PIE '06: "Speed Networking"Donald Shoup, Parking Expert, UCLA Professor, and darling of the mainstream media when it comes to parking, will be the keynote speaker for the Parking Industry Exhibition and Conference to be held August 23-25 in Chicago.
Shoup, whoses book, The High Cost of Free Parking is making waves in the planning and governing communities nationwide, will present his plan for renewing our central cities, restructuring our lifestyles, and cleaning our environment all by adjusting parking fees, removing parking restrictions caused by codes, and ensuring the money goes to the right place, which is not the city's general fund.
The annual event, sponsored by Parking Today magazine, encompasses over 30 seminars, talks, and presentations, dealing with all aspects of the parking business, from garage construction and design to operations, citation management, funding, and revenue control. An exhibition with over 100 companies providing products and services to the industry rounds out the event.
"We are expecting over 700 attendees at conference," notes Sandra Watson, conference coordinator. "The focus this year is networking. We actually have a session taken from speed dating where after an hour attendees will walk away with 30 contacts they have met that can become resources for them when they return to their professional lives."
The Parking Industry Exhibition, or PIE, takes a different tack this year as it adds a second location where it will hold a smaller event simultaneously with the Chicago show. PIE II takes place in Los Angeles on the USC Campus and will be connected to the Illinois conference by closed circuit television.
"Two of the presentations in LA will be broadcast to Chicago and two Chicago seminars will be seen on TV in LA. This is a bit of an experiment for us, but if it succeeds we may expand our reach in future years to other cities. With time constraints and travel costs this enables more industry professionals to take advantage of what we have to offer."
Included in the conference will be an expanded "boot camp" where industry newbies with less than 5 years experience can get a basic knowledge of the parking business. Whether their current job takes them onstreet (parking meters) off street (garages) or parking administration, the six hour course over three days provides a basis for their careers.
With parking at airports being such a daily focus, a special day long seminar for airport parking managers will provide indepth information and discussions about rates, construction and design, and other major issues dealing with airport parking.
Those wishing more information on the event should log on to www.parkingtoday.com/pie.