Show Preview: GIE+EXPO 2019

GIE+EXPO 2019 is set to be bigger than ever. The outdoor power equipment industry’s biggest event will feature 1,000 exhibits throughout 500,000 square feet inside the Kentucky Exposition Center and in the turf area outside; more than 20 acres of outdoor demonstrations and test driving, adjacent to the indoor exhibits; seminars to boost your efficiency and bottom line; a convenient location; networking opportunities; free concerts, and much more.

This year’s event, October 16-18 in Louisville, Ky., will feature expanded show hours. The indoor show floor will open an hour earlier for dealers, retailers and the media on Wednesday, Oct. 16. And, both indoor exhibits and the 20-acre Outdoor Demonstration Area will open earlier for the entire industry on Friday, Oct. 18.

Show schedule

Wednesday, Oct. 16

11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Indoor exhibits open for dealers, retailers and the media

3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Indoor exhibits open for the entire industry

Thursday, Oct. 17

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Indoor exhibits and Outdoor Demonstration Area open

Friday, Oct. 18

8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Outdoor Demonstration Area open

8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Indoor exhibits open


Two keynotes for landscape pros

Valuable opportunities abound at the 2019 GIE+EXPO for lawn and landscape professionals interested in improving profitability. Two keynote speakers, offering motivation and economic insights, are included with trade show registration. In addition, attendees can add workshops and live hardscape demonstrations to their itinerary. The annual trade show is set for Oct. 16-18 at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman will present the opening keynote, “Never Fly Solo: The Power of Partnership to Reach New Heights in Business and Life,” Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 2 PM. Waldman is a highly decorated fighter pilot with over 65 combat missions and a valuable message about placing trust in your wingmen and building high-performance teams. The session is sponsored by John Deere. Immediately following the keynote at 3 p.m., the show floor will open to the entire industry, and attendees can enjoy a welcome reception.

Friday, Oct. 18 at 9:30 a.m., attendees will hear from Brian Beaulieu, one of the country’s most informed economists. His keynote, “More Growth – More People – More Business,” will provide insights on the state of the economy and how it relates to our industry to help attendees plan their businesses for the future. Beaulieu, the CEO of ITR Economics, brings more than 35 years of expertise to his presentations.

The GIE+EXPO Workshops, spanning all three days this year, will cover a variety of management topics specifically for landscape contractors’ businesses. In addition, for contractors looking to diversify, Hardscape North America’s co-location with GIE+EXPO provides the opportunity to learn about expanding into the hardscape market.

Hardscape North America conference sessions

Hardscape North America announced its seven conference session speakers and topics to be held during the 2019 Hardscape North America. This year’s sessions cover industry hot topics including workforce development and attracting talent, focusing on customer experience that includes women as dominant customers and the always-relevant project estimating skills.

Each conference session lasts an hour and 15 minutes and is approved for Certified Concrete Paver Installer and NCMA SRW Installer continuing education (CE) hours.

The VIP Pass is available again this year and will give contractors access to all seven conference sessions, as well as the six hardscape demonstrations, for a 50-percent discount. The cost for the VIP Pass is $229 or $189 for ICPI/BIA/NCMA members. A la carte tickets for the conference sessions are $65 per session.

In addition, an in-depth business management session has been added to the schedule for 2019. In this day-long workshop, industry expert Jerry Gaeta will address the fundamentals of owning and operating a successful hardscape business. It will be held at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, HNA’s host hotel. The early bird fee for this session is $199 until Sept. 5, and $219 thereafter. For ICPI/NCMA/BIA Members: $169 until Sept. 5, and $189 thereafter.

“We are thrilled with our schedule of presenters this year,” said Charles McGrath, executive director of the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI). “They are definitely the best of the best and the topics are uniquely and directly relevant to our industry. Hardscape contractors will gain so much knowledge from this year’s education sessions.”

Conference and business management session schedule:

Tuesday, Oct. 15

NEW: In-depth business management session

5 Keys to Business Management

9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Jerry Gaeta

(not included with VIP Pass)

Wednesday, Oct. 16

Estimating Hardscape Projects with Confidence

Noon – 1:15 p.m.

Jerry Gaeta

Growing Your Hardscape Company 535% Using Today’s Tech Tools

1:45 – 3 p.m.

Susan Frew

Manage, Motivate & Prepare Your Hardscape Crew for Success

5 – 6:15 p.m.

Jerry Gaeta

Thursday, Oct. 17

What Women Want: See Your Business Through a Woman’s Eyes

8 – 9:15 a.m.

Anne Obarski

What You Can Learn from Shark Tank

12:30 – 1:45 p.m.

