Freeman Acquires Event Registration and Digital Services Provider Convention Data Services

October 2, 2019

Freeman, a provider of live events and brand experiences, has acquired Convention Data Services (CDS), an event registration, business intelligence and lead management company. 

Combined with its acquisition of Info Salons in 2018, Freeman significantly has added to its global event registration and digital services offerings. 

“Show organizers are asking for simple, unified and effective ways to create a better experience for their teams and attendees around the world,” said Bob Priest-Heck, CEO of Freeman.

He added, “The addition of CDS to Freeman’s suite of digital tools and services creates a global platform focused on increasing attendee engagement and driving business results.”                                    

This acquisition further enables Freeman to deliver on its intention to lead and grow the category of live experiences and innovate the medium of live by extending its reach across the event life cycle.

According to Priest-Heck, this starts with the registration process and leverages data for insights to create a better, more personalized experience. 

“The registration process is highly connected to an event’s customer experience,” Priest-Heck said. “We view the combination of CDS with Info Salons as essential to delivering on our joint intention to offer a valued suite of digital products across the event life cycle.”

CDS has been serving the needs of leading show organizers for over 30 years, providing world-class event registration and digital services. 

“As the industry evolves, we must continue to grow and offer solutions for the ever-changing needs of our clients,” said John Kimball, president and CEO of CDS. “We are now positioned to do that and be part of a broader, global, world-class company.” 

He added, “Together we will design the future of live events – creating scale, delivering exceptional customer service, and bringing even greater value to the market.” 

Kimball will report to Richard Maranville, Freeman’s chief product and platforms officer. CDS will continue to operate under its existing organizational structure to serve their customers.

John Kimball will lead the combined unit of CDS and Info Salons.

CDS has secured several new or renewed contracts lately, including American Institute of Chemical Engineers, International Carwash Association and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, to name a few. 

Story Update:

Just one day after announcing the CDS acquisition, Freeman unveiled a plan to team up CDS with Info Salons, an event registration and attendee database management company that Freeman acquired in 2018. The two companies will work together to create a combined event registration technology offering. 

More events are harnessing digital solutions and data insights to better personalize their attendees’ experiences and evolve their shows for continued growth. According to Freeman officials, the new integrated data and registration offering will enable the company to better provide its global clients with the technology and in-depth data analytics they need.

“With our recent acquisitions, we’re bringing together two exceptional organizations – and some of the most talented experts in our industry – to provide our customers with one of the most comprehensive event registration and digital solution offerings available,” Priest-Heck said. “We’re continuing efforts to provide our clients with the solutions and expertise they crave to create the most memorable experiences possible.”

Info Salons CEO JoAnne Kelleway will be leading the global expansion efforts, product strategy and integration for the combined team. 

“Show organizers around the globe have been asking for simple, unified and effective ways to create better experiences for their attendees and exhibitors,” Kelleway said. “By integrating solutions and capabilities from CDS and Info Salons into one combined Freeman offering, we’re doing just that.”

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