By Steve Noe
With the start of fall and another exciting Major League Baseball regular season coming to an end, I’m really looking forward to another fall classic.
No, I’m not talking about the World Series — although that would certainly change if it involves my Chicago Cubs’ pursuit of their first World Series title in 100 years. Hopefully, I didn’t just jinx them!
I’m referring to the Green Industry and Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO), which is set to take place Thursday, Oct. 23, through Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. Sponsored by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), and Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS), this World Series of trade shows should be even better than last year’s, which was proclaimed a “home run” by GIE+EXPO Chairman Dan Ariens. OK, no more baseball analogies — I promise.
Back by popular demand will be “The Dealer Experience — Your Guide to Profitability.” Having actively participated in this event last year, I can assure you that it is well worth the trip to Louisville just to sit in on the interactive educational sessions and absorb the best business practices of some of the nation’s top dealers. All six sessions taking place Oct. 23 and 24 (three per day) are free — with the exception of $15 for lunch each day — if you pre-register at www.gie-expo.com. In addition to gaining a wealth of take-home knowledge from your peers, you will also receive a crystal-ball look into the future of the OPE industry with a conversation between Fred Whyte, president of Stihl Inc., and Dan Ariens, president and CEO of Ariens Company — whose companies are sponsoring “The Dealer Experience.” Plus, John Felmy, Ph.D., chief economist of the American Petroleum Institute, will discuss the fuels marketplace, including refining capacity, prices and the current supply/demand situation. For a complete rundown on “The Dealer Experience,” see pages 20-25 in this special GIE+EXPO 2008 preview edition.
When “class” at “The Dealer Experience” is dismissed — and the show floor and outdoor demo area close for each of the first two days — the fun and excitement will continue in downtown Louisville, where you can enjoy some top-notch concerts for free at 4th Street Live! On the first night, Briggs & Stratton Corporation will bring you its very own Briggs Bluesbusters at 6:30 p.m., followed by headliner 38 Special at 8 p.m. The second night will feature two more outstanding concerts, courtesy of Ariens, Gravely and Stens, with Candy Coburn opening at 7 p.m. for Lonestar at 8:30 p.m. If you are a big Candy Coburn fan, make sure you stop by Stens booth #7140 for her autograph session Friday from 2 to 4 p.m.
Of course, you should also set aside plenty of time to explore the Kentucky Exposition Center, both inside and out, to sample the latest products and services that the industry has to offer. For an advance showing of what will be on display, check out the “GIE+EXPO Aisle by Aisle Guide” on pages 28-43 in this issue. To learn more about GIE+EXPO 2008, read the show preview on pages 16-17 and the daily schedule on pages 18-19.
Hope to see you at what promises to be a great show! Go Cubs!
NOTE: Pre-registration for a three-day pass to GIE+EXPO is $10 per person. The trade show admission for those who wait to register onsite will be $50. To pre-register online and reserve hotel rooms, go to www.gie-expo.com. For additional information, visit www.gie-expo.com or call Sellers Expositions at (800) 558-8767 or (812) 949-9200.
OPE Editor Steve Noe