Registration is open for GIE+EXPO 2018, and with the combination of new Wednesday hours and dynamic education, it's shaping up to be bigger than the last three record-setting years. The annual trade show is set for October 17-19 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville and online registration is available. Early bird registration is $15 through Sept. 6.
According to Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), exhibit space sales are already running ahead of this time last year. Organizers anticipate topping 2017's record-breaking numbers. Attendees can expect to see more new products than ever, as the number of new exhibitors at GIE+EXPO and the co-located Hardscape North America increases each year. In addition, the Outdoor Demonstration Area, which offers the opportunity to test new products from both shows, is expected to meet or exceed last years' record-breaking 20 acres.
"This year's show is a must-attend event for industry members who are looking to move their businesses to the next level," said Kiser. "With the addition of trade show hours for contractors on Wednesday and an incredible keynote on the lineup, GIE+EXPO continues to be extremely valuable business investment for exhibitors and attendees alike."
As a result of the shows' continued growth, a new format will be implemented, allowing contractors an extra day on the show floor. Following an earlier dealer preview on Wednesday, the indoor exhibits will open for the entire industry from 3 to 7 pm, including a welcome reception on the show floor beginning at 5 pm. The indoor exhibits and Outdoor Demonstration Area will be open Thursday and Friday for all industry members.
To kick off the show on Wednesday, show management has added a keynote specifically for landscape contractors. The session, set for 1:30 - 3 pm, will feature Dr. Robert Ballard, oceanographer and former U.S. Navy officer. Best known for his discovery of the RMS Titanic in 1985, over 70 years after it sank in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Ballard combines his passion for the last great uncharted territory and a practical approach to team building and execution to entertain and motivate audiences. His presentation for contractors, sponsored by JOHN DEERE, is included with tradeshow registration.
"GIE+EXPO is the lawn and landscape industry's 'superbowl' event. JOHN DEERE looks forward to supporting such a great event for our industry in such an impactful way. There is no doubt that Dr. Ballard's story and message will leave everyone inspired about the miracles of human achievement," said Ken Taylor, JOHN DEERE.
Admission to Hardscape North America exhibits—both indoors and out—is included with GIE+EXPO registration. This co-location gives landscape professionals the opportunity to see a wide range of related new products and explore ways to tap into the hardscape market. In addition, a $50 upgrade will give landscape pros access to live hardscape demos in the HNA Demo Arena tent, where experts will demonstrate techniques in a continuous build format.
Back by popular demand, the GIE+EXPO Workshops will feature 10 sessions to help landscape pros grow their businesses. This year's lineup will include two hardscape sessions with insights and tips for contractors interested in tapping into that market. Other workshops, sponsored by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), include topics such as marketing strategies, safety programs, developing a new generation of professionals and more.
GIE+EXPO's 2018 event is sponsored by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Inc. (OPEI), Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) and National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).