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Tuesday in Las Vegas: Learning, Networking, and Exploring

Kim_Fernandez_March2015

20150630_112913_resizedAnother exciting and productive day in Las Vegas yesterday, and there’s lots more to come today for the more than 3,000 parking professionals gathered at the Mandalay Bay for the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo.

Tuesday started with education sessions that filled rooms with participants eager to learn about finance, sustainability, technology, organizational improvement, building and construction management, and customer service from expert presenters.

The first General Session produced both laughter and tears with presentations of Professional Recognition awards, Lifetime Achievement awards, and Chair Award, which went to Alejandro “Alex” Jaramillo, with APD de Colombia, who was clearly surprised. His wife and children accompanied him to the Conference for the honor. Details on the other awards can be found in the July issue of The Parking Professional.

Futurist John Martin presented his Ten Transcendent Trends Reshaping the Future of Parking, offering data and research on the generational and other influences that will change the way parking professionals do their jobs.

The world’s largest parking Expo hall opened to huge crowds and lots of business on the floor, with a record number of exhibitors showing off new technology, business models, and products and services. Giveaways, balloons, games, and celebrations made the afternoon all the more exciting.

On tap for today are Awards of Excellence, Parking Matters Marketing & Communications Awards, Green Parking Council awards, keynoter Gordon Price, education and Ignite sessions, more time at the Expo and PowerPitch Forums, and a wide variety of facility tours. Wear your comfortable shoes!

Day Two: Things are in Full Swing in Las Vegas

Kim_Fernandez_March2015

If you’re in Las Vegas and your FitBit buzzed mid-morning, it probably wasn’t a mistake—Monday was a very busy day at the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo.

20150629_154936_resizedAfter months of preparation, the king big fish was crowned at Park Tank, a play on ABC Televison’s “Park Tank” that let parking-industry entrepreneurs pitch their greatest ideas to a panel of judges—our sharks:

  • Soumya Dey, director of research and technology transfer, Washington, D.C., Department of Transportation.
  • Tishaura Jones, treasurer, City of St. Louis.
  • Steven Nerayoff, CEO and founder, CloudParc.
  • Chris Thomas, founder and partner, Fontinalis

Living up to its television quasi-namesake, Park Tank was informative, interactive, and super fun! The grand prize winner was Smarking and the people’s choice winner was also Smarking. Look for more on this in the September issue of The Parking Professional.

20150629_162215_resizedOther highlights from Monday included the always-popular, industry-segment Shoptalks, which brought together professionals from airports, universities, municipalities, and other specialized parking operations for learning, ideas exchanges, and networking.

Yesterday also marked the first day of education sessions: six tracks of presentations plus fast-paced and interactive Ignite sessions that are always a hit with parking professionals. The evening was spent in old Las Vegas at the Mob Museum for the Opening Meet & Mingle event—always a crowd-pleaser and networking highlight—and a great night exploring the Fremont Street district and its restaurants and entertainment.

We hope you charged those activity trackers again last night because there’s much more on tap today. The world’s largest parking Expo opens at 11:45 a.m., immediately following the Opening General Session with keynoter John Martin, the Professional Recognition awards; Chair’s Awards; and Lifetime Achievement Awards. More education and networking follows. See you there!

Here We Go!

Kim_Fernandez_March2015

10369132_851318514943011_6870682700335420110_nWelcome to Las Vegas! It’s the first day of the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo and things are heating up at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. If you’re here, you’re in the great company of more than 3,000 parking professionals who will participate in education, networking, the world’s largest parking Expo, and general sessions and keynote events that will fuel their organizations and professional lives for the next year.

If you haven’t already, stop by the IPI Registration Desk in the North Convention Center for your badge, bag, and program guide. That and this year’s Conference app (search IPIConf on Apple’s App Store or the Google Play store) are your complete guide to everything IPI for the next few days. The app will also let you reference the week’s schedule right from your phone and is the only way to vote for your favorite Poster Session entries and rate education sessions, so you won’t want to be without it. The Program Guide is also available in electronic form for easier referencing.

Things kick off with the 5K Fun Run along the Las Vegas Strip at 6 a.m. Today’s highlights include Shoptalks at 1 p.m.; Education and Ignite Sessions that start at 2:15; IPI’s Park Tank at 3:30 (you won’t want to miss this one!); and the Opening Meet & Mingle at the Mob Museum.

Stop by the registration desk with any questions. Viva Las Vegas! Viva Parking!

Top 10 Things (x 2) You Didn’t Know about the IPI Conference

Bonnie Watts

top10May 20 marked a moment in history. You would have had to be living under a rock to have missed it. It was the final airing of the “Late Show with David Letterman” after more than 20 years. Letterman’s signature bit was his Top 10 List, circulating around a common theme or recent events.

With the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo around the corner, and to pay homage to Letterman and his farewell show, why not have a Top 10 Things (x2) You Didn’t Know about the IPI Conference? So here goes:

