The 2010 GIE+EXPO, to be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Oct. 28-30, features workshops as a special introduction to PLANET’s four-day Green Industry Conference (GIC). A new offering at this year’s show will be education and certification curriculum offered by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI).


The addition of ICPI’s Hardscape North America tradeshow to the industry mix at this year’s GIE+EXPO provides contractors with a unique learning opportunity. The full Hardscape North America educational program will include approximately 124 hours of hardscape-specific sessions, starting October 26, but you can explore how hardscaping services can add to your profits by attending “Adding Hardscape Installation to Your Company’s Success” on Thursday or Friday morning. As a bonus for signing up for this session attendees will receive free access to a series of eight live demos on Thursday and Friday afternoon. Demo topics will cover compaction for paver installation, outdoor living enhancements, basic paver installation, water features, stone veneer applications, permeable pavement construction, raised patio contraction and segmental pavement maintenance.


The GIE+EXPO Workshops are offered at $50 each and are open to all GIE+EXPO attendees. Pre-registration for the sessions is required. Register for the GIE+EXPO Workshops at www.gie-expo.com or call the Show Management office to request a registration brochure – 800-558-8767.


GIE+EXPO Workshops Schedule
Thursday, Oct. 28, Session A, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
“Adding Hardscape Installation to Your Company’s Success” (Repeated on Friday)
Pat McCrindle, MW Hardscapes, Inc.
Learn about the equipment, training and capital investment required, the best structure for your work crews and how to promote your new services. Pat McCrindle is one of the top trainers in the U.S. and will share knowledge accumulated over many years of hands-on experience as a hardscape contractor and business owner.


Thursday, Oct. 28, Session B, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
“Xtreme Service = Xtreme Profits”
Ed Laflamme, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, The Harvest Group
Satisfied customers are not enough. Happy customers are not enough. Making customers LOVE YOU should be your goal. Why? They’ll tell others, buy more and become customers for life. Your profits will soar! But, what do customers want? How do you take your customer service to the next level? What does it take to raise the bar in your organization? In this session, learn the answers to these questions and how to deliver those answers, systematically, consistently and better than your competitors. These strategies will help you build your customers’ loyalty and with it, your profits!
Also learn how to:

Be aware of and maximize every “touch point.”
Use the “lollipop strategy” to sweeten the relationship.
Educate your customers and drive your sales.
Integrate extreme customer service (XCS) into your company culture.
Use “XCS” as the cheapest and most effective marketing tool.

Friday, October 29, Session C, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
“Adding Hardscape Installation to Your Company’s Success” (A repeat of Session A)
Pat McCrindle, MW Hardscapes, Inc.


Friday, October 29, Session D, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
“Growing Revenues in a Crowded/Price-Driven Market”
Kevin Kehoe, Three Point Group, Inc.
The greatest challenge facing the majority of contractors is growing revenues in a price-driven market while achieving net profit goals. This is no mean feat and requires the consideration of three key strategies: (1) organic growth driven by a sales process and staff, (2) growth by acquisition to expand market footprint and density and (3) organization leverage at all staffing levels to grow overhead slower than revenues — especially in light of declining gross margin percentages. In this seminar, the following keys to building a sales process are illustrated through real-world examples and case studies of the industry players who are responding to these challenges effectively.
Four keys to building a sales process:

Pricing and value proposition – How much to charge in order to grow.
Process – How to build and organize a sales staff and how much to pay to get the revenues.
Pipeline – How to manage a sales staff – goals and benchmarks for success.
Promotion – How to market to the customer, budget the expense and focus the message.
People – How to develop essential skills for the sales staff and the tools required to win.

Saturday, October 30, Session E, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
“27 Tips to Making Some Sales RIGHT NOW!”
Marty Grunder, Marty Grunder, Inc.
Do you feel like you are spinning your wheels trying to make sales? If so, then this energizing, entertaining session is for you. Marty Grunder is a national award-winning landscape contractor who knows how to sell. You’ll learn how to find clients in this environment and get them to do business with you. Nothing is easy, but, armed with these tips, you’ll greatly improve your chances of finding more work, closing more sales and feeling like you are moving forward instead of backwards.


For information about PLANET’s full GIC educational series, visit www.GreenIndustryConference.org. In addition to powerful education, GIC offers extensive peer networking, green industry-related publications and valuable professional resources.


See details about Hardscape North America’s full program at www.HardscapeNA.com


PGMS also offers education and peer networking during GIE+EXPO through their School of Grounds Management. Grounds managers can expand their career horizons and move toward certification. For school details go to www.PGMS.org  


Pre-registration for a three-day pass to GIE+EXPO is $10 per person. The tradeshow admission for those who wait to register onsite will be $50. To pre-register online for the workshops and the tradeshow and to reserve hotel rooms, go to www.gie-expo.com