GIE+EXPO 2014 Show Recap (Part I)

First of a two-part series

By Steve Noe

By nearly every conceivable statistical measure, the 2014 Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO), which took place Oct. 22-24 at Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center, was the biggest and best in the show’s history.

More than 19,000 people attended the international show, representing an 11-percent registration increase over last year. Hardscape North America (HNA), which co-located with GIE+EXPO, also enjoyed record attendance with a 22-percent increase over 2013. GIE+EXPO’s footprint was more than 1.3 million square feet, which is the equivalent of nearly 30 acres, or 27 football fields, making it the largest ever for the show.

GIE+EXPO 2014 featured 675 indoor exhibits, which was a 6-percent increase over 2013 and 13-percent leap over 2012. With 181 new exhibitors, it was the largest show since the Green Industry Expo and the International Lawn, Garden and Power Equipment Expo merged in 2007. The New Products Showcase served as the spotlight for 107 products introduced by 68 companies in the past year, and at least 25 exhibitors held press conferences.

“It’s the biggest GIE+EXPO ever,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), which is one of the show’s sponsors. “Record attendance, record participation… If you go around the show, you can sense this. The show looks good. We are busting at the seams.”

The show kicked off successfully with Dealer Day on Oct. 22, with the show floor open exclusively to dealers, distributors, retailers and media. The education and basic and advance tech training sessions were also well attended. Bob Clements’ Wednesday seminar — the first of five free sessions for dealers — drew 320-plus attendants. Participation in basic tech training sessions was up a whopping 213 percent this year, while registration in the advanced training rose 14 percent. Registration for all paid dealer education was up 35 percent. The inaugural Keynote Dealer Luncheon, sponsored by Gravely and Stihl Inc., drew nearly 200 participants. During a welcome reception, many exhibitors hosted fun-filled activities and live entertainment at their booths, including Stihl Inc. At its Oktoberfest-themed booth, Stihl Inc. not only gave away beer and brats, but also a $5,000 check to Stihl Oktoberfest winner Tanya Kistner, owner of Eau Claire Lawn Equipment, Eau Claire, Wis.

“Dealer Day is going well,” said Pierre Pereira, vice president of sales and marketing at Billy Goat Industries, Inc., during a press conference on Dealer Day. “I think dealers are looking to be the source of what’s next for their contractors, so dealers are really active in here. They like seeing the new products.”

With sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s and 70s, attendees flocked to the 19-acre outdoor demonstration area for days two and three of the show — which were open to all industry participants — to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather and test out equipment from approximately 100 exhibitors, including utility vehicles (UTVs) on test tracks that were new this year.

Show Director Warren Sellers said, “We can already see that we will sell out in the demo area next year.” According to Sellers, several exhibitors that declined the opportunity for outdoor booths this year because of cold weather in 2013 have already requested outdoor space in the demo area for 2015, and he is seeing growing interest from suppliers of UTVs and UTV accessories.

The dates for GIE+EXPO 2015 have already been set for Oct. 21-23, with the show following the same format of being open to dealers, distributors, retailers and media only for Dealer Day on Oct. 21 and everyone in the industry on Oct. 22-23.

For more information about GIE+EXPO 2014, including an exhibitor-by-exhibitor rundown of the show’s top newsmakers, please be sure to check out the second of this two-part series in December 2014 OPE.

015-web

1) Kentucky Exposition Center, site of GIE+EXPO. 2) Fred Whyte, president of Stihl Inc., left, and Brad Sorgen, Stihl event marketing specialist, right, present a $5,000 check to Stihl Oktoberfest winner Tanya Kistner, owner of Eau Claire Lawn Equipment, Eau Claire, Wis. 3) Cary Shepherd, national training specialist at Husqvarna, demonstrates the power of the new Husqvarna T536Li XP 36-volt Li-ion battery-powered top-handle chain saw. 4) Thanks to perfect weather, the outdoor demonstration area was hopping. 5) Altoz employees huddle around the new XE mower following a press conference. 6) Kubota’s Christine Chapman discusses the fine points of one of three new Z700X zero-turn mowers. 7) Will Coates, CEO and president of Billy Goat Industries, Inc., highlights the features of the new PLUGR 25-inch hydro-drive aerator. 8) Dixie Chopper’s Fort Dixie-themed outdoor booth. 9) The Crashers perform a free concert, sponsored by Synchrony Financial, at downtown Louisville’s Fourth Street Live! 10) The new Hustler Raptor Flip-Up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Kentucky Exposition Center, site of GIE+EXPO. 2) Fred Whyte, president of Stihl Inc., left, and Brad Sorgen, Stihl event marketing specialist, right, present a $5,000 check to Stihl Oktoberfest winner Tanya Kistner, owner of Eau Claire Lawn Equipment, Eau Claire, Wis. 3) Cary Shepherd, national training specialist at Husqvarna, demonstrates the power of the new Husqvarna T536Li XP 36-volt Li-ion battery-powered top-handle chain saw. 4) Thanks to perfect weather, the outdoor demonstration area was hopping. 5) Altoz employees huddle around the new XE mower following a press conference. 6) Kubota’s Christine Chapman discusses the fine points of one of three new Z700X zero-turn mowers. 7) Will Coates, CEO and president of Billy Goat Industries, Inc., highlights the features of the new PLUGR 25-inch hydro-drive aerator. 8) Dixie Chopper’s Fort Dixie-themed outdoor booth. 9) The Crashers perform a free concert, sponsored by Synchrony Financial, at downtown Louisville’s Fourth Street Live! 10) The new Hustler Raptor Flip-Up.

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*