20. Insiders know the entire scoop—but you don’t have to be left out. We have tips from seasoned attendees that you can download to get the inside track!
19. Planning an IPI conference starts three years in advance and requires all IPI staff plus more than 150 volunteers to pull the event together each year.
18. We’re giving back and so can you! IPI wants to leave every city better than we came. For the 2015 Conference, we’ve chosen Project 150 to support. And what’s great about that is, Project 150 recipients are actually part of our volunteer group this year.
17. There are more than 100 hours of networking opportunities during the four-day event.
16. On average, an attendee gets no more than five hours of sleep a night at an IPI Conference & Expo (maybe less in Vegas…).
15. This year, IPI will be presenting our very own Shark Tank spin-off, Park Tank™ on Monday, June 29.
14. Educational sessions are broken into six tracks with a brand new track this year. We have added Building & Construction Management to our five other tracks: Customer Service, Finance, Organizational Improvement, Sustainability, and Technology.
13. If you’re looking for rapid-fire sessions that ignite a spark or idea for you, attend the Ignite sessions. They are lively, fun and fast—blink and you could miss something.
12. Many of the education opportunities are now accredited because IPI is an  ANSI/IACET provider. This means select education offerings enable you to earn  LUs, PDHs, CCM recertification points, as well as CAPP points.
11. The Expo Hall features more than 240 companies, 25 percent of which are first-time exhibiting companies.
10. IPI now offers credentialing and accreditation programs that certify organizations, professionals, and facilities. We’re setting standards and raising the level of excellence and we want you to be a part of it.
9. We recognize more than 250 individuals, organizations, and programs during our four-day event in professional recognition programs, the CAPP certification program, and in IPI’s Awards of Excellence and marketing awards programs.
8. Ever wish you could spend some more time with the presenters or participants of a particular session but the schedule moves so fast, it’s off to the next session or activity?  No worries! We’ve got you covered. On Thursday, July 2 at 8 a.m., we’re going to give you the chance to informally talk with presenters from sessions during the week and even collaborate with other attendees. Don’t miss this first-ever mixing-it-up ShopTalk!
7. Learning isn’t just for classrooms or general sessions—we offer hands-on learning with our operational Facility Tours.
6. We love first-timers! So we plan onsite orientation sessions to provide inside tips on how to best navigate — and get the most out of the conference.
5. There’s an app for that! We know technology drives this industry and we’re keeping up. The new IPICONF app for the 2015 event allows for more interaction than ever before.
4. There are more freebies than you can shake a stick at, and all you have to do is show up. Don’t miss a single event, you never know what you might miss if you aren’t there and there early!
3. Vegas is a great city with a lot of distractions and we want your undivided attention during the event, however, we want you to also have some fun and so we’ve arranged Explore the Area tours for Thursday, July 2 for you to get out and see the city. Click here to sign up.
2. Networking and meeting new colleagues doesn’t have to be inside four walls. Sign up for the CAPP Classic Golf Tournament or the 5K Fun Run for some great camaraderie, fun and prizes.
1. And just when you think it’s over, Thursday, July 2, we’re giving you a sneak peek at the 2016 IPI Conference & Expo in Nashville at the closing General Session.

In honor of our Top Ten (x2) List, if you haven’t registered yet to attend the top event of the year for the parking industry, register by Monday, June 1, 5:00 p.m. EST and use promo code TOPTENX2 to take *10% off current registration fees. We look forward to seeing you in Vegas!

*only good on full, daily, Expo hall, 5k fun run, golf, and meet and mingle tickets. Must be for new registrations only. Cannot be applied to existing registrations.

 

 

 

Reshaping Change

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By 2030, the U.S. population is projected to increase from 319 million to 358 million people. Vehicle miles traveled in the country have been trending downward since 2004. During the next 20 years, America’s 65 and over population will grow to be 19 percent of the population. America’s 72 million older baby boomers will replace the 38 million seniors we have today. Jon Martin will reveal what the Ten Transcendent Trends Reshaping the Future of Parking are and how they impact the profession. Join us at the IPI Conference on Tuesday, June 30 to check out what his research unveils.

Las Vegas offers a dilemma of its own design; too many people and too many cars—massive hotels with 3,000 to 4,000 hotel rooms each. Let’s not forget the convention centers and the casinos. The Las Vegas strip is rivals Disneyland and Times Square as one of the most intensely used entertainment zones on earth. Millennials’ tastes and desires are reversing a half century of expectations about how they want to get around.  Get ready—this is just the beginning.  Disruptive change will be a factor in any business related to the form and use of the city.  Join Gordon Price on Wednesday, July 1 as he reveals What I Learned from Las Vegas (and other lessons for our disruptive times). Is the parking industry ready for these changes?

Regardless of generation, effective communication is the key to sustaining relationships. Discover the power of a little incentive and the positivity that comes along with that. Learn to turn negatives into bragging points! Does your communication style get results? Some of the most powerful communication strategies are the most neglected ones. Join Barry Maher on Thursday, July 2 as he demonstrates the art of tactful communication and how to make a huge difference with a little motivation. This session will offer humorous insights as well as tactics for communication strategies that can be used with customers, peers and staff on how to start Slicing through the Noise: Powerful Communication for Leadership and Professional Success.

Click here to join us for these presentations and much more. These dynamic keynote speakers are waiting for you!

To Go or Not To Go

MichelleJonesHS

I recently participated in a small long-weekend summit hosted by the Professional Convention Management Association. It was by invitation only and in a lovely destination. I took vacation days for Thursday and Friday, and the event concluded on Sunday. Only after I had made all of the arrangements for participation did I realize it fell on the same weekend as my only child’s senior prom. I know, I know. But I went anyway. I may not win Mother of the Year, but the event was worth it. Valuable education, priceless networking, and even a little R&R. The hubster did fine on his own picking up the flowers and taking photos. And the boy is not emotionally scarred.

Increasingly, we are all being asked to do more. It’s a challenge to be in several places at once. When I’m at work I worry about my family obligations. When I’m at home I worry about work. But sometimes we need to take a minute to recharge and do what’s best for us, in our personal and/or professional lives.

In just a few weeks, we will be in Las Vegas with industry colleagues, fabulous presenters, fun networking events, meaningful education, an impressive tradeshow, and maybe even a couple of hours poolside. You really don’t want to miss it.

If you have ever wanted to attend the IPI Conference & Expo but were too timid to ask your supervisor, fear not. Our website has a Justification Toolkit expressly for this purpose. We provide you with resources to explain the value of participation.

You may never need to take vacation days or miss your child’s milestones to participate in IPI, but it’s my hope that we provide you with fun, quality programming that would allow you to feel OK doing so.

