GIE+Expo 2018 Guide

GIE+EXPO can be overwhelming for anyone, whether you’re a seasoned tradeshow pro or a first time attendee. We got the insider scoop from industry pros across North America to make sure you don’t miss a beat at the biggest green industry show of the year.

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GIE+EXPO 2018: Jobber's Guide

With the green industry show of the year right around the corner, we spoke with business owners in the green industry (Jobber customers and non-customers), associations, industry experts, and even some folks from the Jobber crew on everything GIE+EXPO 2018.

We’ll be diving deep into the seven themes we heard the most about in our conversations to make sure you can have a great show and bring the most value back to your business from this year’s show:

  1. Pro tips for first time attendees
  2. Top booth recommendations from the pros
  3. Why you should head to GIE Rally 2018
  4. What you’ll hear, see, and drive first
  5. Louisville must-dos, eats, and sees
  6. What keeps everyone going back year after year 
  7. Networking, networking, networking!

A word from OPEI, GIE+EXPO managing partner

Kris Kiser, OPEI, Jobber's GIE+EXPO 2018 Guide
Kris Kiser, president and CEO, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, managing partner of GIE+EXPO

Kris Kiser, president and CEO, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, managing partner of GIE+EXPO, says “GIE+EXPO is more than a trade show—it’s an experience, and one you can only get in Louisville this October. This year’s show is on track to be the biggest ever–again–and you don’t want to miss it. You’ll see things you can’t see anywhere else, you’ll learn things you wouldn’t learn, you’ll get out of your business for a couple days and invest time in growing as a landscaper, a business owner, and a member of the broader green industry. It’s the place to be.”

Read on to get the full scoop of what to expect at the show and to get a first glance of what Jobber will be up to at the show.

The lay of the GIE+EXPO land

GIE+EXPO Floor Map - Jobber Guide

GIE+EXPO is the green industry’s largest showcase, taking place each fall in Louisville, Kentucky, covering more than 700,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space filled with exhibitors, training and education opportunities, and hands-on demonstration areas, with an expected attendance of 24,000 in 2018. You can register for the show on the GIE+EXPO 2018 website.

Take it from the pros: 5 themes they shared

Pro tips for a first time attendee

“Get there early to get a parking spot if you’re driving. Don’t get overwhelmed and make sure you’re prepared with what you want to get from the show, otherwise you might get turned around and it would turn into more of an entertainment thing than an experience helpful for your business.”
– Hartman Holmes, Tiger Landscapes, 1 year GIE+EXPO attendee

“Last year was my first year at the expo and I had all these big plans of what and how to go about seeing everything and, well, they all went away about five minutes after entering. So if it’s your first time at the expo, just enjoy yourself, walk around and mingle through the aisles and booths, but don’t forget to visit your favorite companies while there.”
Brad Lloyd, Owner, Your Way Lawn Care, LLC, 2 year GIE+EXPO attendee

“Social media really helps out. You might hear certain things that are of interest of you. If you don’t know anything about anything, the GIE+EXPO organizers send you plenty of information and flyers, and they have an app to help plan. It’s really good to use, so you can see the exhibitor app and plot out what you want to know. The show is so overwhelming so it’s good to have it all planned out. Pen and paper is also an option to jot down where you want to go if the app isn’t for you.”
– Naylor Taliaferro, Clean Cut Lawn Care Services, 4 year GIE+EXPO attendee

“I’ve been to a lot of conventions in the Kentucky Exposition Centre so I knew what I was working with, but one thing that surprised me was that the shows I have been to before used a tenth of the centre’s meeting rooms, but GIE+EXPO uses them all. I underestimated the amount of walking I would be doing, and the amount of undereating because the buffet lines are so long, so bring snacks—and your most comfortable sneakers!”
– Brian Fullerton, Brian’s Lawn Maintenance, 1 year GIE+EXPO attendee

Jason (Alabama Lawn Care) and Barret (Jobber)
Jason (Lawn Care Life) and Barret (Jobber), GIE+EXPO 2017

“I’ll say one thing, I went ahead and booked a room yesterday [Editors note: we spoke to Jason at the end of July] because the rooms book up quickly. My wife Traci and I ended up booking an Airbnb this year close by and we were really happy with our decision.

