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% 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.
Dealer Day, Wednesday, October 23, was back by popular demand and helped stimulate a 6% increase in the number of dealers, distributors and retailers attending the show. The Dealer Resource Pavilion, jointly sponsored by NAEDA, 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 3:00 - 7:00 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.
Bob Clements, the national consultant who led classes for dealership owners and managers, said, "This year's Dealer Day was a huge success for the dealers and their employees as well as for the sponsors of the Dealer Pavilion. Each of the technical training classes sold out, and the 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. workshops I conducted had over 300 people seated with dealers standing in the back. At the conclusion of each session the sponsors had hundreds of dealers who were motivated to improve their stores flood their booths seeking more information and knowledge on the best way to grow and achieve higher levels of profit. It was a 'Wow' experience for everyone involved."
Education offered for GIE+EXPO attendees climbed 21% over last year. PLANET, HNA, the North American Equipment Dealers Association, the Engine & Equipment Training Council and some exhibitors provided speakers and trainers.
A new feature this year was the Dealer Summit, during which dealers and distributors heard industry leaders discussing challenges and future opportunities. The North American Equipment Dealers Association hosted a manufacturer’s panel featuring representatives from Toro, Briggs-Stratton, American Honda and Excel Industries. Dealers had the opportunity to ask questions on important OPE industry topics and issues.
Including HNA there were 637 indoor exhibits, which represents a 6% 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.
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.