Global Meetings

Creating a Better Meeting Experience Abroad

How will Freeman's Global Certified Partner Program benefit meeting organizers planning global events?

Global Partners
Global Partners

Today, Freeman announced the launch of its Global Certified Partner Program, which “evaluates, qualifies, and connects a community of suppliers who are able to meet Freeman’s high standards for quality, value, stability, and customer service” as the company delivers global programs for organizations worldwide. 

David GauthreauxWe asked David Gauthreaux, executive vice president of global sales for FreemanXP, to fill us in on what the certified partner program means for meeting professionals. 

What do meeting organizers say is their No. 1 challenge when planning meetings in other countries for the first time? 

Understanding and managing across multiple locations and cultures while ensuring a successful activation. Our customers see the world as their market.

How will this partnership program address that?

In the last year alone, Freeman worked in over 35 countries with several hundred customers. As Freeman expands its market reach, we need to be confident that our customers’ service and quality expectations are met consistently — which is something that they have been asking for. This can only be accomplished through disciplined evaluation, selection, and management of those who engage with or represent Freeman in markets where we are new or not fully established.

What are other benefits of the program?

The program provides a single source for a meeting professional to work with the Freeman team to deliver a seamless process across multiple activations and locations. We know our customers and they know us — collaboration, trust, and commitment have served us well for 88 years. The program provides in-country, knowledgeable resources, a consistent experience in terms of quality and service, and a best-in-class provider that is aligned with their needs and requirements. We also help to address currency challenges.

How will those certified partners be identified and marketed as a resource for the industry? 

In order to promote the program to the Freeman enterprise and inform our network on the resources and infrastructure that we have in place, we have created a secure web portal that will provide Freeman employees with the opportunity to search and review partner options based on competency and geography. The site also contains relevant information for our partners. In addition, we have case studies for potential customers and partners at

What kinds of suppliers can be vetted for the Global Certified Partner Program and can they come from any corner of the globe? 

Freeman works with the full spectrum of companies in our channel, including experience designers, producers, exhibit fabrication and services,  general-services contractors, experiential marketing agencies,  audiovisual companies, and affiliated industry consultants. We designate these strategic partners into the following five classifications: Enterprise Alliance, Partnership, Supplier, Consultant, and Global Sales Agent — and they can be located anywhere in the world.

Is there a fee to apply for certification? 

There is no fee to apply. Our process follows guidelines that we have established to thoroughly vet these organizations based on their capabilities, quality, value, professionalism, and ethics. We have defined rigorous qualification criteria which include:

•         Demonstrated record of integrity and business ethics
•         Cultural alignment
•         Project requirements compliance
•         Sustainability strategy
•         Financially sound
•         Demonstrated record of performance 
•         Solid reputation and leadership in the local market

We continuously evaluate, communicate and refine the various partnership agreements. This process is ongoing and organic. 

Michelle Russell

Michelle Russell is editor in chief of Convene.