marketing design group, a Freeman Company

WASHINGTON, DC —— mdg, A Freeman Company today announced a new strategy group, mdg Advisory Services, with the sole focus of helping clients reimagine and realize their potential, seize opportunities, and navigate business-level challenges in a post-pandemic reality.

“Many of the challenges our industry faces today were there before the pandemic, but they have been accelerated. Entire revenue streams have been severely impacted, and our clients are working with even smaller teams,” said David Saef, svp strategy, mdg. “Clients are asking for our guidance and recommendations and we believe we’re uniquely positioned to offer them.”

“Before COVID-19, we were actively consulting with our clients on strategic planning, evolving business models, and growth strategy,” said Vincent Polito, managing director, mdg. “We’re investing in these service offerings because they are what our clients need for their business today. It’s the kind of collaboration that makes a lasting impact.”

While best known for marketing strategy, mdg has an 85-person team doing a range of work across business and marketing strategy, analytics / data science, customer acquisition, digital & interactive media. Expanding strategic advisory services under the mdg brand will maintain a distinct focus on business strategy solutions such as membership strategy, 365 engagement, portfolio strategy, staffing analysis, and transformation strategy, while leveraging Freeman’s full solution-suite for clients: execution expertise in event strategy, digital technology and virtual events, audio visual and broadcast, event design and logistics.

mdg clients respond:

  • “In my role, I’m responsible for determining strategy for the association and managing all revenue generating business units. Finding a strategic partner that understands both my market and the broader association market is invaluable to our success. The mdg team has demonstrated time and time again that they have deep knowledge in both areas. I am excited for what opportunities this new chapter will bring!” – Heather Lee Landers, evp and chief strategy officer, AUVSI.
  •  “I see it as a natural fit. mdg was previously my strategic marketing partner and I already consider them a trusted adviser beyond the realm of marketing. I look forward to mdg applying that same strategy-driven approach to the rest of our business.” – Ed Nichols, vp, Hannover Fairs USA.
  • “In my experience, David’s advisory approach brought analytical rigor, a sound business rationale, and was structured in phases that will help our stakeholders understand the opportunity before us. The entire engagement has been a huge boost to our strategy, and we’re now positioned to offer new ways to engage our global audience and increase member value.” – Nicole Hallada, svp, Association of Equipment Manufacturers

The Advisory Services Group will be jointly led by David Saef and Vincent Polito. They will be backed by a team of strategists, analysts, and data scientists with experience providing strategic planning, business planning and execution, consulting, event strategy and digital engagement to clients. Prior to joining Freeman, Saef led the global strategy team at GES. Through his career, he has advised industry leaders such as AEM, RSNA, Penton (Informa), McDonalds, Pfizer, and Boeing. David began his career with L.E.K. Consulting and earned an MBA from The Wharton School and his BA from Harvard College. Vincent Polito has more than 20 years in senior leadership positions in the industry, including mdg, Reed Exhibitions, Ziff Davis, and Comdex. Vincent is highly recognized as both a strategic advisor and an execution specialist working with clients such as Informa, American Baking Association, Autocare, and National Mining Association. He is past Chairman of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and earned his BA from Cornell University. 

Click here to learn more about mdg Advisory Services.

About mdg, A Freeman Company

mdg is a strategy-driven agency with a 44-year track record of delivering results. Made up of marketing researchers and strategists, digital and interactive media experts, event and association management specialists, data analysts and a robust creative team, the 85-person agency offers complete marketing solutions to association, event and corporate clients.

About Freeman

Freeman is a global leader in events. Whether virtual, in-person, or hybrid, we are on a mission to redefine live for a new era. With a data-driven approach and the industry’s largest network of experts, our insights shape exhibitions, exhibits, and events that drive audiences to action. Our integrated full-service solutions leverage a 100-year legacy in event management as well as new technologies to deliver moments that matter.