TPP-2015-05-Viva Las Vegas!By Kim Fernandez

Viva parking! The world’s largest gathering of parking professionals will be held next month, and if you haven’t made your reservations for the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, it’s time to claim your space, reserve your hotel room, book your tickets, and block off the calendar. There’s more in store than ever before, and this is the single industry event that’s sure to leave you energized, educated, and enthusiastic about your role in parking, transportation, the economy, and your community.

The 2015 IPI Conference & Expo will be held June 29–July 2 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center in downtown Las Vegas, and the schedule is jam-packed with education sessions, lively and informative keynote addresses, the biggest and best Expo in the industry, and a few surprises that are sure to have you on the edge of your seat. With everything going on, this is one event you’ll want to attend.

This may be the year to arrive on site early, as there are several pre-Conference sessions and events planned. Those start with the five-day UVA Business Management class that kicks off Saturday, June 27, and the four-day Parking Operations and Management Immersion class that starts Sunday, June 28. Both offer CAPP points and CEUs and require advance registration.

Golfers will want to pack their clubs and arrive in Las Vegas by Sunday, June 28, for the 22nd Annual CAPP Classic Golf Tournament at the Bali Hai Golf Club. Designed by Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley in 2000, the par-71 course offers spectacular views of the Las Vegas Strip, along with seven acres of water features, more than 4,000 trees, and drama and thrills that build as the course progresses. Golf Digest named the club one of its top 50 resort courses, and it’s the perfect spot for a day of fun with parking industry friends and colleagues. Advance registration is required.

On Sunday and Monday, the Green Parking Council (GPC, an affiliate of IPI) will offer both the Green Garage Assessor Training and Green Garage Certification Workshop, preparing parking professionals, consultants, and others to green the industry by making facilities more sustainable. These courses will prepare participants to assess garages as part of the new Green Garage Certification program and get garage owners ready to certify their facilities. Advance registration is required.

The Expo: Unlimited Opportunity
If you’ve been to an IPI Expo before, you already know: There’s nothing on earth quite like it. This is the place new products and technologies are introduced, where parking professionals touch and try the things that make their businesses run smoothly, and where shaking hands and saying hello while perusing the aisles can lead to career-enhancing relationships that boost everyone’s productivity.

This year’s Expo will be bigger than ever, with more than 225 exhibitors showing off products, services, technologies, and the things you don’t even know you need until you see them, including a new Pre-Cast Pavilion on the show floor. A full-featured Conference iPhone and Android app and the printed program guide make it easy to plan time to see every exhibitor on your list, and the online Attendee Service Center at includes a Navigate the Expo tool to pinpoint exhibitors who have the products and services you’re already looking for.

Also on the Expo floor are PowerPitch forums, which are Q&A sessions focusing on problem-solving technologies, products, and developments to take home and put to use right away.

A complete list of exhibitors starts on p. 36; it’s a great guide to tear out and share with everyone in the office so they can all plan their time at this year’s

Education and Professional Development
With more than 60 sessions spread out through four days (including several popular, high-energy Ignite sessions), the education offered at the IPI Conference & Expo is second to none—if it’s on your mind, it’s here! Sessions will cover the latest technology and industry trends, plus new information and case studies that can be translated to specific companies and situations and put to work back at home.

IPI has partnered with the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) to offer more professional credits than ever before! As a result, our quality education programs offer Learning Units (LU) to architects and Professional Development Hours (PDH) to engineers. This track is also a provider of education with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Council of Examiners of Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES).

In addition we are accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this accreditation, IPI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for our four- and five-day management courses.

This year’s education program is divided into six specific tracks, designed to be taken as mini-curricula or in a mix-and-match format that offers a broad overview of the industry. The tracks are:

Building & Construction Management: Learn how parking structure aesthetics have changed, including precast concrete, site planning, functional design considerations, structural systems, mixed-use, and cost considerations. Case studies will be presented to highlight the concepts presented, and AIA credits are available to participants.

Customer Service: What parking organization couldn’t use more ideas and strategies to keep more customers happy? This track will explore how to remove barriers that detract from the visitor experience and replace them with high-engaging experiences that contribute to a positive impression.

Finance: Explore ways to improve revenue opportunities with the changing dynamics of parking. Learn about holistic transportation management, including bike valet services, pedestrian wayfinding, and support of transit options, along with municipal case studies, opportunities, and models.

Organizational Improvement: Learn about the benefits and important of accreditation, Complete Streets, and best-in-practice strategies that can be put to work just about anywhere. Gain a broad knowledge of external influences that shape and influence the direction of the parking industry.

Sustainability: Going green has never been more relevant, and this track offers the technologies, trends, and management practices that make a difference to the industry and its customers and communities. This track includes effective ways to best invest in sustainability and the future of parking through smart growth, along with the Certified Green Garage program and how international parking departments are embracing sustainability with great results.

Technology: The world and the parking industry are changing faster than ever. This track examines how the parking industry is getting ahead, including payment technology, license plate recognition, and case studies that illustrate how new advances have made the industry and individual operations leaner, more efficient, and better able to meet the needs of their customers.

