournir une solution de recyclage adaptée à nos besoins.

Corporate Social Responsibility: 2014 Annual Report

By Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Leadership, Freeman Audio Visual Employees

customerserviceweek collage english

Twenty-fourteen was a year of rebirth and renewal for Canada’s leading audio visual and presentation solutions company. On January 10, 2014, we announced a complete brand makeover. And with the rebranding of AVW-TELAV Audio Visual Solutions to Freeman Audio Visual came a massive relabelling project involving all our equipment, road cases, clothing and vehicles. As such, careful consideration was taken to undergo all aspects of this transformational endeavor with a green thumb.

Freeman Audio Visual also concluded its final year of a five-year joint corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment with MPI Foundation Canada and in December 2014 renewed for another 5 years. The Events for Communities of Sustainability (ECOS) Project once again created numerous opportunities for the meetings and events industry to give back to its local communities. This past year, our volunteers produced some very promising results, and we announced that 2014 would not mark the ending of ECOS but, rather, a new beginning.With spirit and enthusiasm, Freeman employees continued to partake in socially-conscientious activities at the national and local level.

In addition to some of our usual charitable pursuits—like Movember and Dare to Give—some technical personnel assisted Freeman Audio Visual in fulfilling its obligation to the meeting industry’s future leaders by getting involved in student job-shadowing programs and hosting post-secondary speaking engagements. They also found time to celebrate each other during our annual Customer Service Week and AV Month celebrations, and by way of company and peer-recognition programs.Making our efforts especially rewarding, we were honoured to receive some very special accolades last year in recognition of our sustainability efforts. Read about these awards, our green initiatives, and much, much more in our sixth annual CSR Report.


Environmental Leadership: Freeman Audio Visual Canada’s 2014 Go Green Report

By Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Leadership

*La version française suit le message anglais.

In partnership with ReEfficient, the organization that recycles our end-of-life rental equipment and road cases, Freeman Audio Visual Canada diverted just over 30,000 pounds of waste from landfills last year. That’s about 10,000 pounds more than we recycled the previous year!

• Freeman Audio Visual diverted about 13 metric tons from landfills in 2014. This is the equivalent weight of almost 10 beluga whales!

• The space savings amounted to 2944 ft. This is comparable to stuffing about 27 mid-sized cars.

Discover more sustainability facts and figures in our 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which will be published in the coming weeks.


À l’avant-garde pour l’environnement

En partenariat avec ReEfficient, l’entreprise qui recycle notre matériel de location en fin de vie ainsi que nos vieilles malles de transport, Freeman audiovisuel Canada a soustrait presque 15 000 kilos de déchets aux décharges publiques l’année dernière. C’est presque 5 000 kilos de plus que l’année précédente !

• Freeman audiovisuel a soustrait environ 13 tonnes métriques aux décharges publiques en 2014. Cela équivaut approximativement au poids de 10 bélugas !

• L’espace économisé totalise presque 10 mètres cubes, ce qui équivaut à l’espace intérieur de près d’une trentaine de voitures de taille intermédiaire.

Découvrez de nombreux autres faits et chiffres sur la politique durable de Freeman audiovisuel Canada dans le rapport annuel 2014 sur la responsabilité sociale de l’entreprise, qui sera publié au cours des prochaines semaines.

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.


Our equipment recycling partner, REfficient, is in the running for Canada’s next top entrepreneur!

By Awards, Environmental Leadership, Green AV, Industry News

Stephanie McLarty of REfficient wants to win the QuantumShift search for Canada’s next top entrepreneur. She holds a tray made from old palates, left, and leans on a Freeman Audio Visual Canada road case her company is repurposing while sitting on the company’s boardroom table made from an old bowling alley lane. (Photo courtesy of John Rennison,The Hamilton Spectator)


Freeman Audio Visual Canada diverted just over 30,000 pounds of waste from landfills last year in partnership with ReEfficient, the organization that recycles our end-of-life rental equipment and road cases.

REfficient’s growth in recent years has landed it in the final stages of the QuantumShift search for Canada’s next top entrepreneur, a joint initiative between KPMG Enterprises, TD Canada Trust, the Globe and Mail and the Ivey Business School at Western University.