Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

GIE+EXPO 2015 Bigger Than Ever

Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

GIE+EXPO 2015 Bigger Than Ever

Article excerpt

The 2015 Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO)--which was held Oct. 21 through 23 in Louisville, Ky.--was the largest ever, according to show management.

Attendance was estimated at approximately 20,000, said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), the managing partner of GIE+EXPO.

With 195 new exhibitors, including those in the co-located Hardscape North America (HNA); stepped-up participation from returning exhibitors; an increase in attendee registrations; and high registrations for dealer and contractor education programs, GIE+EXPO participation from all segments of the industry was strong. Some highlights include the following:

* Attendee pre-registration was up 14 percent over 2014.

* Exhibitor participation was up with 195 new exhibitors, an increase in space for many large-scale exhibitors, and a total of more than 850 GIE+EXPO and HNA exhibits, indoors and out.

* The Outdoor Demonstration Area was the largest ever.

* There were more than 100 products in the New Products Showcase.

* Hardscape North America, co-located with GIE+EXPO, increased in size by 13 percent over 2014.

* GIE+EXPO Workshop registration was up 40 percent.

HNA, which first co-located with GIE+EXPO five years ago, agreed to co-locate through 2018. HNA has outgrown its space and will relocate to the North Wing in 2016.

With regard to the industry as a whole, Kiser noted that the biggest issue for the industry is the demonization of managed landscapes. The drought conditions in the western U.S., most notably in California, have led to drastic measures, such as rebates for removing lawns, and an increase in installation of artificial turf in residential landscapes. As a result, trees in California are dying due to the lack of water.

"Lawn is not the problem," said Kiser, "it's how you maintain it. …

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