How does a first-time landscape contractor or other attendee find their bearings at Equip Exposition, the sixth largest trade show in the United States? The show, held October 18- 21, 2022, boasts a million square feet of exhibit space including a 30-acre Outdoor Demo Yard showcasing the newest outdoor power equipment in the industry at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC). Here are some expert tips for navigation.
“First, with a show this size be sure to wear comfortable shoes,” says Kris Kiser, President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), which owns Equip Exposition. “Also, Expo is open rain or shine. Check the weather report so you can dress appropriately.”
Other insider tips include:
• Register now before the registration price doubles on September 9. Lock in your early-bird ticket for only $20. Prices double to $40 at midnight on September 9, and double again after October 14 to $80.
• Reserve your hotel room and make travel plans now. Louisville’s 17,000 hotel rooms book up as October approaches. Some hotels are on a complimentary shuttle route that will get you to the show quickly. Book your hotel now and you might even win a prize.
• Download the official Equip Exposition app sponsored by Husqvarna. A show this size requires strategy. The app is the best way to plan your schedule. Navigate and mark the exhibits you want to see and education sessions to attend.
• Add education and training to your registration. Landscapers can explore ways to grow their businesses with sessions on: Labor and hiring; leadership succession; upcoming regulatory requirements mandating what equipment landscapers can use; the latest software and robotics; expanding into other areas of business; and drone technology in a two-day course that prepares attendees for the Part 107 Pilot Certification exam.
Dealers and technicians can also sign up for training to help them grow their businesses and skills. Dealership Management education sessions are included with all dealer trade show registrations.
Here are a few more tips to consider as well as things to expect:
• Get into the show fast. In addition to registration kiosks available onsite at the KEC in the South Wing lobby registration area, kiosks are also available at select hotels and the airport. Scan your registration bar code (bring your email confirmation!) and print your badge. Pre-registrants also can pick up their badges in “express” lanes in the South Wing lobby. To register onsite, go to the North Wing Lobby registration area. And there’s free parking so there’s no traffic at the KEC entrance gate.
• Connect with peers at the Welcome Reception. Held at Louisville Slugger Field on Tuesday, October 18, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., the reception features free food and fireworks, and a chance to meet your colleagues before the show kicks off the next morning. Sponsored by Husqvarna and Louisville Tourism.
• Fuel up on-site. A new coffee shop sponsored by EGO in the South Wing Lobby C, adjacent to the new Equip retail store, will be open during the show. Freedom Hall is the show’s Food Hall with food trucks and three days of themed buffets (Taste of Kentucky, Southern BBQ, Little Italy). While in Freedom Hall, the tree climbing workshops, sponsored by STIHL, offer live climbing technique sessions on a real tree. The event is in collaboration with Davey Tree and the Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop. Also, visit the Outdoor Food Yard which offers food trucks and tented spaces to sit and relax.
• Test equipment in the Outdoor Demo Yard. Newly expanded to 30 acres, the Outdoor Demo Yard offers the opportunity to mow, mulch, cut, drive, and check out the latest outdoor power equipment. The expanded UTV Test Track lets licensed drivers over age 16 try the newest models.
• Take a run or walk. The inaugural Mulligan’s Fun Run/Walk 5K, sponsored by Ariens Co., will benefit the Kentucky Humane Society. Run/walk across the Ohio River on the city’s Big Four pedestrian bridge and in sight of Louisville’s Great Lawn on Wednesday morning, October 19 at 7 a.m.
• Bring home a rescue pup. If you are looking to add a furry family member to your pack, Lucky’s Mutt Madness, sponsored by the TurfMutt Foundation in partnership with the Kentucky Humane Society, brings a bevy of rescue dogs available for adoption to Freedom Hall on Thursday from 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
• Visit Hardscape North America (HNA). Equip Exposition registration gets you free access to HNA, the premier trade show for hardscape contractors.
• Stay up late. The Concert Series at 4th Street LIVE! will feature American country music singer and multi-platinum icon, Trace Adkins at 8 p.m. on Thursday night sponsored by STIHL on the Belgard Stage. Expo favorite and house band, THE CRASHERS will take the stage at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night.
• Explore Louisville. The city is easy to navigate and offers, 2,500 restaurants and more than 90 attractions, such as Louisville Slugger Field.
• Attend the closing keynote breakfast. This full breakfast includes a keynote address from National Geographic’s Photo Ark creator Joel Sartore. Add this to your registration for only $15/person and go home inspired, and maybe you’ll be the lucky RYOBI mower winner, awarded to one trade show attendee.
Visit https://www.equipexposition.com/ for more.