It probably takes two days to look through everything! If it was my first time, I would try to take advantage of the demo area because it’s such a unique opportunity. I’d also recommend taking a friend in the lawn care industry. The show has so much free entertainment, free concerts, and it’s great to bounce ideas off each other you wouldn’t otherwise think of just on your own.”
– Jason Creel, Owner, Alabama Lawn Care Pros, 3 year GIE+EXPO attendee

“Wear good shoes! The one thing is to go and check out all of the booths. There are things that you might not know about until you actually see it, so it’s brand new to you. And you think ‘wow, why didn’t I think about that?’ With hitting the booths, you won’t necessarily know what you’re looking for, and you’ll eventually stumble upon something that’s helpful to take back to your business.“
Chant Singvongsa, Chant’s Daily Hustle, 1 year GIE+EXPO attendee

My first experience at GIE+EXPO was breathtaking because of how massive the show actually is. I would recommend bringing a backpack so you can put any literature that all the booths give out, so you don’t have to carry it in your hands all day. Another small tip is to wear comfortable footwear because you do a lot of walking.”
– Justin Pitre, Just In Time Yard Services, 2 year GIE+EXPO attendee

Booths to check out

Dirt Monkey University, Jobber, and ECHO. Whether you like the equipment or not, ECHO will have a lot of influencer stuff going on. Last year they had a VR thing going on which was really cool.”
– Naylor Taliaferro, Clean Cut Lawn Care Services, 4 year GIE+EXPO attendee

Dirt Monkey Stan and Phil
Stan and Phil (Dirt Monkey University), GIE+EXPO 2017

“I will be checking out the John Deere booth (I’m a Deere user) and I will be at the Michelin booth to see when will they produce the front Tweels, a new John Deere feature. I will be also visiting my Canadian scheduling and invoicing software, Jobber, to see their booth.”
– Justin Pitre, Just In Time Yard Services, 2 year GIE+EXPO attendee

“I am always sure to visit with the amazing folks at the Jobber, ECHO, Scag, and Green Touch Industries booths. And don’t forget about after the show because there’s way more to GIE+EXPO than just the expo itself—there’s the GIE Rally at the Louisville Mega Cavern, and impromptu get togethers each night down at 4th Street Live in downtown Louisville.”
Brad Lloyd, Owner, Your Way Lawn Care, LLC, 2 year GIE+EXPO attendee

Caterpillar, Spartan, and Scag, and some other little things to add onto mowers, like shoot systems, leaf loaders and vacuums. We’d like to get more equipment for fall and spring cleanups”.
– Hartman Holmes, Tiger Landscapes, 1 year GIE+EXPO attendee

GIE Rally 2018

GIE Rally, hosted by LCR Media, takes place on Thursday, October 18, 6-9pm at the Louisville Mega Cavern.  Join other business owners, awesome brands, and industry pros, such as Stanley Genadek (Dirt Monkey University), Brian Shain (Top Notch Lawn Care), Keith Kalfas (The Landscaping Employee Trap), Blake Albertson (B&B Lawn Care) and many more.

Food and event t-shirts will be provided for the first 300 through the door, and the Jobber team will be giving away shirts and other fun swag as well!

GIE Rally Info - Jobber

“GIE Rally is all about networking. Most people are pretty involved in Facebook and Instagram, and at bare minimum they post stuff on something, and they end up connecting on Facebook and recommending other people. At GIE Rally you can put a face to the name for people you’ve met online. And if you haven’t met anyone on social, you can still meet new people in person. Most people know someone, but it’s still a great way to meet like-minded people. The Rally allows you to connect at a little more of an intimate level in comparison to the 20,000+ people on the show floor.”
– Naylor Taliaferro, LCR Media, 4 year GIE+EXPO attendee

The Jobber crew with friends at GIE Rally 2017
The Jobber crew with friends at GIE Rally 2017

You’ll hear it, see it, and drive it first

“You’ll learn the latest industry trends—robotic mowers, UTVs, outdoor living, battery equipment—before you see them in the field, you’ll see them in Louisville. The GIE+EXPO has hundreds of exhibitors inside and out, and it’s where manufacturers reveal their latest models and newest introductions. You’ll get an edge on your competition at GIE+EXPO. Once you check out the latest equipment inside, you can step out the back door and test drive it yourself in the 20-acre demonstration area. GIE+EXPO is the best place for you to try before you buy.”
Kris Kiser, president and CEO, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, managing partner of GIE+EXPO

In the outdoor demo area you get to feel and try equipment you’ve never heard of or tried. It’s a demo day for any kind of equipment that could help your business grow.”
– Justin Pitre, Just In Time Yard Services, 2 year GIE+EXPO attendee

