Parking Industry Exhibition Slates Exhibits, Seminars and Training"PIE comes at the industry from a different direction. It’s business-focused,” Parking Industry Exhibition Manager Andy Van Horn says. “We understand that cities, universities and airports are concerned about the service side of parking, but never forget that this is a business, and must be handled as such.
“We have breadth and a lot of depth,” Van Horn adds in explaining the difference between PIE and other trade events. “The PIE 2010 show, set for March 7-10 and again sponsored by Parking Today, is compact; there is a lot to see and do in a short period of time.
“Today’s busy managers don’t have a week to invest in a trade show, nor do they have a lot of resources,” he says. “We have designed PIE to fit into an executive’s schedule, and on a budget that is affordable.”
Beginning with four focused events on Sunday, March 7, PIE 2010 continues through noon Wednesday, March 10. The trade show itself is open Monday and Tuesday, March 8-9. The venue is the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago.
“We call Sunday our ‘pre’ sessions,” Van Horn says.
“First, there’s ‘Boot Camp.’ This is our most popular session and has been with us for years. It focuses on those new to our industry, giving a good basis of understanding for all aspects of parking. On-street, off-street, management, marketing, revenue control – it’s all there, with five of the industry’s leading experts providing information that is spot on.
“Second, we have a ‘pre’ session focusing on automated parking,” he says. “We have seen a resurgence in this technology, with more than 15 systems in or under construction in the U.S. That’s up from three just a couple of years ago. The Automated & Mechanical Parking Association is sponsoring this session, and if a person has any interest in automated garages, this is the place to be.
“Parking enforcement is our third Sunday ‘pre’ session. Cities are looking for ways to ensure compliance with their parking regulations. Spend an afternoon at this session and get the answers. With revenue a critical aspect of on-street operations, enforcement is on all parking directors’ agendas,” Van Horn says.
“We set the topics and then seek out the speakers to fit the topics, not the other way around,” Van Horn explains. “Our seminar leaders come from both inside and outside the industry, bringing a wealth of expert knowledge to bear on our issues.
“Also, PIE is small enough that attendees will definitely have time to talk one-on-one with speakers after their presentations, whether in an extended Q and A or at other events during the exhibition. Speakers are encouraged to work one-on-one with attendees and to network.
“Speaking of which, probably the most famous of our events is ‘speed networking,’” he says, noting that “it’s like ‘speed dating,’ but instead of meeting your soul mate, you meet people you can add to your address book and call when you have specific issues that need specific solutions.
“In two minutes of speed networking, you exchange business cards, information and interests. It might be a vendor, a parking manager from a different part of the industry, or your opposite number from an organization in another state. They will have information for you and perhaps you for them. It’s terrific, and a lot of fun.
“PIE also has the ‘2-minute presentation,” Van Horn says. “Its goal is to give attendees an overview of what’s on the floor at the exhibition. Each participating exhibitor has two minutes to give you a peek into their ‘latest and greatest.’
“They are required not to ‘sell’ but to ‘tell’ you about one of their most unique product features or services. PT Editor John Van Horn runs a tight ship and has been known to cut off a speaker in mid word if they begin to sell. The information is valuable, and it’s fun to watch.
“Think of it this way,” PIE Manager Andy Van Horn says. “It’s the difference between going to a 40,000-student school like UCLA or an 8,000 student school like Occidental or Stanford. We are small and work to help you with individual assistance when you need it.
“If you bring a problem, you will have a solution. Maybe more than one.
For more updated information on PIE 2010, check our website at www.parkingtoday.com/pie,” Van Horn says.