NAB Drops GES After 21 Years, Signs Freeman for Spring Show
August 10, 2007
After 21 years with the same contractor, NAB will try a different one for its big spring convention in Las Vegas.
Association officials have awarded a contract to Freeman, a Dallas-based company, after taking bids from four competitors. NAB has used GES Exposition Services for 21 years, according to NAB convention exec Chris Brown.
“It will be a two-year contract with an option to extend one additional year,” Brown told Radio World. “Our intent is to put the business out for competitive bid every three or four years.”
Brown said exhibitors had expressed general concerns with “the rising cost of services, union work rules, confusing surcharges and service levels.”
“To their credit, GES had made real improvement in a number of these areas, but again, we felt we needed to make absolutely certain we were offering our exhibitors the best in pricing and service,” Brown said. “While admittedly the approach had been different in the past, we are now fully committed to a regular process of competitive bids for this and other key vendor relationships.”
A general contractor manages setup and move-out of a show, handling booth material and products in and out of the convention center, and managing much of the labor involved in the booths. It also works with the NAB to create show décor, signage and structures.