If you ever wanted to drive a skid steer you can just go out there and ride one around. I wanted to try a lot of the ride-on fertilizer spreaders. It’s just not common that I could try out 6 ones within one hour. The equipment there is great.”
– Jason Creel, Owner, Alabama Lawn Care Pros, 3 year GIE+EXPO attendee

Louisville must-dos, eats, and sees

“We went to Brazeiros Brazilian Steakhouse on 4th Street and that was a lot of fun. 4th Street Live after 7 or 8pm on Wednesday and Thursday is a really good time. I have been to Louisville about 50 times, so I know the area! The convention centre is one of the biggest. It’s a great time and you won’t be disappointed.”
– Brian Fullerton, Brian’s Lawn Maintenance, 1 year GIE+EXPO attendee

“The first year I went to Jeff Ruby’s—one of those memorable restaurants. Now that’s a really good restaurant. If you’re on a tight budget it might not be the place for you.”
– Jason Creel, Owner, Alabama Lawn Care Pros, 3 year GIE+EXPO attendee

“There are lots of places on 4th Street Live: I’d recommend Pleasure Ridge Pizza. It’s down the road from the show, there’s nice outdoor seating and indoor seating, and it used to be the GIE Rally venue before we grew. Good pizza. Good drink. Good conversation.”
– Naylor Taliaferro, Clean Cut Lawn Care Services, 4 year GIE+EXPO attendee

Why they keep going back

“Without a question, the GIE+EXPO itself. If there’s equipment or a brand you need to check out, it’s so overwhelming, because there’s a lot of stuff that you didn’t even know existed. And then there’s a personal and networking aspect as well. it’s a great location to come to gather for all of those things: for business (courses, learning things), as well as demo-ing things outside, and on top of all of that you have the networking.”
– Naylor Taliaferro, LCR Media, 4 year GIE+EXPO attendee

“Last year my dad and I didn’t get the chance to test a lot of equipment like I wanted, but we went to some classes to get some more info from other people across the country. We went to mainly look at software. We looked at four different options and ended up finding a good fit: Jobber. We wanted to learn a bit more about hardscaping and landscaping, and it was mainly a learning experience. This year we’ll do less classes, and try to see more equipment!”
– Hartman Holmes, Tiger Landscapes, 1 year GIE+EXPO attendee

“It’s changed over the years, to be honest. At first I wanted the exposure. Now I just go for relationships. I can go see the folks at Jobber, people that follow me on YouTube, and go to the GIE Rally. For me it’s more for going to the networking things. Originally I wanted to go for the big shiny toys. I know people who go pretty much every year because they buy new equipment regularly, and demo the latest greatest equipment. For me, it was never about that as I just do the weed control.

If was a lawn mowing guy rather than a weed control guy, I would go at least once, or go regularly to see all the new equipment. It’s a unique opportunity to try 30 lawn mowers at once that you’ll have nowhere else.”
Jason Creel, Owner, Alabama Lawn Care Pros, 3 year GIE+EXPO attendee

“The lawn care community on social is amazing and I have met so many great people there. GIE is really the only time most of us get to see each other and talk each year. The expo is really more than just the exhibitors—it’s about the community. It’s like a family  reunion each year where you get to see your family from the other side of the country.”
Brad Lloyd, Owner, Your Way Lawn Care, LLC, 2 year GIE+EXPO attendee

Jobber GIE+EXPO 2018
Moly (Jobber), Brad (Your Way Lawn Care), Steven (Jobber), and Naylor (Clean Cut Lawn Care), LCR Media, GIE+EXPO 2017

“The biggest pull of the show for me has developed and changed over the years. Clean Cut has been in business for 5 years, so as I was looking for equipment in the beginning, GIE+EXPO was a great central place to see equipment. You get to try every brand, trimmer, mower, etc. all in one shot.”
– Naylor Taliaferro, Clean Cut Lawn Care Services, 4 year GIE+EXPO attendee

“For me personally it’s seeing all the new products. It’s kind of a pun with Louisville, but it’s a horse and pony show where you can see the latest and greatest, and what everyone’s been working on the last 12-18 months. For me it’s awesome because usually the products are just in the dealer network, and you can’t get them until the next season (Spring), so you can go equipment shopping, and see what’s going to work and what’s not going to work.”
– Brian Fullerton, Brian’s Lawn Maintenance, 1 year GIE+EXPO attendee

“Networking with people, everyone in the industry, seeing what’s new, seeing what works for your company and business and make things easier, like new tools, equipment, anything that makes your job more efficient.”
Chant Singvongsa, Chant’s Daily Hustle, 1 year GIE+EXPO attendee

No shortage of talking shop: It’s all about the networking

“Apart from the hours of opportunity you have on the show floor and in the classrooms, GIE+EXPO brings together thousands of contractors just like you from across the country, giving you the opportunity to connect, share information, and find solutions to common problems.”
Kris Kiser, president and CEO, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, managing partner of GIE+EXPO

“Regardless of where you’re business is at, the networking is always going to be valuable.”
– Naylor Taliaferro, Clean Cut Lawn Care Services, 4 year GIE+EXPO attendee

Jobber at GIE

Jobber's Guide to GIE+EXPO 2018
Come find as at booth #9168 at GIE+EXPO 2018!

