A really big show


A really big show

Ed Sullivan would have been proud – if you are over 55, you may get the reference.

The British Parking Association teaming with Brintex show organizers to hold a great event last week in the UK. Mounted at the vast National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, the show had over 10,000 attendees and 500 exhibits.

OK, its wasn’t that large, parking wise. There are three shows collocated on the same floor, Parkex, all about parking, Traffex, all about traffic, and Street Design, all about street furniture (bollards, lights, sidewalks, posts, trees and the like).

However the parking portion of the show does rival anything we do here in the states. More than 175 parking exhibits and 2000 parking focused attendees were present – it rivals Intertraffic in Amsterdam for size and variety of products shown.

The BPA has partnered with a professional Show Organization and feels that it does much better than having to devote its resources to putting on a trade faire. The BPA folks told me that they are very happy. They get a lot of money from the show and have none of the worries. Plus it’s a very professionally run event. Having it collocated with similar infrastructure events means that many people get more bang for their buck (or punch for their pound) and they have a much larger turn out.

To compare, the IPI generally gets between 1200 and 1500 attendees from a country that is six times the size of the UK. It looks like the BPA made a good move.

The BPA then focuses on the program they offer. They have one neat thing right in the exhibit hall (which has hours open from about 10-4 on the three days of the event.) They have a “theater” erected on the exhibit hall floor and hold vendor presentations and learning sessions throughout the day. Folks can ‘pop’ in to see a presentation if they are interested, and it doesn’t take away from the exhibits. After all, that’s what they are there to see, isn’t it.

Sorry, folks, I didn’t see much “new and innovative” at the show…most of the products presented were reinvention of existing technology and ideas. I did see one thing, however, from France. It was a sign, mounted on the floor of the garage that showed different messages depending on the direction from which you came.

It takes no power, is simply bolted to the floor. From one direction you see this:









From the other direction you see this:

No moving parts, no electricity, no fancy optics. I liked it – but it might have been the fact that they were passing out great Champagne…


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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