The company formed a consortium with Oasys Innovations, South Africa's largest exhibitions and events infrastructure supplier. Executives from the two companies presented their respective brands as a joint solution to visitors.
GL Events was established in France in 1978. The company expanded worldwide and today has 76 offices and more than 3000 employees in 15 countries in Europe, China and the Americas. GL Events manages 28 event venues and recorded R7 billion in revenues in 2007.
Sébastien Brunet, Head of International Development for GL Events: “Over the years we have developed from a local French-based company into a global service provider with a focus on trade shows and exhibitions, international corporate sports and entertainment events as well as congresses and conventions. Our business model is based on total integration of venue management, event organization and associated services.”
Brunet says that the company follows a global strategy of striking alliances with companies who are respected leaders in their fields of competence in the exhibitions and events arena in their home markets. “As a growth market, southern Africa has been an attraction for GL events for several years. Obviously, the World Cup 2010 served as an accelerator for our decision to make our mark on local soil, but to do this as a greenfields project would have created unnecessary barriers for progress. We believe that our partnership with Oasys Innovations will be good for both companies, as we will be in a position to support them in their international marketing efforts and they will be leading us in the local business environment.”
Say Brunet: “Our experience extends to several world type sporting events, including the rugby and cricket world cups, Euro 2008 events in Switzerland and Austria as well as the Beijing Olympic Games. These have positioned us as a worthy partner for any organising committee. Through the partnership with Oasys Innovations we are also well prepared to support the Local Organising Committee, host cities and sponsors for WC 2010 with overlays of any infrastructural requirements ranging from temporary infrastructure and facilities, marquees, fan parks, public viewing and hospitality areas through to furniture and fittings. Our concept of event overlays allows the administrators to get on with their assignments and we take care of the rest.”
According to Brian Kennedy, Chief Executive for Oasys Innovations the venture will be very good for the local exhibitions and events industry. “Based on their global experience, GL Events will inject a new dimension of innovation in exhibitions and events management. The flexibility of the company is evident in the successes that they have recorded around the world and I have personally witnessed their performance at several venues, during our own deliberations in foreign markets on behalf of several of our South African based customers, who ventured into new markets. I am sure that, as our industry continues to mature, we will also experience an increase in foreign investment to accommodate the demands for professionalisation of the industry. This will go a long way in helping to deliver to international visitors to our local exhibitions and events a level of at least that what they are used to in other markets.”
Kennedy says that the value that GL Events will add to the South African market is evident in the company's experience as a global contractor for sporting events such as Olympic Games, FIFA World Cups and Commonwealth Games including manpower for design, engineering, technical and logistical support and project management. “The South African exhibitions and events industry needs transformation and modernisation. We need a shift from doing things the way we used to, towards repositioning our industry onto a global platform of innovation and services that will satisfy customers and users of exhibitions and events, of which many are global players and used to only the best.”