Last month marked the 40th anniversary of the Green Industry and Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO), not only the largest trade show for the green industry, but one of the biggest trade shows overall this year. The three-day event presented by Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) was hosted by Louisville’s Kentucky Expo Center.
The venue boasts over 1.2 million square feet of indoor space and another 22 acres of outside demo area for the latest big machines and equipment. GIE Expo this year was effectively the Super Bowl of the green industry.
Bustling with more than 20,000 green industry professionals in 2021, it witnessed a sharp increase from the 2018 and 2019 editions.
The tradeshow showcased a full gamut of outdoor power equipment, lawn and garden products, light construction equipment, and a whole host of software solutions for an industry that is relying more heavily on the benefits of new technology with each passing year.
Highlights of the GIE+Expo
If we come to the highlights of the GIE Expo 2021, electric equipment was prominently up in numbers. Equipment is increasingly getting electrified and gas-operated equipment is getting phased out. After the Clean Air Act of California, a lot of the outdoor equipment companies had been quick to adapt their commercial property equipment to the upcoming changes in the Act.
Robotic equipment was a massive hit at the Expo, with automated Robo-mowers attracting a lot of attention from the crowd.Graze, ECHO turf mower, Husqvarna automower, Smartec were some of the show stealers. While Robo-mowers were, in particular, a great hit, in general, GIE this year was more about technological advances, a lot of electrification, and equipment automation.
The Hardscape & Landscape lighting department also included some cool things:
- Coastal Source with their small light sources and outdoor speakers,
- Lumion Outdoor Lighting, Encore Landscape Lighting for its customizable outdoor lighting, and
- Warming Trends for their fire pits.
Hottest New Releases of The Season
1. DeWalt launched its 2 new 60 V Chainsaws: an 18” and a 20” equipped with the new 15 amp flex volt batteries, the biggest they have to offer, and will help power the chainsaw. It boasts of having almost twice as much torque as a 50 cc gas chainsaw. The cutting ability, performance, speed, and power are more than enough to handle all the cutting needs.
20 V Pruner with a 2 amp hour battery capable of making 1100 cuts and an Electric Pressure Washer with 2100 PSI and 1.2 GPM were some of the other major attractions.
2. Ready to be released in 2022, Spartan launched its latest Conqueror Mower and had the audience’s eyes on it with its sleek orange design. Remote controlled with dual tracks on each side, this mower claims to run effortlessly on steep hills without any human operator. With a 61” inch deck, powered by a 40 horsepower vanguard motor, you can put a snow blade hydraulic lift on it.
3. Ventrac’s latest 4520 Series was the talk of the trade show. Engineered with the best possible mix of machine performance, operator experience, and durability in the new 4520 Tractor, Ventrac managed to be a total crowd-puller again and was seen to be one of the top choices of ground care professionals.
4. Scythe Robotics launched its M.52 autonomous all-electric robotic mower. Fully autonomous, it had 8 HDR cameras on the outside and LED sensors for indication. One only needs to drive the perimeter of the property once, post which it can successfully sense all the different kinds of obstacles.
Attentive at GIE+Expo 2021
Our experience at the 2021 Expo was exciting and exhilarating. Our day started off with prepping the booth, getting monitors and computers set up, and reviewing the plan for the day. Throughout the morning we would give hundreds of demos and talk one-on-one with potential clients and curious professionals from the green industry.
For the audience, we had goodies, candies, and a few fun rocket games. We were all about fully automated take-offs. As the kids had fun drawing polygons using etch-a-sketch, we found it easier to explain to the grown-ups how automation is changing the landscaping technology.
It was incredible to see the inquisitiveness that new entrepreneurs and seasoned landscapers brought to the table. The audience’s response was really promising. The feedback from not only the visitors of the Expo but also other exhibitors was incredibly positive.
This has given us a lot of confidence to build a lot of cool tech for this industry. People were very receptive, and we met some of the customers for the first time. The audience reception transmitted a lot more energy into the team. It was gratifying to be sharing our story and was the biggest highlight of the event for us.
What’s in store for 2022?
GIE+Expo has rebranded itself and is now set to be launched as Equip Exposition in 2022, evolving the industry’s largest trade show and starting a new chapter for the event. The tradeshow remains the best place to connect with your peers, network, and gain a competitive business edge.
We are excited to return with new products, and with renewed vigor to Equip Exposition. To be held between October 19-21 next year, we can’t wait to meet everyone in Louisville again. We are also grateful to everyone who visited us, the amazing exhibitors and attendees, and finally to OPEI and Equip Exposition for being the wonderful hosts they were.