The late great Tip O’Neill, political powerhouse from Massachusetts, claimed that all politics were local. He had a point. people tend to vote their pocketbooks and there is nothing more local than your bank account.
I attended a local parking event here in LA last night. It was a ‘mixer,’ sponsored by a local parking equipment dealer, Sentry Control Systems, and put on by their Marketing Manager, Whitney Taylor, a dynamic powerhouse of the “rising tide raises all boats’ mode.
Anyone in the parking business was invited and about 60 showed up. The adult beverages were consumed, h’ors oeuvres were eaten, and conversation flowed. There was no real selling, just an opportunity for people who were competitors during the day, to put aside differences and chat and gossip. Whitney does this quarterly.
While there I ran into Julie Dixon of Dixon Resources Unlimited. She told me about a seminar she held in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. It was about parking meters. She invited the local cities to send whomever they wanted and expected about a dozen attendees. Over 50 turned up.
A friend of mine in the business was at Whitney’s event last night and said — “Wow, this is great, the local LA Parking association should be doing this.” I smiled. I knew why this was successful.
Whitney. She doesn’t have an organization, a membership, a group, an agenda (well maybe a little one). She knows that if she can get 60 or 80 people together to talk for a few hours in an evening, she is successful. And if she meets someone that perhaps could buy her product, so much the better.
Most of the work done in organizations like the IPI, NPA, CPPA, MAPA, and the rest is done by very few people. There aren’t a lot with the energy and focus of a Whitney Taylor.
Another reason for Whitney’s and Julie’s success — it was local. These are events for people in LA or San Francisco. They aren’t sponsored by an organization in DC, or a Magazine a thousand miles away. They were local, and the people with their boots on the ground could attend.
More power to Julie and Whitney and others who sponsor these types of local events. They make a difference. Tip O’Neill knew that. For all its grand organizations, all his huge companies, all its high tech service, in the end parking, too, is local.