LOUISVILLE – The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) announces that GIE+EXPO will rebrand and relaunch in 2022 as Equip Exposition, evolving the industry’s largest tradeshow and starting a new chapter for the event while reinvesting in its host city.
“We’re excited to announce this evolution of our industry-leading tradeshow,” said Kris Kiser, president of OPEI. “The opening of our new office shows the investment our industry has in the event and in its long-standing location of Louisville. With OPEI bringing the management of the show wholly under the association’s umbrella, it was time to re-envision the event while honoring its long history.”
Concurrent with the launch of Equip Exposition, the OPEI Board of Directors and Kiser, joined by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Secretary of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet Michael Berry, and other invited guests, cut the ribbon on new show offices on Main Street Tuesday night. Equip Exposition will bring on veteran show management staff and Karen Williams, longtime head of Louisville Tourism, as Senior Vice President of Partnerships and Development.
Plans are already underway to expand education opportunities and enhance the attendee and exhibitor experience in Louisville:
• Trace Adkins will headline the concert series
• David Feherty will give the opening keynote
• Bob Clements International and the Professional Grounds Management Society will host a series of educational workshops
• The TurfMutt Foundation will launch the first-ever Mulligan’s 5K and Fun Run in downtown Louisville
“Equip Exposition is where the landscape changes, and is the place for landscape contractors, outdoor power equipment dealers, distributors and manufacturers to connect, learn and grow,” Kiser said. “The tradeshow remains the best place to connect with your peers, network, and gain a competitive business edge. We’re excited to evolve the show and can’t wait to see you in Louisville October 19-21 next year.”
In 2019, the trade show was the 6th largest in the United States according to the Gold 100. It attracts more than 20,000 attendees hailing from all 50 U.S. states and 54 countries. The show has an economic impact on Louisville of more than $20 million, has 20-plus acres of newly renovated outdoor demonstration areas, and more than a thousand exhibits. It co-locates with Hardscape North America.
The OPEI Board of Directors includes:
• Chair, Tom Duncan, Executive Board Member, Positec USA, Inc.
• Vice Chair, Joe Wright, President and CEO, Excel Industries, Inc.
• Secretary/Treasurer, Brian Melka, Group President — Power, Kohler Co.
• Immediate Past Chair, Rick Olson, Chairman and CEO, The Toro Company
• Equip Exposition Show Chairman, Dan Ariens, Chairman and CEO, Ariens Company
• Mike Clancy, CEO, Chervon North America
• Tim Dorsey, President, Echo Incorporated
• Peter Hampton, President and CEO, Active Exhaust Corporation
• Robert McCutcheon, President, Husqvarna North America
• Rob Moll, CEO, MTD
• Lee Sowell, President, Outdoor Products, Techtronic Industries Power Equipment
• David Thorne, Vice President, Turf & Compact Utility Business Unit, John Deere
• Will Walton, III, Business Unit Head, Vice President, Honda Power Equipment