Attendance Up 12 Percent at GIE+EXPO

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GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: GIE+EXPO

The numbers are in, and things are moving in a positive direction for the landscape industry at GIE+EXPO.

GIE+EXPO attendance saw a 12 percent increase from last year, which is big news of the green industry.

The attendance wasn’t the only thing moving in the upward direction at the show.

Dealer attendance is up 6 percent, landscape professionals are up 16 percent and exhibitors are up 5 percent.

PLANET, the Professional Landcare Network, hosts its Green Industry Conference (GIC) within GIE+EXPO every year.

The organization’s president, Glen Jacobsen, gave some statistics for this year’s event.

“Fifty percent of the speakers are new for the GIC conference,” Jacobsen says. “That is something we worked hard on as a committee. We made a big effort to bring some new speakers this year.”

GIC has more than 1,200 attendees, which is a 20 percent increase from the program’s recessionary years.

“We have workshops that are scheduled before this event starts here, and that has grown about 75 percent,” Jacobsen says. “We have breakfast with champions and that’s up as well by 10 percent.”

The CEO Forum is also up approximately 10 percent this year.

On top of the numbers, the hardscape section of the show has agreed to partner with the show through 2016.

Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI, says the show will be looking to add a new focus for 2014.

“One additional thing we’re going to focus on next year is utility vehicles or UTVs,” Kiser says. “There is a sweet spot between the high-speed utility vehicle on one end, but the true utility vehicle on the other end.

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