Don’t pay the ransom, I have escaped – Its been a fast couple of weeks. Last week we were in Chicago with the Parking Industry Exhibition, and this week its Amsterdam and Intertraffic.
PIE was, by all accounts, extremely successful if you rate it by attendee comments. Exhibitors felt that it was one of the best ever, taking into consideration leads generated, customers met, and connections made. They seemed to be particularly taken with the “speed networking” event. One told me he got 10 leads in that 60 minutes. Wow!
The speakers were hot hot hot. The theme was technology and attendees lined up to get a seat. A number of the sessions were standing room only. Even on Wednesday, traditionally a slow time at these events, rooms were full, and attendees engaged. It goes to show that good presentations can draw attendance.
We do it differently than many events who do “call for papers.” We ask people what they want to hear, and then find speakers who fill the bill. Attendees this year told us we hit a home run. Thanks to all, particularly Carol, who gave her ability to walk to the cause. What appeared to be a sprain turned out to be a broken leg.
I got home Thursday, took my clothes to the cleaners and repacked for a flight Saturday night. Many of the folks at PIE who were also attending Intertraffic flew directly from Chicago.
The biggest collection of parking technology on the planet opened on Tuesday. Over 800 exhibits and 20,000 people flocked to the RA I convention center on the outskirts of Amsterdam. The event covers Smart Mobility, Infrastructure, Traffic Management, and Safety, as well as parking. But even so, if you take the parking component separately, there is more square footage here covering parking than anywhere else on earth.
Companies from China, Europe, the UK, as well as the US put just about every kind of parking technology on display.
In the past America has been underrepresented both with exhibit booths and attendees. This year is different. A large delegation from the US is walking the aisles. So far I have seen Jeff Wolfe, President of the NPA, Tom Carter from Toledo Ticket, Julie Dixon, Mark Curtis, Paul Ahern, Bob Caplin, and that’s in the first few hours. People with manufacturers include Larry Feuer and Joe Survance (Amano), Mike Bigbee (TIBA), Bob Kane (Designa), Jeff Sparrow (Scheidt and Bachmann), Karen Prudhan (Skidata), Lisa Bahr (IPS), Gorm Tuxen (Nedap). There are more and I will report them after I make my next “walk around.”