Considering the Differences Between Parking Trade Shows in Europe and North America


Considering the Differences Between Parking Trade Shows in Europe and North America

Parking is very diverse place where many fundamentals meet. We park at university for the thirst of knowledge; we park in the business center to make the deal of the year; we park every morning at the same coffee shop to start our day; we park at a fancy restaurant to celebrate our 10th anniversary with our partner; we park at the hospital to cheer up our grandparent for a fast recovery; we park to travel the world and for some of us, we park every day before going to bed! 


The Parking Industry has certainly many challenges to solve, but we should realize the privilege we have to be part of people’s lives, sometimes on the most important days of their lives! This is the reason why parking trade shows around the world are full of very interesting people. Sure, we solve parking problems, but we also listen to each other and share the stories. Everyone has stories to tell and not just one, or two…

Working for Survision for almost 10 years, I’ve learned one thing for sure: No matter how you’ve got to the Parking Industry, you will never leave it! After a busy 5 years in Paris, I moved to Boston for the company and from there traveled across North America for three years meeting parking people from every corner of the continent, and guess where? At the Trade Shows! The best place for gathering industry leaders, technologies, competitors, projects, and users. 


Even though ALL parking trade shows gather nice, humble people, there are some cultural differences between the Parking trade shows on both continents. 


For instance, the USA Parking trade shows are more network oriented. The events are built as a platform to spend a good time with your current and potential suppliers and customers. European parking trade shows have more “business meetings” set-up. It’s harder to break the ice in Europe when you meet a person for the first time. Speed business meetings would be unimaginable in Europe, while it’s a common activity to meet potential leads at any North American trade show. 


Another difference, Americans are too nice to tell the truth. Often, you hear what you want to hear from them, and that sometimes leads to the misinterpretation of a business opportunity. When in Europe, there are not many things said at the trade shows. But if something is said, see it as “it’s done.” I guess the difference is more related to the culture than industry. 


In North America, many trade shows, especially the local ones, are there for building a relationship with your future suppliers or customers. In Europe, the trade shows have a more formal format meant to engage a purely business discussion and see the latest technology progress in the industry. Both work great! 


These are minor differences when we all have much more in common. We all want to bring the best experience to the parking journey! It’s such big responsibility with a powerful impact on people’s day to day life. Even a small thing can make a huge difference on someone’s day today. 


Alexandra Maillot is Head of Business Development, Survision. She can be reached at

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Alexandra Maillot, Survision
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