Increases in both dealer and landscaper attendance blew the roof off attendance records at industry’s biggest event, GIE+EXPO at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Dealer attendance increased 8% and landscaper numbers were up 18% as the show covered 675,000 sq. ft. indoors and 20 acres of outdoor demonstration space just outside the exhibit hall. Show officials cited new show features, innovative technology and opportunities to network combining for another record-breaking year for GIE+EXPO. One of the largest trade shows in the U.S., GIE+EXPO drew more than 26,500 people from all 50 states and more than 40 countries. The indoor exhibit floor and the Outdoor Demonstration Area were larger than ever, covering 24,000 net sq. ft. more than last year.
In addition to the major show attractions—aisles full of new products and technology and a truly unique demo area—special new features keep the show fresh. Power Equipment Trade made a splash with daily recap videos highlighting the discoveries of the day at GIE+EXPO. From new technology to puppy dog tails, PET saw it all. During the 3-day event PET live streamed 11 Dealer Workshops, which are available to watch on PET’s YouTube channel. The new live stream layout prominently features the workshop speakers’ PowerPoint presentations, making the videos a valuable source of information for dealers.
Echo sponsored a new Social Media Lounge, providing a place for attendees to network and hear insights from live guests and social media influencers right on the trade show floor. Arborist demos by the Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop gave attendees the opportunity to learn from a group of experts they demonstrated climbing techniques on a 40-foot tree inside the expo center. The sessions, presented by Davey Tree, were sponsored by Stihl, with support from Shelter Tree. And the 2nd annual Mutt Madness, sponsored by TurfMutt in partnership with the Kentucky Humane Society, gave attendees a chance to interact with dogs looking for a good home, and 15 dogs were adopted.
Nick Williams of Power House Outdoors, Hattiesburg, Miss., won the $5,000 Stihl Giveaway during Wednesday’s Dealer Preview. The winner of the Fabulous Friday $20,000 Giveaway was Jake Guindon of Lonestar Landscaping & Co., Waterdown, Ontario Canada. Gravely gave away a Pro-Stance Commercial Stand on Mower to winner Chris Thomas, Thomas Lawn & Landscape, Indianapolis, Ind., and the Propane Education & Research Council gave away a Big Tex Trailer that included an Exmark Mower and a Spartan Mower to Jim Langendorf of Olympic Lawns, Springboro, Oh.
Kris Kiser, managing partner of GIE+EXPO and OPEI President, says show organizers will continue to expand the event’s hands-on and participatory events next year with indoor drone training in Freedom Hall and an equipment test track and hands-on education with the latest in technology and robotic mowers. According to Kiser, the Kentucky Exposition Center is one of the country’s most unique venues because it offers an indoor arena with 70 ft. ceilings where attendees can learn to fly drones, and right outside the exhibit hall sits the 20-acre demo park where there are hands-on training opportunities and all types of equipment available for testing.
“Unlike other events where attendees sit in meeting rooms, GIE+EXPO offers hands-on training with things like the arborist demos, the Outdoor Demo Area, the new Social Media Lounge, engine tech training and live hardscape demos,” Kiser says. GIE+EXPO 2020 is set for October 21-23.