The 2015 Green Industry Expo (GIE) broke records this year with more than 21,000 attendees (11% increase) and more than 700 indoor and 120 outdoor exhibits (4% increase) encompassing 1.35 million square feet and 30 acres at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
This was Spring-Green’s fourth year exhibiting at the expo although we have been attending for as long as the event has been around. Exhibiting provides us a productive forum to interact with prospective green industry partners who are exploring diversification. The show is also a good opportunity to network with our strategic vendors and to get input on upcoming trends, pricing and to gather some market intelligence. Although I have to say it gets harder and harder to find vendors specific to our trade on the show floor! With the majority of the exhibitors dedicated to the lawn maintenance industry and the endless equipment manufacturers and distributors to the trade… the vendors we deal with in our highly profitable fertilization and weed control business are quietly tucked in and around the show floor. It seems disproportionate …but I digress.
Spring-Green was well-represented at the GIE with its Director of Education Harold Enger, CTP, COLP. He seriously has enough ribbons of accomplishments and accolades attached to his name badge it is embarrassing to walk next to him! Harold is probably one of the most approachable industry veterans on the floor and his passion is contagious. This year he facilitated educational roundtables during the educational breakout sessions that included topics such as training for new lawn care technicians and how to set production goals for a lawn care company.
Harold also obtained a few valuable insights from the show regarding new lawn care products and updates:
• PBI Gordon has introduced a new herbicide for warm season grasses called Avenue South. It is labeled for all four major warm season turf grasses. Harold will facilitate a webinar for the Spring-Green network of franchise owners introducing the new herbicide in the next month sharing his opinions and possible application opportunities.
• CIVITAS WEED free Brand Concentrate is a patent-pending micro technology delivery system that penetrates into seeds faster, with less active ingredient and low odor. Currently, the cost is nearly $2.00 per Mft2 and requires 12 oz. of product per Mft2.
• DOW’s broadleaf weed control product, Defendor, will be available as a stand-alone product and not in conjunction with Dimension. This product has a low cost per Mft2 and would be a good fit for someone who sprays and is falling behind due to bad weather.
• Arbor Systems has come out with a manual soil injection system called EZ-Ject. It is an improved version of the old Koritz system and easier to use than the Wedgle system. Though on the high end cost-wise, it could be a good alternative for a company conducting several soil injections for tree problems
• Koch Turf and Ornamental offers controlled-release, slow-release and stabilized nitrogen products to many green industry suppliers.