Record numbers of parking professionals have made the most of their time at the IPI Conference & Expo in Fort Lauderdale, _EST1388
Florida, taking in educational sessions, doing business on the Expo hall floor, and having fun with friends around town.

Day one kicked off Sunday with the first round of education–sessions are organized into five distinct tracks–and the opening event at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Science and Discovery, where attendees mingled among fascinating and fun interactive exhibits. Also popular was the first Poster Session on the third floor of the convention center, where exhibits on parking projects and innovations offered information in a new format–this continues throughout the conference just outside the education session rooms.

Yesterday started with a touching awards ceremony that honored top professionals in the IPI Professional Recognition Program. A highlight was the presentation of the newly-named James M. Hunnicutt, CAPP, Parking Professional of the Year award by two of the late association founder’s daughters to Roamy Valera, CAPP. (see the July issue of The Parking Professional for more–coming soon!).

_EST0991Following awards, speaker Scott Brusaw took the stage to talk about his Solar Roadways project, which has the potential to replace asphalt and concrete on parking lots, sidewalks, and roads with LED-equipped solar panels, generating power for businesses and communities, electric vehicle charging, and variable lighting that can be configured for lines, messages, and even instant warnings that something’s on the surface up ahead (read The Parking Professional’s cover story on Solar Roadways here). Able to melt snow and ice before they have a chance to accumulate on roads or parking lots, Solar Roadways has attracted the attention of government agencies, large companies, and parking professionals.

The concept was clearly popular with attendees, many of whom visited with Brusaw and his wife and co-inventor, Julie, at the Expo, where a piece of solar road sparked a lot of conversation.

More excitement awaits today, with a presentation by Mary Smith, Walker Parking Consultants, about the future of parking, the 2013 IPI Awards of Excellence, education sessions that include IPI’s first IGNITE session–five minutes and 20 slides for each energizing speaker–and more Expo hours and PowerPitch forums on the floor. It’s going to be a great day in Florida!