The show is great! Why do so few actually attend the IPI?


The show is great! Why do so few actually attend the IPI?

We leave tomorrow morning on our cross country jaunt to Tampa and the IPI. Festivities start Sunday with  Norman Mineta as Keynote Speaker at 9  and the Exhibit Hall opening at 10.The exhibtion runs through Tuesday and the rest of the conference ends on Thursday.  PT will be there with video camera in hand to capture the events in little snippets. We’ll put them on our web site immediately so you can get a "feel" for what is happening at this largest of parking events in the US.

I had lunch today with a friend from across the sea who told me that he thought that it was sad that the IPI was so poorly attended. After all, the US has over 300,000,000 people and is one of the largest parking markets on earth, and the UK gets more people to attend their parking show than the IPI. and the UK is one sixth the size. (The Parkex Show generated 1400 VISITORS not counting exhibitors, the IPI will probably hit about 950).

So what’s the deal?  Anybody understand this issue. The show is great.  The exhibitors have done a fantastic job in putting on a fantastic event. I honestly don’t understand.  I’m going to ask that question a lot in the next three days.

Let’s see what we get for an answer?


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

4 Responses

  1. Hi! JVH:
    This is my humble answer about getting people to attend the show.
    This is a big Country, it is not fair and it is not politically accurate to compare it to the UK with all due respect.
    You need to do a better job of getting the message across and creating a RSVP system so you know how many people are pledging to attend well in advance. You have to create a motivational theme
    so people feel that if they don’t attend they’ll be missing-out on
    something and let them know that they better make reservations because the turn-out is going to be great, have some celebrity to attend, I’m almost sure that there is a celebrity outthere that has been in the Parking Business before he or she became a Celebrity.
    ………….Now, changing the subject………………………
    I need some experienced people opinion in a matter and maybe you can help me. This is the matter:
    At the hotel where I work we had a guest that made reservations for 7 days and 6 nights he drove in on a Monday and checked-in, the hotel offers valet parking only for $17.00 per night if you have a car, he did, so he agreed to the charges; on Friday night he didn’t sleep in neither on Saturday, he showed up at check-out time on Sunday afternoon to retrive some of his luggage that was in his room.
    The front office informed me that I have to disregard the charges for Friday and Saturday night because his car was not at the parking garage. When I asked them if they were also disregarding the room charges for Friday and Saturday they say
    OH!NO… his room had his luggage for those two days so the hotel was charging the guest for those two days that he didn’t sleep in.
    Then I said…Well the parking space was here empty waiting for him to park so we didn’t parked any other car in it in those two days, and there was a wedding on Saturday night and we had to close the parking lot because it was full and we sent people away but…
    his parking space was there empty waiting for him so I couldn’t rent it to anybody else.
    I can understand if we do it as a courtecy to somebody in the
    Travel Business that is going to send business our way, or some important VIP that frequents the hotel and send his business associates in too,etc.
    But this particular guest not even asked for the charges to be removed…It is just the front desk giving our hotel profits away.
    Why always have to be US the Valet Parking Dpt. to remove charges all the time?…No Sir, No…I’m not going to take it anymore.Am I wrong?…We are in the Hospitality Industry not in a Phillanthropic Dept. of some Non-Profit Organization.

  2. Why did I stay home? I have never attended an East Coast show. It is a long and expensive trip, plus the show started on a Canadian holiday, so the kids are out of school. Camping with the kids or going to Tampa? an easy choice!
    Thanks for keeping us up to date with your blog!

  3. Ben:
    I disagree — Yes we are a bigger country, but we also have eight times as many people and they still get 50% more attendance. I know the reason why — they have only one organisation and both the on street and off street people work together, rather than against each other. The British Parking Association works hard to make the parking industry better in the UK — Both on street and off street. I am blessed if I can figure out what, aside from some training, the two US organizations do to make the industry better. If you can figure it out, let me know.
    You are absolutey right — I think Brad Pitt or somebody was a valet at one time… and yes, they need more PR. But I doubt if Brad can tear himself away from Angelina long enough to help us out.
    As for the hotel guest — right on brother. You have got it right. He contracted for the space. If he didn’t park in it, that’s his problem. THe hotel was probably charging him the $17 but didn’t want to pay it to you…I wonder if the front desk could have cashed that amount out through the cash drawer. Someone could have left the $34 on the folio and charged it to the guest but then taken the cash out of the drawer. The money would have balanced and some clerk would have been $34 ahead. Who knows?

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