Big Time

Rachel_Yoka 2013

One of the things I love about my career is that I get to meet amazing people all the time, both in the parking world and beyond. In our industry we connect with so many other areas of life—academics, politics, real estate, transportation, healthcare, you name it. I am always pleased to find commonalities and, of course, challenges that overlap and relate to one another in every sector and market segment.

During the holiday season, I found that a fellow dinner guest also worked in parking, for a large private operator in Philadelphia. When we received tickets to a luxury box for the Sixers, we found our host started his career in parking and got into the hospitality world that way. I recently connected to a friend of a friend on Facebook. As we chatted through the typical “what do you do” conversations, I learned  he runs a high-end valet parking operation in the suburbs that specializes in healthcare and retail clients.  When I got around to what I do at IPI, his first comment was, “You all are big-time.”

Parking is big business. Very conservatively estimated at $30 billion, our industry has far-reaching and considerable effects on each of those intersecting sectors. (As a side note, IPI is beginning some exciting research to explore the actual size and impact of our business—stay tuned for more on that.) As I gave his comment more thought, I realized that, indeed, we are big-time. IPI’s LinkedIn group has more than 5,000 followers, and that is the tip of the iceberg.

The 3,000 parking professionals who will join us in Las Vegas later this year for the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo will no doubt agree: We are big-time. And if we don’t already have a seat at the table to make decisions in every one of the sectors mentioned above, we are well on our way.

Your Great Idea: Ready to Swim with the Sharks?

ParkTank3-2

I visited South Korea when I was a kid and have many fond memories of the people, places and food there. But I have one vivid memory of my travels that has to do with transportation.

ParkTank3-2Our family of six was all crammed in a taxi van driving through downtown Seoul on our first day there. It was bumper to bumper traffic as we moved very, very slowly up a downtown city street. But soon we found ourselves in good spirits as we found a very old man pushing a cart of vegetables down the sidewalk. My brothers and I decided that we were in a race with this old man moving at a snail’s pace down the road. The old man would take the lead and then our taxi would move 10 yards up, passing him and taking the lead. Then the old man would pass us with his cart, only for us to recover the lead moments later. This went on for some time until the old man finally left us in the dust, as my family cheered aloud.

This video I found on the Freakonomics podcast about a neat little parking invention in Seoul to help with traffic congestion reminded me of my story.

A fun traffic-related idea I came across recently was a traffic light that provided some entertainment to help stop people in Lisbon from jaywalking. Check it out here: http://themetapicture.com/unique-traffic-light/. It’s funny how sometimes it’s the little things that make good ideas.

Do you have a parking-related idea you are interested in sharing with the parking world? IPI is hosting its first ever Park Tank, fashioned after the popular American TV show “Shark Tank.” This is your chance to float an idea for a parking-related product or service to a panel of parking experts, including representatives from large municipalities and venture capitalists. IPI is looking for start-up companies, exhibitors, and entrepreneurs to participate. There is no idea too large or too small. Slots are limited and applications are due March 31 (that’s next week!), so you’d better hurry.

Urban Engines, the Connected Traveler and Leveraging Parking and Access Management

L. Dennis Burns

Innovation in the form of mobile apps is nothing new. Statistics regarding the number of apps available for download in leading app stores in July 2014 totaled more than 3.1 million! An increasing number of these apps has specific parking and transportation components, and others have a focus on helping us better understand and navigate our favorite urban environments.

BurnsBlogPicA team of former Google employees has begun to merge these key areas creating apps called “Urban Engines.” This exciting development shows early signs of promise for revolutionizing intra-city movement. The app differs from Google maps in certain significant ways. For one, you can drag and drop location and destination pins, allowing the app to instantaneously draw a smart path from place to place. This feature works without exact addresses, so if you’re traveling across town to merely wander, you don’t need to have a destination in mind.

Urban Engines aggregates city transportation options so you can find the most efficient route, whether that be by car, bus, subway, sidewalk, or some combination of all options. These directions are ranked by time, though they may be sorted to minimize distance or maximize use of a certain transportation mode. It also includes offline maps of 10 North American cities—Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington, D.C.—so residents and visitors need not even have an Internet connection to get around. In addition, the Urban Engines app has a cool X-Ray mode which opens your camera and uses augmented reality to overlay your route on what you’re seeing —city streets, inside the subway or anywhere.

Tech Travel Trends and the Connected Traveler

Mobile devices will be a primary tool allowing the traveler to do their transportation research while on the move in the future. The introduction of new transportation and mobility related apps allows the traveler to be more informed and make better informed choices. A few of the most popular travel apps are:

  • Foursquare: with a custom-created set of must-see locations.
  • TripIt: for the itinerary.
  • Passbook: for hotel bookings.
  • Citymapper: to get the traveler to/from the airport (in the U.K.).
  • Find My Friends: to help travel companions find each other if the group of travelers gets split up.
  • Google Glass: Google’s augmented reality glasses allowing the traveler to capture photos and videos, browse the web, or make calls.

For consumers, online travel and its new world of self-service options have brought convenience, access, speed, and control. The concept of personalizing transportation tools will be vital for the travel, hospitality and, yes, the parking industry going forward. It involves understanding our customers’ needs, preferences, and budget, and then offering custom packages that meet those needs. Allowing our customers to stay highly connected through mobile devices and various apps will be a key to success for parking and transportation programs in the future.

At the upcoming IPI Conference & Expo in Las Vegas this summer, Josh Kavanagh, CAPP, and I will be giving a presentation on “Releasing the Parking Brake: Strategies to Leverage Parking and Access Management as a Tool to Create Local Competitive Advantage.” The innovations described above are just one dimension of this exciting concept. We hope you will attend our session and learn about the full range of options available to enhance your community’s competitive position.

Big Wows This Summer

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One day, years ago before I started working at IPI, I was walking through the hallways of my office and heard the facilities director emphatically and loudly tell the director of HR, “Your department cannot hire any more people. We have no more parking spaces left.”

