If Goldilocks were a Show Organizer reviewing RFP responses from multiple General Service Contractors she may experience déjà vu. Would she select the GSC that was hot, the one that was cold or the one that was just right? Over the course of my career I have had the pleasure to work for top industry leading GSC’s. All of them fantastic organizations with distinctively different approaches and focus, but is one the perfect fit for you?
One company is “hot”, growing fast, hiring faster, blazing new revenue trails with bundling and self-branding most every product or service that touch the show floor. Their growth and acquisitions are endless. First the Americas, next the world! This one-stop-shop has advantages, but unfortunately an unlimited knowledgeable trade show workforce isn’t one of them. Key staff members tend to get scooped up by the needs of the most recently sold mega-event, leaving the potential for experience and intelligence gaps on large to mid-sized shows. Show teams get overloaded with multiple events and many times plan other organization’s future shows while producing the one currently in their windshield. When combined with the endless hiring of non-industry experienced employees, the high-level of core GSC knowledge that organizers and their exhibitors/attanendees have come to expect, is difficult to reach.
One company is “cold”, with a pinpoint focus on internal process that deploys a mechanical approach to commoditize the role of the GSC. This approach allows for mass production of multiple shows and a never ending streamlining of internal process and measurement. Hitting an internal quarterly plan seems equally as important as producing a show. Driven by a corporate strategy that attempts to satisfy both the Show Organizer and the investor can create conflicts, limits creativity and slows re-investment in needed equipment. Over analysis is counterproductive and creates inefficiencies.
Then there’s the “ just right ” company. This company, is Fern. Our focus is you, your show, and your exhibitors & attendees, nothing else. We visit prospective customers weekly from every vertical and the jury has reached a verdict — they all deserve lots of attention. New worldwide markets, technology and six-sigma have had a large impact on our industry but it doesn’t mean a GSC should focus any less on our baseline core competencies. What consumes Fern is effectively partnering and planning with Show Organizers to meet and surpass their expectations. We believe you and your exhibitors have the right to true show site value and do not nickel and dime for every single task outside of our contracted scope. Fern is flexible. We adopt and enhance your program, at your speed. Fern also recognizes that your show team is sacred and we promise to do all we can to ensure they stay with your event year after year, ensuring consistency. Our track record shows that we are better at this than every other national provider. Much better.
When choosing your next GSC, ask your bidders what their corporate focus is. Is it to be “hot” and be the world’s biggest event producer, “cold” and cost efficient for investors, or is it “ just right ” and dialed in on your shows growth and success? Fern is innovating and growing rapidly, but with a commitment to never losing sight of what matter most, and we’ll never sacrifice that.