In 1909, a gallon of gas cost 15 cents, William Howard Taft was president, and the George Fern Company was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio. Over 100 years later, the price of gas is now around $3, there have been 17 different presidents, and the George Fern Company has grown into one of the leading service contractors in the tradeshow industry.
With locations in 17 cities and serving over 750 expositions, the George Fern Company is consistently rated as one of the top three contractors by Tradeshow Week. According to Aaron Bludworth, chief operating officer of George Fern, the company is ranked in the top three service contractors in number of shows served, number of locations, and amount of square footage served. George Fern works with a variety of clients, from local event managers to Fortune 500 companies, such as Ford and General Electric.
“Fern takes a strong partnership approach to working with its clients, in a very personalized way,” said Bludworth. “Regardless of the size of the client or their show, Fern is focused on delivering customer service and consistency.”
One of the services that make George Fern unique is its E-Service and Online Event Services platform which enables clients to manage their exhibits online. These online services include interactive floor plans, exhibitor directories and freight tracking. Additionally, clients can purchase traditional exhibit products such as carpeting, exhibit furnishings, and audio/visual equipment. Between the online services and the exhibition products, George Fern’s contractor services enable clients to manage large shows or smaller conventions.
According to Bludworth, Fern has one of the longest client tenures in the industry and this customer loyalty is one of their biggest competitive advantages. One of Bludworth’s goals for the company is develop synergy with both its customers’ and its company’s growth.
“Our goal in the short term, and really always, is to help our clients, both organizers and exhibitors, produce their events successfully during this uncertain economic time,” Bludworth said. “Long term, we continue to focus on growth, our client’s first and ours on a parallel track.”
Furthermore, George Fern sponsors numerous events within the tradeshow industry and will be a bronze sponsor at the Third Annual Tradeshow Executive’s Gold 100 Awards and Summit in September. The sponsorships show the respect that George Fern has developed within the industry and is a testament to its longevity.