A live rodeo in an outdoor arena, complete with performances by good-natured parking professionals, authentic Tex-Mex dinner, and spectacular fireworks display closed out the 2012 IPI Conference & Expo in Phoenix with fun and friends.

IPI Chair Casey Jones kicked things off with an appearance on horseback in the middle of the ring at the Corona Ranch, before some unsuspecting Conference attendees were called out to wrangle calves, milk goats, and have some good old-fashioned Phoenix fun before their friends in the audience.

After a dinner together, attendees were invited outside for a surprise fireworks display that was met with much applause, before bidding goodnight with promises to meet again in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., May 19-22 for next year’s Conference & Expo.

Before all of that, it was another productive day at the Phoenix Convention Center…

Summit Explores How TDM Compliments Parking

A crowd gathered at the IPI Conference & Expo Wednesday morning to learn how parking professionals can integrate transportation demand management (TDM) strategies into their programs to help achieve mobility goals, during the Summit on TDM: Transportation Tools to Support Parking Program Effectiveness.

The one-day symposium, co-sponsored by IPI and the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT), provided participants with a lot of practical, actionable information and case studies. The event was co-chaired by ACT president Brian Shaw, director of business services at The University of Pennsylvania, and Josh Kavanagh, director of transportation at the University of Washington.

In “Show Me the Money: The Business Case for TDM,” UrbanTrans North America president Joddie Gray, AICP, shared vital tips on transportation program funding. She noted that it’s important to create a strategic business plan, based on a clear picture of future transportation demand and desired transportation system performance.

Brian Shaw took to the podium to deliver “Setting the Stage: How Public Policy Can Create a Favorable Environment for Your TDM program.” Shaw explained how transportation programs are funded and how parking operations can be at the table to get their share of federal and other public resources.

Other speakers addressed “Getting What You’re Paying For: Metrics for TDM Programs,” “Building Your Operating Plan: Picking the Right Tools for the Job,” and other topics. The Summit’s afternoon panel discussions gathered the collective expertise of several speakers to field questions and provide guidance on implementing a variety of TDM strategies, in “An Operating Manual for Your TDM Tools.”

Media Crash Course: Speaking Parking Matters®

Wednesday’s general session brought Nick Calderone, owner of Reel Stories, and Phoenix CBS 5 News Anchor Sean McLaughlin to the General Session stage for a robust discussion on talking with the media.

“Nobody knows the information better than you,” said Calderone. “You’re in control.” He encouraged participants to remember going into a media interview that the reporter sought them out for their specific knowledge–”You are the smartest person in the room.”

The two presented their “Bes and Don’ts” for media interviews, encouraging parking professionals to be prepared, honest, passionate, expressive, accurate, and calm. “Everybody can tell if you’re not telling the truth,” said McLaughin. When faced with a reporter, they said, don’t lie, mislead, be evasive or defensive, speculate, or deny. And no matter what, don’t say “no comment.”

“Get that out of your brain,” said Calderone.

We Have Winners!

The last day of the IPI Expo meant lots of excitement on the floor as raffles were conducted and prizes were given away. Cheryl Woodward and Debra Wooden each won $500 in IPI’s Expo-Opoly game. After that, it was time to announce the year’s Best in Show exhibitor booths. Winners are:

  • Best in Show, 100-300 square feet
    •    First place: Eco Lights
    •    Second Place: Garage Juice Bar
    •    Third Place: Streetline
  • Best in Show, 400-600 square feet: Magnetic Autocontrol
  • Best in Show, 800-1200 square feet: Amano Mcgann
  • Best in Show, People’s Choice: Magnetic Autocontrol


Media Coverage

The IPI Conference & Expo generated lots of press coverage, as reporters and cameras descended on the show floor to see all the latest in parking technology, products, services, and trends. A few highlights:

  • KPNX-TV the NBC affiliate in Phoenix featured a live morning interview with Casey Jones and reporter Jaclyn Schultz, complete with a smart parking meter and sensing device to show.
  • KNXV-TV the ABC affiliate in Phoenix featured an interview with IPI Chair Casey Jones.
  • KPHO –TV the CBS affiliate in Phoenix sent anchor Sean McLaughlin for a report for the 10 oclock news, but had so much fun he couldn’t tear himself away and stayed for more than an hour.
  • Sean Holstege, reporter for the Arizona Republic newspaper, toured the floor with Casey Jones and Immediate Past Chair Cindy Campbell, asking in-depth and probing questions about all the new technology.
  • Cindy Campbell was interviewed for Phoenix news radio station KTAR.
  • Casey Jones will be the guest on the radio program Business for Breakfast on MoneyRadio 1510.
  • Finally, the New York Times sent a videographer to the Expo.