In a continued effort to increase attendee engagement and create new opportunities with data and technology, Freeman has acquired cutting-edge design studio, Helios Interactive. With the acquisition, Freeman will be able to help companies design and implement immersive digital engagements that drive audiences to action. The acquisition is the latest in a series of commitments Freeman has made to the digital transformation of the brand experience industry since forming Freeman Digital Ventures.
The acquisition of Helios enhances Freeman’s extensive global brand experience offering. With the help of Helios, Freeman aims to improve its ability to integrate technologies such as touch and gesture sensing, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) into the overall experience.
“We are just beginning to see how exciting and immersive technologies like virtual and augmented reality are enhancing brand storytelling, and you’re only going to see demand increase over time as brands look for new ways to engage and inspire their audiences. The growth opportunity for AR and VR is immense, and the event industry is taking notice,” said Mike Schaiman, managing director, Helios.
Having designed and created captivating experiences for high-profile events like the NBA Finals, CES and Comic-Con International: San Diego, Helios has been at the center of many of today’s interactive fan, consumer and business-to-business experiences. From dropping visitors into crucial scenes in HBO’s Game of Thrones to creating a VR cycling tour for IBM’s Watson at South by Southwest, Helios has continuously found innovative ways to use advanced technologies to create unforgettable brand stories.
With Helios’ capabilities now incorporated into Freeman’s offerings, customers, including companies such as SAP, will be able to work with a single provider to bring their brand story to life with attention-grabbing exhibits that combine the latest technologies, smart strategy and seamless execution. The acquisition positions Freeman as the one-stop shop for integrated brand engagement and experience—with the ability to best understand a brand’s needs, messaging and goals and to use that understanding to craft an immersive event like no other.
“At SAP, we have worked with both Helios and Freeman on numerous large-scale events, and we’ve always looked forward to seeing what new and exciting aspects the companies can offer to make each show better than the last,” said David Martinez, director of global sponsorships, SAP. “With the news of this acquisition, we anticipate our future events will thrive with Helios’ AR and VR capabilities now rolled into Freeman’s leading brand experience offerings.”
Richard Maranville, executive vice president and chief digital officer of Freeman, added, “Creating unique and actionable brand experiences that inspire results is what we all strive for, and with the technology available today, there are more ways than ever to do this. Our acquisition of Helios expands our digital capabilities and equips us to better meet our customers future needs.”