It’s everything you ever want
It’s everything you ever need
And it’s here right in front of you
This is where you want to be
This is where you want to be…
The lyrics above are from the song “The Greatest Show” from the hit musical “The Greatest Showman.” My kids are obsessed with the soundtrack, so I have been beaten over the head with the lyrics, and couldn’t help but think of that song when trying to encapsulate GIE+EXPO for our annual Show Preview issue.
And although the organizers of other green industry events may take issue with me throwing out the “Greatest Show” moniker in this case, there is no denying the magnitude and importance of GIE+EXPO.
The numbers don’t lie. With more than 850 exhibits, a 20-plus acre outdoor demonstration area, and 18,000 participants, GIE+EXPO now ranks as the 10thlargest show of any kind in North America (according to Trade Show Executive magazine). It all adds up to GIE+EXPO being, without a doubt, the largest event in the outdoor power equipment industry.
And show organizers predict another record year for GIE+EXPO with a forecast 25,000-net-sq.-ft. increase in the show floor when the show opens in October.
“The increase in square footage will bring even more new products to the show floor. Think of the addition as the equivalent of 12 basketball courts,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.
Without giving away too much of our show preview coverage, I will just say that there is more to see and do at GIE+EXPO than you can imagine. This year’s GIE+EXPO will be my 15thtime at the show (over the past 18 years). And from the exhibits and new products indoors to the equipment demonstrations outdoors, and from education and networking opportunities to the free nightly concerts in downtown Louisville, there is more to GIE+EXPO than we can cover here. In fact, we will have additional, late-breaking show news and information in the October issue of OPE, as well as our in-depth Post-show Recap in the December issue.
As outlined in the “History of OPEI” article in May OPE, the show that became the Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO) began in 1984 as the International Lawn, Garden & Power Equipment Exposition. In 2007, OPEI partnered with the National Association of Landscape Professionals (formerly the Professional Landcare Network) and the Professional Grounds Management Society to create the modern GIE+EXPO. In 2010, Hardscape North America began co-locating in Louisville, adding hardscape and outdoor living products, and 2016 saw the launch of UTV University, recognizing a growing product trend for dealers and contractors. GIE+EXPO continues to grow and evolve, and has reported record attendance and exhibit space for five years running.
“This show continues to be the gathering place for the entire industry,” said Kiser. “If you’re in the outdoor power equipment business, it’s the place you have to be.”
Come to think of it, Kiser’s comments would work well with the music for “The Greatest Show.” Just sayin’.
GIE+EXPO is set for October 17-19, 2018 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. You can visit OPE magazine at booth #10215. We hope to see you there.