I remember thinking, “That’s weird, that lot is huge. Who knew we had to count parking spaces?” Yes, I am showing how ignorant I once was to the parking profession. But honestly, I had no idea the immense impacts parking has on, well, everything.  As a direct result of that hallway conversation between those two directors, my former employer started a telecommuting program.  Parking was the catalyst that drove the future culture of that organization—it drove the start of telecommuting for employees.  Parking changed that organization.

Now, this may be blasphemy, but until I started working for IPI, I had no idea of the depths, reaches, and intricacies of the parking industry. As I am working within this vast industry, I have become more and more involved and excited with all that it has to offer.  The wide reach of parking is reflected throughout the IPI Conference & Expo.

I am completely excited about the upcoming IPI Conference in Las Vegas! Our conference this year will offer everyone a WOW! This year’s education will offer a wide spectrum of learning and development opportunities to suit everyone’s needs.  For the first time, we will offer Learning Units (LU) to architects and Professional Development Hours (PDH) to engineers.  We will also provide American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Council of Examiners of Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES) credits as well as Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for select courses and sessions.

Join us and register for Conference.  Participate in all the education sessions, wrap-up sessions, roundtable discussions and/or choose between the four-day Parking Operations and Management Immersion course or the five-day University of Virginia Management course.  Both of these multi-day courses offer CEUs and will satisfy points towards the CAPP application or recertification.

Join us during this exciting time at Conference and experience the WOW effect for yourself!

“Sleep Later, Grow Now”

Bonnie Watts

“Sleep later, grow now,” offered by Andrew Stewart, Superintendent of Transportation Services at University of California Riverside, was just one of hundreds of fantastic tips on making the most of conference recently shared by past attendees.

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 7.30.54 PMRemember when you were a kid, waking your parents up on a Saturday morning at 5 a.m. to watch cartoons or make breakfast? The energy children have and the lack of the need for sleep has always been amazing to me. I remember being forced to take naps as a kid—I thought it was completely ridiculous and rarely actually went to sleep. Who needed to sleep? There was playing to be done.

I invite you to consider that concept as you make plans to attend the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. I mean, after all, Vegas is the other city that never sleeps, right? So why should you? And since the IPI conference is jam-packed with education like Santa’s toy bag on Christmas Eve, an Expo hall filled with more new toys and gadgets than Toys ‘R Us, more networking than a playground has ever seen, plus facility tours and social events and awards, contests and prizes and exhibitor outings and poster sessions and general sessions and golf and running and tigers (deep breath) OH MY…who has time to sleep?

The IPI Conference will be an experience from the moment you arrive until the very last general session, and we encourage you to make the most of it. There will be cocktail parties and small groups huddled in education sessions\; exciting forward-thinking motivational speakers and opportunities to gain continuing education points; new education tracks and formats; and even a spin on an old idea—Shoptalks that will wrap up the week of learning based on the tracks offered earlier in the week, and where you can dish about what you learned. You’ll meet new friends and reconnect with old friends and along the way, you’ll pick up nuggets to take back to your operation and implement immediately. You’ll gain a bird’s-eye view of industry trends and the future forecast, you’ll learn about technology you had no idea existed in parking, and you’ll see improvements to existing equipment. You’ll find ways to save money and run more efficiently and motivate your team and find new resources IPI makes available to members and the entire parking industry.

You’ll learn what you didn’t know you didn’t know and you’ll get answers to questions that have been keeping you up at night. Best of all, you’ll get to grow now—you can always sleep later!

Wasn’t being a kid great?

To save on your registration rates, register by Feb 28, 2015.

It’s a New Generation for Frosty the Snowman

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I have two children, ages three and six. So it is no surprise that we watch “Frosty the Snowman” during the holiday season. What did come as a surprise was the new version of the “Legend of Frosty,” which included a consistent storyline of a young girl studying for an urban planning career.

This was a very new type of Frosty for me to watch. I was impressed with the storyline and how directed it was toward the career path of urban planning. It made me think about how the parking industry can better engage younger generations into the profession.

Now more than ever, there is a focus on different generations interacting in the workplace. At this moment, America has more people over the age of 60 than under the age of 15. Organizations, leaders, and corporations are struggling to better understand how to engage, reach, motivate, and leverage Millennials, Gen Xers and Boomers. By 2020, Millennials will be 40 percent of the workforce and the dominant marketing segment. Are we ready as an industry?

It is important to have a basic understanding of generational diversity. Moreover, can you and are you using this knowledge to your organization’s advantage? Join us at the 2015 IPI Conference and Expo in Las Vegas to learn more. Our Welcome Session keynote speaker is John Martin. John is the co-founder and CEO of Boomer Project, a national research-based marketing think tank that tracks generational trends and offers insight on how to effectively communicate with each generation.

To flourish, your organization must be age-aware. At the age of 60, Bruce Springsteen earned more revenue from his concert tour than Coldplay and the Jonas Brothers combined. How did he accomplish this? Bruce is age aware! Are you?

 

“Survey Says!”

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I’m probably going to date myself here, but as a kid in the late ’70s, I was a fan of the show Family Feud. It fascinated me and I felt like I was constantly learning “worldly stuff.” Part was learning and entertainment, but also being at an impressionable age, I was fascinated at the affection Richard Dawson bestowed to every female contestant. The show was canceled in 1985 and revived in 1988 with Ray Combs hosting and I never could really get hooked back during that time. Over the years, there have been a number of other hosts but none I really ever felt replaced Richard Dawson or could quite match his enthusiastic “survey says!” shout to the game board. Still, this iconic game show left its impression on me for more than just Richard Dawson and the unique character he brought to the show.Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 8.22.52 PM

Like a good advertisement or TV commercial, there are certain slogans or catch phrases that stick in your head. I believe in the advertising world, they would call that good marketing. I think Family Feud accidentally stumbled on that simply by the repetitive phrases that would be shouted out by both the host and the players. “Survey says!” And “Good answer! Good answer!” followed by loud clapping and cheers from families as they offered up encouragement to a teammate for their input were the two that come to mind for me.