The Jobber Booth: #9168

This year we’ll have a crew of eight folks from Jobber at the show! We’ll be having Q&A sessions with customers and industry experts, and we’ll be hosting Instagram and customer meetups—stay tuned with us on Instagram! And of course we’ll be there to help answer any questions about Jobber, and to go over our customers’ accounts with them.

The crew will also be heading to the GIE Rally on Thursday night for lots of opportunity to talk shop with industry pros, our customers, and other folks in the industry who might be new faces!

Brian and Kristy Boase, MIL-SPEC Lawn Care

Brian and Kristy Boase from MIL-SPEC Lawn Care will be at the booth to go over their Jobber account and how they use Jobber as well. “There’s lots of little guys like us, and they’re just doing it by themselves that could be more efficient, or have 2 or 3 man crews that aren’t big dogs. So I think it’s good for even the smaller guys to see how beneficial Jobber really is right in person with us,” says Brian.

Lightning round with the Jobber crew (2018 and past!)

What are you looking forward to most this year?

Nick Keyko: I love the hustle of a tradeshow. Talking to existing customers, explaining Jobber to new customers, and checking out at all the new products that have come out in the last year. I’m also excited to check out the GIE Rally!

Rebecca Kapler: This will be my first year at GIE+EXPO, and I can’t wait to experience all of the hype I’ve heard about the show! This will be Jobber’s fifth year at the show, and I’m excited for all our programming we’ll have surrounding industry experts and of course, our customers. It’s always so inspiring to meet customers face to face, walk through new features, and help other business owners—who aren’t already using Jobber—decide if Jobber is the best fit for their business. Oh, and I’m excited to check out all of this Louisville BBQ the team keeps talking about!

What are your favorite Louisville food spots?

Nick Keyko: Oh man. Hammerheads has become a Jobber cult favorite. Momma’s BBQ also kind of has history for me now.

Steve Wegner: I’m with Nick on Momma’s BBQ!

Moly Milosovic: Going to Hammerheads for BBQ is a Jobber tradition. It’s a little restaurant in the bottom of a house in a residential area with a shark above the door, and you wait on the sidewalk for your table. Their BBQ is so delicious, and my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Jobber's Guide to GIE+EXPO 2018
Mark, Moly, and Barret (Jobber) visiting Brian and Kristy (MIL-SPEC Lawn Care) on their turf in Tennessee after GIE+EXPO 2017

What was your favorite thing about Louisville overall? 

Mark Cesar: The food! The best bbq I have ever had. The GIE Rally we went to in the cave was pretty awesome to meet other companies and vendors. After the show we had an amazing ride along with our customers, Brian and Kristy from MIL-SPEC. Travelling with Moly and Barret is always a riot—Moly has quite the singing voice.

Moly Milosovic: Going to GIE for the first time was my first experience with southern hospitality. The people in Louisville, wherever you go, are so nice and welcoming.

What’s a must-see on the tradeshow floor?

Moly Milosovic: The booths! Maybe it’s the marketer in me, but some of the big equipment and tool companies have pulled out all the stops to build the most amazing structures for the show. We’re talking two to three story high walls, revolving lawn mowers towering above you, super cool lighting—walking the floor is truly an experience.

Nick Keyko: Jobber of course! We’re going bigger and better than ever before and it’s going to be awesome. Our good pal Stan, The Dirt Monkey, Genadek, is super close to us as well so that will be fun. You definitely need to try and find some time to try some of the new products outside too!

Steve Wegner: Last year there was a really epic hardscaping display with a whole bunch of fake decks, etc., that was really cool.

Thanks to all of our contributors who made this guide possible. We can’t wait to see you all at GIE+EXPO in October, 2018! Let us know what you think of the guide by commenting on our Instagram post below, and don’t forget to use the #roadtoGIE hashtag and tag us in your posts as you prep for the show so we can follow along!



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