Show Preview: GIE+EXPO and Hardscape North America

Two tradeshows — GIE+EXPO and Hardscape North America (HNA) — co-located in one central location, provide an ideal opportunity to see what the industry is buzzing about. The event will be held October 24-25, 2013 in Louisville, Ky., and features a 19-acre Outdoor Demonstration Area within easy walking distance of the indoor exhibits. See outdoor power equipment, along with products for landscapes, gardens, outdoor leisure, hardscapes and light construction.

Educational Opportunities include the Dealer Resource Pavilion, Dealership Owners’/Managers’ Classes, Dealer Summit, Dealer Resource Roundtable Breakfast, Dealer Technician Training, Rental Classes, GIE+EXPO Workshops, Green Industry Conference, School of Grounds Management, HNA Demonstrations and the HNA Conference.

The Dealer Resource Pavilion will combine education for dealership owners and managers, technician certification, a dealer-only lounge and Internet Café, new products and best-practice advice for managing your service center. Only dealers, distributors, retailers, technicians and media will be admitted to this feature area, which will be located on the show floor.

On Oct. 23, a lunch-and-learn Dealer Summit will include a session unveiling new research about buying and attitude trends to help dealers be more effective in reaching top contractors. The seminar will also include a panel discussion on important developments like diversification, marketing, social media, sales management and more. Distributors are also encouraged to attend. Attendees will receive a full copy of the research report.

A lunch-and-learn education session for rental dealers is back with a new spin on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 1-3 p.m. The $30 fee covers lunch and two sessions – Part 1: Effective Advertising for Rental Stores and Part 2: “You Think You Know” Game Show.

The Green Industry Conference (GIC), organized by the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), and the Professional Grounds Management Society’s (PGMS) popular School of Grounds Management offer powerful educational sessions and extensive peer networking. These premier educational events for green industry professionals and professional grounds managers begin October 24. The GIE+EXPO Workshops provide a special introduction to PLANET’s GIC and the HNA Conference, which will be offered by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) Oct. 24-25.

A big hit last year, the $10,000 Friday Giveaway will start at 1:00 p.m. on Friday. Winners must be present to win $1,000 at 1:00 p.m., $2,000 at 2:00 p.m., $3,000 at 3:00 p.m. and $4,000 at 4:00 p.m. To be eligible, register for GIE+EXPO. An entry form will be mailed along with badges and will include instructions for returning it on-site.

The New Products Showcase will be a launching pad for new products. Visitors can stop here for a glimpse of the latest innovations and make their must-see lists, then stop at the exhibits throughout the show floor to meet with the manufacturers and test the products.

Schedule at a glance

Wednesday, Oct. 23-Friday, Oct. 25

Green Industry Conference and School of Grounds Management

Wednesday, October 23


Dealer Day — 3-7 p.m. (dealers, retailers and distributors only)

Reception on the tradeshow floor — 5-7 p.m. (dealers, retailers and distributors only)

Free concert at 4th Street Live! (Craig Morgan with special guest Jamie McLean Band at 7:30 p.m.)

Thursday, October 24

GIE+EXPO open to all industry participants

Indoor — 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Outdoor — 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Free concert at 4th Street Live! (Three Dog Night with special guest Angie Johnson at 7:30 p.m.)

Friday, October 25

Indoor — 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Outdoor — 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Free concert at 4th Street Live! (Holly Williams with special guest Olivia Henken at 8 p.m.)

Hardscape North America

HNA features state-of-the-art tools and products for hardscape contractors, distributors/dealers and installers involved in the segmental pavement and retaining wall business. HNA offers a full slate of education for hardscape contractors as well as special programming for dealers/distributors.

HNA Installer Championship

New this year at Hardscape North America, the HNA Installer Championship will test and recognize the skills, dedication and passion of hardscape contractors from the United States, Canada and Mexico. Up to 12 teams will be tested on their application of industry best practices, safety, quality and craftsmanship in a race against the clock and other top installers. The HNA Installer Championship will be held Oct. 24-25. The teams will compete for $1,000 for the champion and $400 for the runner up, the HNA Installer Championship Cup of the Year, bragging rights, free tools, and tons of free PR.

HNA Installation Demonstrations

HNA is set to host two full days of hardscape demonstrations in the HNA Outdoor Arena, located adjacent to an indoor exhibit area featuring hundreds of companies’ newest products. The demonstrations, scheduled for October 24 and 25, are  included with HNA tradeshow admission. All demonstrations are eligible for CE credit for ICPI Certified Installers.

 Essential Hardscape Tools, presented by Frank Gandora, president, Creative Hardscape Company, Thursday, Oct. 24, 11 a.m.-noon
 Base Construction for Interlocking Concrete Pavement Systems, presented by Bill Gardocki, president, Interstate Landscape Co., Inc., Thursday, Oct. 24, 1-2 p.m.
 Construction of Fire Features for Outdoor Living Areas, presented by Pat McCrindle, owner, MPS, Inc., Thursday, Oct. 24, 3-4 p.m.
 Building Raised Patios, Steps and Seat Walls, presented by Bill Gardocki, president, Interstate Landscape Co., Inc., Friday, Oct. 25, 11 a.m.-noon
 Adding Water Features to Hardscapes, presented by James Chubb, national sales manager, Atlantic Water Gardens, Friday, Oct. 25, 1-2 p.m.
 Paver Maintenance and Restoration, presented by Pat McCrindle, owner, MPS, Inc., Friday, Oct. 25, 3-4 p.m.

HNA Distributor and Dealer Program

The HNA Distributor and Dealer Program will be held Oct. 23, and is geared toward helping dealers and distributors grow their businesses through a top-notch program featuring industry experts. This day-long program features presentations on distributors’ most pressing business challenges, industry-leading speakers, roundtable discussions, and VIP access for dealers to the HNA and GIE+EXPO tradeshow floors on Oct. 23 until 7 p.m., which includes a reception.

Hardscape Contractor Executive Workshop

The Hardscape Contractor Executive Workshop will be held on Oct. 23, from 1:30-5 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Louisville. The Workshop, which is approved for 3.5 CE credits for ICPI Certified Installers, opens with a presentation entitled “Retaining Employees in this Ever-Changing World,” with speaker Jerry Gaeta of J. Gaeta Business Planning, LLC. Following the presentation, attendees will participate in different roundtable discussions throughout the afternoon.

Continuing Education and Certification

During the days immediately preceding Hardscape North America (HNA), hardscape contractors can earn credentials to gain a competitive edge and increase their profitability and earn continuing education credits needed for ICPI certification renewal.

Registration for any of HNA’s Pre-Show Installer Courses includes classroom training, a student manual, exam and coffee breaks. Lunch is not included. All courses run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., EDT.

Hardscape Project Awards

The HNA Hardscape Project Awards recognize the contractor’s ability to create outstanding hardscape projects. Twenty-four award categories include residential and commercial applications using a variety of products including concrete pavers, clay pavers and segmental retaining walls and projects of  different sizes. The deadline to submit entries is Wednesday, September 18, 2013. The early-bird entry fee is $100 for members (ICPI, BIA or NCMA) and $200 for non-members until Sept. 4. After that the entry fee is $140 for members and $240 for non-members. Projects for consideration must have been completed between Nov. 1, 2009 and June 30, 2013.

Photo provided by Hardscape North America (HNA) and the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI).

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