LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The 2013 GIE+EXPO (Green Industry & Equipment Expo), Oct. 23-25 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, buzzed with business indoors and out. A 6 percent registration increase generated an audience of more than 18,000 people from around the world, and the DIY Network and NBC were on hand to report to their national consumer audiences about trends in the industry.

Dealers and lawn & landscape pros networked, gathered valuable information from the many classes offered and compared products in the popular, 19-acre Outdoor Demonstration Area.

Hot topics during the show were the vast array of new environmentally friendly products and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute’s (OPEI) ethanol awareness campaign. 
Leaders of GIE+EXPO and the co-located Hardscape North America (HNA) announced during the show that the co-location will be extended through 2016. This year more than 1,500 hardscape contractors and distributors registered for HNA.
 
Dealer Day
Dealer Day, Wednesday, Oct. 23, was back by popular demand and helped stimulate a 6 percent increase in the number of dealers, distributors and retailers attending the show. The Dealer Resource Pavilion was open all day; classes were offered for dealership owners/managers, technicians and rental dealers; technicians’ certification exams sold out, and the show floor was open 3 – 7 p.m. The preview day provided focused education and facilitated one-on-one time so exhibitors and dealers/distributors could network and discuss pricing and products.

During a reception on the show floor Wednesday evening, exhibitors held prize drawings and entertained with food and beverages. Dave Wilder, a distributor from GLO Products of Largo, Fla., won STIHL’s big $5,000 STIHL giveaway.

Education
On Wednesday while retailers, distributors and dealers were busy at the Kentucky Expo Center, lawn care and landscape professionals were in downtown Louisville taking classes offered by the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) and Professional Landcare Network (PLANET). The sessions continued at the Expo Center on Thursday and Friday.

Education offered for GIE+EXPO attendees climbed 21 percent over last year. PLANET, HNA, the North American Equipment Dealers Association, the Engine & Equipment Training Council and some exhibitors provided speakers and trainers.

Networking
A new feature this year was the Dealer Summit, during which dealers and distributors heard industry leaders discussing challenges and future opportunities.

Thursday’s Dealer Resource Roundtable Breakfast, sponsored by STIHL and Gravely, provided an opportunity for dealers to share best practices during facilitated roundtable discussions.

The entertainers in the free nightly concerts were Craig Morgan on Wednesday night; Three Dog Night on Thursday night; and Holly Williams on Friday. All were held in the downtown entertainment complex, 4th Street Live! on the Nissan Commercial Vehicles stage.

Exhibits
Including HNA there were 637 indoor exhibits, which represents a 6 percent increase. The popular New Products Showcase featured 46 companies spotlighting 69 products that were introduced within the past year.

The Outdoor Demonstration Area increased in size with about 100 of the indoor exhibitors giving attendees a chance for hands-on experience with their equipment. 

Just Some of the Prize Winners
The show awarded travel packages to Walker McAlister, Evergreen Landscaping & Maintenance (ELM), Marshville, N.C., and Mark Berardi of Pro Landscape Supply in Stamford, Conn.

The last day of the show was dubbed "Fabulous Friday" during which Ben Bremer, a servicing dealer with Hoyer Outdoor Equipment in Brookport, Ill., won $1,000. 

Also on Friday, the first-ever Hardscape North America Installer Championship concluded with Decorative Paving Company, Loveland, Ohio, emerging as the champ and winning $1,000, an iQ360 14-inch masonry saw with fully-integrated dust collection plus accessories (valued at $5,348), a trophy and bragging rights for a full year.

The winners of the 2013 Power Equipment Trade GIE+EXPO Dealers’ Choice Awards:

  • Accessory/Attachment: B3C Fuels Ethanol Shield 2-Stroke Oil
  • Hand-held: STIHL MS 251 C-BE Chain Saw
  • Industrial/Engine: Briggs & Stratton Vanguard 810cc V-Twin engine
  • Wheeled: Excel Hustler Super 104 Mower

Next Year
The dates for the 2014 show in Louisville are Oct. 22 for dealers, distributors, retailers and media, and Oct. 23-24 for everyone in the industry. The Demo Area will be open Thursday and Friday, Oct. 23 and 24. Watch for an expanded technician certification program and increased opportunities for suppliers of UTVs.