GIE+EXPO Report: The worst is behind us

I'm getting ready to head over to the Kentucky Exposition Center for the final day's events at the 2009 GIE+EXPO. It's been an interesting show. Attendance has been surprisingly solid. Most exhibitors said that, while perhaps the number of total attendees was down a bit from past years, the number of "decision makers" attending the show was very strong. In other words, owners of equipment dealerships and landscape companies attended the show, but didn't bring as many of their employees along as normal. That makes sense, because these days it's been all about doing more with less. I was thrilled with the level of enthusiasm and optimism from both dealers, contractors and green industry suppliers. Many commercial equipment manufacturers said they are encouraged by dealer intentions with respect to inventory plans in 2010. That means dealers are feeling better about where their commercial customers are at the end of this challenging year. Next year will be a step forward for the industry, how long a step is still anyone's guess. But commercial equipment manufacturers are meeting the challenge as contractors creep closer to unleashing some of their pent-up demand. I was impressed by the number of new products introduced at this year's show. As contractors and dealers begin their paths forward out of this recession, there are a variety of tools, products and services at every turn to help them prosper. Keep an eye on for new Equipment Guide listings and videos of new product introductions at GIE+EXPO as we continue to post new information over the course of the next couple weeks. ~ Gregg Wartgow, Yard & Garden and PRO editor-in-chief