For three days every October, thousands of landscape professionals descend on Louisville, Ky., for “the greatest show on turf” — otherwise known as Equip Exposition.
“It is the place to be for any leader in the landscape industry,” says Arden Urbano, Corporate Growth Strategist of Schill Grounds Management and co-founder of Greenius. Schill team members have been attending Equip Expo and its predecessors for years. “We attend Equip to see and test drive new equipment, attend educational sessions, and network with our peers and suppliers. It’s a must-attend event for our team every year.”
Equip Expo, held annually at the Kentucky Exposition Center, is an international landscape, outdoor living, and equipment trade show that’s managed by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). With more than a million square feet of exhibits and 30 acres of outdoor demonstration space, Equip Expo is one of the largest annual trade shows in the U.S. In 2023, Equip celebrated its 40th anniversary and brought together more than 27,000 registered attendees from all 50 states and 46 countries.
This year, three Schill staffers from several locations were on hand at Equip to review new products and participate in professional development opportunities. The team also spent some time having fun and building camaraderie at Louisville’s legendary 4th Street Live!, in addition to catching up with friends and industry partners in Derby City’s awesome bars, restaurants, and other attractions.
Products Coming Down The Pike
Robotic and battery-powered equipment were once again the talk of the trade show floor and outdoor demo area at Equip Expo 2023. It’s no secret that the landscaping industry, like many others, struggles to fill open positions and is interested in being environmentally friendly. That’s why landscape professionals have been discussing the viability of these technologies for a decade or more.
While we currently have limited use of this equipment, it’s exciting to see outdoor power equipment giants like John Deere, Bobcat, Husqvarna, and Stihl investing in technology that brings more options to landscape contractors and will eventually allow landscape companies to take even better care of clients’ properties. And, we’re excited to see where other technologies on display at the show, like drones, may work their way into our operations in the future.
Hot topics affecting the industry
When we weren’t kicking the tires on new equipment, we were in the classroom, attending educational sessions about how to improve our business. Popular sessions included:
Your Company, Your Culture: A panel of successful landscape contractors from across the U.S. discussed what they do to make their company a place where employees not only go to work but want to work.
Strategies for Supply Chain Success: Experts covered why and how to create a Supply Chain Management strategy and build a team of leading suppliers to help reduce costs, maximize efficiencies, and get the greatest return on investment from supply chain partners.
Gen Z and Me — Attracting and Retaining a Young Workforce: Leading landscape business owners shared how they find ways to bridge the generation gap at their companies to successfully hire and keep employees of all ages.
The Easy Button — How Technology is Changing the Way We Do Business: Industry insiders discussed how landscaping companies can embrace new technology that will improve customer satisfaction and offer the added benefit of becoming a more streamlined, efficient operation.
Continuing education is a vital component of Schill’s success. Our team of landscaping and snow experts has earned accreditation and certification from the industry’s leading organizations, and we’ve won multiple awards for professional excellence and industry leadership. These honors and achievements all start with making the investment to stay informed of the latest trends by attending conferences and trade shows like Equip Expo on a regular basis.
The Importance Of Industry Involvement
In addition to Equip Expo, Schill Grounds Management is a member of several state and national trade associations and routinely attends events put on by these professional groups.
Just to name a few, our affiliations include:
- Ohio Landscape Association;
- National Association of Landscape Professionals;
- Snow & Ice Management Association; and
- Accredited Snow Contractors Association.
“The bottom line is we’re committed to professionalism, education, and giving back to our industries,” Schill says. “Participating in associations and attending conferences and trade shows like Equip Expo allows us to continually improve our commercial landscaping and snow expertise and ultimately keep our clients’ properties looking and performing at their best year-round.”