PIE 2012 Blazes New Trails for Parking EventsThe Parking Industry Exhibition (PIE) will again be exploring new territory March 18-21 as it returns to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago. “That’s right,” event Director Andy Van Horn confirmed. “Thanks to our platinum sponsors, each fully paid attendee will receive a Nook e-reader with all event materials on it. They can use the Nook during the training portion of PIE and then take it home with them as our gift.
“Federal APD, IntegraPark, IPS and Toledo Ticket have made major investments in PIE2012 to make this happen,” he said. “We believe that the Nook e-readers will add tremendously to the ability of attendees to follow our educational programs and take information back with them to their organizations.”
Sponsored by Parking Today magazine, the No. 1 parking media outlet, PIE2012 is open to all comers. There is no need to be a member of any professional organization. If you are in the parking business, come and participate.
“We pride ourselves in making PIE the most cost-effective parking event on the planet,” Van Horn said. “Our fees are low, but we don’t scrimp on information.”
PIE’s famous “Boot Camp” is taking on changes, too, in 2012. In addition to the general introduction to parking that attendees have seen in the past, there will be three focused programs for Cities, Universities and Airports.
“In the morning program, those new to parking will be able to be exposed to ‘Parking 101.’ In the afternoon, they can break out into specific classes that are taught by experts in Municipal, University and Airport parking. We acknowledge the differences between parking in the three areas, and adapt our programs to them.”
Nearly 100 companies will be on the exhibit floor this year, Van Horn said. PIE2012 will feature a more focused exhibit hall, with exhibitors interacting with attendees in a less hectic, more boutique-style environment.
“PIE is about networking and learning about new technologies,” Andy Van Horn said. “Exhibitors won’t rely on huge exhibits to sell their products. They will interact with attendees and discuss how their products fit the needs of particular parking programs.
“We are gratified that our evening networking events have been so popular that other organizations have included them in their programs. Frankly, meeting people, both vendors and opposite numbers in our profession, is what PIE is all about.
“Two major PIE2012 happenings will feature networking,” he noted. “An evening social will involve all attendees in a relaxed setting to ‘meet and greet,’ plus ‘speed networking,’ the single most talked about event at previous PIE events.
“You’ve heard of ‘speed dating’; well, speed networking allows attendees to get one-on-one with at least 40 others and exchange contact information for future use. It’s fast and its fun.”
“Attendees come to PIE for the educational programs,” said Parking Today Editor John Van Horn. “Instead of asking for ‘papers,’ we determine what types of seminars would be of interest to the broadest sections of our industry, and then seek out presenters who are experts in those areas. That way we get the very best programs.”
PIE2012 will have more than 40 seminars covering aspects of parking including Municipal (training, enforcement, payment options, technology, PPP); University (finance, permits, online signups, enforcement – it’s different from municipal, he said – public relations, garage design); Airport (revenue control, technology, LPR, LPI, AVI, systems design); and Technology for all in the parking business (centralized parking control, “cloud computing,” payment options by cellphone, credit card and even cash, etc.).
“PIE is known for its educational programs,” John Van Horn reiterated. “Our best reference is the attendee from the last PIE who said, ‘When I go to a seminar at PIE, I actually learn something. The person teaching has actually walked in my shoes and provides everyday information I can put to immediate use when I get home. No esoterics at PIE, just solid information I can use.’”
For a complete list of PIE2012 seminars and all registration information, log on to www.parkingtoday.com/pie.