This year's Green Industry Expo, the landscape trade show founded in 1990, will be the last GIE. At least as we've come to know it over the past 16 years. The GIE started as a collaborative effort among three, and then two associations - the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS), the Professional Lawn Care Network (PLCAA) and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA). PLCAA and ALCA merged in 2005 to form the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET).
The legacy associations built their educational programs around the trade show.
This year's GIE will be held in Columbus, OH, the first week of November. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute's EXPO, an annual event in Louisville, KY, takes place a month earlier.
We reported in October '05 that folks from PGMS and PLANET were strolling the show floor and outdoor exhibits at the OPEI Expo 2005, mostly an equipment trade show. It was the first time most of them had ever set foot at the Expo. They were scoping out an impending marriage.
While the GIE has always been touted as "the national" trade show for the Green Industry, it rarely strayed west of St. Louis. Other factors that made the decision easier to make were the expanded and renovated facilities at the Louisville Convention Center and the huge outdoor demo area at the Center. Two years ago the OPEI moved the date of its Expo from the blistering heat and humidity of July to October, just a couple of weeks earlier than the GIE.
The EXPO has, for all of its 24-year history, been a dealer show and an iron show.
It will be interesting to see how the major suppliers of chemical products -fertilizers, pest controls, etc. - embrace the merged trade show in L'ville. - Ron Hall