GIE+EXPO Releases 2014 Workshop Schedule

Updated May 5, 2014

11208094234 Ec252d32bb BOrganizers are getting ready for this year’s GIE+EXPO with the release of the 2014 GIE+EXPO workshops.

GIE+EXPO will take place Oct. 23-24 in Louisville at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Hardscape North America’s co-location with GIE+EXPO will provide educational opportunities, including four new Friday morning sessions: two on snow and ice management and two on irrigation. 

Workshops and live demonstrations include sessions on how to –

  • Set budgeting goals
  • Boost profits with marketing
  • Empower your team for success
  • Improve your sales processes
  • Survive and prosper as a hardscape contractor
  • Implement cycle & soak and drip irrigation systems
  • Successfully grow your snow management services
  • Improve specific hardscape installation techniques

2014 GIE+EXPO Workshops

Thursday, October 23

8 – 9:30 a.m.

Hardscape Workshop:  Outdoor Kitchen Design and Installation (breakfast sandwich & coffee provided)

Speaker: Carl Peterson, Owner, Outdoor Entertainment Concepts, LLC 

This educational program will cover all aspects of outdoor kitchen design and installation, as well as the wide variety of appliances available to complete your outdoor kitchen project.  Learn about the different fuel sources available, industry standard ventilation requirements and issues arising from use of dissimilar metals within appliances.  The presenter will also explain the differences in finish options, counter top options and construction materials to ensure success in each outdoor kitchen you build.

10 – 11:30 a.m.

Hardscape Workshop:  How to Survive and Prosper As A Hardscape Contractor

Speaker: Monroe Porter, President, PROOF Management Consultants

Is your business prepared for change and truly understands where it is making and losing money?  Merely surviving can be a challenge when faced with trends like shrinking margins and more complex jobs with tighter deadlines.  This program will help you establish goals and strategies to keep pace with the lightning-fast changes in the market.  Learn how to avoid plunder, determine your best business structure, deal with enabled employees, cut costs, market in a more competitive market and more!  Whether you are a fire-breathing 25-year-old or a still-at-it 70-year-old, this program offers a strategy to meet your needs.

1 – 2:30 p.m.

PLANET Workshop: Financial Budgeting for the Land Care Company – What are your 2015 Goals?  

Speaker: Dan Gordon,, PLANET Consultant Member

Budgets are enormously important to the operation of your business; not only do they help you manage your costs, but they also help you determine whether your profit goals are within reach and keep you on the right road from month to month. A properly crafted financial budget will show a business owner or manager how much revenue is likely to be brought into the firm and how much a firm can spend on marketing, business expansion or employee benefits.  This talk will focus on the importance of realistic assumptions and how they are used to develop budgets that will be a planning tool all year long.

3 – 4:30 p.m.

PLANET Workshop: Marketing That’s More than Lead Generation

Speaker: Andrew Pototschnik, Lawn Care Marketing Expert – PLANET Consultant Member 

From Onboarding to Upselling – 5 Ways to Use Marketing to Boost Your Profits.  Lawn care and landscaping business owners tend to treat marketing like something you do only when you need to add some new clients. But marketing is much more than simple lead generation. It’s how your company looks, sounds and acts. In this talk, Andrew Pototschnik, founder of Lawn Care Marketing Expert, will outline five ways you can market more effectively everyday in your business.

Friday, October 24 

8 – 9:30 a.m.

PLANET Workshop: Adopting Best Practices in Advanced Snow Management (breakfast sandwich & coffee provided)

Speaker: Phill Sexton, Snow & Ice Association 

Building a sustainable, long-lasting service model in snow and ice management is extremely challenging. There aren’t many methods that snow contractors can employ to benchmark their services and gain insight into areas of improvement. The Best Practices Checklist for Snow & Ice Management is a simple resource that a snow business can use to align the company and its business functions with critical areas. 

Phill Sexton will walk attendees through some of the major elements on the checklist and provide key details and insight into how any snow company, regardless of size or market, can use “Best Practices” to improve and grow quality and consistency in service.

8 – 9:30 a.m.

PLANET Workshop: Cycle and Soak – The Methods and Reasons (breakfast sandwich & coffee provided)

Speakers: Alan Richmond, Southern Botanical, and Kurt Thompson, Massey Services 

This session will center on the concepts and methods of cycle and soak irrigation practices.  Discussions will surround the new controllers and how to utilize, as well as how cycle and soak can help during water restrictions. 

