When Freddie Georges, owner and founder of Freddie Georges Production Group (FG|PG), was little, she used to redecorate her parent’s furniture while they were out on vacation. Her natural fondness for design only grew as she got older and began working in the design field.
Georges eventually founded FG|PG, which has been producing custom environments for clients since 2001. To celebrate the firm’s tenth anniversary, the designers have produced more than 17,000 square feet at this year’s National Cable and Telecommunication Show. Among the clients FG|PG is representing are AMC Networks, NBC Universal, and The Outdoor Channel.
Exhibit City News recently caught up with Georges to see just how this woman-owned design company is thriving after 10 years.
ECN: What are the most prominent or remarkable experiences that FG/PG has created for a client?
Georges: That is a hard question to answer as each year brings more remarkable experiences, especially with the technology we can bring to the show floor.
However, helping launch and grow Oxygen at the annual National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) conference is a great experience that I will always remember. Oxygen is a network founded by and programmed for women, and being part of it was certainly a highlight for a woman-owned business.
ECN: Does the company ever face any challenges on the showfloor because of its predominately female management?
Sure we can face some challenges, but the way we get around them is that we are extremely professional in all our communication. So we make sure we take the high road and know exactly what we are doing so we can handle any issue we may come across from construction, to lighting and rigging, to even negative attitudes.
We are always polite and inevitably charm the pants off of anyone who may not believe a woman is qualified. And at the end of the show, we always change the negative perceptions because we know what we are doing and we do it really, really well.
ECN: In what ways does FG|PG support other women-owned businesses?
We support other women-owned businesses in several ways. First of all, we try to work with woman-owned businesses such as our strategic relationships with Pearl Street Marketing, which is owned by Lauren de la Fuente. We also work with a fabric vendor Sew What. We have been working with these woman-owned companies for the full 10 years FG|PG has been in business. And the reason we continue to work with them is not just because they are woman-owned businesses, but because they are the best at what they do and that reflects back on the work of FG|PG.
The other thing we do is to mentor women at our company and the companies we work with so that they will be the future women leaders in our industry. There is nothing more satisfying than to see young women become better at business because they have had the opportunity to learn and grow from being part of FG|PG.
We are a member of, and certified by, the National Association of Women Business Owners; are a certified Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) member. We were named a top business by Diversity Business.com and are one of the Enterprising Women of the Year.
Finally, each year we financially support the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which is fighting the good fight against breast cancer.
ECN: What are the challenges of managing multiple exhibits, or large exhibits, at a tradeshow?
Managing multiple exhibits, and client needs, can be challenging whether you are a man or a woman. But one of the reasons we have been successful is that we are committed to providing superior customer service and that is why our clients have been with us for years and continue to recommend us to their friends, peers and colleagues.
Here are the keys to managing multiple projects: You must have excellent organizational skills and keep a calm, cool head at all times. We are very good at both of these at the FG|PG and make sure that our teammates have these two qualities before we hire them.
Also at FG|PG, we use a team-based management structure, so that no one client or account, and therefore project manager, is more important than another. We work collaboratively toward the client’s goal: a great show, event, booth and word of mouth. That creates a team spirit that is reflected in all the work we handle for our client base and builds a harmonious spirit at the company. And it has served us very, very well.
ECN: FG|PG has been around for 10 years; how has the company managed to thrive in the down economy?
Well, 2009 was a tough year for everyone, but we persevered and to our credit, 2010 became our best year ever. I would say to thrive in a tough economy, you must stand out among the pack by providing superior customer service as well as value to your clients. Value doesn’t mean being the least expensive, it means being the best quality at the best price. And that is how we were able to thrive in the current economic climate.
ECN: How has the industry changed since FG|PG first started?
The “wow” factor gets increased every year with technology and design. That is exciting because it keeps the industry changing and the work challenging.
Sure it might have been harder for a woman when I first began my career at Design and Production, but I try to focus on the positive and the great strides in design and technology that are taking place in the exhibit industry. It propels us all forward and as they say, a rising tide lifts all boats!
ECN: What does the future hold for FG|PG?
The future looks promising and we are very excited about it. Our team is growing, our client base is growing, and our business is growing so everything is on the right track for 2011.
It is simple, we just hope to continue to do great work for our clients and mentor some really great women in the industry. If we can do that, it is all good.
|People on the Move|