Tag Archives: conferences

Virtual Conferences–Silver Linings

By Gary Means, CAPP

Back in late February, many of us attended a new IPMI conference called the IPMI Mobility & Innovation Summit. If you didn’t attend, you missed a great deal of excellent content, great speakers, and networking opportunities (a new opportunity is coming in June!). If you did attend, you have access to the recordings of those sessions. The ability to go back on your own time and revisit those sessions is what I am writing about today. Of course, we all miss the in-person conferences and the opportunity to be with our parking and mobility friends and colleagues. As good as the past virtual conferences have been, we all agree that they are not quite as impactful as the in-person conferences and we look forward to being together again soon.

Back in June 2020, IPMI hosted the first industry-wide parking and mobility virtual conference. I’m a parking and mobility geek so I’m not saying try this at home, but I finished my goal of watching each and every session from that conference–over 36 hours of great learning. Basically, every Thursday at 3:30 I blocked out an hour to catch up on a session.

Here are a couple of my takeaways or silver linings I found: In the past, we have all gone to in-person conferences where you must choose between two sessions that are held at the same time. “Oh man, these both sound great, which one do I choose?” Well, now you can go back and watch the session you missed. Another takeaway for me as I went back and watched each session was the reminder of what great people with have in the parking and mobility industry. In the past at an in-person conference, how many of you, like me, might not attend a certain session because we don’t know the speaker and instead, we go over to the session given by our favorite CAPP classmate, etc.? The ability to go back and review these online sessions is a great way to get to know other amazing people in our industry as well.

Let me encourage you to be on the lookout for any new virtual conferences that may pop up before we can once again meet in person; when they’re over, go back and watch the recordings again or for the first time. I hope to see you all in Tampa in December.

Gary Means, CAPP, is executive director of the Lexington & Fayette County Parking Authority and chair-elect of IPMI’s Board of Directors.

Don’t Go It Alone! The Benefits of Attending Events as a Team

By Rita Pagan, DES

During the past few years, online conferences have gained traction as an alternative or add-on to in-person professional conferences when budgets are limited. With the onset of Coronavirus, virtual events have become the norm for now. I believe we’ll move into 2021 with hybrid events that allow people to attend events within their budgets.
Attending an event as a team allows you to divide and conquer, cover more topics and share your session takeaways later. Here are a few things teams can benefit from when attending an event together:

  • Increase Your Team Expertise & Knowledge. The ability to attend more tracks and sessions allows your team to fill their calendars with live-streamed sessions as well as recorded presentations later.
  • Enthusiasm. The real value of attending an event with your team can’t be measured in a statistic. You’ll see the value in how it permeates your entire team culture, as your staff not only bonds during the event, but also brings fresh ideas to the meeting room “table” for weeks, months, and years to come.
  • Idea Generation. Schedule time with internal teams for retrospectives and follow-up working sessions to translate their virtual event experience into takeaways and action items.

“Great things in business are never done by one person; they are done by a team of people.” — Steve Jobs

Register your team of five for IPMI’s upcoming Mobility & Innovation Summit for as little as $40 per person! Ask us how at events@parking-mobility.org.

Rita Pagan, DES, is IPMI’s events and exhibits manager.

Parking People

By Matt Penney

I just returned from a parking conference in Arkansas.  I’m now sitting back at my desk trying to catch up on everything I missed during my time away.  Work stacks up so quickly.  As my attention span gets the better of me, I find my mind drifting back to thoughts from the conference.

This morning, I have been sharing highlights of conversations with the Baylor office staff.  Small nuggets mostly; quick thoughts on how other universities solved a specific problem.  Sometimes they’re words of warning about issues another department encountered. We laughed together when I repeated crazy customer stories from across the country–it’s good to know it’s not just Baylor.

Then there are stories I internalized.  A peer manager at another university visibly strained by his supervisor, a micro manager who doesn’t understand parking.  A team of directors who all knew their operation inside and out.  How the room was filled with humble leaders and a handful of bold karaoke singers.

At that conference, almost without exception, what I saw impressed me.  Creative problem solvers looking for the best technology for their campus.  Budget-conscious planners stretching to get the most bang for their buck.  Visionaries who didn’t necessarily like the rise of yet another mode of transportation but understand the trends need attention.  Most importantly, I saw managers who cared about their customers.

I’ve heard it said that no one chooses parking, that parking chooses you. From what I can tell, parking has chosen some outstanding people.

Matt Penney is director of parking and transportation services at Baylor University.