TPP-2014-05-Bigger in TexasBy Peter Caporale

Shine your boots and pack your bags—the International Parking Institute (IPI) is going to Texas and looking forward to a rip-roaring four days with thousands of professionals from all segments of the industry, ready for networking, education, and some great fun!

The 2014 IPI Conference & Expo is just a few short weeks away—June 1–4—and promises to be another record-breaking gathering of industry professionals who flock to it for everything it offers. The top-notch education, keynote speakers, massive Expo hall, and unmatched networking opportunities IPI is known for will join new events and a few surprises for a week no one will forget. Experts to novices will enjoy opportunities to broaden their horizons, expand their contact lists, see and touch the latest in technology and trends, and celebrate their peers and friends throughout the event. And the Gaylord Texan Resort is the perfect place for all of it.

It’s time to embrace your inner cowpoke and get ready for the biggest and best gathering the parking industry has to offer. Sunup to sundown, there’s a lot to do, learn, and see in Texas, where everything is bigger, y’all!

The industry’s top educational opportunities happen at the IPI Conference & Expo, and 2014 is no exception. This year’s Conference educational program consists of more than 60 education sessions organized into five tracks, including three fast-paced Ignite sessions (last year’s debut was packed to the walls). Ignite sessions, in which speakers make their points in five minutes with slides that automatically advance, were introduced at the 2013 IPI Conference & Expo, and are back by wildly popular demand. Each session will offer eight speakers who share information quickly, efficiently, and in a very entertaining way for the audience!

This year’s five educational tracks include:

Sustainability. These sessions will discuss some effective ways to green your existing footprint through new technologies, practice methods, and new ideas to satisfy the needs of your customers, your business, and the environment. Want an example? The Future of Parking Sustainability will take a look at the different innovations currently being developed and how they will affect the future of city planning. Attendees will discuss the roles transportation and parking will play as growth and innovations continue to grow at an exponential rate.

Finance. Here, attendees gain exposure to industry best practices, understand revenue management methods, learn to leverage technology to maintain financial security and objectives, and more. These sessions include Finance and Human Resources: Two Departments, One Goal, which will examine the critical and essential areas of overlap that connect the finance and human resources departments and require them to work together effectively. Attendees will gain insight into the implications of this interaction for their entire organization.

Technology. It’s affecting everyone in the industry, and these sessions focus on understanding the most significant developments and trends and how they contribute to improving the profitability and user experience of your parking operation. One highlight will be The Dynamic Future of Parking Technology, in which attendees will explore the progression away from static parking facility management and learn how to move toward a dynamic approach that maximizes the use of 21st century technology to increase efficiency, improve revenue, and reduce risk. This session will cover cutting-edge parking technology and equipment, setting goals for your parking operation, and capturing data and putting it to work for your business.

Organizational improvement. Here, focus on the business drivers of customer service, strategies to manage data, performance measurement, marketing, and the ability of an organization to accomplish its mission. Attendees will see why the organizations with the best talent who have the ability to access information and ongoing organizational improvement programs have the biggest opportunity for success. As an example, Changing the Perception and Reality of Parking and Transit from a Functional Department to a Mission-Enhancing Service starts with the concept that parking and transportation are integral parts of university and municipality missions. These functions are the first and last impressions made, drive customer satisfaction, and contribute to primary service delivery. Costs rise annually. Validating services and enhancing value delivered to constituents is a continuing battle. This session is perfect for agencies and institutions that want a facelift for their department, want to enhance communications and messaging, or those considering a management move for parking and transportation departments.

Best Practices. These sessions offer parking professionals an opportunity to increase their exposure to leaders (and organizations) who have established advanced standards on various aspects of their parking business, based on their expertise. Consider Parking Transformation of a City: From Local to Global, From Past to Future, with Policy and Technology. As parking demand outgrows our resources, a transformation is necessary to enhance our parking management. This case study will share what one city did with limited resources to achieve positive results. Attendees will learn about politics, technology, policy, and more, and the presentation will cover large projects that affect citywide parking and the small details that enhance customers’ experiences. This is a roadmap for developing a comprehensive parking program.

The Expo
The 2014 IPI Expo will not only host more than 250 companies in more than 150,000 square feet, but offer attendees the opportunity to be introduced to the most up-to-date and comprehensive collection of the parking industry’s products, services, and technologies. Everyone loves the world’s biggest parking conference and expo—99 percent of last year’s attendees said the IPI Expo has affected their purchasing decisions! And 95 percent said they spend more than eight hours seeking opportunities to ask questions directly to company representatives. Products, services, technologies, and ideas are all in Dallas next month.

With so much to see, you’ll definitely want to plan your time on the Expo floor. A list of exhibitors starts on p. 42.

