Friday, November 04, 2005

GIE . . . It feels well, kinda different

Nothing stays the same and industries, like people, change. The same goes for trade shows. The Green Industry Expo is underway in Orlando this week. The first GIE took place 15 years ago when three Green Industry associations partnered to hold a single "national" trade show each fall. Each of the three association partners — the PLCAA, PGMS and ALCA — tied annual business meetings to the trade show, and each offered separate educational programs for members and prospects.

The first GIE was in downtown Nashville, TN. It had a decidedly "lawn care" flavor as PLCAA, the former Professional Lawn Care Association of America, had expanded rapidly in the 1980s and had established a trade show that, for all practical purposes, became the precursor to the GIE.

But PLCAA is gone (having merged with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, ALCA, to form a new organization known as PLANET this year) and the personality of the GIE has changed. Each year "iron" becomes a bigger part of the GIE because of the growth of contract mowing and landscape installs and builds these past 10-15 years.

The leadership of PLANET is making every effort to recognize and serve its professional applicator company members, and has several lawn care pros on its board. But only time will tell how well this is accomplished. PLANET is not even a year old, after all, and is in the process of building a new identity.

What PLANET's new identity will be may be short-lived if it eventually merges with The American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA). It's a possibility although both groups are still in the "due diligance" phase and the PLANET folks insist that, at best, it couldn't happen prior to 2007.

Change, change, change.

For me anyway, it felt kind of weird not kicking off the GIE with the annual PLCAA Business Meeting and Awards Dinner. Sometimes it got a little bit raucous and a wee bit out of hand . . . but that's what made it so fun.

— Ron Hall

1 comment:

dervo said...

Hi Ron,

It was great seeing you in Orlando. I took your advise and took in some outstanding Rock Shrimp at Dixie Crossroads!

I agree with your view that the GIE is kinda different. The amount of equipment was overwheming. The lack of a broader variety of irrigation, landscape, maintenance, lawn care and hardscapes that encompasses the entire "Green Industry" was missing.

The fact that the Irrigation Association (IA) has their trade show within the same week on the other side of the country, resulted in a limited representation at the GIE from the irrigation industry.

In time, I would hope that maybe the IA and PLANET can coordinate a mutual benefit to combine their respective events together.

Again, it was great seeing you. All the best.

Peter Dervin