GES Scores Nearly 35 Percent Q1 Revenue Jump
First quarter revenues saw a significant jump for GES of nearly 35 percent to $318 million compared with $236 million during the same period in 2016.
“GES’ growth during the first quarter was driven by positive show-rotation, underlying growth at both our U.S. and International segments and contributions from our acquisition of ON Services,” said GES’ and Viad’s President and CEO Steve Moster.
He added, “In addition, our investments in audio-visual and event technology continue to offer meaningful growth opportunities. This past quarter we renewed two major show organizer contracts with a broader suite of services and we had numerous corporate event wins. I am very pleased with the progress we have made to position GES as the preferred global, full-service provider of live events and the strong financial results our efforts are driving.”
TSNN asked Moster about what’s currently driving GES’ overall and same-show growth, as well as organizer feedback on the company’s Poken acquisition.
TSNN: Where is the highest growth coming from within GES right now?
Moster: Overall, we’re seeing solid industry growth and GES’ ability to provide a full suite of event services is gaining traction. The investments we have made to broaden our event services are helping to differentiate GES and our teams are having success in cross-selling services.
A terrific example of cross-selling success is HELI-EXPO, a long-time exhibition client. For this year’s event, GES provided core contracting services, audio-visual production and event accommodations services.
Additionally, our international operations had very strong growth during the quarter with an organic revenue increase of 27.4% or $14.8 million primarily from new business wins and same show growth.
TSNN: For same-show growth rates of over 4%, what is supporting that?
Moster: This is GES’ 16th straight quarter of same-show growth. We’re seeing broad-based growth across our core services from increased exhibitor spend and increased NSF of shows. (Note that GES measures same show growth based on shows that were held in the same city, during the same quarter as the prior year. It does not include non-annual or rotating shows.)
TSNN: What are a few of the shows that impacted Q1's revenue jump?
Moster: We saw broad-based growth across most shows. CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE was our largest event during the quarter and it posted record-breaking square footage and strong attendance. This year’s event featured a new 75,000 square foot Tech Experience that showcased new construction innovations and emerging technologies across the construction industry through three interactive zones and a “Tech Talk” forum.
ON Services also contributed nicely to our year-over-year growth with stronger than expected audio-visual production revenue.
TSNN: What kind of feedback have you received about the use of Poken at the shows so far?
Moster: The acquisition of Poken is an exciting addition to GES’ full-service offerings. We’re receiving a lot of interest from organizer and corporate event clients about using it on their events.
Poken is a powerful complement to our existing registration and data platform. Its industry-leading and proprietary event engagement technology integrates with our registration software to provide even more insightful analytics and reporting to drive enhanced event performance.