Every year the reporters and product testers at Consumer Reports scout out new products at industry trade shows to take to our labs. The electronics geeks look forward to the huge Consumer Electronics Show and the car team motors to the North American International Auto Show. By comparison, the Green Industry and Equipment Expo (GIE+Expo) may seem small, but with 19 acres of outdoor power equipment on display in Louisville this week, it’s as big as it needs to be.
Of course, our reporters, analysts, and testers meet with manufacturers throughout the year, but it’s over the three days at GIE+Expo that we do a lot of the planning for what we expect to test in the coming year. In addition to the outdoor demonstration area, there are 500,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space at the Kentucky Exposition Center, where we get hands-on impressions of interesting products. Included among the manufacturers we’ll be meeting with are Ariens, Briggs & Stratton, Honda, Husqvarna, John Deere, MTD (maker of such brands as Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt, and Yard Machines), Stihl, Toro, and Worx.
GIE+Expo is a joint effort of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Professional Grounds Management Society, and Professional Landcare Network (or PLANET). Sharing exhibit-floor space with GIE+Expo will again be Hardscape North America, a trade show for professionals who build walks, retaining walls, and home improvements. It’s produced by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI).
For the rest of the week we’ll be reporting from the show on the hottest products and latest announcements. You can find news from the show on our Home & Garden page.