GIE+EXPO 2017 to offer customizable education for dealers

Dealers looking for ways to improve efficiency and profitability will find new, customizable learning opportunities at the 2017 Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO). Many of the sessions are free to dealers with the $15 tradeshow admission. GIE+EXPO is set for Wednesday, Oct. 18 (Dealer Day), as well as Thursday, Oct. 19, and Friday, Oct. 20 (for all industry participants), at Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center.

The Dealer Day education will include:

  • The first-ever People, Process, Profit: Dealer Boot Camp led by Bob Clements and his team
  • UTV University with proven powersports dealer training specialists
  • Technician training on advanced and basic tracks
  • kick-off keynote featuring noted economist Alan Beaulieu
  • Two sessions in a new series of 30-minute dealer workshops led by industry experts. These sessions will continue Thursday and Friday.
  • LatinoLink Dealer Day Breakfast

The programs will run concurrently throughout the day, and dealers will be able to customize their learning by choosing sessions from each track. Or, dealers who bring their team can split up and take in all sessions. The Dealer Resource Center will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Following the Dealer Day educational programming, dealers, retailers, distributors and media will have an exclusive preview of the indoor exhibits from 3 to 7 p.m. During a welcome reception on the show floor from 5 to 7 p.m., many of the exhibitors will host games, food, festivities and prizes in their booths.

Thursday and Friday’s dealer education schedule will include:

  • Eight additional 30-minute dealer workshops
  • Power-Up Morning session with Bob Clements each day before the show floor opens

On Thursday and Friday, the trade show and the adjacent 20-acre Outdoor Demonstration Area will be open to all in the industry.
NEW — People, Process, Profit: Dealer Boot Camp — FREE unless noted

Bob Clements has developed a reputation as the dealership guru. He has given countless dealers the tools they needed to achieve personal and financial freedom.

9-10 a.m.
Dealing with Conflicting Personalities — Employees, Customers and More!
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Running a business would be easy if I didn’t have to deal with people?” Sara Hey will explain why some people drive you crazy, what you can do about it, and strategies to deal with employees or customers who are upset.

10-11 a.m.
Processes — the Basics for Your Service and Parts Departments
Bob Clements will walk dealers through basic processes that you should have in place for your service and parts departments. He will share best practices that you can implement as soon as you get back to your dealership.

11 a.m.-noon
Understanding Your Numbers in Service, Parts and Sales
To be an effective owner or manager, you must know the “vital signs” of your dealership — total labor sales, service recovery rates, and parts sales by individual. Bob Clements will discuss why it’s important to know your numbers; the key numbers you should measure to most effectively manage your parts, service and sales departments; and how your reports can help you manage your dealership and improve the overall effectiveness of your business.

Noon-1:15 p.m.
Dealer & UTV Retailer Box Lunch Special: Employee Compensation
Pre-registration is required. Cost: $25 (includes lunch).
How do you determine what an employee should be paid, and how do you structure bonuses that encourage employees to be more efficient? Bob Clements will share what dealerships across the country are doing and how to implement a compensation program that motivates and rewards employees for performance.

Dealer Day Kick-Off Keynote featuring Alan Beaulieu, ITR Economics — FREE  

1:30-3 p.m.
Uncertainty and volatility are the prevailing challenges that business leaders confront today. Sifting through the maze of economic information, noted economist and author Alan Beaulieu will provide a timely snapshot of the current economy, where it is headed over the next three years, and what it means to your business. Learn a methodology to help your business take advantage of the present economic environment. Free with tradeshow admission, the keynote is sponsored by Gravely and Stihl.

NEW — 30-Minute Dealer Workshops — FREE
The Dealer Resource Center will be the location of a new series of 10 workshops (30 minutes apiece) for dealers throughout the three days of GIE+EXPO. These sessions will be presented by experts from the Bob Clements team, Equipment Dealers Association and United Equipment Dealers Association.

2-2:30 p.m.
Dealership Expense Control Ideas and Strategies
Rex Collins, CPA, CVA, Principal at HBK CPAs & Consultants
Dealership profitability is being squeezed tighter and tighter. This session will explore ways that successful dealers have used to reduce the expense structure to help ensure that they remain profitable…or increase existing profits.

4-4:30 p.m.
How Profitable Dealers Establish Their Labor Rates
Rex Collins, CPA, CVA, Principal at HBK CPAs & Consultants
One of the keys to operating a profitable service department is properly establishing your labor rates. Join us as we discuss the steps that you should go through in setting your labor rate.

10-10:30 a.m.
Dealership Year-end Tax Planning Opportunities
Rex Collins, CPA, CVA, Principal at HBK CPAs & Consultants
With federal income tax rates of approximately 40 percent, your tax liability is a major expense that should be proactively managed by a professional with dealership taxation experience. During this session, we will discuss various tax provisions that impact dealers and their dealerships, so you can take full advantage of these provisions prior to the end of the year. We will also discuss the latest changes in tax laws.

11-11:30 a.m.
So, Your Kids Want to Join Your Business
Sara Hey, Bob Clements International
Bringing family members into your dealership can be a good thing if handled correctly. In this short breakout, Sara Hey will share the three most common mistakes that business parents make when bringing their children into their business and answer questions on how to solve family business problems that already exist.

1-1:30 p.m.
Understanding the Customer Journey to Online Purchase
Tim Whitley, CEO of Team SI
The modern customer journey includes key points of inspiration prior to buying a product or service (content marketing, social media, data and reputation management). Google analyzed millions of consumer interactions to show how different marketing channels affect online purchase decisions. What are the most important moments along the journey for your customers? With a detailed checklist, Tim Whitley will explain what your potential customers are doing before they even step into your storefront.

