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#Expochat - The Changing Role of the General Service Contractor

General service contractors (or official services contractors, as some prefer to be called) have been a central member of the trade show ecosystem for decades. Freeman, for example, is celebrating 90 years in the business this year. Because the trade show industry has begun a transformation prompted by changing attendee preferences, competition from other marketing channels, and the challenges and opportunities of technology, some general contractors have begun transforming their business models, as well.

In this week’s #Expochat, moderator Michelle Bruno will lead a discussion on how the role of the general contractor has changed and how organizers and suppliers might be impacted.

Here are some questions to discuss:

1.  To someone unfamiliar with the trade show industry in the U.S., how would you describe what a general service contractor does?

2.  Do you draw a distinction between a general service contractor and an official services contractor?

3.  What are the traditional services offered by a general service contractor?

4.  What are some of the untraditional or new services being offered by some general service contractors?

5.  How might the new service offerings change the role of the general contractor in the eyes of the organizer?

6.  How might the new service offerings change the way that other suppliers view general service contractors?

7.  How can/should general service contractors adapt to changing attendee preferences?

8.  How can general service contractors make trade shows as a marketing channel more competitive?

9.  How can general service contractors facilitate the digital transformation of trade shows?

10. How will the new business models and service offerings of general service contractors impact your business?

When: June 21, 1-2 p.m. ET

Where: Use hashtag #Expochat and any Twitter chat tool! (Tweetchat, for example)

NEW: Come to the chat with questions about anything trade show-related. We will use our community to address your issues or maybe even hook you up with some help.

What is #EXPOCHAT?

Expochat is a Twitter-based conversation on topics related to the trade show industry. It takes place most Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (new time slot) and tackles a single topic each week - a recurring pain point, innovative ideas, evolution of the industry, best practices, and what works. Expochat is alternately moderated by four industry thought leaders: Stephanie Selesnick (International Trade Information, Inc.), Terence Donnelly (Experient), Michelle Bruno (Bruno Group Signature Services) and Michael Doane (CadmiumCD). 

Expochat has been reformatted from previous years. The discussion (new format) will last a very fast-paced 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes during which participants may ask questions of the group on any topic. To participate, sign up on ]]>]]> and follow the ]]>#Expochat]]> hashtag at the appointed time. Questions will be identified as Q1, Q2, etc. Responses from participants should be written as A1, A2, etc. Tools like and others can make it easier to participate. Ideas are welcome on Expochat but commercialism is not.

Trade Show News Network, the leading online exhibition industry news resource, sponsors the chat, and topics are listed in advance on Reminders will be tweeted out prior to each week's discussion, but if you miss a chat, Storify transcripts will be available on TSNN after each chat. We gladly accept requests for topics at Guest moderators are also welcome. #Expochat, now in its fourth year, works because the community supports it. Join us for the best live conversations about the industry that signs your paycheck. Rants welcome!

Missed #Expochat? No Problem!

Check out our past chats:

June 21 – The Changing Role of the General Service Contractor – ]]>]]>

June 7 – #ExhibitionsDay & #GED17: Celebrating Trade Shows – ]]>]]>

May 31 – Taking Risks With New Event Formats – ]]>]]>

May 24 – Spouses and Children at Trade Shows – ]]>]]>

May 17 – Transportation and Logistics at a Trade Show – ]]>]]>

May 10 – What is An Attendee Worth? ]]>]]>

April 26 – Tricks of Attendee Acquisition for Events – ]]>]]>

April 19 – Creating Education that Excites –  ]]>]]>

April 12 – Is Your Event Technology Secure? – ]]>]]>

April 5 – Is the Old Conference/Educational Session Model Dead? – ]]>]]>

March 29 – How Attendee “Personas” Impact Trade Shows & Events – ]]>]]>

March 22 - Trends In Exhibition Sponsorships – ]]>]]>

March 8 - Taking Your Brand Overseas – ]]>]]>

March 1 - Trade Shows and the Gig Economy – ]]>]]>

Feb. 22 - Bringing Up Baby: How to Prepare the Next Trade Show Industry Workforce – ]]>]]>

Feb. 15 - How "Green" is the Trade Show Industry, Really? – ]]>]]>

Feb. 8 – Are You Leaning In? – ]]>]]>

Jan. 31 – How Might Travel Ban, Changing Trade Pacts Impact Trade Shows?  - ]]> ]]>

Jan. 24 – How Are Shows ‘Giving Back?’ – ]]>]]>

Jan. 18 – Using Hackathons to Re-Invent & Grow Your Trade Show – ]]>]]>

Jan. 11 – CES Review - What can we learn from our shows? – ]]>]]>

Jan. 4 – New Year’s (Event Technology) Resolutions – ]]>]]>

Nov. 30, 2016 – Is The Trade Show Industry Ready for Artificial Intelligence? – ]]>]]>

Nov. 9, 2016 – What Makes a Good Leader in Today’s Environment? – ]]>]]>

Nov. 2, 2016 – TSNN Awards: Education, Inspiration, Celebration – ]]>]]>

Oct. 26, 2016 – “Matchmaking: Can Technology Bring Exhibitors More/Better Matches and Leads?” - ]]>]]>

Oct. 12, 2016 – All There Is to Know About IAEE's Expo! Expo! – ]]>]]>

Oct. 5, 2016 – How Can You Build Community on the Showfloor? – ]]>]]>

Sept. 28, 2016 – How Can We Increase International Attendance at Our Shows? – ]]> ]]>

Sept. 21, 2016 – Does Gamification Work for B2B Trade Shows? – ]]>]]>

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