What do you do when a freak snowstorm in the Northeast causes thousands of limbs to fall and millions of people to lose power? Hold the world’s largest tree care industry trade show in Hartford, Conn., of course!
TCI EXPO wrapped up another successful event this year at the Connecticut Convention Center, despite an unprecedented early snow fall that wreaked havoc on the region. 1,937 resolute tree care professionals, more than 60 percent of expected attendees, fought their way their through power outages and downed tree limbs, even sleeping in cars and on floors, to enjoy three days of workshops, seminars and demonstrations focused on the tree care industry.
The industry trade show, held November 3-5, powered through power outages, travel difficulties and reservation glitches to provide attendees from around the world with business, safety and arboriculture workshops and seminars; professional tree climbing demonstrations on a 30-foot tree inside the center; and the opportunity to compare equipment and evaluate products. The biggest names in tree care, 177 companies in all, exhibited at the show, sharing the latest tree care industry products and services.
"Despite a storm that ravaged our host city and state for this year's TCI EXPO, customers showed up in good spirits and quantities,” says Tony Gann, Regional Vice President for Altec Industries, Inc. “This was one of the strongest shows I've seen in recent history for actual equipment purchases off the show floor."
Many tree service companies that came to Connecticut for the show also performed double-duty, carrying out tree work for local residents hit hard by the storms. And on Saturday, November 5, TCI EXPO opened the show floor and gave free admission to all tree care crews who were working to restore essential services to the New England and Northern Atlantic Region.
“Despite a terrible storm that left hundreds of thousands of homes without power, the tree care industry came together for one of the best TCI EXPO’s to date,” says Bill Weber, Team Captain for Arborwear. “No other industry bonds together like ours. Where else can you find exhibitors sharing their hotel rooms with last-minute attendees because hotels were without power, or have residents opening their homes to crews that have been working through the night?”
In addition to the trade show and conference, TCI EXPO hosted a Student Career Days (SCD) event, which drew 230 college and high school tree care students from around the U.S. Many of the sponsoring tree companies organized a last-minute cleanup of Bushnell Park, site of the SCD competition, which was heavily damaged by the storm. Many students pitched in to help and spent hours working side-by-side with industry professionals.They also participated in friendly tree climbing competitions, took part in educational seminars, workshops and even a job and internship fair, which gave students enrolled in horticulture, forestry and related programs an inside look at the field they’re studying. Student Career Day was sponsored by Arborwell, Bartlett Tree Experts, Davey Tree Experts, International Society of Arboriculture, SavaTree, STIHL USA, The Care of Trees, Vermeer and Bandit Industries, Inc.
TCI EXPO was sponsored in part by Crown partners Altec, Bandit Industries, Husqvarna, Morbark and Vermeer. Root and Seed partners included George Fern Exposition and Event Services, Liberty Financial Group, Inc., Buckingham, Fanno, HMI, Mauget, and Weaver Leather.