GES Q3 Revenues Drop 19 Percent: Driven by Negative Show Rotation

November 3, 2017
Attendees use Poken at this week's UFL Annual Congress in South Africa.

In the third quarter of 2017, GES revenues dipped 19 percent to $232 million, compared with $287 million during the same quarter the year before, primarily led by negative show rotation. The results were in line with expectations. 

Two of the largest shows on the TSNN Top 250 trade show list – IMTS and MINExpo, as well as the Farnborough International Airshow, all were off cycle.

In addition, revenues were down because of missing estimates on short-term bookings with On Services, GES’ AV division that was acquired August 2016.

Steve Moster, CEO/president of GES and Viad, explained: “Much of ON Services revenue comes from corporate events, which tend to be contracted for a single occurrence with less lead time than large exhibitions that are often under multi-year contracts with pre-determined locations. That lack of visibility makes it challenging to predict when and where we will find AV opportunities on short notice.”

Even with the challenges, he added, “We’re still seeing mid-single digit growth from ON Services this year, and we are excited about the benefits that our strong in-house AV offering provides for our clients.

Along with another GES recent acquisition, Poken, Moster said that both were “proving to be very strong as we continue to position GES as a full-service provider for live events.”

He added, “Both ON Services and Poken provide leading capabilities that are natural complements to our existing services. With a compelling set of offerings, our team is finding success by attracting new clients and enhancing the scope of existing relationships.”

Poken’s digital and physical products have made it easier for attendees to engage and interact with one another, with exhibitors and to collect slide decks from conference presentations.

“All of this attendee interaction provides important, detailed data to event organizers and lead capture services for exhibitors,” Moster said.

He added, “It also provides a sustainable way for attendees to collect information and access it online at a time that is convenient for them.”

Moster said GES was continuing to enhance its event technology platform and recently combined Visit, the company’s event registration solution, with the Poken event engagement technology to offer that he called “measurable event insights” for organizers, exhibitors and event sponsors.

“We continue to see steady interest in our event technology products,” he added. “As an example, global show organizer, Clarion, recently awarded us a multi-show contract for both event registration and the Poken engagement technology.”

Two bright notes in the third quarter included same-show year-over year growth, even with one show downgrading services due to a venue shift, as well as through the first nine months of 2017, GES has delivered year-over-year revenue growth of 7.6 percent.

As far as looking into the end of 2017 and moving into 2018, Moster said the focus will be on “being a global, full-service provider - a partner that clients count on to bring their visons to life.”

He added, “By expanding the services we provide to clients we expect to continue the growth of cross-selling opportunities. As an example, by leveraging the strength of existing client relationships on the corporate exhibitor side, we have recently won new corporate event business from a number of existing clients.”

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