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TCI Expo kicks off this week in Pittsburgh

TCI Expo will be held in Pittsburgh, Pa., this week (Nov. 12-14), celebrating the show’s silver anniversary.

TCI Expo has come a long way since its first show in Richmond, Va., which drew 624 arborists representing 340 firms and organizations from 29 states. “It was phenomenal,” recalled Brian Barnard, division manager for Midwest Arborist Supplies in Grand Rapids, Mich. Barnard worked as a staff arborist for the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) in 1990. “[TCI Expo] was a huge success. I think it surprised everybody how many good, quality, eager young tree companies that were out there that maybe even the old-time tree company owners never knew were there. We all kind of grew together through the ‘90s.”

Fast-forward 25 years: TCI Expo is still one of the most anticipated events in the tree care industry, with thousands of arborists attending each year to enjoy first-class conference education sessions, endless networking opportunities, and exclusive deals on tree care supplies and equipment.

Attendees can meet with colleagues, vendors and manufacturers from around the nation, check out the latest equipment and industry trends, win prizes and giveaways, attend forums and roundtables, earn valuable CEUs, and much more. TCI Expo has something for every tree care professional, whether you’re looking to score great deals, stay up-to-date on industry trends, or network with the best in the business.


Trade show floor

TCI Expo is the ideal venue to browse and purchase top-notch tree care equipment, products and services — all on the trade show floor. With hundreds of exhibitors in attendance, TCI Expo attendees are certain to find vendors to suit their business needs. The trade show floor is open throughout the conference, providing ample time to browse, try out new products, evaluate cutting-edge equipment, and take advantage of show-only prices and promotions.

The trade show floor houses more than just the exhibitor booths; head to the center for live tree demonstrations, which take place throughout the conference. Watch nationally recognized professionals demonstrate advanced techniques including rigging, aerial rescue, cutting, climbing and more. You can even earn .75 CEUs per session, just for watching.


Education and networking opportunities

When you’re not exploring the trade show floor, make time to attend TCI Expo’s education sessions, workshops, forums and networking events.

TCI Expo offers 75-plus hours of education throughout the conference, making it the perfect opportunity to earn CEUs. The education sessions address topics in three categories: business, safety and arboriculture. This three-pronged structure gives TCI Expo attendees the well-rounded perspective needed to run or work for a successful tree care company.


Everyone — from the business owner to the ground man — can benefit from these world-class education sessions, which are tailored to the tree care industry and delivered by highly qualified, engaging speakers. TCI Expo speakers include industry leaders; marketing experts; business consultants; Certified Treecare Safety Professionals (CTSP); award-winning speakers and authors, and respected academics.

Want to dive into arboriculture? Consider taking TCI Expo courses on tree pruning specs, equipment safety, double block rigging, support systems, and many other standard tree care topics. If you’re more interested in the business side of things, TCI Expo offers courses on office best practices, IT and cyber security, workers compensation costs, business management, and much more. Are you a TCIA member? Make time for the Members Only Forums, where you can provide feedback about your membership experience, and learn more about how TCIA is educating and recruiting homeowners to become your loyal customers.

If you’re looking for advanced instruction, consider attending one of TCI Expo’s pre-conference workshops, which spend a half or full day on their respective topics. The pre-conference program includes the Electrical Hazards Awareness Program (EHAP) Workshop, which has trained thousands of arborists involved in line clearance, and those working on residential properties near energized lines.

Other pre-conference workshops include How to Implement a PHC Program: The Business of Science, which covers how to integrate plant health care services into your business model. Or, consider signing up for Taking Your Organization to Great: Ten Business Fundamentals, to learn 10 cutting-edge benchmark and best-practice strategies you can use in your business.



You can swap business cards with your peers, speakers, and other high-profile attendees at one of TCI Expo’s many networking events. Don’t miss the Welcome Reception, where you can indulge in hors d’oeuvres and mingle with other TCI Expo attendees the first night of the conference. If you’re more interested in structured networking, stop by the Peer to Peer Networking Forum, and learn how you can get involved in the only networking group dedicated to the tree care industry.

Are you a CTSP? Then consider participating in the CTSP Networking Forum, where you can trade stories with other safety professionals, and chat with attendees interested in the program. Those considering TCIA’s premiere business conference, Winter Management Conference (WMC), can mingle learn more about the program at the Winter Management Conference Meet and Greet.

If you’re a student of arboriculture, TCI Expo is a networking gold mine, and the perfect opportunity to jump-start your career. Students can participate in the 19th Annual Student Career Days (SCD) events to compete, network, and make valuable connections at the SCD Job and Internship Fair. Students and instructors receive complimentary entry to the trade show floor and all of the educational seminars — for all three days of TCI Expo. Plus, TCIA has limited funding available for students that need a little extra help with travel expenses.

TCIA staff can be found throughout the conference, and are always happy to chat and answer your questions. Stop by TCIA’s Membership booth with your TCIA membership and product questions, or visit TCIA’s marketing staff to get feedback on your marketing collateral and learn more about the specialized marketing content TCIA offers its members.


First time?

Will this be your first time at TCI Expo? Here are a few first-timer tips to help you make the most of your experience:

  • The Basics. Don’t forget to bring business cards to help with networking, a laptop/cell phone (with chargers), hotel/registration confirmations, and comfortable shoes.
  • Gold Card Pass. If you’re thinking of attending three or more education seminars, consider the Gold Card Pass. The best deal, this pass includes all seminars and unlimited access to the trade show floor Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Plus, if your company purchases four gold cards, you get one free.
  • TCIA Membership. Not a TCIA member? You can save even more on your TCI Expo registration when you join. Plus, many TCI Expo events and vendors promotions are exclusive to TCIA members, so you won’t want to miss out.
  • TCIA Group Rates. If you’re staying in Pittsburgh, take advantage of TCIA group rates and book early. Visit expo.tcia.org for details.
  • Social Networking. Before the show, “like” the Tree Care Industry Association on Facebook, and follow @VoiceofTreeCare on Twitter for timely TCI Expo updates. At the conference, be sure to include the #TCIEXPO hashtag in your posts and photos.

Visit expo.tcia.org for more details and to register.



Trade Show Hours


Thursday, Nov. 12

9:57 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Friday, Nov. 13

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Saturday, Nov. 14

9 a.m. – 1 p.m.



Tree Demos

Free CEUs (.75 each)


Thursday, Nov. 12

(Facilitated by North American Training Solutions)

10:30 a.m. — Ascent & Work Positioning Systems

Noon — Exploring Fall Protection Systems

1:15 p.m. — Understanding Arborist Harness Load Forces in 1:1 & 2:1 Climbing Systems

2 pm — Ergonomics, Health & Wellness


Friday, Nov. 13

(Facilitated by ArborMaster)

10:30 a.m. — Comparing DdRT & SRT for Ascent & Work Positioning

Noon — Chain Saw Safety, Skill & Productivity

1:15 p.m. — Climbing, Rigging & Precision Saw Handling

2 p.m. — The Art & Science of Practical Rigging


Saturday, Nov. 14

(Donny Coffey, CTSP, & Eric Whipple, CTSP)

9:15 a.m. — Stationary Rope Technique (SRT)

11 a.m. — SRT for Tree Removal

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