October’s Equip Expo to feature several ‘shifts and improvements’ from 2023 event
2024 Equip Expo scheduled for Oct. 15-18
January 11, 2024 By Turf & Rec
Several “shifts and improvements” are being made for next October’s Equip Exposition in Louisville, Ky.
Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), said the coming changes will elevate the landscaping show to the next level.
From new exhibitor space to new entertainment options and more opportunities to connect and network, 2024 attendees can expect:
A Tuesday evening welcome reception at Churchill Downs, which is marking the 150th anniversary of the Kentucky Derby this year, where attendees can see the recent upgrades to the racetrack. Sponsored by Caterpillar.
Kevin O’Connor from This Old House as keynote speaker Wednesday morning. Sponsored by Kress.
A special happy hour in Freedom Hall at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) starting just after the show closes on Wednesday. House band, the Crashers, will perform at the event.
A Thursday evening arena concert at the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville featuring multi-platinum entertainer and musician, Trace Adkins, sponsored by SENIX.
Expanded Spanish-language education focused on helping crew leaders become better managers.
The return of the successful and well-attended women’s reception on Thursday evening, sponsored by SiteOne and Belgard.
More opportunities to connect in-person with social media influencers at events like the Morning Show at Expo, sponsored by Kohler, and ENERGIZE.
Improved logistics, including a shuttle bus drop-off at the West Wing which will improve parking lot congestion.
“We’ve listened to our attendees, and are adding new experiences to give them more of what they want: being with their peers, talking about business struggles and getting real answers,” Kiser said. “There’s no other place where landscapers, equipment manufacturers and dealers can come together to talk to each other, peer to peer, in such a supportive environment. Whether you need help with people, products or processes, the answers to your questions are at Expo.”
Equip Expo provides a dynamic experience with more than a million square feet of exhibits and a sprawling 30-acre outdoor demo yard. Expo is the only show in the outdoor living industry where attendees can dig, cut, mow, mulch and test equipment before buying it. The show is also a hub for professional growth, offering essential certifications and educational resources to help industry professionals transform and expand their businesses.
The 2023 show brought together more than 27,000 participants from 46 countries. Landscape contractor registrations increased by 20 per cent over the previous year, and dealers were up five per cent, marking an increasing interest in hands-on experiences that Equip Expo has championed for more than 40 years.
“We’re always in expansion mode,” Kiser said. “Due to space demand last year, we opened up the West Wing to exhibitors to great success. And we’re going to improve the exhibitor experience there in 2024 by making the West Wing a much larger hub of activity, including putting our pet adoption event Mutt Madness, and the main food offerings there, as well as the Drone Zone, a golf simulation and an attendee lounge.”
The state of Kentucky, which owns the KEC, is planning a massive renovation to the facility in the coming years, which will expand its footprint and re-orient the building.
“We’re looking forward to that project, as we continue to sell out our trade show floor,” Kiser said, adding that West Wing exhibitors will be “first in line for space when the new wing of the KEC is built on that side of the building. We believe it’s important to reward existing exhibitors; they will take priority when the KEC expands.”
He adds, “Demand for exhibit space doesn’t slow down. We already have more than 80 companies on the waiting list. Anyone interested in exhibit space or sponsorships should jump on it immediately.”
The blockbuster show takes place every October in the Derby City and brings more than $21 million to Louisville. Due to its size, the show with co-location partner Hardscape North America fully occupies the North, East and South halls and continues expansion into the West Wing of the KEC.
“Louisville is a fantastic place for us; it’s the home for our global industry event,” Kiser said. “We’re committed to the city, and it’s committed to us. But since we take over Louisville for four days, I’m giving one word of advice: book your hotel and airline tickets early if you want to attend this year’s show. Those two things will grow scarcer with every passing month. And you won’t want to miss Expo – not this year.”
Housing opportunities through the show’s official housing provider will open in February.
Registration for the 2024 show is now open. Tickets to the 2024 Equip Exposition are currently at $25 per person, but prices will increase April 1. Register here.
In 2023, the show received two Grand Awards in Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100 Awards program: “Most Innovative Show” and the “Slam Dunk Award: Best New Idea.”
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