“Parken” is the German equivalent of the IPI show. This year it was held in Wiesbaden and was attended by hundreds of German parking professionals. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance last week and met a number of old friends and made some new ones.
The Germans focus on the exhibition, with over 100 exhibitors with a great European looking exhibit hall, each exhibitor having a “shell scheme” build by the organizers. The usual suspects were in attendance (Scheidt and Bachmann, Skidata, Parkeon, Designa, Zeag) as well as many smaller specialized German parking suppliers.
I spend a wonderful hour with Klaus Gindl who was hanging out with his daughter at the Skidata booth. Klaus who at one time was the German distributor for Scheidt and Bachmann and then went to work with the company running their overseas operations, is partnered with his son on a number of ventures, some dealing with parking and representing Skidata in various countries.
Klaus told me that his success was never to burn a bridge and to have good relationships with his competitors. He proved it by taking me to the Designa booth and introducing Dr Thomas Waibel, the MD of the company. Thomas is a charming gentleman and very aware of the industry and his company’s place in it.
Americans should be impressed by how seamlessly Europeans move from the native language and back again. I was talking to Thomas and Klaus in English, then they converted to German when I move to talk to Designa’s marketing manager, but then returned to English when my focus was back on them. Most polite and impressive.
Next year, if you want a bit of something different, take in Parken in Germany.