Technology & Business Solutions are Education Focus for Landscape Professionals at GIE+EXPO 2020

New technology summit and workshops on connectivity, software, drones and more

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Landscape professionals interested in improving profitability will find a dynamic lineup of education at GIE+EXPO to help take their business to the next level.

Leading industry associations will host sessions on topics ranging from software and connectivity to drones, online reviews and opportunities for diversification. Sessions will be hosted by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), Professional Grounds management Society (PGMS), Irrigation Association and Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI).

Registration is open for the annual trade show, which remains on schedule for Oct. 21-23 at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Technology Summit

A new Technology Summit will provide insights on robotics, technology, software, AI tools and more. The summit, set for Wednesday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. will include three sessions. In addition to learning about the technologies, attendees will hear real-world case studies from industry professionals.

  • Robotics and Technology in Landscape Design and Maintenance

Olle Markusson, Global Director Product Management, Robotics - Husqvarna

Co-presenter: Pam Dooley, Plants Creative Landscape

  • Who What Where - What Apps are Best for Tracking Labor, Schedules and Project Management?

Nanette Seven, Include Software

Co-Presenters: Shawn Ryan, Environmental Designs; Todd Coleman, Bonick Landscaping; Mike Mendez, Mariani Landscape

  • Disruptive Innovation and Must-Have Technology for the Green Industry

Beth Berry, Real Green Systems

Co-Presenter: Kendall Hines, LawnBot

"Technology helps smaller companies scale more quickly and enables larger companies to be more agile and lean, creating tremendous opportunities for companies of all sizes," said Pam Dooley, owner of Plants Creative Landscape.

Dooley will share how her team is working toward using technology to advance the transparency and efficiency of her business.

"Our responsibility as business owners is to provide maximum value so customers want to purchase from us and employees want to work for us,” she says. “Technology allows companies the opportunity to align their people and processes, which creates profits."

Beth Berry of Real Green Systems stresses the importance of technology as we head into a post-coronavirus world.

"There has never been a more important time for business owners to leverage the power of technology to safely mobilize service delivery teams and provide best in class communication and technology,” she says. “Whether a company is heavily invested in technology or simply exploring opportunities to digitally transform, attendees will leave this event with a tactical road map for technology success."

The Technology Summit is hosted by NALP. Pre-registration is required, and the $129 fee includes all three sessions. Following the summit, landscape professionals are invited to the free opening keynote featuring U.S. Navy 4-Star Admiral James Stavridis at 2 p.m. before the show floor opens at 3 p.m.

 GIE+EXPO Workshops

The GIE+EXPO Workshops, spanning all three days, will cover a variety of management and technology-related topics specifically for landscape contractors' businesses.

 Two sessions presented by technology experts from Michigan State University will focus on how they have redefined the university's grounds program using grounds management technology, drones and more. Attendees will walk away with knowledge about how these technologies can be integrated into their business models.

 "Apple, Google, Starbucks and others are extremely successful at innovating and changing the game. While these companies are built upon a culture that fosters innovation, their leadership understands the importance of how the WHY is delivered both upward and downward in the organization," said Adam Lawver, Director of Campus Services, Michigan State University. "We've implemented a variety of technologies at MSU - mobile, GIS, lawn mowing and snow removal robotics - to improve effectiveness and efficiency. I'll share our approach to setting up these pilots and explain how we delivered our WHY to establish trust and gain buy-in from all levels."

 In addition, contractors who are looking to diversify will find two workshops on estimating tips and best practices in the hardscape market, as well as an irrigation symposium where a panel of leaders from all facets of the irrigation industry will discuss key issues, such as labor and environmental sustainability.

 GIE+EXPO Workshop Schedule

Wednesday, Oct. 21

  • 12-1:30 p.m. - Irrigation Symposium: Panel Discussion, Moderator: Chris Pine, CLWM, CID, CIC, CLIA, CIT, BluGreen Solutions, President & IrriTech Training, Principal
  •  3-4:15 p.m. - The Ins & Outs of Websites, Chris Darnell, The Harvest Group
  •  4:30 - 5:45 p.m. - Creating a Modern Workforce: A 21st Century Approach to Management, Neal Glatt, CSP, ASM,

Thursday, Oct. 22

  • 8-9:15 a.m. Michigan State University's Landscape Services Technology Journey to Higher Performance, Adam Lawver, Director of Campus Services, Michigan State University
  •  8-9:15 a.m. - Secrets Every Contractor Ought to Know About the Hardscape Business, Frank Gandora
  •  9:30-10:45 a.m. - Estimating Hardscape Projects with Confidence, Jerry Gaeta
  •  11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Human Resources Compliance Best Practices, Steven Cesare, Ph.D., The Harvest Group
  •  1-2:15 p.m. - How Your Landscaping Company Can Optimize Google My Business to Generate a Constant Flow of Leads, Christopher Yates, Success Landscape Marketing
  •  2:30-3:45 p.m. - Creating a Five-Star Brand, Jeffrey Scott, Jeffrey Scott Consulting, Inc.

 Friday, Oct. 23

  • 8-9:15 a.m. - Drones in the Green Industry, Jeremiah Saier, GIS Analyst, Michigan State University
  •  8-9:15 a.m. - Online Reviews: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Chad Diller, Landscape Leadership
  •  9:30-10:45 a.m. - Benchmarks & Critical Numbers for the Landscape Industry, James Huston, J.R. Huston Consulting

 Registration Details

Registration in advance is required for the Technology Summit and GIE+EXPO Workshops. Technology Summit and Irrigation Symposium: $129. Hardscape Workshops: $65. All other workshops: $85.

 For more information and online registration for the trade show and education program: Other contact points: Facebook, [email protected], Twitter @GIE_EXPO, Instagram @GIE_EXPO and 800-558-8767/812-949-9200.

 GIE+EXPO is sponsored by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and Professional Grounds management Society (PGMS).