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Seth’s Cut: My first Equip Expo rodeo

November 12, 2022 -  By
A walk across the Big Four Bridge and a pizza from Parlour in Jeffersonville, Ind., has become a post-show tradition for LM EIC Seth Jones. If you have time to kill before your flight home following Equip Expo next year, you know where to find him — drinks are on him. (Photo: Seth Jones)

A walk across the Big Four Bridge and a pizza from Parlour in Jeffersonville, Ind., has become a post-show tradition for LM EIC Seth Jones. If you have time to kill before your flight home following Equip Expo next year, you know where to find him — drinks are on him. (Photo: Seth Jones)

I once again concluded my week in Louisville with a solo walk across the Big Four Bridge into Indiana. With a few hours to kill before my flight home, I grabbed a bar stool at Parlour and ordered a pizza, some of their smoked wings and a cold beer. 

It was hard to get settled in and collect my thoughts about the week I just had at the inaugural Equip Expo. So much was packed into one week. It started on Tuesday with a media-only event at Churchill Downs hosted by Greenworks. It ended with a supply chain panel discussion that our magazine hosted, one of the 11 educational panels we put on at the show.

In-between? Three super-memorable dinners (you know who you are). Dozens of meetings and presentations (some were better than others — you probably don’t know who you are). A firework show at Louisville Slugger Park. A selfie with Trace Adkins and reconnecting with David Feherty. And the cherry on top, 11 successful educational sessions hosted by my team at Landscape Management.

Just … wow. Even the incredible pizza at Parlour couldn’t do the moment justice. 

In this business …

We’re in the business of providing education and insights to our readers, but this was the first time we were asked by an entity like Equip Expo to be their exclusive magazine partner presenting educational seminars at their event. By the end of the show, my team and I addressed almost 1,200 people hungry to learn from our network of industry experts.

I said this many times when people asked me how the show was going … it was our first Equip Expo in name only. But in terms of what we were doing at the show? It really was our first rodeo, and I’m happy the bull didn’t buck us. In fact, my team stepped up so much that we are already making plans for how we can make 2023 bigger and better.

A 5-star week

My first joke of the week may have flopped (“Welcome to the Trace Adkins fan club panel!” — might have been a little too early in the morning for that one), but otherwise, I felt like just about everything went smoothly. OK, my lunch with LM columnist Jeffrey Scott almost ended in disaster when a rolling cart of salads toppled over right behind me. But everything else was just about perfect.

Come to think of it, my 2022 Equip Expo experience didn’t really end with that panel about the supply chain. It ended with me trying to get an Uber from Parlour in southern Indiana to the Louisville airport. It turned out a Friday night Luke Combs concert had the city in an uproar and a fierce traffic jam.

When my Uber driver finally pulled up, he told me, “Bro, I almost didn’t accept your ride. But I saw you were trying to get to the airport, you have a 5-star rating and my guess is you’ll pay the toll over the bridge to save us both time … and you probably tip.”

I laughed and told him that after the 5-star week I just had, no traffic jam was about to slow us down. 

Seth Jones

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was voted best columnist in the industry in 2014 and 2018 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. Seth has more than 23 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories. He is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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