I have to tell you, I had a Family Feud moment the other day here at the IPI headquarters. We work as a team to plan the IPI Conference each year. We hold focus groups, we have committees and we often ask our members to help shape the annual event. It takes a village. Recently we held a contest for past IPI Conference & Expo attendees to answer two questions: “How has attending the IPI Conference & Expo been a value to you or impacted your career/business?”, and “If you were giving tips to a first-timer, what would you tell them?”

Of course, with any research, that data means something to us. As I’m compiling the final responses and reading through the vast amount of feedback, I’m formulating the Family Feud scenario in my head. It would have gone something like this:

Richard Dawson: “100 people (more like 3,000) were surveyed and the top five answers are on the board. How does attending the IPI Conference & Expo advance or impact your career or business?”

Top Five Responses would be something along the lines of:

“The networking—everyone who is anyone is there! You have to be there!”

“The tradeshow—biggest and best for new technologies! Visit EVERY vendor—it will open your eyes to new technologies to implement in your organization”

“The education and professional development opportunities —by far the best in the industry.”

“Best place for finding out about industry best practices, knowledge, future initiatives, trends”

“The social events and fun activities—don’t miss an opportunity to spend time any and everywhere with other attendees and professionals. Sleep later – Grow now!”

And as I read through each response, I kept thinking, “Good answer! Good answer!”

What are your top tips for first-time attendees? Comment here!

Parking Centers in Texas

KimFernandezJan2014

The second day of the 2014 IPI Conference & Expo saw thousands of parking professionals converge on the Gaylord Texan Resort for the opening of the biggest parking expo in the world, keynote addresses, an awards presentation, and a full schedule of education sessions and events.

The day kicked off with the presentation of this year’s Professional Recognition Program awards, which recognize the industry’s top individual professionals and programs. As always, it was a rousing and touching ceremony–this year’s included a farewell to IPI Board member Mike Swartz, who is retiring after 17 years on the board.
Next up were introductions of the Green Garage Certification Program, which has already become the “LEED of parking,” and proved quite popular in the industry, and a keynote address about changes being considered to the U.S. coin supply. Finally was an energetic and informational keynote from Marina Leight of Governing magazine about interconnectedness and the future of cities.
Following the morning presentation was the ribbon cutting and official opening of this year’s Expo, with 230 exhibitors and four football fields’ worth of show space. Aisles were crowded with suppliers and attendees, and the crowds repeated for a reception on the floor last night.
Education sessions, including the popular Ignite sessions, were also popular, with several having standing room only–it’s a great year to become a better educated parking professional. Look for a complete IPI Conference & Expo wrap-up in the August issue of The Parking Professional.
On today’s agenda are IPI’s Awards of Excellence and a keynote address, “Auto Erotica: Rear View and Road Ahead,” another chance to visit the Expo, and more education sessions and networking. See you at the conference!

IPI Conference & Expo Kicks Off

KimFernandezJan2014
With formal and social gatherings of parking professionals from around the world, a municipal symposium, popular education sessions, and a little jeans and bling, the 2014 IPI Conference & Expo kicked off in grand style at the Gaylord Texan Resort.
First on yesterday’s agenda was a meeting of GPALS–the Global Parking Association Leaders Summit–where representatives of nearly a dozen parking associations from all over the globe pulled chairs up to the table to talk about trends in their countries, parking research, sustainability, promoting the industry, and the best ways to share information.
Following that was the first Municipal Symposium: Real Solutions for Real Cities. Speakers, including Bill Wolpin, American City & County magazine; Marina Leight, Governing magazine; Laurens Eckelboom, Parkmobile; David Cummins, Xerox State & Local Solutions; and a panel of municipal parking directors and experts shared their expertise and experiences in a lively discussion with multiple takeaways participants can take home and put to work. Also here was the release of a joint survey of government officials from cities, towns, and counties across the U.S. about municipal parking–download it here.
The first day of education sessions proved popular as attendees flocked to the tracked seminars and panel discussions. And last

Representatives of nearly a dozen parking associations from around the globe gathered at yesterday's GPALS meeting.

Representatives of nearly a dozen parking associations from around the globe gathered at yesterday’s GPALS meeting.

night’s Denim and Diamonds Meet and Mingle event at the Glass Cactus nightclub saw attendees boot scootin’ on the dance floor and enjoying the company of new and old friends from all over the world.

Today promises to bring even more excitement, with the Welcome Breakfast, Professional Recognition Awards, and double-header keynote, opening of the massive Expo hall, and another afternoon of education sessions. It’s a great day for parking to be in Texas!

Getting Ready For The Big D

Bill Smith

Many of you are preparing for your annual trek to the 2014 IPI Conference & Expo. In just a few days, you’ll be in Texas, reconnecting with old friends and colleagues, checking out the latest products, and engaging in professional development through presentations on the latest trends and best practices.

As someone who specializes in parking and marketing, this is a particularly exciting event. In addition to the usual presentations on parking-related topics, this year will also feature the inaugural presentation of the IPI Parking Matters® Marketing and Communications Awards at the Tuesday morning general session from 8 to 9:30 a.m.. In addition to recognizing excellence in marketing, they also provide an opportunity to share marketing best practices with other parking organizations, demonstrating what works and how organizations have used these best practices to promote not only themselves, but the industry as a whole.

Parking professionals know how their work affects people’s lives every day. Through IPI’s Parking Matters® program and through the marketing programs of individual organizations, the industry has done a terrific job of educating the public about the importance of parking to their lives and exciting new parking developments and trends. But there is still much work to be done when it comes to promoting parking.

