Tag Archives: networking

Where Do We Go from Here?

By Julius E. Rhodes, SPHR

HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) has come a mighty long way, but we still need to do more. Most millennials are already a part of our workforce—in fact, millennials are the biggest segment of the U.S. labor force. The oldest members of Gen­eration Z are starting their careers now, while baby boomers continue to make their retreat. We must keep in mind that our ability to be successful will require us to repre­sent the interests of the people we serve. At the end of the day, it’s people that matter.

Designing a culture, addressing the climate, and being obsessive about ensuring organizational pro­cesses are all critical. I see the correlation between climate and culture as an iceberg: What is beneath the surface of the water is much more expansive than what we see above. Climate is what we see above the water level, but culture (beneath the water) will re­quire us to do some very real and hard work.

Martin Luther King Jr. once famously said, “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.”

Establishing Balance

What will it take to accomplish this feat? In a word, balance—between the instrumental approach to HR, which emphasizes the pure business objectives, and a humanistic approach, which is more broadly focused on concern for people and the business.

It doesn’t matter how we arrived where we are today. Whether you are a boomer, millennial, a mem­ber of Gen Z, or any other designation, we’re all in this together, and our ability to connect and support each other is essential to our success. We need to remember that while our age might place us in a cer­tain demographic category, that category is not the be-all and end-all regarding how we see ourselves and how we identify and associate with others.

The common thinking is that millennials don’t save or aren’t loyal to an organization. The common think­ing is that baby boomers aren’t tech savvy or that they lack creativity. I say hogwash—all we need to do is identify one millennial who is an astute investor or has designs on staying with a firm or one baby boom­er who not only knows technology but was an early adopter, and the common thinking goes out the door.

If you are like me and many others, you certainly know people whose ability to relate and identify with other generations places them in a different realm than the one in which they were born.

Where we go from here depends on a few things. HR can lead the charge, but it cannot be solely re­sponsible for its ultimate success. Success always requires a team effort. Here are the areas we must all rally around:

  • Engaging others, networking, and emotional intelligence.
  • Moving from employee to intrapreneur (some­one who promotes innovative development and marketing).
  • Using your personal brand to influence others.

Emotional Intelligence

As we think about the future, we hear a lot of talk about augmented reality and artificial intelligence, but it is emotional intelligence that will drive our ability to develop effective networks and engage others. Without going into a technical dissertation, emotional

intelligence operates in two primary domains: self-competence and social competence. Self-competence means self-awareness and self-management. Social competence means social awareness and relationship management. Not only are these areas of self-discovery, but if we are able to master them, they will allow us to help move our team members from being employees to having a more vested interest in our operations.

Your Brand

I’ve spoken a great deal about personal branding and have written a book and workbook on the topic. Having a consistent personal brand is paramount to put people at ease and connect to us. A consistent personal brand will either bring people to you or push them away; no matter how good we believe we are, we all need advocates. Just because we are successful today doesn’t mean we will continue to be so tomor­row, especially if we lose sight of the most important aspect of our existence: the people we work with and through to accomplish our objectives.

Achieving the balance I spoke of earlier may well be the tipping point for HR and our organizations. If we are to continue to move forward and be the best, we must be that for each other and those we serve.

Read the article here.

JULIUS E. RHODES, SPHR, is founder and principal of the mpr group and author of BRAND: YOU Personal Branding for Success in Life and Business. He can be reached at jrhodes@mprgroup.info or 773.548.8037.

THE BUSINESS OF PARKING | Partners in Marketing

By Bill Smith

SOMETIMES THE MOST VALUABLE MARKETING happens through partnerships. Companies that provide products and services to parking owners and operators are often in a unique position to promote their own brands while providing valuable added benefits to their customers.

Savvy parking consultants have been doing this for years. They publicize the results of the parking plans they develop for cities, explaining their recom­mendations and how they will benefit the communi­ty. This obviously promotes their own brands, but it also provides an invaluable service to their custom­ers by helping build support for the parking plan.
This can be a particularly good strategy for tech­nology providers. Most parking technologies are designed to improve the parker experience, but they can’t succeed if parkers don’t know about the tech­nology or aren’t aware that it’s available to use.

Launching a Program

Virtually any parking technology company can ben­efit from this approach. For example, by publicizing a new installation, parking guidance providers can attract new parkers who want more convenient park­ing to that garage. By doing so, they raise awareness of their products, while helping solidify their rela­tionship with the customer by helping the customer generate more revenue.

Similarly, a pre-booking company can promote going live at a particular garage, airport, or campus parking system. By generating publicity to inform lo­cal parkers that they can reserve parking in advance, a company can create more business for itself and for the parking owner it is serving.

