Photo courtesy of GIE+EXPO

Now celebrating its 10th year, the show starts with a with a special dealer and distributor day showcasing a dealer program, dealer briefings, top-notch dealer keynote speakers, along with a trade show preview from 3-7 p.m. on Wednesday.

HNA will be open to all attendees from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday with a keynote speech from John Schnatter at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

This year’s show is bigger than ever with the move to the North Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center. HNA attendees can expect at least 50 new exhibitors.

In all, more than 200 new and returning exhibitors will fill the new, larger indoor HNA trade show area, as well as the Outdoor Demonstration Area.

HNA and GIE+EXPO combine to make up the 14th-largest tradeshow in North America with free concerts, networking receptions and educational opportunities for every segment of the industry, including demonstrations.

Hardscape Demonstrations.

The popular Hardscape Demos will be back this year with a twist. A new continuous build format will take place in the Outdoor Arena. And, Bill Gardocki, president of Interstate Landscape Co. in Londonderry, New Hampshire, will oversee six one-hour live demonstrations. See page 17 for the schedule.

“Hopefully those who attend will pick up two or three tidbits of information on installation efficiency, new tool options or construction specifications,” says Gardocki, who will be heading four of the six demonstrations.

During the HNA Installer Championship, each team will be given 90 minutes to complete their project.
Photo courtesy of GIE+EXPO

“I have been installing pavers for over 40 years and I always pick up something new at every seminar I go to, even if it’s from the contractor I sit beside at the event.”

Each demonstration offers one continuing education credit for ICPI certified installers. Topics include pillar, step and specialty applications installation, lighting and water feature installation and basic wall building.

“I always have said that the only way we can make the general public look more favorably on our industry is to have more contractor education and support,” says Gardocki, who is also an ICPI and NCMA Certification instructor and teaches at the University of New Hampshire.

“If we all follow the same basic specifications for the components of our system then we let the chips fall where they may on the design side.

“The industry is growing so fast that the need for basic education is enormous. From how to procure a job, how to bid properly, installation specifications, how to set up your contract so you get paid, the list goes on and on.

By me helping other contractors raise the bar, it helps the whole industry to understand the true total cost of doing a job. This helps increase pricing to a point where we can all make a living.”

HNA Installer Championship.

This year's show marks the fourth year for the Hardscape North America Installer Championships.

The competition is intended to test and recognize the skill, dedication and passion of hardscape contractors from Canada, the United States and Mexico.

Each team that competes in the championship will have their understanding of industry best practices and guidelines tested in a race against the clock and other top installers in the industry.

This championship will determine the best in the hardscape industry. Here’s how it works:

The preliminary rounds
  • Up to 24 teams will compete in six rounds. During each preliminary round, four teams will construct an 8- by 10-foot patio area in an hour with a seat wall, herringbone field, solider course, bedding sand, edge restraint and initial paver compaction.
  • Each team’s score will be calculated based on completeness, compliance to industry guidelines, safety, quality and craftsmanship.
  • The four teams with the highest preliminary round scores out of all preliminary rounds will advance to the championship round.
The championship round
  • Each team will be given 90 minutes to complete their construction according to their own creative design in the assigned construction area. The score during the final round will be calculated based on compliance to industry guidelines, safety, quality, craftsmanship and creativity.
  • At the end of the final round, the scores from the final round will be used to rank the teams. In the case of a tie, the judges will determine the final ranking. The team ranked highest will be declared Hardscape North America Installer Champion.