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2021 GIE+EXPO Preview: The Show Goes On

September 20, 2021 -  By
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GIE+EXPO 2019 (Photo by Brian Bohannon)

GIE+EXPO 2019 (Photo by Brian Bohannon)

Making up for a lost year

Dwight Bizzell, vice president, Bizzell Nursery Co. in Sikeston, Mo., is the third generation to work for Bizzell Nursery Co. — his grandfather Walter started the business in the late 1960s. Dwight Bizzell has been attending GIE+EXPO on and off since 2014. He says it was weird not attending the show after it was canceled last year.

“Don’t walk through without stopping and asking questions. These guys and gals have spent countless hours and dollars to set the booths up, and if you like something, stop and talk to them. When we see something, we stop and ask questions. It’s great to talk to them and break down what their product is and how it could help you in the future.” Dwight Bizzell, vice president, Bizzell Nursery Co.

“Don’t walk through without stopping and asking questions. These guys and gals have spent countless hours and dollars to set the booths up, and if you like something, stop and talk to them. When we see something, we stop and ask questions. It’s great to talk to them and break down what their product is and how it could help you in the future.” Dwight Bizzell, vice president, Bizzell Nursery Co.

“We typically bring quite a few of our people just to see what’s out there and what can make their jobs easier,” Bizzell says. “Seeing the new technology and new equipment, anything that’s going to make us more efficient to get our jobs done quicker is key.”

GIE+EXPO was one of the main motivating factors in the company switching over to Steel Green spreader-sprayers. It wasn’t just the equipment and the labor savings that impressed him, but also the relationship that was formed between Bizzell Nursery Co. and Steel Green over the last few years at the show.

“We all know the labor force in our industry is very hard to get, so anything that’s going to make it easier to get the job done with fewer employees is where we’re having to go,” Bizzell says. “That’s one of my favorite things (about GIE+EXPO), getting to see everyone again and getting to see what’s new, what’s out there that’s going to make my business that much better. I’m excited to see what’s new over the past two years since we lost a year and to see old acquaintances that we’ve built relationships with at the show.”

Value of face to face

Trevor Koolmees, sales manager for tree care rental and landscape teams for Vermeer, has been back on the road again over the last five or six months. While some aspects of travel are still unusual — keeping a mask on in the airport at all times, for example — he says visiting customers in person makes it all worth it.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to see customers and see how they’re doing it and how they‘re coming out of the pandemic,” Koolmees says. “The travel portion is still a little weird; there are a lot of do’s and don’ts depending upon what state you’re in and where you’re going to visit. We’re trying to be respectful and take those safety precautions. On the same token, I think a majority of our customers are excited to have people back at their facilities, on their job sites and doing business like we used to do before: face to face, hand in hand, really seeing how we can help our customers be more productive and more successful.”

“Look at the map of the exhibitors. Plan your day around the inside the first day and then look at a path so you can see as many places as you possibly can after the first day. If you don’t have a plan going into GIE+EXPO, you’re going to leave the show saying, ‘man I had a great show, but I missed out on talking to these two people I really wanted to see.’” Trevor Koolmees, sales manager, Vermeer “Download the app and make a plan or you will get lost!” John Perry, Greene County Fertilizer Co. president

“Look at the map of the exhibitors. Plan your day around the inside the first day and then look at a path so you can see as many places as you possibly can after the first day. If you don’t have a plan going into GIE+EXPO, you’re going to leave the show saying, ‘man I had a great show, but I missed out on talking to these two people I really wanted to see.’”
Trevor Koolmees, sales manager, Vermeer

Koolmees was in the Atlanta airport when he spoke to LM, just coming off one of those job site visits. While job site visits are great, in terms of sheer volume of people and demo opportunities, nothing beats GIE+EXPO, Koolmees says.

“The best thing for me and for us as a company is the opportunity to be face to face with customers, not only on the showroom floor but also the opportunity to go outside, put their hands on it and drive it around. They see how our machines can have a real effect on what they do,” Koolmees says. “The number of people that are there and the opportunity that we have as an equipment manufacturer to continue to raise our brand awareness and let people know about the different solutions we offer from an equipment perspective, a service perspective and a dealership network perspective … every year we go to GIE+EXPO it just keeps getting better and better.”

This article is tagged with and posted in 0921, Cover story, Featured, From the Magazine, GIE+EXPO

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