It is incumbent upon us to market ourselves, our organizations, and the industry. The IPI Conference & Expo presents a wonderful opportunity for parking professionals to demonstrate their marketing achievements and share ideas and experiences.

As you attend presentations to learn about new tools, management approaches, and trends, think about where communication fits into the lessons you are learning. If you return home with an idea for a new parking initiative for your hometown, think about how you will communicate that initiative to local leaders and citizens. If you decide to implement a new technology that you find at the symposium, plan for how you will educate parkers about the benefits of that technology. If you learn a new management approach, think about how you will educate management and staff about that approach, how it will work, and how it will benefit the organization.

We live in a communication age, and the importance of strategic communication touches on everything we do. So as you attend presentations in Dallas and share ideas with colleagues, think about where communication fits into what you are learning and which communication strategies will be most effective in sharing what you have learned when you return home.

Bill Smith’s presentation, Marketing Matters: Why Your Marketing Is Coming Up Short And How To Fix It will be offered on Tuesday, June 3.

Are You Ready to “Ignite” and Inspire?

Henry Wallmeyer

“The facilitators did an excellent job of presenting the material.”

“Excellent presentation!”

“Great overview and inspiration.”

“Good information. Fun Time”

“He’s a very knowledgeable presenter with a lot of good relevant experience.”

“This was the best class yet!!”

“This is the best presentation I have been to, maybe ever!”

This is just a sampling of what attendees told us about the sessions and speakers at the 2013 IPI Conference & Expo in Fort Lauderdale. Wouldn’t you like the above to be said about you? It can!

To receive these and perhaps even greater compliments, submit your idea for a presentation and become a speaker at the 2014 IPI Conference & Expo in Dallas, June 1-4. If you are an experienced and articulate individual willing to share your expertise and real-world practices, it’s easy to submit a presentation proposal—we especially want those that illustrate case studies, illuminate important issues, demonstrate how-to knowledge, and increase the professionalism of attendees.

We introduced the Ignite: Parking session in Fort Lauderdale: eight individuals presented for five minutes each using 20 slides that automatically advanced every 15 seconds. Because of the packed room and immensely positive feedback, we are expanding to three sessions in 2014: Ignite: Technology, Ignite: Sustainability, and Ignite: Parking.

An Ignite session is a unique opportunity for you to deliver valuable information in a fun and entertaining way, and we’re looking for engaging, high-energy, multi-tasking, industry professionals to lead the way.

Whether you shine in a traditional 60-minute session or an Ignite session, being a speaker at the IPI Conference & Expo can be an extremely rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. Click here for more information and to submit your presentation.

We look forward to receiving your submission by the October 1, 2013 deadline.

Solar Roadways Make Headlines

Isaiah Mouw

Remember Solar Roadways from the general session presentation at the 2013 IPI Conference and Expo in Ft. Lauderdale? Scott and Julie Brusaw, inventors and co-founders of Solar Roadways, introduced their concept of solar road panels and what they can do for the parking industry and the world (click here to read the feature about their project in The Parking Professional). If you had the opportunity to sit in on the presentation, you witnessed something special. And now, the little company with big aspirations is moving closer to fulfilling those aspirations.

Just this week the Brusaws announced on their Facebook page that they were “chosen by our peers as a finalist in the World Technology Awards in the category of Energy. We are amazed to find ourselves in the company of so many remarkable people. Some of the other finalists in various categories include: Mark Zuckerberg, Sal Khan, Andreessen Horowitz, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, Bill and Melinda Gates and Elon Musk. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in N.Y. in November. Our selection as finalists means that we are now Fellows of the World Technology Network. What an honor!”

There’s more news, too: Solar Roadways’ short documentary directed by Michele Ohayon, which was shown at the 2013 IPI Conference & Expo, will be featured at the Big Eddy film festival in New York on September 21. You might even be on a date with your significant other and have this short documentary shown at the movie theatre before your movie starts. That’s because thanks to a partnership with Spotlight Cinema Network, the Solar Roadways documentary will screen before features at all Regency and Landmark Theatres between August 23 and September 19.

The Brusaws hope to pave the world with solar panel roadways, but it all begins with a parking lot. It’s pretty cool that we all saw the inception of this movement. What can parking professionals do to support their work? You can help spread the word on social media. I am a big fan of TED Talks and think that Scott Brusaw would make an excellent TED speaker. You can nominate him here as a TED Speaker. I think it would speak volumes if parking professionals helped get him chosen, to help further their message and concept of Solar Roadways.

There’s more ahead for solar roads and parking lots. Stay tuned!

Extra, Extra, Read All About It

Helen Sullivan

“Extra, extra, read all about it,” was the cry of newsboys on the street hawking special editions of newspapers to passers-by back shutterstock_104688506Extra Extra Newswhen that was the main way we got our news. The media, in all its forms, is still one of the best ways to get the word out.

Each year, we leverage the IPI Conference & Expo as an opportunity to remind the media that there is a great deal that is newsworthy about the parking industry.  IPI’s Parking Matters® program is focused at the conference and year-round on generically promoting the parking industry and the value of parking expertise in the early planning stages of projects.

Airing last night at 10 p.m. ET in 96 million US households was the first of a three-part series on the Travel Channel called “Extreme Parking.” If you were at the opening session of the IPI Conference & Expo in Fort Lauderdale last week, you previewed a rough cut of the third segment that focuses on the future of parking. This is a knock-your-socks-off, hats-off to the parking industry that you are going to love!

Casey Jones, CAPP, IPI immediate past chair and spokesperson extraordinaire, is prominently featured and narrates large segments of the episode. John Schmid, chairman of the board of the Green Parking Council (now an affiliate of IPI), is also interviewed about Canopy Airport Parking, which was a 2012 IPI Awards of Excellence winner (see the July 2012 issue of The Parking Professional for more).

