OPEI announces new dates for EXPO 2003

The OPEI Board of Directors is pleased to announce a landmark decision to change the dates of the International Lawn, Garden and Power Equipment Exposition (EXPO) to October 18-20, 2003. This unanimous vote for fall dates is a radical departure for this show, which has, during its nearly 20-year history, traditionally convened in late summer. Bill Harley, OPEI President and CEO said, "This is a major decision with many positive implications and it was based on a tidal wave of concurring voices from all of EXPO's major stakeholders."

Just after EXPO 2002, Sellers Expositions conducted an attendee survey by fax of dealers and landscape professionals with these results: 90 percent of responding dealers and 81 percent of responding landscape professionals preferred October dates. Warren Sellers, president, Sellers Expositions, said, "The results of these surveys are an undeniable mandate to move EXPO 2003 to October, and we look forward to implementing this positive change."

OPEI also gained supporting information on attendees' and exhibitors' wishes from extensive research projects conducted by Steve Miller, a trade-show consultant and president of The Adventure. Miller conducted focus groups, Internet surveys and strategic planning sessions.

Dan Ariens, OPEI's EXPO chairman and president of the Ariens Company said, "We're certain that holding EXPO 2003 in October will add immeasurable value to the show and be a turning point in drawing even greater numbers to Louisville." Ariens pointed out that during strategic planning sessions there was an almost unanimous agreement among manufacturers to show new products in October, whereas in July only a portion of their new products were ready to be unveiled. "This will be a major plus for attendance growth because 'to see new products' is always the number one answer given by dealers when asked why they come to the show," said Ariens.

The move to October will also meet several other objectives:

  • Attendees will have more flexibility in their schedules. When asked on Sellers' survey if they would be inclined to bring more people in October, 82 percent of the end-users and 79 percent of the dealers said they would. Many commented on their surveys that they are too busy in July to be away from their businesses for long.
  • With an average high temperature in Louisville in October of 69°F, the hands-on demonstrations in the 20-acre outdoor product demo area would be even more popular than in late summer when the temperatures are often sizzling hot.
  • Cooler weather will also create more entertaining options. Visits to Louisville Zoological Gardens, cruises on the Belle of Louisville, thrill rides at Six Flags - Kentucky Kingdom and any outdoor activities will be more enjoyable.
  • "We are very happy about this decision," Harley said. "With the move to October, EXPO will provide even more benefits to exhibitors, as well as attendees."

    EXPO, the 10th largest trade show in the country, is owned and sponsored by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and is managed by Sellers Expositions. To reserve space or register, contact Sellers Expositions, 812-949-9200 or 1-800-558-8767, www.expo.mow.org.

    The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is the major international trade association representing the manufacturers and their suppliers of consumer and commercial outdoor power equipment such as lawnmowers, garden tractors, utility vehicles, trimmers, edgers, chain saws, snow throwers, tillers, leaf blowers and other related products. Founded in 1952, the Institute is dedicated to promoting the outdoor power equipment industry by undertaking activities that can be pursued more effectively by an association than by individual companies.

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