In the cycle and soak method, you water in increments (or cycles) until the soil has absorbed the maximum moisture before water starts running off.  This session will teach the attendee the reasons and science behind cycle and soak and how to set and utilize a control and navigate water restrictions by getting the most out of watering times. 

10 – 11:30 a.m.                  

PLANET Workshop: Advanced Snow Management Focus: Equipment Capacity & Managing Expectations

Speaker: Phil Harwood, CSP, Pro-Motion Consulting/SIMA Member and PLANET Consultant Member

Each season, snow professionals are stressed about the estimating process as they try to understand how many customers they could serve without overextending themselves. This concept, called capacity, is one of the most challenging things to define for a snow management service.  Without a solid understanding of your true operational capacity, you leave yourself open to major financial and legal risk if you overestimate your abilities or if a major snow event hits. 

In this best-practices deep dive for snow management, Phil will walk attendees through some techniques that help identify operational capacity and leverage that knowledge effectively to reduce service failures and manage quality. 

10 – 11:30 a.m.

PLANET Workshop: Utilizing Drip (Micro) Irrigation         

Speakers: Robb Kowalewski, Jain Irrigation, Inc., and Marcus Duck, Michigan State University, Horticultural Department 

This class will be dedicated to basic drip irrigation principles, examination of key products and some general discussion on issues and design.  Attendees will leave this session understanding basic and intermediate knowledge of all drip systems’ components along with when to use drip and be successful.

1 – 2:30 p.m.

PLANET Workshop: Business Essentials – Do the Right Things and Do Things Right

Speaker: Ken Thomas, Envisor Consulting, PLANET Consultant Member 

Ken will outline key leadership principles followed by the hard metrics that support these. Taking business to the next level is a matter of engaging the hearts and minds of the team and empowering them with tools and metrics required to be successful.

3 – 4:30 p.m.

PLANET Workshop: Controlling the Sales Beast.  Sales Systems and Finding Peace

Speaker: Domenic A. Chiarella, 7 of 7 BEST Business and Life Strategies, LLC 

Dominic will show you sales systems that help make estimates, proposals and tracking consistent and effective.  He will also show you how to flow sales better and have the ability to track your clients’ work throughout the sales process.  The objective will be to improve sales flow for the salesmen and administration; understand estimate work orders, proposal templates and tracking; and learn how the sales system is connected to production and accounting. 

Registration Details

Registration in advance is required; each of the GIE+EXPO Workshops is $50.  Those who register for one of the Hardscape Workshops listed above will also be admitted free to the technique demos in the HNA Outdoor Arena tent.   See below.  Those who only want to attend the HNA Demonstrations and tradeshow can upgrade their registration for $25 to include all the following demos. Register for all sessions online at

Demonstrations in the Hardscape North America Outdoor Arena

(This tented arena is in the Outdoor Demonstration Area within steps of the indoor exhibits at the Kentucky Expo Center.) 

Thursday, October 23

11 a.m. – Noon

Basic Concrete Paver Installation

Pat McCrindle, Regional Sales Manager, GST International, Inc. 

1 – 2 p.m.

Fire Pit and Outdoor Fireplace Construction, Safety and Design

Carl Peterson, Owner, Outdoor Entertainment Concepts, LLC

3 – 4 p.m.

Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement Construction

Andrew Vear, General Manager, Southwest Specialties, Inc. 

Friday, October 24

11 a.m. –  Noon

Tools for Paver Installation Efficiency

Bill Gardocki, Owner, Interstate Landscape Co., Inc.

Tom Gardocki, Hardscape Operations Foreman, Interstate Landscape Co., Inc.

1 – 2 p.m.

LED Lighting – Impress your Clients and Increase your Profits

Jeff Hesser, Mid Atlantic Regional Sales Manager, Cast Lighting LLC

3 – 4 p.m.

Raised Paver Patios and Segmental Retaining Walls

Pat McCrindle, Regional Sales Manager, GST International, Inc.

Each HNA demo is eligible for one ICPI Certified Installer Continuing Education (CE) Credit. Make sure to pick up a CE tracking form at the HNA registration desk.

GIE+EXPO’s 2014 dates are Wednesday, Oct. 22, Dealer Day; Oct. 23-24 for all industry participants. The annual event is sponsored by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Inc. (OPEI), Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) and Professional Landcare Network (PLANET).  HNA is sponsored by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI).

The GIE+EXPO Workshops are samples of more extensive education curricula offered at the show by PLANET, PGMS and ICPI.  Information about registering for those programs is available on the associations’ websites.

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