Leslie Shiner

Friday, Oct. 18

Finding the Next Generation of Hardscape Installers

8:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Frank Gandora

Customer Service Workshop

10:00 – 11:15 a.m.

Gary Ross

HNA 2019 early-bird registration is available for $15* (fees increase after Thursday, Sept. 5). HNA registration includes access to both HNA and GIE+EXPO indoor exhibits, access to the Hardscape House and 20-acre Outdoor Demonstration Area, entrance to two keynotes and the HNA Hardscape Project Awards Presentation, the opportunity to watch the HNA Installer Championship competition and three nights of free concerts at Fourth Street Live!

Other education opportunities at the trade show include Hardscape Demos, Pre-show Installer Courses and HNA Dealer Education.

For more information or to register, go to


The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) will present LANDSCAPES 2019, the “must-attend” education event for landscape and lawn care professionals. Demo all the latest equipment at GIE+EXPO (included in your registration), connect with professionals from across the country, and get the strategies you need to take your business to the next level.

LANDSCAPES 2019 will feature practical education sessions on leadership, strategic growth, financial management and operational efficiency; as well as highly targeted training for technicians, crew leaders, account managers and those working in design-build, lawn care, irrigation, landscape management and snow removal.

On-site courses will include construction safety education from OSHA and first aid training from the Red Cross. Earn continuing education units to put toward a Landscape Industry Certified recertification.

Meet and learn from industry leaders at the Breakfast of Champions, where you can enjoy exclusive, one-on-one access to the people who are shaping the landscape industry.

LANDSCAPES also boasts exceptional networking events, ranging from political advocacy and awards receptions to mixers for first-time attendees and young professional mixers.

Committee meetings, forums, panels and roundtables will address some of the most pressing issues in the industry today.

For more information about LANDSCAPES 2019, visit

Arborist demos by Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop

A new feature on the lineup at GIE+EXPO will put a 40-foot tree inside the Kentucky Exposition Center and give attendees the opportunity to learn arborist techniques from a group of women who are experts in their field. GIE+EXPO is set for October 16-18, 2019

Three certified arborists – Melissa LeVangie, Bear LeVangie and Rebecca Seibel-Hunt – will provide climbing instruction while aloft in a tree set up within the expo center’s Freedom Hall. Attendees can expect to learn basic techniques and systems accepted within the industry to safely, efficiently and effectively perform tree care operations during eight sessions, which are included with tradeshow registration.

The LeVangies developed the Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop in 2009 with a mission to “create a safe, encouraging, and empowering learning environment for women to climb trees,” and have hosted workshops throughout the country for both women and men.

“Davey Tree is excited to present the ‘Climb Trees, Expand Your Horizons’ program at GIE+EXPO, in collaboration with The Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop, and with support from Shelter Tree,” said Alex Julius, employee development and safety training specialist at Davey. “We think this is an excellent opportunity to highlight women in arboriculture and share basic industry-accepted climbing techniques and systems while aloft in a tree within the expo center’s Freedom Hall. It should be a great time, and we hope lots of arborists – new and experienced – are able to attend.”

Wednesday, October 16

3:30 – 4:30 PM

Intro to Climbing: Job Briefing, PPE, Purpose and Approach

4:45 – 5:45 PM

Basic Climbing Techniques: Climbing Equipment and Systems

Thursday, October 17

10:00 – 11:00 AM

Tree Entry: Throwline, Rope Installation and Tie-in-points

12:00 – 1:00 PM

Access, Ascent (Closed vs. Open System) and Movement

2:00 – 3:00 PM

Movement & Work Positioning

3:30 – 4:30 PM

Safety, Descent, and Equipment Management

Friday, October 18

9:00 – 10:00 AM

Tools of the Trade

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Climbing Systems: Stationary and Moving Rope Strategies and Basics of Rigging

Freedom Hall will also be the location of the Mutt Madness pet adoption event and Food Truck Thursday. Both of these will take place Thursday, October 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit

Easton Corbin and Cassadee Pope to headline concerts at GIE+EXPO

Attendees at the 2019 GIE+EXPO, set for Oct. 16-18, will be treated to three nights of free, top-notch entertainment. The after-show-hours entertainment will kick off on Tuesday, October 15, with the popular party rock band The Crashers. Wednesday and Thursday headliners include country stars Easton Corbin and Cassadee Pope, thanks to sponsors Stihl Inc. and Mercedes-Benz Vans.

“Stihl is pleased to co-sponsor the 2019 GIE+EXPO Concert Series with Mercedes Benz,” said Bjoern Fischer, president, Stihl Inc. “The Fourth Street Live concerts are always a memorable experience for GIE+EXPO attendees, young and old, and we look forward to being part of the celebration this year.”

