Matter Of Trust

Matter Of Trust

June 2nd, 2014 0 Comments

This article by VP of Communications, Dana Freker Doody originally appeared in the official newsletter of the PCMA Capital Chapter, The Chatter. It also inspired Dana to create a podcast about this subject for Meetings Podcast. To listen to the latest podcast in full, please visit

To hear just Dana’s segment click here: Matter of Trust.mp3

Trust, as earned through the relationship stages between a planner and their general services contractor (GSC), is as vital to a successful business partnership as it is to a personal relationship.
“The ability to establish, extend, and restore trust with all stakeholders…is the key leadership competency of the new global economy,” writes Stephen M. R. Covey in his book, The Speed of Trust.

GSCs play a vital role in looping together numerous stakeholders involved in producing a trade show or major event. This includes managing skilled laborers across several union jurisdictions, many suppliers of services and equipment, and of course the safe and efficient handling of materials in and out of a space.

Trust implies parties participate in a relationship of gives and gets, knowing nothing could be accomplished without the work and contribution of the other. Many planners struggle to understand unions, and rely on their service contractor to uphold these vital relationships. This makes sense, as planners do not have a trustful relationship built over time with unions, while their general contractors most likely do. For example, they have union relationships and key skilled labor in cities across the U.S. who they trust, and who trust them.

Intellectual and practical knowledge of an event or show is built over time, as is trust, and as a partnership grows, there are low times and high times. Both parties in a relationship must be willing to share their visions to achieve the highs, but also share their concerns and their needs to work through the low times. Planners keeping budgets close to the vest, or being unwilling to share details about the organization’s overall strategic goals, for example, is an impediment to trust.

GSCs have experience with the largest trade shows in the U.S. down to small corporate events. General service contractors bring extensive knowledge of trends in marketing, design and experiences to the table when acting in full partnership with clients. We always like to know the big picture so as a partner we can achieve that vision by lining up all the small details.

When trust exists, needs can be anticipated, vision can be achieved, and, business can move more quickly.

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