2-2:30 p.m.
Positioning Your Dealership to Sell
Bob Clements
When it comes to putting a value on your dealership, there are key indicators potential buyers want to see that will help you get the top value. During this short breakout, Bob Clements will share the key indicators and answer questions on the best way to position your dealership to sell.

10-10:30 a.m.
Is It Time to Add a Second Location?
Bob Clements
As you consider expanding your dealership to a second location, there are specific pitfalls you want to be sure to avoid. During this short breakout session, Bob Clements will share his insight on the best way to move toward a second location and answer questions from dealers who are considering taking the chance.

11-11:30 a.m.
Charting Your Digital Marketing Game Plan
Bill Wagner, ARI Network Services
With 2018 right around the corner, now is the ideal time to chart a goal-based digital marketing strategy for the year ahead. In this session, ARI’s digital marketing expert will provide you with the tools you need to conduct a digital marketing self-audit, align your marketing strategies with your dealership goals, and create an easy-to-execute plan of action.

1-1:30 p.m.
Visual Merchandising — the Most Essential of Retail Elements
Jennifer Robison
Visual merchandising is a big part of your growth strategy. Jennifer will address the four essential retail elements and how visual merchandising is a neglected element in most independent stores.

2-2:30 p.m.
Is Your Attitude Killing Your Store’s Vibe & Sales?
Jennifer Robison
Stores are measured on the energy and feeling that customers experience, as well as the environment, products and services. Jennifer will reveal how you and your staff might be giving the wrong impression/experience without realizing it.

Power-Up Morning Sessions for Dealers – FREE
Before the show floor opens on Thursday and Friday, dealers will have the opportunity to start the day with valuable management tips from Bob Clements and his team in these free sessions.


8-9 a.m.
Coaching and Management Basics
It isn’t uncommon to promote your best technician or parts person to a management position. However, without providing proper guidance on how to effectively manage a team, this strategy could backfire. Bob Clements will walk through the basics of how to coach your team and the management skills that you and your employees will need to succeed.

8-9 a.m.
Establishing a Culture and Casting a Vision for Your Dealership
“Culture” and “vision” are buzzwords we all hear. But why are they important, and how is establishing them in your dealership important to your future? Sara Hey will help dealers understand what an effective culture and vision look like, how to get your team on board, and how it will set your dealership apart.

UTV University — FREE

Back for a second year, the UTV University will feature proven powersports dealer training specialists and a roundtable discussion about the state of the UTV industry. It is designed for dealers currently selling UTVs, as well as those considering adding them to their lineup.

9-10 a.m.
Street Smart Dealership Management with Book Smart Backup
Mark Mooney
A 35-year-plus veteran of the powersports industry, Mark Mooney has managed dealerships, improved bottom lines, and owned his own multi-line metric dealership. He has partnered with many major OEMs to provide dealership consultation and UTV sales training. He has delivered keynotes for OEMs, taught classes on dealership management, and trained sales teams throughout the United States.

10-11 a.m.
How to Guide Customers Through Their UTV Buying Decision
Steve Shankin
Steve Shankin’s entrepreneurial spirit within the UTV segment led to him being named a 2016 Industry Leader by Powersports Business magazine. His North Carolina-based company manufactures UTV accessories and is a UTV design firm that works with several UTV OEMs. Shankin’s debut at UTV University in 2016 was met with such high regard that he has been invited back for a longer session in 2017.

11 a.m.-noon
Sales Coaching is not a Trend, but an Adventure for UTV Dealers
Ty Bello
Ty Bello is an inspirational leader who is passionate about serving and cultivating leaders. Bello is a Registered Corporate Coach with the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches and the president and founder of Team @ Work, which focuses on sales growth, leadership and business development. With more than 28 years as a business professional, he is an industry leader in coaching of OPE, powersports and UTV dealerships.

Noon-1:15 p.m.
Roundtable Discussion with UTV Industry Experts
Hosted by John Kmitta, associate publisher, Outdoor Power Equipment magazine
Featuring Dave McMahon, executive editor, Powersports Business magazine
John, Dave and other industry experts will discuss and analyze UTV market retail sales trends, UTV dealer data and more.

1:30-3 p.m.
Dealer “Kick-off” Keynote
Alan Beaulieu, ITR Economics
Sponsored by Gravely and Stihl

Tech Training

Tech training is offered through the Equipment & Engine Training Council (EETC).

2-hour Tech Training Sessions — $30 each — will begin at 7:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Courses offered include: OPE Electrical Systems Training, Saw Chain Grinding Best Practices, Float Bowl Carburetors and Propane Gas Fuel Systems

3-hour Tech Training Sessions — $45 each — will begin at 8 a.m. and noon
Courses offered include: Electrical Troubleshooting, Hydrostatic Transmissions, Diaphragm Carburetors and Electronic Fuel Injection Systems

LatinoLink Dealer Day Breakfast

9-10:30 a.m.
The Secrets to Gaining More Hispanic Business
Pre-registration is required. Cost: $25 (includes breakfast).
This panel presentation will feature Hispanic contractors sharing their dealer experiences. What makes some dealers stand out among Hispanic landscape industry professionals? What little things can you implement that can make a big difference? How can the brands you carry help? The answers may surprise you!

GIE+EXPO is an annual event sponsored by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Inc. (OPEI), Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) and National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP). For information and online registration, go to Other contact points include, Twitter @GIE_EXPO and (800) 558-8767/(812) 949-9200.