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CEO DATELINE – OPEI takes over trade show after landscape industry group exits

Jan. 13, 2019
By Walt Williams

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The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute will assume full ownership of an industry trade show after the National Association of Landscape Professionals pulled out of the venture to launch a new event.

OPEI announced Friday that it will become the sole owner of the GIE+EXPO starting in 2022. NALP had previously held its own event, LANDSCAPES, in conjunction with the annual show, which takes place in Louisville, Ky. However, NALP said in a statement that it is withdrawing from the partnership so it could launch its own stand-alone conference.

“We’ve enjoyed a strong partnership with the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and we continue to work together on government relations and other important industry issues, but the time has come to provide members with a new annual meeting experience, so beginning in 2022, our conference will move to different cities.” NALP CEO Britt Wood said.

NALP has assembled a planning task force that will guide the development of the new event, the group said. Member input is also being gathered.

For its part, OPEI said GEI+EXPO has been growing, with last year’s event posting record attendance. The show brought in more than 1,000 exhibitors and more than 26,500 contractors, dealers, and exhibitors from the U.S. and dozens of countries.

“We’ll continue to work with our landscape industry partners to provide attendees with training and other programmatic elements at the Kentucky Exposition Center,” OPEI CEO Kris Kiser said. “We look forward to the continued evolution and dynamic growth of GIE+EXPO in Louisville in the future.”

In addition to NALP’s involvement, GIE+EXPO is co-located with Hardscape North America, an outdoor building material trade show owned by the Interlocking Concrete Paving Institute.