Parking Industry Exhibition Opens March 16 in Chicago; Professional Sessions, Networking and Exhibit
“When we talk to people about PIE, they want to talk about the sessions,” PT Editor John Van Horn said. “It’s very difficult to put the program together. We don’t simply ask for ‘papers.’ We develop a program that we feel the industry would like, and then find people to speak in each session.
“Nearly 1,000 people attended our event in 2013, and we expect to beat that number this time around,” said Van Horn, President of Bricepac Inc., PT’s parent company and owner of PIE.
There have been major changes to the program for 2014, he continued. “Boot Camp” has been completely redone, and a “Technology Camp” has been added.
Boot Camp is for those new to the industry (less than five years). It goes over the basics of running parking, on- and off-street. It includes revenue control, auditing and personnel management. This intensive four-hour session is designed to prepare participants for what is to come in the main session, which begins the following day.
At PIE 2014, it is being led by The Parking Network’s Clyde Wilson, with the on-street side being covered by Julie Dixon, formerly with Serco Inc. working with the cities of West Hollywood and San Francisco.
Technology Camp is new to PIE. The three-hour session is dedicated specifically to technology used in the industry. Tom Wunk, a former VP with Scheidt & Bachmann USA and currently a senior member of the T2 Systems staff, brings decades of experience to bear on the topic. This session is a must for anyone in the parking business. Whether you believe it or not, technology will touch your job, and you need to be aware of the ramifications it brings to the industry.
The general sessions have been altered for PIE 2014, with three major experts panels, one on each of the three days of the show.
Monday’s panel brings a look at the future of parking. Facilitated by Barbara Chance of Chance Management Advisors, the session covers three major vectors of the parking business: Municipalities, Universities and the Private Sector.
Attendees will hear a panel of experts talk about, for example, how parking may be affected by technology, and whether demographic and social trends will affect living patterns, and therefore, parking in the central city. Universities may have more classes online, meaning fewer people coming on to campus. How will that affect revenue, staffing and parking inventory?
After the initial session, the featured speakers will go to three different rooms, and the audience can follow the one that fits their interests or background. At this session, attendees will be able to ask specific questions as to how their personal situations may be affected in the future.
The experts panel on Tuesday, led by Dave Witts, CreditCall’s President of U.S. Payment Services, will delve into the imminent issue of EVM, the conversion of credit cards in the U.S. to a chip-based technology. This change will affect every member of the parking community and means that virtually all parking equipment will need some kind of upgrade.
A representative from the credit card community and one from revenue control suppliers will be on hand to provide information from their perspectives. If you attend no other session at PIE 2014, this is the one not to miss.
Wednesday is technology day, and it begins with an experts panel on applications, pay-by-phone and parking guidance systems, on- and off-street.
Apps are everywhere; this session is the place to find out what they can do and whether you should be involved. Pay-by-phone? Here’s a tutorial from a successful pay-by-phone installation from the supplier’s and the city’s points of view. Guidance – can an app tell me where to park on-street? And what about parking guidance inside a garage? The experts will be at PIE 2014 to tell you about it, and later, during the breakout sessions, answer your specific questions.
Other sessions throughout the three days will cover on-street sensors, how to deal with a loss of space due to someone taking your lot for expansion, parking reservations, license plate recognition, auditing and revenue control, plus a look at the financial future of the parking business.
But the Parking Industry Exhibition 2014 isn’t just about seminars; it’s also about networking. In fact, many attendees feel that the No. 1 benefits of PIE is the ability to meet people and make new business friends and acquaintances.
This begins formally on Monday, with one of the most special sessions at PIE: “speed networking.” It’s like “speed dating,” except it’s your opportunity to meet people in your industry, exchange contact information, and get a feel for a potential solution to problems you have on the job. PIE 2014 will add a twist: Cocktails will be served during the session.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Monday, a huge celebration will be held in the Hyatt hotel’s grand foyer with a 1,000 people meeting, with food, libations, music, and a good time. This will be networking central, with attendees, exhibitors, and speakers having the opportunity to talk, laugh, and make new friendships and renew old ones.
The other major networking event takes place over two days: the exhibition itself. More than 130 companies from around the world will be on hand to show their wares in Hyatt’s Grand Ballroom. In addition to simply presenting new equipment and products, exhibiting companies will be reaching out to potential customers, and the PIE organizers are assisting, so that organizations in the market for new equipment and services can bring their specs to the exhibition and have an opportunity to discuss them with exhibitors in private sessions off the exhibit hall floor.
PIE 2014 promises to be not only the first major parking event of 2014, but also the most dynamic for the entire year, Van Horn said.
“We don’t focus on attendees from a particular organization or sector,” said Eric Abel, Exhibition Manager. “We attract attendees from all demographics, organizations, and sectors, public and private.
“Our pricing is set to meet the most stringent budgets, and our location is easy to reach. The hotel is priced right. What more could an attendee want?”
For the most current PIE 2014 schedule and information, go online to