Case Study

Recognizing that mobile payment only benefits driv­ers and cities if people are using it, PayByPhone has created what it calls the Adoption Success Model, a customizable program through which local market­ing and adoption programs are developed to meet a community’s unique needs and requirements. The marketing programs may include any of a number of approaches, including publicity (press releases and feature stories); social media marketing and advertising; and event partnerships with local radio, television, or print media companies.
PayByPhone’s program for the City of Seattle stands out. In summer 2017, they initiated the Soak In Seattle campaign. The summer-long campaign was designed to attract 6,000 new mobile payment customers and generate 840,000 new transactions. Those goals were exceeded through a combination of marketing tactics that included free parking of­fers, street team ambassadors, paid print and digital advertising and public relations, paid ads on social media sites, and a custom landing page.

One of the more creative—and fun—elements of the program was the “parking sticker” campaign. 

Through this campaign a car was covered bumper to bumper with stickers, and anyone who downloaded the PayByPhone app was given a chance to select a parking sticker off the car to win a prize. The marketing program was featured in numerous stories in local newspapers and on local television and radio, enhancing its effectiveness. PayByPhone has run similar programs in Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada and in San Francisco, Calif., as well as for private owners, universi­ties, and hospitals across the U.S. and Canada.

Through these programs, PayByPhone is generating revenue for itself, but it’s also promoting the interests of its customers and strengthening its relationship with the customer. This type of marketing presents a true win-win scenario for both entities.
This approach can be put to good use by nearly any busi­ness serving parking owners or operators. Whether your company is a technology provider, consultant, design firm, human resources business—really any type of supplier—it makes sense to consider marketing in partnership with your customers.

Read the article here.

BILL SMITH, APR, is principal of Smith-Phillips Strategic Communications and contributing editor of The Parking Professional. He can be reached at bsmith@ smith-phillips.com or 603.491.4280.


Reaching Out

By Mary Mabry, CAPP

When we discuss why parking, mobility and transportation industry professionals love what they do, it involves many aspects of what I term conflict resolution. In my conversations with numerous professionals, I have heard how difficult it is to maneuver opportunities, provide options, and stay on top of what individuals or groups feel is a travesty as far as their idea of convenient parking is concerned.

Those of us who have been in the industry awhile know we have resources and knowledgeable professionals who have been there, done that, and have the T-shirt. I have found they are always happy to share their solutions. However, what do our newer industry co-workers do? In my opinion, the first step should be to reach out to their state  or regional association–each group has a vast amount of resources and networking opportunities.

Next would be to look at additional options to develop those relationships and grow your resource pool. For me, that was my introduction to IPMI and my first class toward obtaining my CAPP certification. On my first day, walking out to go to lunch, I called my boss to thank him for allowing me to attend. He knew I struggled daily trying to fit into the mold of management, working under the police side, meeting the needs of the university campus community, and working in a gray area. My first words to him were, “I have found a new group of individuals who understand me, who actually relate to me and my job, and have opened up so many doors for me that I feel like I belong here.”

For some professionals, this may be a bit over the top but for those  who struggle trying developing the middle ground of conflict resolution,  you know how difficult this can be. If no one has told you or involved you, please know we are all here to help each other and reach out. That is what is so special and amazing about this profession and industry.

Mary Mabry, CAPP, is product manager/client advocate-parking solutions, with Cardinal Tracking, Inc.

IPI Rocks Music City

IPI Rocks Music City with biggest conference and expo than ever before

By Kim Fernandez

This May, the 2016 IPI Conference & Expo offers more than ever before.

Nobody knows more about staying in tune than the people of Nashville, Tenn.—Music City, USA. And nobody knows more about staying in tune with parking than IPI, the biggest association of professionals in the industry. Put the two together, and it’s an unforgettable and invaluable experience, and it’s coming up next month. The 2016 IPI Conference & Expo, May 17–20, brings the most education and networking, the largest Expo in parking and transportation, and a complete professional tune-up for parking professionals to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center. You’ll harmonize with more than 3,500 peers from around the world (they’re coming from 45 countries!) and strike a chord while learning from industry leaders, engaging in high-energy sessions and roundtables, and soaking in real-world ideas and lessons you’ll take home to put to work for your organization and your career.

All of this is set against the remarkable background of Nashville, whose rich history and lively culture offer a visiting experience like no other city in the world. Ready for the parking event of the year? Read on for more information on this year’s plans, exciting events, and registration information. It’s time to tune up!

More Than Ever Before
The 2016 IPI Conference & Expo offers something for parking professionals in every segment of the industry. Whether you work in operations, management, planning and design, sustainability, or enforcement, you’ll find tremendous value in this year’s event. More than 45 education sessions in five tracks, inspiring keynotes that hit all the right notes, and the biggest parking-specific Expo in the world all combine with countless networking events to offer an invaluable experience.

