Business Brisk At 2004 International Lawn, Garden & Power Equipment Expo

About 25,000 visitors and exhibitors registered for the International Lawn, Garden & Power Equipment Expo (EXPO 2004) September 24-26 in Louisville, Ky. There were 452 exhibits indoors, and the popular 20-acre outdoor demonstration was sold out with 144 hands-on displays.

Bill Harley, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), which sponsors EXPO, said, "The mood of this year's show was fun, relaxed and productive. Exhibitors and visitors alike seemed to be really enjoying themselves and making great contacts."

Highlights of EXPO 2004 included a party for dealers, retailers, international visitors and exhibitors on Friday night. About 2,000 people networked, dined and danced to live music by Karen Kraft and her band, KIKS. On Saturday night, almost 2,500 visitors were entertained by the popular country music trio, Trick Pony, in a free concert sponsored by Ariens Company.

In the New Product Showroom, more than 50 companies spotlighted new products introduced since last year's show. Fifteen companies hosted press conferences at the show, and many others held giveaways in their booths, staged private receptions and special events and introduced new products.

Allen Cutter, Cutter's Mower Repair, Rising Sun, Ind., was the winner of the Trucks of the Industry Giveaway. He will receive $20,000 toward the purchase of a new truck from one of these five exhibitors: General Motors Isuzu Commercial Truck LLC; Dodge; GM Fleet and Commercial; Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America and Ford Commercial Truck. Power Equipment Trade and Turf magazines sponsored the giveaway.

The Walker Precision Obstacle Course at EXPO was a big success. One hundred contestants tried their hand at the course on opening day to qualify for the Saturday semi-finals. Chris Ulrich of Bristol, Ga., defended his crown from 2002 in the finals and bested the competition by over a second. Ulrich won an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Colorado including a tour of the Walker Factory.

For the third year, EXPO was preceded by OPEI's Dealer University. This year's event was held on-site at EXPO and overlapped with the first day of the show. Dealers from all over the U.S. attended the University classes, which were sponsored by Ariens, Husqvarna, Simplicity and Stihl.

For information about next year's EXPO, set for October 14-16 in Louisville, contact Sellers Expositions, 800-558-8767 or 812-949-9200. Or visit www.expo.mow.org.

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