Upfront: Looking forward to GIE+EXPO 2016

By Steve Noe

Each year, I look forward to attending the Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO) in Louisville, Ky., with the reasons varying from year to year. With this year’s show set to take place Wednesday, Oct. 19 (Dealer Day), through Friday, Oct. 21, at the Kentucky Exposition Center, I’m excited about going to the 10th annual show for many reasons, including the following:

* Dealer Day: Dealer Day is a great way to kick off the show each year, allowing dealers, distributors, retailers and media a chance to get a sneak peek at new products and visit with exhibitors before the show opens to all industry participants on days two and three. And every year, Dealer Day continues to get better with more exhibitors getting into the spirit by hosting fun-filled festivities at their booths. I can’t wait to see what exhibitors have planned for Dealer Day this year!

* Inaugural UTV University: I’m excited that Outdoor Power Equipment will be assisting Powersports Business magazine with the debut of UTV University on Dealer Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you currently carry – or are considering carrying – utility vehicles, you won’t want to miss UTV University. It will feature presentations by proven powersports dealer training specialists; a roundtable discussion with UTV manufacturers and industry leaders about the state of the UTV industry; and a Dealer Kick-off Keynote by Jason Dorsey, “The Gen Y Guy.”

* New Power Up Morning Sessions: With the Summer Olympics recently taking place in Rio, it’s rather fitting that Shannon Miller, a seven-time Olympic medalist as a former member the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, will be among the presenters for the show’s new Power Up Morning Sessions. From 8 to 9 a.m. on Friday, Miller will share her insight on what it takes to be a winner in her presentation on “The Gold Medal Mindset.” Mark Mooney, a powersports dealer consultant who will be one of the UTV University presenters on Wednesday morning, will return Thursday at 8 a.m. to lead a one-hour Power Up Morning Session on “We Used to Do That – A Roadmap to Dealership Success.” Each session costs $5, and the money will be donated to charity.

* New products: Between press conferences, booth visits, and private meetings and hospitality events, each year I make the rounds to more than 30 media-related events in the three-day show, which can be exhausting. However, it is also very exhilarating to see and demo so many new products. This year should be no exception, as the invites are already starting to pour in to check out a wave of new products!

* Free concerts: After the show ends each day, I enjoy heading to downtown Louisville and catching the concerts at 4th Street Live! This year, the performers will be The Crashers on Wednesday, Brooke Eden and Joe Nichols on Thursday, and Kirby’s Dreamland and Wax Factory on Friday. The concerts start at 8 p.m. each day, and they are free thanks to sponsors Dixie Chopper and Nissan Commercial Vehicles.

* Networking: There’s no better place than GIE+EXPO to catch up with everyone in the industry. Having attended an annual OPE industry trade show (GIE+EXPO or its predecessor EXPO) in Louisville in all but one year since 1998, I now feel like I’m attending a family reunion when I go to GIE+EXPO.

To learn more about this year’s GIE+EXPO, check out the “GIE+EXPO 2016 Show Preview” on pages 18-29 in this issue of OPE. For additional updates before, during and after the show, visit outdoorpowerequipment.com. Also, please be sure to drop by booth 10215 to say hello. Hope to see you at the show!

OPE Senior Editor Steve Noe