2014 GIE+EXPO: By the numbers, the biggest ever

The outdoor demonstration area at GIE+EXPO covers 19 acres and housed nearly 100 exhibitors in 2014. Photo: LM

GIE+EXPO saw its largest turnout ever in 2014, welcoming more than 19,000 people, plus 181 new exhibitors, to the trade show.

The attendance numbers represent an 11 percent increase in registration over last year—when it ranked as the 15th largest trade show in U.S., according to Trade Show News Network.

“We’re busting at the seams,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), a sponsor of GIE+EXPO, which was held Oct. 22-24 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. “We’re going to have to break into the North Hall next year.”

Spanning the equivalent of 27 football fields, with 500,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space and 19 acres outdoors, 2014 GIE+EXPO housed 675 indoor exhibits, representing a 6 percent increase over 2013 and 13 percent over 2012. There were nearly 100 outdoor exhibits.

“We can already see that we will sell out in the demo area next year,” Show Director Warren Sellers said. The projected sell-out is due in part to growing interest from UTV suppliers to exhibit, he said.

Hardscape North America, co-located with GIE+EXPO, also had a record attendance with a 22 percent increase over 2013.

In step with the attendance upswing, Dealer Day, held Oct. 22, saw a 213 percent increase in basic tech training session participation, while registration in advanced training increased 14 percent. Registrations for all paid dealer education were up 35 percent.

Also in conjunction with the trade show, contractor registrations for education sessions offered by  sponsors—OPEI, Professional Grounds Management Society and Professional Landcare Network—were up 7 percent this year. In addition, GIE+EXPO workshop attendance climbed 56 percent over last year. New sessions related to snow and ice management were sold out with a total of 276 participants.

2015 GIE+EXPO is slated for Oct. 21-23 again at the Kentucky Exposition Center, with Oct. 21 being Dealer Day and Oct. 22-23 when the outdoor demo will be open.

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