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In the late eighties some loose partnerships were being formed between exhibit companies in Germany, Singapore and the United States. The companies knew each other well, were impressed with each other’s service offerings and above all, the way customers were being treated. They all knew that outstanding customer service is key to success and creates lasting and trusting relationships. Business ethics were no foreign terms to any of them and over time, the network expanded and other companies were included. A strong showing at the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998 brought a Japanese company into the circle of fine companies and in March of 1998 , Hans E. Mecker invited partners to Lausanne, Switzerland to formally create The Global Exhibit Alliance and bring the network members even closer together.

During this meeting in Lausanne , the members decided on the logo and the statutes of the Alliance.

Excerpt from the membership diploma: “ With accepting membership into the Alliance (company name) will adhere to all regulations and rules of conduct established by the Alliance. The code of conduct includes but is not limited to providing the best exhibit design and construction services possible to any client of the Alliance, to hold business ethics to the highest standards, to establish global business relationships and to develop international friendship and understanding between Alliance members and clients alike”

The Global Exhibit Alliance is not a membership fee driven organization. It was decided that such fees would “pollute” the ideas upon which the Alliance was based. Membership can only be granted to exhibit companies known to subscribe to the same high standards as GEA members and can only be obtained through recommendation and introduction by GEA partners. Furthermore, the members have to agree and vote on any new recommendation and new members will be formally invited to join. Members will receive membership certificates, which will identify their status and are allowed and encouraged to display the GEA logo on their promotional literature, stationery and business cards.

Continued membership is based on active participation within the GEA and acceptance of certain duties that will benefit all. A president and information officer will be elected every year.

Membership can be revoked if a member does abandon the rules of the association and strays from the code of conduct. All members will evaluate such situations and vote on dismissal. Since the inception of the GEA, two members have lost their membership status due to inactivity and the attempt to create unfair advantages for themselves.

Members of the GEA clearly understand and demonstrate by their daily actions that services provided to their clients are the foundation of their business and that the highest ethical standards are essential to create meaningful, trusting and lasting relationships with exhibitors worldwide. GEA leadership has been confirmed by many clients and associations .

The current officers of the GEA are Hans E. Mecker, USA and Ujjal Sinha, India. Their term will end July 31, 2010.