PIE — An “Unbiased” View —

(Larry is not a relative, nor have we paid him for this review, however in full disclosure he did win a flat screen TV and actually was embarrassed by it. JVH)

My thoughts as a guest PIE show blogger…

I’ve been in the parking biz for many years but I have to admit it’s been awhile since I’ve attended  a PIE show.  Not that I was opposed, but just that I don’t attend many shows every year.  But I had a major lighting/energy efficiency project underway that gained some interest. Word got to JVH and JVH got to me to request I write an article for Parking Today.  Then it became an idea and presentation at PIE this week.

I’d have to say I’ve been somewhat cynical over the years if our industry needs really needed three major trade shows along with the regionals/states.

After these several days I say “Yes”.  Each serves a different, if not overlapping market.  As long as parking professionals are provided opportunities for great training and a well represented trade show, then why not.  The more the merrier.

It also doesn’t hurt that PIE this year raised the bar by offering gifts–a Nook loaded with presentations.  They were in high demand from attendees and non-attendees alike.  Per one vendor I spoke with,  “I had to promise to give my Nook to a customer who didn’t even  attend…”  Can’t get a better testimonial than that.  Kudos for the idea and to the major sponsors who stepped up to the plate on this one.

The trade show itself was wall-to-wall with attendees for three days straight.

Most vendors always had someone at their booth.  One consultant told me that PIE is known as an “equipment vendor show”.  Not sure if that is true, but consultants were hard to find on display.

Complaints heard ? Not many since the vendors are usually the complainers and almost all seemed to be very happy.  They liked the smaller intimacy the show provided them.  Only some grumblings about the need for (free) coffee at early morning seminars and not having enough time to make the trip to downtown Chicago to see the sights on a record setting temperature week. Not bad problems to have that attendees couldn’t get away from the top notch presentations.

Highlights?  Well for me, it was refereeing “verbal bars” at my presentation and being a very lucky one to win a flat screen TV!  Just hoping the presentations are not loaded to play on a continuous loop like the Nook!

Great job to JVH, Andy and the rest of the friendly CA and AZ PIE/Parking Today staff.

Larry J. Cohen, CAPP

Executive Director, Lancaster Parking Authority

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