Exhibits are expected to cover 50,000 sq. ft. more than last year, and with more early bird attendee registrations than ever, participation from all segments of the industry is going strong.
The annual tradeshow is set for Oct. 18-20 and will take place in Louisville, Kentucky, at the Kentucky Exposition Center.
Overall, registration is up 13 percent, and the lawn and landscape professionals category is up by 19 percent. Participation from exhibitors is up with about 1,000 GIE+EXPO and HNA exhibits, indoors and out, and 20 percent are new exhibitors.
The Outdoor Demonstration Area will cover more than 20 acres, and more new product introductions are expected with over 100 products in the sold-out new products showcase. Twenty-five exhibitors will be hosting press conferences.
HNA has increased by 15 percent, and dealer programming is expected to draw over 1,000 participants. Pre-registration contractor workshops are up 34 percent for GIE, and several are already sold out.
Because of the continued growth of the show, a new format will be implemented in 2018, which will allow contractors an extra day on the show floor and the opportunity to demo all three days.
Beginning next year, the indoor show floor will open exclusively for dealers, media and retailers at noon on Wednesday. Then, beginning at 3 p.m. and continuing Thursday and Friday, the whole industry will be invited to visit the exhibits.
According to Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), both exhibitors and attendees alike will see the benefits of face-to-face and hands-on business interaction.
“GIE+EXPO continues to be the industry’s gathering place,” he said. “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.”