Topping the last 2 years' record-setting shows, the 2017 GIE+EXPO (Green Industry & Equipment Expo) and the co-located Hardscape North America (HNA) are shaping up to be the largest ever. With exhibits expected to cover 50,000 sq. ft. more than last year and more early bird attendee registrations than ever, participation from all segments of the industry is going strong.
- Overall, attendee registrations are up 13% over 2016's record-setting numbers. The lawn and landscape professional category is up 19%.
- Exhibitor participation is up with about 1,000 GIE+EXPO and HNA exhibits, indoors and out; 20% are new exhibitors.
- The Outdoor Demonstration Area will cover more than 20 acres.
- More new product introductions are expected, with over 100 products in the sold-out New Products Showcase and 25 exhibitors hosting press conferences.
- Hardscape North America, co-located with GIE+EXPO, has increased by 15% over 2016's record-breaking size.
- Dealer programming, including the opening keynote luncheon, the new Dealer Boot Camp by Bob Clements, UTV University and free 30-minute dealer workshops are expected to draw over 1,000 participants.
- GIE+EXPO's pre-registration contractor workshops are up 34%. Several are already sold out and the show managers expect others for follow suit shortly.
Because of the show's continued growth, a new format will be implemented in 2018, allowing contractors an extra day on the show floor and the opportunity to demo all three days. Starting next year, the indoor show floor will open exclusively for dealers, retailers and the media at noon on Wednesday. Then, beginning at 3 p.m. and continuing Thursday and Friday, the entire industry will be invited to visit the exhibits - both indoors and in the Outdoor Demonstration Area.
Attendees and exhibitors alike see the benefits of face-to-face and hands-on business interaction, according to Kris Kiser, President and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.
"GIE+EXPO continues to be the industry's gathering place," he says. "We've heard the contractors asking for an additional day to visit exhibits and demo equipment, and that attendee category continues to grow. So, in 2018 we're giving them access to the show floor on Wednesday. All attendees will have the opportunity to get outside and test drive all three days as well."