From left: Charlie McGrath, Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute; Kris Kiser, OPEI; Glenn Jacobsen, PLANET.
The Green Industry continues on its path of economic recovery, and there was a positive buzz in the air at GIE+EXPO 2013 like hasn’t been felt in several years.
Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), one of three primary sponsors of GIE+EXPO, said exhibit space was “busting at the seams” this year. Dealer registrations were up 6% while landscape contractor registrations were up 16%.
PLANET, the second of three show sponsors, has also had a successful showing at its congruent Green Industry Conference (GIC). Attendance was up again this year to roughly 1,200 people—a 20% increase from the recent recessionary years, said New Jersey landscape contractor Glenn Jacobsen, current PLANET president.
Kiser also announced that Hardscape North America will continue to co-locate with GIE+EXPO through 2016. “This has been a terrific partnership for us,” Kiser said. The addition of Hardscape North America a few years ago has added to the diversity, excitement and overall attendance of GIE+EXPO.
Looking ahead to next year, “We’re going to focus on UTVs (utility vehicles),” Kiser said in reference to how the show will continue to evolve and grow. “It makes sense, as many (OPEI members) have utility vehicles in their product lines.”