Upfront: Don’t miss “The Dealer Experience” at this year’s GIE+EXPO

By Steve Noe


I recently received the exciting details for “The Dealer Experience — Your Guide to Profitability” at the Green Industry and Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO) — which will take place Thursday, Oct. 23, through Saturday, Oct. 25, at Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center — and wanted to share them with you.


Sponsored by Stihl Inc. and the Ariens Company — with the North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA) and Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) serving as hosts — The Dealer Experience will offer dealers of all sizes many benefits, including:

Education (Oct. 23 and 24) that provides dealers step-by-step recommendations for profitability
Exclusive early-morning entrance to trade show floor
Access to the Green Industry Expo workshops
A summary of sessions as a follow-up
A Dealer Club for relaxing, checking e-mail, enjoying refreshments, and networking
Lunches and other networking opportunities with dealers from around the world
Panelists from throughout the United States
A unique, crystal-ball look into the future of the OPE industry with an informal discussion between Fred Whyte, president of Stihl Inc., and Dan Ariens, president of Ariens Company

The moderators for the educational sessions will be Bob Clements, president, Bob Clements International, Inc., and OPE contributing writer, on Thursday and Thomas Holdsworth, Skills USA, on Friday. The schedule will be as follows:


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23


8 a.m.-5 p.m. The Dealer Club facilities open


8-9 a.m. Exclusive access to trade show for dealers and retailers


9 a.m.-5 p.m. Trade show open


10 a.m.-5 p.m. Outdoor demo area open


Noon-1:30 p.m. Session 1: “Build Beneficial Relationships with Contractors to Build Your Bottom Line”

Jeremy Eck, Spruce It Up Inc., Springfield, Mo.
Todd Reinhart, Reinhart Grounds Maintenance Inc., Bloomington, Ill.
Juan Vila, Vila & Son, Miami, Fla.
Kurt Bland, Bland Landscaping Co. Inc., Apex, N.C.

1:30-2:15 p.m. Session 2: “What’s Next: A Look to the Future of the OPE Industry — A conversation with Fred Whyte, president of Stihl Inc., and Dan Ariens, president of Ariens Company.” Dealer lunch: $15 per participant.


2:30-4:30 p.m. Session 3: “Propel Your Company to Success with Value-driven Marketing Practices”

Jeff Smith, Twin City Outdoor, West Monroe, La.
Ralph Helm III, Ralph Helm Inc., Elgin, Ill.
Shaun O’Connor, O’Connor’s Lawn & Garden, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Kevin Hansut, Gulf Coast Tractor & Equipment, Land O’Lakes, Fla.

6:30 p.m. Free Briggs Bluesbusters concert sponsored by Briggs & Stratton at 4th Street Live!


8 p.m. Free 38 Special concert sponsored by Briggs & Stratton at 4th Street Live!


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24


8 a.m.-5 p.m. The Dealer Club facilities open


8-9 a.m. Exclusive access to trade show for dealers and retailers


9 a.m.-5 p.m. Trade show open


10 a.m.-5 p.m. Outdoor demo area open


Noon-1:30 p.m. Session 4: “Successful Business Planning 101”

Lynn Pesson Jr., Southland Engine Company, Lafayette, La.
Tim Ahearn, Ahearn Equipment, Inc., Spencer, Mass.
Phil Jacobi, Jacobi Sales, Palmyra, Ind.
Carl Levien, Carl’s Mower & Saw, Ferndale, Wash.

1:30-2:15 p.m. Session 5: “Yard & Garden’s 6th annual Dealers in Excellence awards presentation,” sponsored by Ariens, Stihl, Equipment & Engine Training Council, and GIE+EXPO. Dealer lunch: $15 per participant.


2:30-4:30 p.m. Session 6: “Valuable Resources for Hiring, Training and Retention”

Tom Rigg, Riggs Mowers & More, Valparaiso, Ind.
Scott Jardine, Arn’s Equipment Ltd., Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Terry Coffin, Beard’s Outdoor Power Equipment, Crestwood, Ky.
Barden Winstead, Land & Coates, Virginia Beach, Va.

7 p.m. Candy Coburn concert sponsored by Ariens, Gravely and Stens at 4th Street Live!


8:30 p.m. Free Lonestar concert sponsored by Ariens, Gravely and Stens at 4th Street Live!


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25


8 a.m.-3 p.m. The Dealer Club facilities open


8-9 a.m. Exclusive access to trade show for dealers and retailers


9 a.m.-3 p.m. Trade show open


10 a.m.-1 p.m. Outdoor demo area open


Pre-registration is required for The Dealer Experience. The sessions are free except for $15 for each lunch Oct. 23 and 24. Pre-registration for a three-day pass to the trade show is $10 per person. The trade show admission for those who wait to register onsite will be $50. To register online for The Dealer Experience and the trade show, go to www.gie-expo.com. Dealers who register online will be eligible for a drawing — sponsored by the Ariens Company and American Airlines — for two American Airlines tickets to anywhere in the Caribbean. For additional information about GIE+EXPO, visit www.gie-expo.com or call Sellers Expositions at (800) 558-8767 or (812) 949-9200.

 

OPE Editor Steve Noe
snoe@m2media360.com

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