Another great success is the report, “Parking Industry Tries to Make Your Life Easier,” that aired this week on 600 National Public Radio (NPR) stations coast-to-coast. The story is the result of our invitation to Miami-based NPR reporter Kenny Malone and the Miami Herald. Malone devoted serious time to listening and learning. He came to the conference Monday, and came back for more, spending time in the Tuesday general session, walking the Expo hall floor, and interviewing quite a few IPI members. He left our conference with a whole new view of our industry–a positive view. I hope you’ll take the time to listen to his story.

Reporter Angel Streeter, with the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel also covered the conference with an article focused on technology and sustainability.

Chris Woodyard, blogging for USA Today’s Drive On, reported on the Emerging Trends in Parking Survey, which featured a section on the top cities identified by parking industry respondents as being among the most innovative and trend setting when it comes to parking. Read the blog here.

Post-conference media coverage is still rolling in, such as this piece that appeared in the Denver Tribune.

There was a time when nearly all media coverage about parking was negative. It’s “extra” gratifying to see the parking industry increasingly reported about in the positive light it so deserves.

 

Game Changers

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Another busy day at the IPI Conference & Expo gave attendees a glimpse into the future of parking, an afternoon of business on the _EST1799Expo floor, educational sessions, and plenty of opportunity to network, network, network.

The morning kicked off with the 2013 IPI Awards of Excellence presentation, where outstanding parking facilities and operations were honored and applauded (see more on this in the June issue of The Parking Professional, arriving in your mailbox soon). This year’s awardees included garages that showcase innovative design, out-of-the-box thinking, and sustainable solutions that make sense, along with operations that have overcome tremendous challenges to serve their communities and keep people moving.

The room went silent after that as attendees were held rapt by Mary Smith of Walker Parking Consultants, a top expert on parking and transportation, who talked about “Game Changers.”

“Parking has changed more in the past 10 years than in my previous 28 in the industry,” she said, attributing that to changing trends in car ownership rates, growing cities, and other factors. She pointed out reasons why parking is not, as some believe, the root of urban sprawl issues, and said that while efforts to change the perception of parking through alternate uses can be good, they’re not always executed in the wisest fashion.

_EST1882Downtown garages that lease their spaces out for weddings and other events, she said, are “touted as great shared use, but it’s not appropriate to take spaces out of use for parking when they’re needed most.” Instead, uses such as farm markets during the day (when spaces aren’t in as much demand by restaurants and other businesses, can be a better use.

Smith spent some time talking about “peak cars,” which is a peak in vehicle ownership forecast to happen in the next several years, as millennial generation members (born after 1980) eschew individual car ownership in favor of car share programs and public transportation. She also talked about the next generations of technology for cars, including compressed natural gas (CNG) and driverless cars, including some that may fly.

Following her presentation, attendees enjoyed an afternoon networking and exploring new products, services, and technologies on the Expo hall floor, attending educational sessions in five tracks, and exchanging business cards, handshakes, and conversation in the halls of the convention center.

The IPI Conference & Expo wraps up today with the final Expo hours, a lunchtime presentation by marketing expert Bill Smith, and the closing event that’s sure to be fast-paced and thrilling!

 

IPI Conference & Expo Kicks Off

Kim Fernandez

Record numbers of parking professionals have made the most of their time at the IPI Conference & Expo in Fort Lauderdale, _EST1388
Florida, taking in educational sessions, doing business on the Expo hall floor, and having fun with friends around town.

Day one kicked off Sunday with the first round of education–sessions are organized into five distinct tracks–and the opening event at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Science and Discovery, where attendees mingled among fascinating and fun interactive exhibits. Also popular was the first Poster Session on the third floor of the convention center, where exhibits on parking projects and innovations offered information in a new format–this continues throughout the conference just outside the education session rooms.

Yesterday started with a touching awards ceremony that honored top professionals in the IPI Professional Recognition Program. A highlight was the presentation of the newly-named James M. Hunnicutt, CAPP, Parking Professional of the Year award by two of the late association founder’s daughters to Roamy Valera, CAPP. (see the July issue of The Parking Professional for more–coming soon!).

_EST0991Following awards, speaker Scott Brusaw took the stage to talk about his Solar Roadways project, which has the potential to replace asphalt and concrete on parking lots, sidewalks, and roads with LED-equipped solar panels, generating power for businesses and communities, electric vehicle charging, and variable lighting that can be configured for lines, messages, and even instant warnings that something’s on the surface up ahead (read The Parking Professional’s cover story on Solar Roadways here). Able to melt snow and ice before they have a chance to accumulate on roads or parking lots, Solar Roadways has attracted the attention of government agencies, large companies, and parking professionals.

The concept was clearly popular with attendees, many of whom visited with Brusaw and his wife and co-inventor, Julie, at the Expo, where a piece of solar road sparked a lot of conversation.

More excitement awaits today, with a presentation by Mary Smith, Walker Parking Consultants, about the future of parking, the 2013 IPI Awards of Excellence, education sessions that include IPI’s first IGNITE session–five minutes and 20 slides for each energizing speaker–and more Expo hours and PowerPitch forums on the floor. It’s going to be a great day in Florida!

 

Stockings Hung By the Chimney With Care

Bonnie Watts

Today is a day of excitement and anticipation and nervous energy around the IPI office. It reminds me of the role of parent on Christmas, actually. The months of shopping, the dreaded Black Friday chaos, decorating the house, finding that perfect gift for loved ones, baking and preparing for the family feasts, putting together toys to surprise little ones under the tree, and then hanging the stockings by the chimney with care in eager anticipation. That’s how I feel today. As our Conference planning team reviews the event agenda one more time and we double-check our boarding passes and flight times en route to Fort Lauderdale, I am reminded of all the fabulous surprises in store for our attendees and exhibitors. From power-packed educational content to illuminating keynote speakers, to our condensed CAPP Five-Day certification course, to the jam-packed exhibit hall (literally–we couldn’t find a spot for another exhibitor if we had to), to the first time ever Poster Session gallery, to the fun, interactive, and outside-the-box social events, this year’s IPI Conference & Expo promises that attendees will walk away with memories, education, and new friendships and partnerships that will shape their careers–the gift that keeps on giving.

