Over the course of a few decades, hundreds of thousands of lawn care and landscape professionals traveled to Louisville to attend EIG+EXPO and discover what’s new in the industry. This year, at the very first Equipment exhibitionthe show itself takes center stage with a reimagining of what it can be for its participants.
Next month, we’ll be sharing some of the most innovative new gear to be unveiled at the first Equip Expo. This month, we take a look at what attendees can expect from this new show…along with some suggestions from our staff on things to do after hours in Louisville.
1. Welcome Reception at Louisville Slugger Field
Equip Expo kicks off with a bang on Tuesday, October 18. Sponsored by Husqvarna and Louisville Tourism, Louisville Slugger Field, home of the aptly named Louisville Bats, the Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, will be the venue for the welcome reception. The event runs from 6-9:30 p.m., features food and drink, and ends with a fireworks display.
Tammy Lee, business-to-consumer marketing manager for John Deere lawn, utility and compact tractors, says Equip, the company wants to give the industry a glimpse of what’s happening with the company now and in the coming years. For this reason, they increase their own attendees for new events, such as the Welcome Reception.
“We’re bringing in other key dealers for the welcome reception,” says Lee. “A lot of our John Deere executives will be there. We anticipate an even larger audience of our clientele attending this show.
2. Bigger and bolder layout
The show remains at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC), but the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), which owns and operates the event, wanted to be sure that Equip was different from its predecessor. Expect a revamped GIE+EXPO layout that also takes up more space.
“We blew the thing up. We wanted to start from scratch,” explains Kris Kiser, CEO of OPEI. “Equip Expo and Hardscapes North America, which continue to coexist with us, will be in the North Wing. But the hallway is all open now. We have created an education center with a point of sale. The south wing is the equipment wing and we have extended the outdoor space.
The outdoor demo area expands from 22 acres to 30 acres. When participants exit the KEC, they enter the Stihl stand.
“The demo area, for us, is crucial,” says Nick Carlson, founder of mulch mate. “It’s not the same on video as when you see it in person. When they see the equipment working as it should, nothing can replace that feeling. I believe that most purchases are made of feelings. All that extra space gives that feeling to buyers who are there to grow their business. »
3. New training sessions
With the new show comes new partners in offer educational sessions to Equip Expo attendees. If you read this magazine, you already know one of these new partners: landscape management magazine.
“We want to make this show highly relevant to the landscape contractor and landscape contractor, so we’ve formed partnerships like (with ML), with the Engine and Equipment Training Council, with the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance,” says Kiser. “We want to bring experts in the field to the show and develop something that is relevant to today’s attendee.”
Classes will include familiar faces often seen in the magazine, like “Develop Your Second-in-Command,” taught by longtime ML columnist Jeffrey Scott. Judy Guido, President of Guido and Associates, will lead “Selling Your Business: What Every Trader Needs to Know” with a panel including Ed Bates of Illuminated viewJames Houston of JR Consulting and Don Winsett of Davey tree as panelists. “Your business, your culture” includes ML columnist Ken Thomas and editor Seth Jones, as well as Larry Ryan of Ryan lawn and treePierre Dufau from Dufau LandscapeBrian Brueggeman from Bruce Wilson & Co. and Donna Vignocchi of ILT Vignocchi Landscape.
“We are used to sharing information with our readers through our usual channels — the print magazine, our MLDirect! electronic newsletteron webinars and social media,” says Bill Roddy, publisher of ML. “Adding our own classes to Equip Expo is a fantastic new opportunity and a way for us to engage our audience even better.”
4. Who is literally the fastest?
Prompt and friendly service is a regular promise in the industry. But who is literally the fastest man and woman in this great industry? At Equip Expo, we will find out.
Sponsored by RamsMulligan’s first-ever 5k fun run and walk takes place at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, October 19. The race includes a trip across the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge over the Ohio River.
“(Sponsoring the 5K) is a bit personal. My dad (Mike Ariens, former CEO of Ariens) was a runner and at the beginning of the old show there was a 5K, and he was running that race” , explains Dan Ariens, President and CEO of Ariens. . “He and Fred Stratton (Chairman Emeritus, Briggs & Stratton) and all these industry guys would run there. It was just a fun race, and it’s a great way for us to be a sponsor of something unique and different at Equip.
It costs $40 to participate in the race, with proceeds going to the Kentucky Humane Society.
5. Famous stars
Legendary country singer Trace Adkins will perform at 4th Street Live for this year’s Equip Expo. The multi-platinum star will perform a free Stihl-sponsored show on the Belgard Stage at 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 20. Adkins is best known for his hits “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing”, “Ladies Love Country Boys” and “You’ll Miss It”.
“I love Trace Adkins; he’s iconic,” says Carlson. “Look at the guys who show up for this show. We all tend to like the same things: We like our gear; We like our trucks and we like our music. country. Trace Adkins is the pinnacle of country music. I think we can all relate to him and his lyrics. It’s a perfect fit. I’m looking forward to 4th Street and what more Equip brings, and it’s something they don’t even have to do.
The keynote address is given by David Feherty, former professional golfer and current golf broadcaster. Sponsored by John Deere, the keynote takes place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 19. .”
“We have increased the talent. That’s why we have Trace Adkins and David Feherty,” adds Kiser. “We really upped the fun. We have improved the ability to interact with your peers. And we have increased educational offerings as well as exhibits.
6. The biggest. Spectacle. Already.
Good news for OPEI: the new name did not deter participants from registering en masse. Participant registration is progressing at a record pace. It’s only after the show ends that these numbers will become official, but experts agree that this gear should set records.
This will be the first Equip Expo for Lee from John Deere, who comes from the agricultural side of the industry.
“I’m so excited to get to Equip Expo. This is the show that everyone tells me is going to be the best show I’ve ever been to,” she says. “I’ve been to many agricultural shows, but I didn’t attend this one.The bar is set high, we have high expectations.
The number of attendees is still being calculated, but the square footage is unquestionable. It will be the biggest show ever by OPEI in terms of area.
“We are seeing higher pre-registration numbers than last year. We are completely exhausted from an exhibitor perspective. We are completely sold out for outdoor and indoor space, we have a waiting list of people looking for a stand,” says Ariens. “This will be the largest trade show ever held in our industry. It already looks like a home run. I think it will look like a grand slam when we’re done.