March 1 2019 10:02 AM

Expanded hours and new workshops among the changes for the trade show.

Building on last year's record-breaking event, plans for an even bigger show are in the works for GIE+Expo 2019. Expanded show hours and new education opportunities, combined with strong exhibit sales, are early indicators that the national outdoor living and equipment expo will be one for the record books. The industry's largest annual event is set for Oct. 16-18 in Louisville, Kentucky at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

The indoor show floor will open an hour earlier for dealers, retailers and the media on Wednesday, Oct. 16. Both indoor exhibits and the 20-acre outdoor demonstration area will open earlier for the entire industry on Friday, Oct. 18.

The GIE+Expo workshops for lawn and landscape professionals are expanding with two new opportunities on Wednesday, Oct. 16. The Irrigation Association, Fairfax, Virginia, will host “Secrets of a Successful Irrigation Business,” a panel discussion featuring irrigation contractors, landscape professionals and manufacturers, while the National Association of Landscape Professionals, Fairfax, Virginia, will present a session on snow and ice management. These workshops, $85, will run simultaneously from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m., immediately before the opening keynote.

“The Irrigation Association is excited to be a more formal participant in GIE+Expo education program this year,” says Irrigation Association CEO Deborah Hamlin. “Someone said to me recently, 'there are probably more landscapers out there dabbling in irrigation than there are irrigation contractors.' Most landscapers come into contact with irrigation systems, whether they are responsible for them or not. We would like anyone touching an irrigation system to do it right. Water is a precious resource and we can't be wasting it with broken or poorly maintained systems.”

A special event on Friday, Oct. 18 will feature noted industry economist Brian Beaulieu. Beaulieu, the CEO of ITR Economics, Manchester, New Hampshire, will discuss the state of the economy and OPE industry and provide strategic action items that can directly impact attendees' businesses. This session, set for 9:30 a.m., is open to all attendees and included with trade show registration.

“GIE+ EXPO is the place to be if you're in this business and our new ‘economy keynote session’ is another example of the type of business education that attendees can get here at the show,” says Kris Kiser, managing partner of GIE+EXPO and OPEI president. “Brian is an expert in delivering econometric and industry data in a way that everyone can understand and is designed to help attendees develop better business plans based on sound economics.”

Based on current numbers, the 2019 event is expected to showcase more than 1,000 exhibitors. For more information and online registration for the trade show and education program, visit www.gie-expo.com.