Helping Freeman create moments that matter with data storytelling

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Freeman Slidedoc sample

Project background

The events industry was severely impacted by Covid-19. Fortunately, events are back in full swing – but they’re not the same as they were before. Attendees and exhibitors have changed: Demographics, expectations, and budgets – and these elements continue to evolve. That’s what Freeman uncovered through their research. Freeman is a global events agency that helps leading brands in every industry – from entertainment to technology to tourism to healthcare – create moments that matter. After administering the largest and most comprehensive data-driven assessment the events industry has ever seen, Freeman sought a partner to help bring their findings to life.

They didn’t need just any partner. They needed a partner they could rely on year after year who understood their range and caliber of clientele. They needed to tell a data story that connected with market trends. They needed to spur change. Freeman found the partner they were looking for with Duarte, and we began collaborating in late 2022 to develop a research-based, thought leadership-infused trends report. The full report would be published online for purchase, but it would also be used as source material for keynote presentations around the country to industry leaders.



The big challenge

Loads of data, little time, tough audience

Freeman faced a few distinct challenges that Duarte was well-positioned to help solve. They needed to develop a report that could stand alone and be easily adapted to a presentation format; use detailed (and somewhat disparate) data insights to tell a compelling, cohesive story; strike a balance between credibility and edginess; encourage a slow-moving audience to act; and meet a quick-turn deadline and complete each project in about one month.

Freeman faced a deluge of data, a tight timeline, and a resistant audience. They needed to develop an insightful data story that could be delivered both online and onstage. The story had to appeal to a broad audience in a visual, consumable way. Unlike a traditional research report, the Freeman Reports aren’t solely informational; they’re intended to prompt a paradigm shift in the events industry. And on top of it all, Freeman releases surveys at least twice a year, so they need to be able to build upon quarter-over-quarter shifts, while drawing out new insights and bringing a fresh point of view.

A sample of slides created

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Finding the best presentation format

Sometimes, presentations aren’t the best way to deliver information. When it comes to in-depth research, data analysis, or trends reports, content must be comprehensive, and readers need enough time to process. In these cases, we turn to Slidedocs®. Slidedocs® are skimmable, visual documents that are built in presentation software that delivers content meant to be read. They’re not your typical, boring report, and they can be easily updated for a stand-and-deliver presentation.

Our process

Data can rarely stand alone: It needs a story so the audience can make sense of it. That’s why our first step was to identify what story could be told and used as a throughline to pull the insights together. We divided the report into chapters that disclosed who we were talking about, what they wanted, why it mattered, and what to do next. From there, we used straightforward slide headlines and creative, yet easy-to-understand data visualizations to relay a primary key message on every slide.

Our insights

The Slidedocs® utilized bright colors, interesting textures, custom iconography, and stunning photography that brought Freeman’s research to life in a brand new way. Our content team also took a playful approach by leaning into Freeman’s sassy, direct tone and overlaying callout boxes on top of charts and graphs to visually highlight demographic nuances and additional insights.

Our approach

Since our timeline was tight, we had to stay flexible with our project management approach. We had regular check-ins with the client to review progress. And we developed strategies, processes, and best practices that allowed us to meet the client’s needs and their publish date.

The results

Standing ovations from the events industry

The Freeman Trends Reports have generated much buzz and earned standing ovations from the events industry. The trends reports we created have generated the single largest web activity annually, with 83% of downloads being new leads; driven increased website traffic; and the success of the presentation adaptions has enabled Freeman to get on any stage they want to.

Beyond our content and design services, the success of this project was reliant on: Data storytelling best practices; facilitated alignment across various stakeholders; our relationship with Freeman and knowledge of their brand and voice; and a deep understanding of the audience, the landscape, and the subject matter.

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New leads

Our trends report generated the single largest web activity annually, with 83% of downloads being new leads.

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Trends reports and counting

In just two years, we’ve collaborated with Freeman to complete four trends reports and counting.

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Years in event management

Freeman’s legacy in event management, built from loyalty and trust, required a partner with equal values and proof of longevity.