Our pre-registration numbers are the highest ever and this is likely to be a record-breaking turnout this year with more than 2,500 attendees. I feel like it’s Christmas Eve. Your stocking has been hung by the chimney with care. We can’t wait to see you enjoy everything we have in store.

I’ll see you in Fort Lauderdale with your gifts waiting for you!

P.S. If you haven’t registered, it’s still not too late to join us. We’re expecting record-breaking crowds, but you can register onsite. Visit IPIConference.parking.org for more information.

 

ADA Compliance Standards in Higher Education

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I feel as if I have spent a lifetime working in higher education, specifically in the parking industry! After almost 14 years, I’ve learned that nothing ever stays the same, and you always have to be on your toes, staying on top of the latest developments. that’s particularly true in the area of ADA compliance. Policy regarding ADA compliance as it relates to parking is constantly being updated, and it’s our responsibility as parking professionals to be aware of these changes and implement those necessary to ensure compliance.

Ohio University is situated on beautiful rolling hills and the campus intermingles with the City of Athens. The campus is very much a walking campus supported by transit provided by the city and the university.  Lack of parking at many buildings requires the use of Campus Area Transit Cutting Across Boundaries (CATCAB), a service for individuals with mobility limitations, by many individuals with disabilities. One area  behind a classroom building was designated as disability parking, as it provided those with disabilities access to this classroom and the library. There are no other parking options in this area, so we felt we were providing the best parking options available given the area and what we had to work with.

Unfortunately, a pedestrian (who was texting and walking) was struck by a vehicle in this area. This led to the removal of the spaces behind the building. A student with a disability permit who parked in this area every day was quite upset about the loss of these spaces and filed a complaint. The investigation grew to encompass every disability space on campus–spaces that were a quarter-inch off had to be re-lined, signs were changed, lots were completely re-lined to meet requirements, etc. One complaint led to a two-year process of ensuring all spaces were acceptable and up to code.

While parking itself has met all requirements, the university is still–four years later–working to make changes to meet requirements demanded by the Office of Civil Rights. How many of you are quickly finding slope issues, space width issues? How many of your newly-painted or constructed lots were painted and signed by a contractor who did not know these regulations and left your disability spaces outside of compliance? I think you will be surprised to find it’s like a poison ivy: once you scratch it, it spreads everywhere!

Cloud Computing and Parking

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One of the great paradigm shifts in technology currently happening today is the use of the cloud. How it will eventually affect the parking industry is an open issue. It is already certain to affect how we store and process data and conduct business going forward. Operators and parking administrators must understand the implications and how best to deal with the cloud.Parking is currently affected by several changes:

  • Municipalities and cities have identified parking as a major source of income.
  • On-and off-street parking converge more and more into one business executed by one and the same party.
  • Road pricing, city tolls, and parking have started to converge.
  • Technology infrastructure and capabilities have changed radically.
  • As a consequence, things that have been tied together or tied to a location can now be executed independent of location or time constraints (e.g. identification or payment).

In this highly competitive, globalized world, the cloud provides those who embrace it with a competitive advantage. Competition usually mandates growth. Cloud technology will continue to grow faster, achieving more geographical coverage with less effort and investmentIn most cases, different parking management systems come from different vendors, to be installed and used at geographically diverse parking lots. Cloud technology is ideally suited to not only retrieve information, but to also control devices or applications remotely, independent of locations or time of day. Centralized cloud control is not only cheaper to implement, but also standardizes the way car parks can be managed, leading to reduced training and operational costs. And most importantly, it allows the automation of repetitive tasks, which leads to reduce cost combined with an increase in process quality.

Car park operators offer new types of services over the internet. Using the internet opens a totally new business domain and a path to new revenue sources. Cloud technology allows car park operators to benefit from direct access to consumers and engage in new business-to-consumer business models.

In addition, adopters can avoid costly upgrades, improve compliance through effective standardization, reduce service and overhead costs, and can improve data security and availability.

 

Smart Cities = Smart Drivers

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Whether you drive in Barcelona, San Francisco, or Sydney, parking your car can be a nightmare!

Every day millions of drivers around the world get stuck in traffic jams and waste precious hours looking for parking. Fortunately, smart technologies such as real-time traffic updates and real-time parking availability are starting to change that.

Combined with a meteoric rise in the number of connected vehicles on the road, new traffic technologies are starting to have a real effect on reducing traffic and congestion along with eliminating unnecessary time wasted driving around looking for parking.

To address the issue of unnecessary pollution and driver stress caused by searching for a parking space, a recent project focused on a real-time space availability service that received data on the number of available spaces from participating parking lots every few minutes. This information was then relayed in real-time to drivers using mobile and car navigation systems.

The project began to become more and more relevant when studied in relation to on-street/surface parking lots: Multi-story parking garages have the required barrier and/or loop infrastructure to calculate the number of available spaces, but surface parking lots and street spaces generally do not have any mechanisms to do the same thing.

Drivers could make intelligent parking decisions and drive to where there was space availability. They could see what their chances of finding a street parking space were based on the day and time of their arrival, even in locations that had no barriers or sensors installed. This also had a positive environmental effect as it reduced congestion, noise pollution, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

In terms of providing the information to end users, the data was integrated into car/mobile apps, which were now able to know final destination and current traffic conditions in real-time. The car/mobile app was able to give various options to the driver. An interesting element to the project was the use of historical payment transaction data to provide forecasts of parking space availability in the future.

The project went live with the City of Seattle and Westminster Council in London in 2012. I look forward to sharing more about it on Sunday, May 19 during the IPI Conference & Expo–hope to see you then!