GIE+EXPO to be held as planned amid coronavirus concerns
High attendance is expected at the largest trade show for the landscape, hardscape and equipment industries
GIE+EXPO, the international landscape, outdoor living and equipment exposition, will be held as planned this year on October 21- 23 at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) in Louisville, say show organizers who also promise to design and develop a show and educational programming with all necessary safety protocols in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Everyone is asking if GIE+EXPO is happening. What I can say is the show is expected go on. We're planning for it," says Kris Kiser, President of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.
OPEI is actively working with its tradeshow partners—the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS)—to design a safe and responsible event that will offer programming and education that directly addresses the challenges faced by the pandemic. Also returning, held in conjunction with GIE+EXPO, is Hardscape North America, a long-standing, co-located trade show.
Despite potential changes to the show's design and layout, Kiser says, the tradeshow remains the industry's "family reunion" for landscapers, hardscapers, equipment dealers, distributors, manufacturers and suppliers. With the equipment and landscape industries deemed essential, many landscapers, dealers, distributors and OEMs have been operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, illustrating the importance of outdoor space and the people who make it.
Kiser also encourages attendees not to wait to register for the event or book hotel stays. "To date," he says, "registrations and exhibitor space reservations are on par with last year's record-setting numbers. Anyone waiting to make hotel reservations or to register, don't. There's no risk to doing them early. Otherwise, you may not get your hotel of choice."
He adds that the city of Louisville, restaurants, tourist attractions, shuttle companies, hotels and other venues are preparing protocols to be open for safe and responsible operations.
Kiser adds, "We know our world is different, but we will incorporate and utilize the safety protocols of the professionals. So register early and, again, bring those comfortable shoes."