Exhibition contractor Global Experience Specialists (GES) recently announced a number of substantial contract wins exclusively with Exhibition News.
These deals with leading organisers in the UK and overseas have a combined estimated value of £35 million over four years. Indeed, the deal with organisers i2i – which will see GES provide shell scheme, electrics, furniture, carpets, graphics and logistics – is likely to be the largest ever signed for supply in the UK.
Logistics is at the heart of GES’ new deal with UBM Live, and is described as “a game changer” by GES executive chairman EMEA Nick Marshall.
“We see this as another platform in our drive to offer a seamless service to our customers,” said Marshall. “In Germany, for example, we have expanded our capability significantly to meet our customers’ expectations and this is also part of our desire to deliver a complete service wherever they choose to locate a show.”
Emphasising the global aspect of the business, GES will work internationally for UBM Live as official logistics provider on 14 events in the UK, Germany and The Netherlands. In the UAE, GES has also signed a two-year deal with PennWell Corporation.
Back in the UK, GES will also deliver eight shows for CloserStill Media from 2014-17, four of which will be new shows for the contractor, while Imago Techmedia has also renewed a three-year contract. GES will also deliver 100 per cent of IFE for Fresh Montgomery in 2014 and 2015, up from 50 per cent.
On a site visit to the company HQ in Coventry, the scale and scope of GES’ operations is impressive. At any one time, GES may be delivering services for 20 shows from this hub which is so much more than a depot. If you think this is just some windowless warehouse piled high with shell scheme and carpet, think again. There are mountainous supplies, of course, but there are also many extra services going on, adding value to clients as well as substantial contributions to the bottom line.
Two areas stick out. Firstly, the sale, design and delivery of custom stands is a considerable and natural area of growth that provides exhibitors with a turnkey solution from someone close to the show – and therefore aware of the possibilities and limitations. There are now dedicated teams at GES that are rapidly and successfully building this side of the service.
The other aspect that may have some other specialist suppliers concerned is the provision of top-quality, large scale graphics. Is this another sign of GES becoming full service?
“The services we deliver to organisers and exhibitors is driven by giving each of them the best support we can to ensure they both get the most from a show,” said GES managing director UK, Andy Gibb.
“As we develop each stream – graphics, logistics, registration, shell scheme, floor coverings, electrics, data, etc, it is inevitable that we will offer a full range of services. So, in short, yes.”It’s probably fair to say that GES has upped its game in recent months, spurred no doubt by the arrival of (fellow Americans) Freeman on the UK scene. Is this what is currently driving GES forward?
“Competition is always good as it keeps everyone sharp and focused on delivering the very best for our customers,” said Gibb. “As a business, GES knows where it’s going and it is focused on delivering its own plans rather than watching the move of every competitor in the market. However, we believe that we have developed world leading services in line with our customers’ needs, and we are continually innovating to keep ahead.”
When it comes to branching out beyond UK borders, GES says it is taking the lead from pioneering UK organisers, as well as acknowledging emerging hubs like the UAE.
“GES moved into the Middle East in 2007 to provide venue services to ADNEC, this was followed by the launch of contracting services in 2009,” said Marshall. “We have built a strong presence in the Middle East because it is a very attractive market, it is active and growing. It is also the meeting place for corporates, exhibitions and meetings, as well as the place where east and west come together.”
“We’re always looking at new and growing markets, the point is we need to develop the best footprint to serve our customers.”
When it comes to serving organisers breaking new ground, Gibb says GES wants to move with its partners when they geoclone a show.
“That can mean that we choose to develop a complete operation in country, or it may be more appropriate to establish a management office and local partnerships,” said Gibb.
“All of which means we can manage the customer relationship in one country and deliver within the country where the show is located. The customer benefits from a consistent approach and level of service wherever they may be located.”
A truly global outlook, then, from GES. And with registration also adding to the array of services available, these are exciting times in Coventry and beyond.
This was first published in the November issue of EN. Any comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org