GIE+Expo 2019 at a glance

By Sarah Bunyea

Learn the biggest takeaways from the industry’s largest event.

About 25,000 attendees came together to see the latest green industry products and services at the GIE+Expo in Louisville, Kentucky, Oct. 16-18. The trade show gave landscapers, dealers and suppliers the opportunity to hear directly from manufacturers about the newest products launched in the last year and the ones that have yet to come to market.

One-thousand companies exhibited at the 2019 show, with more than 80 new products that were featured in the New Product Contest. While each product or service at the show had unique distinctions, a couple trends and themes were notable.

Manufacturers are recognizing that landscapers need to accomplish more with fewer employees, with several providing new models with more overall size and strength. New equipment included mowers with larger decks and mini skid steers with more lift capacity.

Equipment makers are also finding ways to increase efficiency via fuel savings. The increasing use of electronic fuel injection engines in mowers is growing. Many manufacturers recognize that efficiency doesn’t stop at the equipment, but that giving contractors more information so they can make better business decisions via telematics and management systems.

A continued trend from previous years is the growing number of manufacturers debuting battery-powered equipment or expanding their existing battery product lines. One of the biggest trends creating a buzz was robotic automation. The number of robotic mowers in the building increased from last year, with some manufacturers debuting large-area robotic mowers. Not only could attendees experience equipment on the trade show floor, but they got the full experience testing it out at the center’s 20-acre outdoor demonstration area.

Aside from the array of products, there were events for experts across the industry. Hardscape installers, arborists, irrigation technicians and more could attend show arears and events tailored to their professions. A 40-foot tree set up within the Center’s Freedom Hall allowed attendees to learn arborist techniques from a group of women who are experts in the field.

Workshops sessions covered estimating, snow and ice management, fleet maintenance, cash flow, and sales and marketing. One of the most popular events was the dog adoption event, Lucky’s Mutt Madness, conducted by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute in partnership with the Kentucky Humane Society, that took place Thursday, Oct. 17.

Watch over the next few weeks as Irrigation & Green Industry unpacks the hottest products and trends at GIE+Expo 2019.