“We at Mercedes-Benz Vans are proud to be an integral part of the GIE+EXPO,” said Paul Butler, department manager, marketing, Mercedes-Benz. “Sponsoring the concert series provides us a great opportunity to not only reach the many van customers that attend the expo, but to also give back to the GIE+EXPO community and say thank you for your continued support. Sponsoring the concert series completes our holistic integration with the GIE+EXPO.”

Back at GIE+EXPO for a fourth year, The Crashers, will kick things off at the Tuesday night concert. Formed in 2008, this group has established itself, both regionally and nationally, as THE band to see. They’ve performed all over the country, leaving crowds wanting more, from the Super Bowl (as the official pre-game band for NBC at Super Bowl XLVI) to rockin’ it out as the backing band for national artists like Luke Bryan and Kid Rock.

With two No. 1 singles, multiple awards and nominations, plus performances on some of the biggest stages in the world, Easton Corbin has made a lasting impression on the country music landscape. His debut album, released in 2010, spawned back-to-back hits “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It.” Corbin set a career-best debut on Country Airplay with his top 5 hit single, “Baby Be My Love Song.” His latest single, “Are You With Me,” was most added song at country radio the day it was released. Corbin spent 2016 on one of the biggest tours in country music – Carrie Underwood’s The Storyteller Tour. He is currently working on his fourth studio album.

Cassadee Pope‘s powerhouse voice, inimitable presence and endless charm have transformed her into a force of nature beloved by millions worldwide. Following her victory on Season 3 of NBC’s The Voice, her 2013 full-length debut, Frame by Frame – with its lead single “Wasting All These Tears” – bowed at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart and Top 10 on the Billboard 200 all-genre chart. During 2016, Pope teamed with Chris Young for the No. 1 hit “Think of You” and garnered a 2017 Grammy nod in the category of Best Country Duo/Group Performance. Along the way, she has toured with everybody from Tim McGraw and Dierks Bentley to Young and Rascal Flatts.

During his whirlwind career explosion, rising star JD Shelburne has opened for many national acts, including Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry, Kellie Pickler and others. “One Less Girl,” the first single from his 4th studio album, Two Lane Town, made its worldwide premiere on CMT last September.

Concert Lineup

Sponsored by Stihl Inc., on the Mercedes-Benz Vans Stage at 4th Street Live! in downtown Louisville

Tuesday, October 15, 8 p.m.

Headliner: The Crashers

Wednesday, October 16, 9 p.m.

Headliner: Easton Corbin

Thursday, October 17, 9 p.m.

Opener: JD Shelburne

Headliner: Cassadee Pope

Getting there

Louisville’s Housing Bureau makes booking hotel reservations quick and easy with pre-arranged rates. In addition, anyone who books through the bureau will be entered to win prizes ranging from a Louisville gift basket or personalized bourbon bottles to a complimentary hotel room during the show. For immediate hotel confirmation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, book your reservation at To make reservations by phone, call the Louisville Housing Bureau at 800-743-3100 Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM EDT.

Four airlines are currently offering discounts for GIE+EXPO travel:

  • American Airlines discounted fares are available by contacting their Meeting Services Desk, 800-433-1790. Use authorization number: A18H9BL.
  • Delta is offering up to a 10-percent discount on flights. Search flights at, select “Book Your Flight,” and use Meeting Code NMT7H. For groups of 10 or more, call 800-328-1111.
  • Southwest Airlines is offering 8 percent off Anytime & Business Select fares and 2 percent off select Wanna Get Away fares and 50 percent bonus Rapid Rewards points (travel 10/12 – 10/19/19). Go to use Company ID: 99636972.
  • United Airlines is offering up to 10-percent discount on flights. Search flights at united.comand use code: ZGWW649353. Or call United Reservations Meetings at 800-426-1122.

Louisville’s airport (SDF), serviced by nearly every major and regional airline, is across the interstate from the Kentucky Exposition Center. Shuttle buses will run between the airport, exposition center and select hotels.

Free Parking at GIE+EXPO

Attendees at GIE+EXPO 2019 will now benefit from free parking at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Show organizers have arranged free parking for participants all three days of show. GIE+EXPO is set for October 16-18 at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) in Louisville. Online registration is available at

“We recognize that GIE+EXPO is an investment in each attendee’s business, and we strive to make it as affordable as possible,” said Kris Kiser, managing partner of GIE+EXPO and OPEI President. “More importantly, the free parking will allow easy access for all attendees and exhibitors. A major challenge for any large event at a venue like KEC is payment processing at gates. Now at GIE+EXPO, there’s no more waiting at the gate, which means more time on the show floor.”

For more information and online registration, visit

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