OPEI To Open New Trade Show Office in Louisville

Ribbon-cutting, open house on Oct. 19; Lucky's Mutt Madness scheduled for Oct. 21

Krisand Mulligan Mutt Madnesssm
Opei Shield Cmyk

To kick-off festivities for the 2021 GIE+EXPO, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), based in Alexandria, Virginia will be hosting a ribbon-cutting and open house of a new trade show and association office in Louisville.

Located at 209 East Main Street, the ribbon-cutting and open house will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the new office location on Tuesday, Oct. 19. OPEI President and CEO Kris Kiser, the OPEI Board of Directors, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Secretary of Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet Michael E. Berry, and other invited guests along with OPEI staff are expected to attend.

In addition to some association staff, the Louisville office will house the management staff of GIE+EXPO, which will be rebranded in 2022 as OPEI takes over total ownership. The new name and brand will be officially announced at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“The opening of our new office shows the investment our industry has in the event and in its long-standing location of Louisville,” Kiser says. “With OPEI bringing the management of the show wholly under the OPEI umbrella, it was time to re-envision the event while honoring its long history.”

In 2019, the trade show was rated as the 6th largest in the United States according to the Gold 100. It attracts more than 20,000 attendees hailing from all 50 U.S. states and 54 countries.

The show has an estimated economic impact on the Louisville area of more than $20 million. Co-located with Hardscape North America, the show has more than 1,000 exhibits and includes 20+ acres of newly-renovated outdoor demonstration areas.

Turfmutt2Annual Adoption Event Brings Rescue Dogs Seeking Homes to Trade Show

OPEI and its education arm, The TurfMutt Foundation, is proud to announce once again they are hosting Lucky’s Mutt Madness, a national dog adoption event at the expo to benefit the Kentucky Humane Society.

The event takes place October 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Freedom Hall arena of the Kentucky Exposition Center during the show.  

“We lovingly call the dogs up for adoption during Mutt Madness as ‘show dogs.’ It ain’t Westminster but we have helped place many dogs in need in their forever homes,” Kiser says. “Thousands of show attendees drive to the event, making it possible for many to take one home.”

Gie+expo 2019 Muttmadness 1017194 1649OPEILast year’s event included Kiser’s adoption of current TurfMutt spokesdog, Mulligan. After being adopted by Kiser, Mulligan found herself at work on the show floor thirty minutes after adoption. She now continues to “paw it forward” by inspiring kids and their families to care for and spend time in their living landscapes, like their backyards, parks and other green spaces.

“Our green space has become more important than ever given recent times, and the 'backyarding’ trend of doing more activities from working to socializing outside is here to stay,” Kiser says. “Dogs are a great way to reconnect to the outdoors.”

During the event, the TurfMutt Foundation will donate a $10,000 check to KHS to support their good work in animal rehabilitation, rescue and adoption.   Plans also are underway to expand the TurfMutt Foundation’s work in Louisville, including a fundraising 5K race to benefit the KHS, Mulligan’s Fun Run, in downtown Louisville during the 2022 trade show. The Ariens Company will sponsor the run.