I have to admit I was a little skeptical when I heard that Britta Gross of GM was going to be speaking as the Keynote Speaker at the IPI. I assumed it would be a pitch for the Chevy Volt and I was not disappointed. She spent most of her time regaling the benefits of the Volt and showing how important it was to have charging stations in garages. Seems pretty much what a pitchman (woman? person?) for a company with a new product would do. Fair Enough.
But then I got to thinking. Gee, surely GM couldn’t charge the IPI to have their product and needs (charging infrastructure) sold to their membership and maybe GM even kicked in a few bucks to the cause. Pretty shrewd move if the IPI pulled it off.
I thought it the high point of the speech when Britta asked how many actually had charging stations installed and a goodly number raised their hands. She was actually caught off guard, and then realized that she was speaking to the choir. Her pitch didn’t change, but she did suddenly understand that she wasn’t speaking to the Texas Oil Producer’s Association.
I told Shawn Conrad, IPI Prez, that I thought the opening session with its beautiful sets and multimedia presentations was terrific. They did a great job, no question. Check out the pictures above. That’s Britta. Shawn and Outgoing Chair Casey Jones acknowledged incoming and outgoing board members and then presentations were made to organizations that put their garages and operations up for review and awards. There was a classy video extolling the virtues of the IPI. All in all, Well Done.
The trade show opened to a whimper not a bang. The marching band or whatever from past years leading the keynote attendees into the show was missing. However vendors told me that traffic was brisk during the first hour or so of the doors opening. It seemed to back off a bit for the last hour of the first session and even though drinks and hors d’oeuvres were served seemed quiet during the afternoon session.
There is no question that this is the place to be if you want to see parking technology. There are 225 exhibitors present and you are missing out if you are not here.
By the way, the there is no entry fee to attend on Wednesday.