The LM crew takes on GIE+EXPO

November 15, 2019 -  By
Photo: Seth Jones

Photo: Seth Jones

A wave of panic came over me as I stood in the LM booth at GIE+EXPO. Two guys I didn’t know were assembling camera equipment. The sales team members were divvying up print materials. My editorial team was comparing notes as to who had what meeting. I did a count. There were 16 people wearing Landscape Management shirts.

I suddenly questioned everything. Is there enough work to keep all these people busy? Does everyone know exactly what he or she needs to do? Is this … OK?

Maybe you had a similar feeling that day you stepped back and realized the crew had grown to be a lot bigger than what you started out with. That first time you ordered 50 matching T-shirts of various sizes. Maybe that moment was 30 years ago, maybe it was yesterday.

For me, that moment was day one of the 2019 GIE+EXPO. My crew in Louisville included the CEO, two publishers, four staff editors, three sales people, two marketing people, two independent videographers, a freelance photographer and me.


Good news — my panic subsided as the crew dispersed and got to work. And yes, there was enough work to keep everyone busy. Plenty busy, as it turns out. A visit to, to our social media platforms or a simple flip through our November magazine (and future issues) shows that the team was constantly on the move, getting stories, photos and videos of everything we deemed noteworthy that we could get to. It’s hard to calculate exactly how many meetings we took. It’s much easier to visit the website and see all the various stories and videos.

When I see it all there in one place, it makes it all seem worthwhile — not just the 16 shirts but also the hours of preparation, the myriad meetings, the long walks from one end of the Kentucky Exposition Center to the other.

Here are three things that stood out to me as especially memorable from this year’s show:

No. 3 The LM party at the Goose Island Beer Bridge

If you know me, then you know that I enjoy a good party for any occasion. We were happy to see so many of our supporters — readers, partners, contributors — come out to say hello. See our recent LM gallery to see some photos from what was an epic party with good friends.

No. 2 Meeting various innovators like David Reeves and Nick Carlson

Reeves and Carlson — inventors of the KR Chariot and Mulch Mate, respectively — are just an example of the many innovators I spoke with. At every meeting we took, we were presented with a solution to a problem.

Watch their video interviews from GIE+EXPO here:

From improved equipment to a better cup of coffee at the job site, the show offered just about everything. GIE+EXPO is brimming with people who are trying to help the industry overcome the many challenges it faces. Some solutions will turn out to be more effective than others, but it’s always exciting to see what might be the next big idea — and it certainly makes for good stories.

No. 1 Meeting our readers

Being around our readers is invaluable — that’s why our team travels so much, and that’s also why we brought so many people to the show. Whether the conversation was an informal one at lunch or a scheduled meeting at the LM booth, we took in a lot of information as well as feedback on how we can best cover the industry. It’s interesting to hear the various perspectives that make up the landscape business. While the general feedback was positive, the suggestions and recommendations were all across the board. From marketing to robots to marketing robots, we came back to the office with our notebooks stuffed full of ideas for 2020 and beyond.

What stood out to you about the 2019 GIE+EXPO? Email me and let me know.

In the meantime, check out a playlist of videos from the show, here:

This article is tagged with , , and posted in Cover story, Editor's Note, November 2019
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

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