The World Gas Conference (WGC) is a global event that brings together industry leaders, policy-makers, buyers, sellers, and experts from around the globe. For the show’s debut on American soil, a powerhouse team was assembled — including the International Gas Union (IGU), the American Gas Association (AGA), Exhibition and Trade Fairs (ETF), CWC Solutions, Events DC, Destination DC, and Freeman. The goal? To use the team’s collective expertise to educate international inbound exhibitors and help elevate brand experiences to produce a flawless show.
Lost in translation
Once Washington, D.C. was chosen, the team immediately turned to the next challenge: planning this complex event. Because many international exhibitors were not familiar with the U.S. events market, details like facility exclusives, pricing, regulations, material handling, and labor union relations were all potential obstacles. Language barriers, different time zones, verbiage, and cultural differences also presented possible confusion. It was imperative to iron out any wrinkles for exhibitors, quickly and smoothly before the event.
Finding common ground
Freeman and the other partners worked in-person with the IGU and ETF teams in Paris to provide guidance and strategy. The team also traveled to several international shows to help promote WGC and learn how those shows (and the exhibitors) operate. Three in-person educational sessions were also conducted for international exhibitors to visit the show venue in Washington, D.C. to learn how U.S. events work. In addition, the team worked with the local unions to ensure international needs and processes could be accommodated.
Bringing an event of this scope and complexity to the U.S. was a major undertaking, but the work exceeded expectations. With over 12,000 attendees and 350 exhibitors from 100 countries, the event was a game-changer. “This was one of the smoothest build-ups to the event; the organization of Freeman and all collaborators has been essential,” said Jason Berman, ETF Portfolio Director. Jay Copan of the AGA added, “It was a first-class experience that benefited attendees greatly — it allowed them to focus on meeting policymakers and getting value from the event.”