‘Park Across America’ To Debut Next YearAn extremely successful launch of webcasting between Chicago and Los Angeles during the Parking Industry Exhibition in August has become the harbinger of things to come for parking information and training, according to John Van Horn, Publisher of Parking Today, sponsor of the event..
“A combination of factors makes 2007 the perfect year for introducing our new event, ‘Park Across America.’ We wanted to move the PIE show back to the spring, and there simply wasn’t enough time to make the move properly to spring 2007. In addition, the test webcasting worked so well, we decided to begin a full-fledged program of seminars for parking professionals nationwide,” Van Horn said.
The events, held in April and October, will cover all aspects of the parking industry, on- and off-street. They will be one-day long, and have a minimum of six presentations, plus a networking session. At least one session will originate in each location, with others “beamed” across the Internet, both audio and video. The participants will be able to ask questions and hear answers in real-time in all locations.
The April event will have locations in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. The October meet will cover Chicago, Baltimore/DC, Florida and Texas.
“I expect there will scheduling issues,” Van Horn said, “and it’s possible that one seminar on the West Coast may have to be pre-recorded.” Time zone issues are difficult to coordinate where there is a three-hour difference. “We actually had that issue during the seminar between L.A. and Chicago. We ended up overnighting one L.A. seminar that was presented at 4 p.m. West Coast time. That was after the Chicago group had closed. We played it the next day.”
In this case, he continued, “we will simply record the ’net cast in the appropriate zone and replay it when convenient on the same day. Questions may be asked of the presenter by e-mail.”
In August 2006, the group joined with the California Public Parking Association in sponsoring the local event in Los Angeles. “We hope to join with regional associations in the upcoming seminars,” Van Horn said. “We are in the process of discussing this with the associations in New York, the Middle Atlantic, Texas and California. We will be reaching out to other regional groups before the end of November.”
Parking Today will not sponsor a Parking Industry Exhibition in 2007, but has plans in the works to return with a show in 2008.
“I’m sure it will be missed by exhibitors and attendees alike,” said Van Horn, “but it made sense to us to not attempt to rush the event. We are very sensitive to the needs of the exhibitors, and we are listening to them.
“We also heard attendees when they told us that it was costly and time-consuming to attend a major event. The budgets just weren’t there. This will enable those in the industry who have these issues to attend a real-time program.”
The program also will be recorded and made available on the ’net for viewing after the initial presentations.
Park Across America events also will attract sponsors from the suppliers in the industry,” Van Horn said. “I expect that national firms will be able to work with their local representatives and distributors to attend a one-day and meet more than 100 people expected at each location. This is a networking event as well as one that provides information.”
National sponsorships will be available for companies that wish to sponsor the interconnection costs. These sponsors will be exposed to more than 400 people in a single day and be able to make video presentations to the entire assemblage.