Although this is a great event for me, I’m not too sure about the organizers. The show after the first day seems smaller (there are only 140 parking exhibitors) and attendance ‘feels’ off. They normally expect over 17,000 visitors and frankly, that would mean over 3500 there on Tuesday, but I didn’t see it. I have spies in the midst and will report back later.
I was honored to have Christine Banning with the NPA at my side as we toured the show and spoke to a number of the European heads of companies that are household (or at least garage hold) names in the US.
We spent an hour with Robert Weiskoff, senior manager with Skidata from Austria and Keith Lynch and Karen Prudhan from the US in a lively discussion about changes in direction they believe is required from both operators and users for them to be able to handle the massive technology changes that are being directed at the parking industry. Robert and his staff are convinced that for the parking industry to grow and prosper it needs to embrace the new tools it is being provided and rethink how they approach the market. One comment caught my ear: “after all, this is not complicated technology and “Google” could sell entry tickets and open gates as easily as is done today.”
We ran into the gang from Toledo tickets (Tom, Roy and their crew) but few other American visitors. We spent time with Bob Kane at Designa, John Lovell at Zeag/Datapark/FAAC, Tom Wunk at Scheidt and Bachmann, Bill Laurie at Metric, and a number of others. We will be back on the floor this morning.
In fact I have to run, I slept in this morning and must take my tram ride to the RAI (the huge convention center where the show is held) to be there by the opening bell. European shows are long with opening hours stretching to over10 hour.
Parties tonight, more later