Managers of the 2011 Green Industry & Equipment Expo(GIE+EXPO) and Hardscape North America (HNA), which were co-located in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 27-29, reported that total participation at the event was approximately 17,900. There were 590 exhibiting companies, including 125 that had not been part of the 2010 show. Companies that exhibited in the adjacent, 19-acre Outdoor Demonstration Area numbered 113.


Show Director Warren Sellers commented, “I think our 2011 event was the best in recent history. We are very excited about the glowing exhibitor feedback we have received.”


Together, GIE+EXPO and HNA displays covered more than ½ million net square feet of space indoors and in the adjacent 19-acre Outdoor Demonstration Area. In addition to benefiting from education, networking and the indoor displays, visitors could walk outside for hands-on product comparisons and demos. HNA and GIE+EXPO have renewed their agreement to co-locate next year.


The Dealer Experience and High-Performance Service Department were merged this year into a very popular Dealer Resource Pavillion. Dealers lined up to hear management guru Bob Clements share tips on running a high-performance service department and leveraging aftermarket selling opportunities. Other speakers, sponsored by the North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA), drew dealer audiences for topics that included legal issues, generating and managing online leads and social media strategies.


The Dealer Resource Pavilion was a how-to center in which the following sponsors showcased best-practice strategies: ARI, Briggs & Stratton, Cub Cadet, Gravely, Husqvarna, NAEDA and Stihl. Heftee Industries, Ideal Computer Systems and Lista International Corporation also provided assistance and products.


Educational sessions for lawn and landscape pros were enhanced by workshops and demonstrations on hardscape installation and products during the Green Industry Conference, sponsored by the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) and Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI). The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) again offered the School of Grounds Management. This year, many of the topics for contractors and lawn and landscape pros focused on sustainability.


The New Products Arena, which sold out early, featured 66 new products from 46 exhibiting companies. This is where attendees and the media saw product launches from the industry’s leading manufacturers as well as start-up companies looking to make a big splash for a broad audience.


Twelve exhibitors were center stage at GIE+EXPO during press conferences held on the New Products Arena stage. Exhibitors who held press conferences on the stage, in meeting rooms or in their exhibit areas included Ariens; Avalanche Snow and Ice Control; B3C Fuel Solutions, LLC; Bayer Environmental Science; Briggs & Stratton Corporation; Brock Paver Base; Case Construction Equipment; Caterpillar Inc.; EdgingRevolution.com; Flambeau Fluid Systems Division; Ford Commercial Truck; Honda Power Equipment Division/Honda Engines; Include Software; John Deere; Kawasaki Motors Corporation, USA; Kohler Co.; LawnShark USA; Mean Green Products LLC; New Holland Construction; Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Inc.; Techo-Bloc; and The Toro Company


Chart-topping acts headlined free evening concerts at Louisville’s 4th Street Live! Stealing Angels and The Monarchs got the crowd on their feet Thursday night. Friday saw The Davisson Brothers and The Charlie Daniels Band take the stage and ‘wow’ crowds.


New format for GIE+EXPO 2012 (Oct. 24-26):


The Policy Advisory Board for GIE+EXPO agreed to provide a day — Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 — exclusively for dealers, retailers and distributors at next year’s show to meet one-on-one with exhibitors and preview the products featured at GIE+EXPO and HNA.


Meeting rooms at the Kentucky Exposition Center will be available for exhibitors to host dealer meetings Monday through Wednesday, leading up to the show opening on Wednesday afternoon. During a Wednesday evening reception for dealers, retailers and distributors on the tradeshow floor, exhibitors will be encouraged to host special events in their booths. HNA, GIE+EXPO and the Outdoor Demo Area will be open to all industry participants on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 25 and 26. The show will close Friday, Oct. 26, at 5 p.m.


“We hope this new plan will save exhibitors and dealers money and time by consolidating travel and meetings,” said Warren Sellers. He pointed out that dealers and exhibitors have requested exclusive time during the show, and hosting dealer meetings before the education program begins is an efficient use of space and time.


GIE+EXPO — the ninth largest tradeshow in America — is sponsored by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) and the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS). HNA is sponsored by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) and endorsed by the Brick Industry Association and National Concrete Masonry Association.


OPEI, PGMS and PLANET recently agreed to extend their agreement to sponsor GIE+EXPO through 2018.