GES Q1 Revenues Down Nearly 16 Percent on Negative Show Rotation
GES recently reported its first-quarter 2018 earnings results in which revenues dropped 15.8 percent from $318 million in 2017 to $268 million during the same period this year.
Steve Moster, GES’ parent company – Viad - president and CEO, said, “GES delivered solid results, with continued same-show growth that partially offset significant negative show rotation. We remain focused on driving in-sourcing benefits and pursuing additional cross-sell opportunities from our ON Services audio-visual production business and capturing additional share in the corporate event space.”
He added, “I expect 2018 to be another year of solid progress toward our strategic goals, as we continue to position GES as the preferred global, full-service provider for live events.”
Moster took time out of his busy schedule to elaborate further on not only the current results, but also looking forward into growth areas, new tech and marketing trends and welcoming a new president of GES North America – Jay Altizer.
TSNN: What significant show (shows) were off rotation this year?
Steve Moster: CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE was the largest U.S. show that was off rotation this year. Internationally, some of the major off-cycle events were IDEX in Abu Dhabi, and IFE in the U.K.
TSNN: How is GES growing in the corporate events space?
Moster: Our expanded suite of services is strengthening our competitive position and helping to differentiate GES. Audio-visual production services is a key component of our growth strategy, and ON Services, a GES company, continues to solidify and grow our position in that area. We have created the most comprehensive suite of services for the live events industry, and we are helping brand marketers create epic experiences for their events through unique and innovative offerings including augmented reality and virtual reality. In addition, GES Measurement & Insight, and Sponsorship Strategy and Sales provides additional insights and value to our clients. As a global, full-service provider for live events, clients appreciate GES’ creative services and our expertise in the planning and execution of events of all size and scale.
TSNN: Same-show growth still is growing, but looks to have slowed compared to previous quarters?
Moster: This was expected and was primarily due to one event that experienced a net square footage decline compared to its prior occurrence.
TSNN: There is a lot of buzz about new event technologies being implemented at shows (AR, VR, etc) - how is GES working with their clients on this?
Moster: GES offers our clients the latest event technologies, from AR and VR to creating unique 3D experiences, such as multitaction technology through ON Services, a GES company. In addition, last year, we acquired Poken, a cloud-based platform that creates richer engagement and delivers behavior-based insights. Poken by GES’ tools and technology enable organizers and exhibitors to create interactive experiences and drive ROI. It’s pair with our registration and intelligence platform, lead generation tools and NFC+ products, bringing together the digital and physical event spaces to drive engagement, centralize management and gain better insight through real data.
TSNN: In the same vein, there are also a lot of new marketing techniques being utilized by exhibitors at shows - what are some new ones being offered by GES?
Moster: GES’ Measurement & Insight service helps exhibitors better understand the value of participating in events. In addition, Poken by GES supports exhibitors with their marketing goals by allowing them to load their marketing documents or any other relevant content into one or multiple real-time touchpoints, which can be easily placed by exhibitors anywhere in their booth. Visitors, who are equipped with a smart badge, collect any content that is relevant to them by placing their badge onto the readers. The touchpoints are connected in real-time to Poken’s cloud-based content management system, and trigger an email with the aggregated, relevant industry content, sent directly to the visitor’s inbox. In exchange, the exhibitor receives the visitor’s digital business card, as well as additional useful analytics, which they can access online, any time
One final note, I’m excited to welcome Jay Altizer to GES as president of North America. Jay brings a wealth of experience around innovation and business growth, and that is what our clients are focused on.