A Newbie’s Perspective on PIE 2019
As the newest member of the Parker Technology team, and still a fresh face in the parking industry, attending PIE last week was a refreshing experience. I’ve attended and exhibited at dozens of trade shows in my former industry, and yet, PIE is by far the most open, engaging and technology-driven. An overarching theme was how successful PT was at creating the intersection of vendors and consumers.
I’ve never witnessed such a concerted effort by the show organizer (PT) to create opportunities for connection between exhibitors and attendees, not just once, but several times over.
One of my first impressions was the emphasis put on education. It’s brilliant to structure exhibit hall hours at different times than the seminars so that exhibitors and attendees alike can sit in on sessions. Not to mention, then they aren’t detracting from one another, meaning attendees don’t have to choose either/or. This has always been my experience, so although it may be second-nature to parking veterans, it’s not something to take for granted.
Another highlight was attending all the conference-sponsored networking events i.e. Exhibitor Welcome Reception, Beach Party, Speed Networking, etc. In all my years going to shows, I’ve never witnessed such a concerted effort by the show organizer (PT) to create opportunities for connection between exhibitors and attendees, not just once, but several times over.
I was also impressed by the tremendous role technological innovation plays in the parking industry. I can certainly empathize with attendees – there are so many options to choose from! However, it is abundantly clear how crucial both technological adeptness and innovative thinking are to be successful in this industry. Way to be ahead of the curve.
Which brings me to my next thought… The Parking Today Awards. For being the first annual awards event, I have to give the PT staff an emphatic “Well done.” We were thrilled and honored to be the Technical Innovation Award Sponsor and look forward to taking part again next year.
Lastly, this industry strikes me as a close-knit community. Transitioning from one niche industry to another has been seamless, and in large part because, although parking is small, it is open, and willing to embrace outsiders. With an influx of so many technology solution companies, I’d say this is a very good thing.
Heidi Barker is Director of Marketing at Parker Technology. She can be reached at Heidi.email@example.com