Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and continued regulatory uncertainty, GIE/OPEI will postpone the 2020 show until next year.
Show ownership and management of GIE+EXPO, the Green Industry and Equipment Exposition, have been monitoring the situation closely, and have been working with state and local authorities to put on the safest show possible. Unfortunately, the unpredictable nature of such a rapidly evolving environment prohibited this year's show from taking place safely.
"The health and safety of our attendees and exhibitors is critical, and it is with profound regret that we announce the cancellation of our 2020 event," said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI, and managing partner of GIE+EXPO. "We're looking forward to 2021 and already gearing up to make our next show a dynamic and engaging experience for the entire industry. I encourage exhibitors and attendees that have already registered or secured exhibit space to roll those monies forward to the 2021 show."
Next fall, attendees and exhibitors will experience several updates to the Kentucky Exposition Center grounds. The facility is undertaking $8 million in outdoor improvements and enhancements, including:
- Replacing the main entry gates to improve ingress and egress.
- Expanding paved areas on the north side of the building to increase exhibit space opportunities.
- Relocating more than 126,000 cubic yards of dirt, the equivalent of 63 football fields (or over 1 million wheelbarrows full), to the Outdoor Demonstration Area to improve drainage and irrigation to the grounds.
- Adding permanent driving lanes to the Demo Area.
- Improving pedestrian access from nearby hotels by adding sidewalks that extend from Phillips Lane to the new main gate.
GIE+EXPO has called Louisville home since the tradeshow began nearly 40 years ago. "We want to thank our host city for its ongoing support of our show," Kiser said. "In particular I want to thank Karen Williams, president of Louisville Tourism, for her tireless efforts to help us through this process. She and the city have been terrific partners of the show, and we look forward to an outstanding event in 2021."
Despite the need to postpone this year's show, the industry continues to thrive. "Manufacturers, landscapers, and outdoor power equipment dealers have been deemed essential during this ongoing pandemic, and the industry continues to play a major role in keeping greenspaces around the country safe and accessible," said Kiser.
"What we've learned during this period is the extraordinary importance of the living landscape to our mental and physical health, especially for homeowners who have a yard. We saw the ongoing need for the TurfMutt education program by parents and educators, with the robust distribution of our curriculum by Scholastic, the U.S. Green Building Council's Global Learning Lab, and the Wildlife Habitat Council, among others," Kiser continued. "The new voice of our Foundation, Mutt Mulligan, has been busy promoting the importance of living landscapes.""