Parking Industry Exhibition 2014 Breaks all Attendance Records
“We are extremely pleased with the turnout,” said exhibition director Eric Abel. “It’s gratifying that so many from the parking industry came together to network, learn, share and see the exhibits.”
More than 110 companies from across the parking spectrum placed their wares on the exhibit hall floor, located this year in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. “PIE hit a home run,” said one exhibitor, “the hall was mobbed. It was difficult to keep up with the traffic.”
“One of the main reasons for the attendance,” said Abel, “was the quality of the seminars held during PIE. There was standing room only in most of the seminars, and nothing but positive comments.”
The marketing manager for one exhibiting company, who was looking for a time to hold a private event for his customers said “we had to hold it Sunday. We couldn’t find a time during the conference when there wasn’t an excellent presentation that our customers wanted to attend.”
“We had to increase the size of the seminar rooms to handle the crowd,” Abel noted. “People were standing in the hall outside the doors, trying to hear. To say we were a tad overwhelmed was an understatement.”
The seminar on “chip and pin” and its potential to affect our industry seemed to be the biggest draw of the exhibition, with over 350 people attending the session on Tuesday. For a summary of that session, see page 28 in this issue of Parking Today.
“This PIE caught us napping,” said John Van Horn, Publisher of Parking Today, the event’s sponsor. “We felt the buzz, but we didn’t think it was as loud as it appeared to be. By noon Monday we were running ahead of last year and the people just kept coming in and registering on site.”
“Mother Nature smiled on us again this year even though Chicago has had one of the coldest and snowiest winters on record, a few warm days last week melted most of the snow and even though it was cold for the opening day, the day was crystal clear it was free of precipitation and warm by closing. Next year we will be two weeks later, and that should ensure spring weather in Chicago.
The “Women in Parking’s” first annual conference was held immediately following PIE beginning Wednesday evening. It will be covered in the June, 2014 issue of Parking Today, which will have all its editorial content provided by the women of the parking industry.
“2015 will be even bigger. We have contracted for more space here in the hotel, the exhibit hall witl be 50% bigger, and we are planning for a slightly smaller number of presentations, but of a quality and interest that will be appropriate for virtually all attendees. We will have few that are at the same time, so attendees can see all the events, Van Horn says.”
The Parking Industry Exhibition will be held March 29-April 1, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, IL, adjacent to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
PT Publisher John Van Horn (center) and PIE Platinum Sponsors Lisa Bahr representing IPS (left) and Ruth Beaman and Kyle Cashion of Integrapark pose prior to the traditional raising of the Magnetic Automation parking gates and the opening of the exhibit hall at PIE 2014 March 17 in Chicago.
Dale Denda of the Parking Research Company holds forth in his standing room only seminar on the “Future of Parking, economically speaking.”
Waj Kahn, Spot and Park; Jeff Davis, City of Oxford, MS; Mary Beth McNair, The Parking Network; Adam Winston, Universal Park; and Scott Skolnick, The Parking Network, admire the garage they built from Legos in Clyde Wilson’s boot camp. “This was something I had never seen before,” said Davis. “It was team building, educational, and a lot of fun.”