My First PIE
This past year has been a year of firsts for me. I got my first full-time marketing job. I got my first experience with the parking industry (y’all are a special bunch). I got my first article published in Parking Today. And in March, I got to experience my first plane ride on my way to my first major business expo. That, of course, was PIE 2019!
I entered the weeklong experience with a beginner’s mind. I was naive to a lot of what I was about to experience, but I made every effort to absorb as much as I possibly could from whomever I could.
I did not expect to see forklifts bringing in crates full of infrastructure that would turn into extravagant, illuminated displays of parking technology.
I have a great team of coworkers who, at this point, could be considered friends, so I had lots of help navigating an airport for the first time. I questioned why everyone seemed so calm to be shot through the air in an aluminum can by rocket engines. The answer was because “they have to do this all the time for work and stuff”. I don’t envy them. My first flight went very well, but the whole process was exhausting. Not something I would want to do all the time!
On Monday evening before PIE, we entered into the expo hall to set up our booth before the grand opening Tuesday morning. I expected to see some people setting up booths and banners. I did not expect to see forklifts bringing in crates full of infrastructure that would turn into extravagant, illuminated displays of parking technology by the next morning. The sheer scale of PIE was something to behold. I was thoroughly impressed by the production value of the whole thing. And it hadn’t even properly started yet!
Then Tuesday morning came along (an early morning by my millennial standards). We made it to the hotel in time for a delicious breakfast and one of the most exciting parts of the whole show - the First Annual Parking Awards! MeterFeeder was lucky enough to sponsor the Sustainability award, so we had front row seats to the presentations. It was cool to see colleagues and competitors from around the Parking Industry come together for a meal and share some laughs and appreciation for some of the top performers and innovators of our industry.
And that leads me into what was perhaps the most surprising thing about PIE for me. It was the friendliness of everyone. Seriously! Everyone was having a blast and was excited to meet new people, as well as reconnect with people they haven’t seen since PIE 2018. The best part about that for me personally was that I was able to meet a lot of new professionals in a controlled environment where everyone was in a great mood. It made connecting with new people super simple. I also got to finally meet the great and kind Astrid Ambroziak in person.
PIE was a great experience for me on both a personal and professional level. It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience. I would highly recommend it for any member of the parking industry. It’s a great place to make new friends and connections and experience the camaraderie that we all share as parking people.
Corey McDonough is Marketing Coordinator at MeterFeeder. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org