Grab a cup of coffee and join us Thursday morning July 2, 8 – 9:30 a.m., for our first education session wrap-up. This will provide time to ask questions of peers, industry experts, and the presenters about various things you learned after the sessions. It’s a great way to catch up on sessions you couldn’t attend or get more information on some you found particularly fascinating.

Make time as well to visit this year’s Poster Session, with visual displays of ideas, technologies, and case studies in an easy-to-digest format. And don’t forget a wide array of sector-specific ShopTalks, including several new offerings.

Along with industry-specific education, the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo offers the outstanding, energizing, and informative keynotes attendees love. This year’s three general sessions are no exception:

Ten Transcendent Trends Reshaping the Future of Parking. John Martin, CEO and co-founder of GenerationMatters and CEO and co-founder of the Southern Institute of Research joins IPI to explore demographic, cultural, and technological trends that are having a profound influence on the parking industry. How will different cohorts use parking? How will technology change the way we operate? How can you develop your organization into a purposeful brand? This lively presentation will include actionable steps you must take to secure a competitive edge across generations.

What I Learned from Las Vegas (and Other Lessons from our Disruptive Times).
Join Gordon Price, director of the city program at Simon Fraser University, for this illustrated look at how tidal forces of change are altering urban areas and how this will affect parking. Las Vegas makes an exceptional case study, thriving as it does on change, and its mismatch between walkers and space; influx of millennials, and different business models make for excellent lessons. Get ready—this is just the beginning.

Slicing Through the Noise: Powerful Communication for Leadership and Professional Success. Barry Maher, author of Filling the Glass, joins IPI for an energetic session on communication: how to communicate to diplomatically and tactfully get whatever you want. You’ve read about him in USA Today, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times—this is a great opportunity to hear him live and learn his lessons for parking departments.

Also highly anticipated at this year’s general sessions are presentations of this year’s Awards of Excellence, Professional Recognition Program awards, and the Parking Matters® Marketing & Communications Awards, along with the graduation of the largest CAPP class in IPI history and first Certified Green Garages.

Be sure to attend the closing lunch on Thursday for great information and a performance by Nashville band Striking Matches—you’ve seen them on TV, and it’s a great chance to see these up-and-comers live!

Swimming with the Sharks at Park Tank
Ready to have some fun and get in on the latest and greatest parking ideas? Make sure to attend IPI Park TankSM, sponsored by IPI’s Smart Parking Alliance, where ideas for parking-related products and services will be floated in front of a panel of parking experts for feedback, criticism, and some fantastic prizes.

Modeled after the hit television show “Shark Tank,” Park Tank will be held Monday, June 29, and give participants a limited amount of time to present their break-out ideas to our panel of judges. Audience participation will be open to all, and it’s sure to weed out those who can swim with the sharks from those who aren’t quite ready to leave the fishbowl. You won’t want to miss this exciting and entertaining interactive session!

Facility Tours
There’s no town like Las Vegas to offer a first-person look at different parking facilities and how they’ve implemented technologies, policies, and practices to keep people moving. IPI’s facility tours give an up-close-and- personal experience, offering key takeaways that can be implemented almost anywhere.

This year’s tours include:

  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), focusing on the campus area near the Las Vegas Strip. Including two garages, along with signage, maintenance, and lighting, the tour will be conducted by Tad McDowell, director of parking and transportation services at UNLV, and Casey Jones, CAPP, vice president of institutional services, SP+.
  • McCarran International Airport, a 1.5-hour bus tour of parking facilities at the ninth busiest airport in North America. This includes the new $2.4 billion Terminal 3.
  • City of Las Vegas, a partial walking tour that includes the main facility for SHIFT, which features all electric vehicles and bicycles. Also included are the Neonopolis Parking Garage, built as part of a public-private partnership, and the downtown Fremont East Entertainment District.
  • Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino and its guest-first valet service operation. Led by LAZ Parking, this is one of the newest hotel/casinos in town and parks more than 500 cars per day with a team of more than 50 employees. Includes a demonstration of this facility’s interactive valet technology and ends with happy hour at the Grand’s rooftop pool.

Get Social
It wouldn’t be an IPI Conference & Expo without the social and networking events that bring together old and new friends for fun and invaluable networking, and Las Vegas is the perfect city for it.

Start off with the Meet & Mingle: Wise Guys and the Fremont Experience on Monday, July 29. Board one of our comfortable shuttles and be whisked away to the Mob Museum for a private evening of fun, relaxing, and networking with other attendees. After the reception, shuttles will run to and from the Fremont District for on-your-own exploration and fun.

Start Monday morning with a 5K fun run—a great way to get to know other parking professionals from around the world. Special receptions for first-time attendees and attendees from outside the U.S. also offer terrific networking and social opportunities. Tickets are required for some events.

There’s plenty of time for independent fun in Las Vegas—visit for more information on Explore the Area tours.

All in all, the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo is a not-to-miss event that’s sure to energize, educate, and inspire everyone in a parking organization, from the new frontline employee to the seasoned executive. With more than 3,000 attendees from all over the world, this is the place to make connections that count.

Time’s running out—register and reserve your hotel room today. Visit for more information and to save your spot. See you in Las Vegas!

Kim Fernandez is editor of The Parking Professional. She can be reached at

TPP-2015-05-Viva Las Vegas!