GES Elevates Jeff Quade to President of GES Exhibitions North America, Jason Stead to President of GES Exhibitions EMEA

January 16, 2024

In an effort to drive growth and a strong corporate culture, global exhibition and live events industry experiential marketing and logistics partner Global Experience Specialists (GES) recently made two major executive promotions: Jeff Quade and Jason Stead to president of GES Exhibitions – North America and GES Exhibitions – EMEA, respectively.

Deeper dive with Jeff Quade

With more than three decades of executive leadership experience at GES, Quade leads the North American business unit of GES Exhibitions, which includes its leading trade show general service contractor business, housing accommodations provider onPeak and SHOWTECH, the exclusive electrical provider in all of Toronto, Canada’s convention centers as well as the Edmonton Convention Centre. 

Known for his skills in building industry partnerships, Quade is also a former board member of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).  

“The GES team continues its pursuit of helping our clients connect people to innovation, experiences and one another,” Quade said. “I’m proud of the team and grateful to our team members, clients and trade partners in the support of our purpose. I am excited about the direction of the exhibition industry and GES’ ability to thrive as an industry leader.”

When asked about his goals for GES’ North American division in 2024, Quade narrowed them down to three: “Foster an inclusive culture allowing our employees to thrive, do their best work and create opportunities for themselves and their colleagues; provide best-in-class execution to help our clients achieve their goals; and work with our labor trade partners to attract and develop the workforce of the future.” 

Big picture with Jason Stead

Bringing more than three decades of experience in building new revenue, growing and retaining clients, as well as developing and launching new products and services, Stead’s new role as the leader of GES’ EMEA organization involves leading two brands: GES Exhibitions, the leading general services contractor in the U.K., Europe and Middle East, and Visit, a premium event intelligence business.

Before joining GES in 2014, Stead previously held leadership positions at Nissan, EDF, Sky, ITV, Emap and Ascential.

“Across EMEA, we are dedicated to our strategic mission of building meaningful partnerships with our clients to help them grow,” Stead said. “I’m incredibly proud of the team and their dedication to the success of our business, our clients and the industry as a whole.” 

Stead added that one of GES EMEA’s biggest goals for the new year is to continue the positive cultural and behavioral changes with its current and future employees.  

“We nurture the talent we have to make significant long term, positive differences to business performance,” he said. “We will also continue to drive for quality and simplification improvements as well as working closer with our customers to make it easier to do business with GES. Our aim [is to] help our customers grow.”   

What’s next

Going forward, Quade and Stead will also be focused on accelerating GES’ commitments to environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards to be more relevant to the needs of the planet, clients, teams and the communities in which the company works, according to GES officials.

“Jeff and Jason have been outstanding leaders of innovation and change at GES, with proven track records in both business development and operational excellence to provide extraordinary service and insight to our clients,” said Steve Moster, president of GES and president and CEO of Viad Corp. “They have built world-class teams and a winning culture to elevate GES to the next level. These promotions recognize Jeff and Jason’s leadership and commitment to our clients.”


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Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact