We are inundated with lists. If you check the New York Times, Forbes, or any of the other major media outlets, you find lists of gazillionaires, houses over 100 million, women, blacks, young up and comers, 20 over 20, 30 under 30, 40 under 40 and just about anything you can name. However maybe its my curmudgeon coming through, but I haven’t seen many lists of those successful folks over say, 60.
The most attended seminars at PIE 2021 were those featuring those members of the industry with a bit of snow on the roof. It seemed that many of the younger members of our industry are starved for the wisdom of those who have been around for a while.
Any number of young attendees came up to me and told me how much they welcomed the insight of those who have 20, 30, and even, dare I say it 40 years working in the parking trenches. When we planned the “125 Years in Parking” or “The Fundamental Things Still Apply” or “The Original Nine” or “But on the Contrary” we didn’t realize just how popular they would be.
Clyde, Barbara, Brandy, Mark, Roamy, and the “Original Nine” supporters of PT all brought a different view that we typically see at a trade show seminar. Most often some youngster holds forth on the latest tech, cloud, app, or design. This august group called on their experience not to belittle the newbies, but to show just how important it is not to forget the fundamentals of running a garage or parking program at a city or university. “New ideas” are great and welcomed, but often they need to be tempered with “when we tried that 20 years ago, this happened.”
We come to trade events to get “new” ideas that we hope will make our jobs easier and our organizations run like well-oiled machines. But in truth, are not those ideas often “new” to us and not necessarily “new” to the industry. When Brian and Brandy talk about the customer experience are they not rephrasing a story that is as old as commerce itself. How do we make the customer number one?
Over the next few months, the pages of PT will be filled not only with ‘new’ and ‘tech’ but also with the wisdom of the ages. Newbies will hold forth with their ideas, and then those more senior will comment.
Maybe we all can learn something.