GPC Green Garage Certification Training Program
Going green is more than a trend: It’s a smart business practice that promises to grow as time goes on. This new training program is gaining a reputation as the LEED certification program of parking garages. The Green Parking Council, an affiliate of IPI, spent more than three years working with partners from the U.S. Green Building Council (which developed LEED certification), the Urban Land Institute, and leaders in parking, real estate, technology, and sustainability to develop the new Green Garage Certification. This is a great opportunity to be at the forefront of an industry milestone—this is the first time the course will be offered to the industry. It is a separate-registration event and is limited to the first 40 registrants.

Keynote Speakers
This year’s IPI Conference & Expo keynote speakers are leaders who will discuss a wide spectrum of subjects. Don’t miss Dallas Morning News columnist and renowned speaker Dave Lieber for How to Tell the World’s Greatest Stories About Parking. Also on this year’s agenda is U.S Mint Director of Coin Studies Jon Cameron, who will discuss research on alternative metal compositions for coins. A change in metal compositions of coins would have an impact on the parking industry, and this is a session parking professionals will want to plan to attend.
There are some great surprises on our keynote list this year, too. It’s going to be an impressive rodeo!

Facility Tours

Saddle up (or hop on the bus) for facility tours around the Dallas area, which offer an unmatchable opportunity to see technologies, designs, and trends in practice. Experience the heart of Dallas and its surrounding city’s parking firsthand in walkthroughs of local university, municipality, and airport parking facilities with leaders showcasing their facilities, standards, and new measures taken to improve their parking facilities.

Poster Session
The 2014 Parking Poster Session will showcase smart, successful parking projects in a casual atmosphere—take your time to peruse ideas, practices, and properties at the top of their game. This program will showcase case studies and projects from around the globe that successfully illustrate innovative parking solutions. Plan to spend some time in the Texas Ballroom grand foyer for the latest in smart parking technology, sponsored by IPI’s Smart Parking Alliance.

Recognizing Excellence
This year’s CAPP class is the largest in IPI history. Be sure to attend the CAPP graduation to cheer the graduates on—it’s quite an accomplishment. You’ll also want to bring your applause to this year’s Awards of Excellence and Professional Recognition awards, recognizing the best and brightest in our industry. Then, we’ll celebrate those who excel at marketing and public relations with the inaugural Parking Matters® Marketing & Communications Awards, which are sure to be chock-full of great ideas.

PowerPitch Forums
With so many similar products on the market, it can be difficult to determine which best fit a parking professional’s needs. To help, industry suppliers will offer open-forum panel presentations on the Expo floor to provide answers to attendee questions. These informative and educational pitches promise to help break down difficult purchasing decisions and offer clarity in what can be a confusing marketplace.

Networking and Fun
There’s nothing quite like meeting colleagues, peers, and industry friends face-to-face, and the 2014 IPI Conference & Expo brings together more parking professionals than any other industry event. Networking opportunities abound, and this is the perfect year to try something new:

Looking for a stress-relieving activity to kick off your 2014 IPI Conference & Expo experience? The 21st CAPP Classic Golf Tournament will be held at the Dallas Cowboys Golf Club on Saturday, May 31. It’s a gorgeous course and promises to be a great day on the links.

Lace up your running shoes for a 5K Fun Run (no pressure!) with friends, 6 a.m., Sunday, June 1. Get your heart pumping and fresh air coursing through your lungs while meeting new friends and catching up with those you already know in a beautiful city.

Never been to an IPI Conference & Expo before? Don’t miss the First-Timers Welcome Orientation, to say hello to your fellow newbies and veteran attendees who can help show you the ropes.

International is the first word in IPI, and there will be special opportunities for our international friends. A booth on the Expo floor is dedicated to international attendees and the Global Parking Associations Leadership Summit (GPALs). GPALs will meet on Sunday morning, and there will be an International Reception on Sunday evening. International attendees and members of IPI’s International Outreach Committee can be identified by the International ribbons on their badges.

The Opening Meet & Mingle offers food, drink, and fabulous conversation with others in the industry. Reconnect with people you met last year and network with new-to-you friends.

Don’t forget to participate in the Expo-opoly game, back for another fun year! Pick up some parking bling at the ShopIPI store after you make the most of your membership at the IPI Member Service Center on the show floor. And be sure to visit The Parking Professional in booth 1041 for your chance to win an iPad Mini.

If it’s important to parking, it’ll be in Texas, June 1–4 at the 2014 IPI Conference & Expo. Be sure to reserve your spot and bring your cowboy hat—lots to see and do on the range this year. Visit for more details and to register.

Peter Caporale is IPI’s director of operations. He can be reached at or 571.699.6944.

TPP-2014-05-Bigger in Texas