No matter your industry experience or expertise, you’ll find lots of new ideas in Nashville next month, organized into five unique tracks of formal education:

  • Personal Development. Set your personal or professional goals, and understand the difference between book smarts and street smarts.
  • Technology & Innovation. If it’s new or coming down the pike, it’s here. Learn about the innovations and improvements that will affect your operation.
  • Finance & Auditing. By the numbers—if it’s part of your spreadsheets or bottom line, it’s part of this track.
  • Mobility & Alternative Transportation. Learn where you and your business fit into the new mobility equation and how to make the most of these trends.
  • Planning, Design, & Construction. Explore best practices and take a deeper dive into more complex topics that will help you plan, build, and maintain your facilities.

Specialize in one track for in-depth education, or pick and choose for a broader experience. And don’t miss the high-energy IGNITE session, where speakers deliver their messages in rapid-fire tempo for presentations that are concise and entertaining. Looking for more? Register for one of two in-depth, pre-Conference programs and learn to become either a Green Garage Assessor or APO Site Reviewer.

All IPI Conference education sessions offer CAPP points, and candidates can also register for two multi-day CAPP courses (University of Virginia Business Management and Behind the Fine Print: A Blueprint to Parking Management, Operations, and Regulations) offered on-site. Visit ipiconference.parking.org for registration information and details.

IPI keynote sessions are educational, inspiring, and high-energy, and this year is no exception. Meet Dennis Snow, a 20-year veteran of the Walt Disney Company, who has a passion for service excellence. Who in parking doesn’t want to provide the best customer experience possible? Snow presents “Learning a Culture of Service Excellence,” focusing on developing a service excellence strategy, executing it, cultivating buy-in and dedication from employees, and highlighting specific leadership behaviors that help hardwire excellence into an organization’s culture (see p. 26 for more).

Jump into the Park Tank™
Did you catch last year’s IPI Park Tank competition? Based on television’s popular “Shark Tank,” this is where entrepreneurs and innovators face tough parking “sharks” to try and get their dreams off the ground. This year, it’s a General Session, and you won’t want to miss the excitement! Last year’s contestants say Park Tank gave their companies huge boosts (See p. 44 in the February issue of The Parking Professional for more), and this year’s expect even more. The competition is fierce, and it’s going to be exhilarating.

The Networking!
IPI Conference & Expo veterans know there’s no networking like IPI networking—where else are the industry’s top leaders, biggest innovators, and most connected professionals together in one place, ready for a conversation day or night? This year’s event promises even more unparalleled opportunities to get to know your peers from around the world and tap into their expertise in structured events, outdoor activities, or casually walking in the halls. A few highlights:

  • A day of fun and introduction awaits you Tuesday, May 17, from golf to walking/running to Nashville tours (even on Segways!) and paddleboarding or ziplining.
  • First-time attendees and new IPI members can get to know each other on Wednesdsay, May 18, and Thursday, May 19, in casual events designed to get you oriented to the Conference and introduce you to new friends.
  • A Taste of Nashville, this year’s opening welcome event, takes you to the Grand Ole Opry for a reception and show like no other city can deliver (this is a two-part event; the second half at the Opry requires separate ticketing).
  • IPI’s Young Professionals in Parking (YPIP) will enjoy a special mixer, Beer, Ball, & BBQ, complete with a baseball game!
  • State & Regional Associations welcome their friends to a beer garden mixer that kicks off the Nashville experience in great style at a fabulous downtown location.

Be sure to make time to connect with new and old friends from parking at these events and lots more opportunities for networking. This is real value-added, and it’s only at IPI.

The Expo
It’s the biggest and best parking Expo in the world, and this year offers more exhibitors, products, services, innovations, technologies, and ideas than ever before, all in one massive 170,000-square-foot space (bigger than the famous Ryman Auditorium!).

Going green? It’s easy to find Green Star program exhibitors, featuring sustainable products and services, by looking for special markers on the show floor, right in front of designated booths.

Looking for in-depth insight? That’s easy too. TECHtalks are 45-minute-long presentations on the show floor that will explain different technologies and the best ways to implement them in your operations for the biggest bang.

This is that huge show your colleagues use to improve their businesses, customer service, and the bottom line. It’s the best place to see everything new under one roof, and with more than 12 hours of Expo time, you’ll be able to fully explore any future purchasing decisions. See p. 38 for a complete listing of this year’s exhibitors and to start planning your experience.

Spotlighting the Brightest
Need more inspiration? Join IPI in recognizing this year’s CAPP graduating class, Awards of Excellence, Professional Recognition Program awards, and Marketing & Communications Awards winners in presentations that will warm your heart and give you some great ideas you can put to work at home. This year, Certified Green Garage and Accredited Parking Organization (APO) leaders will also be highlighted—you’ll definitely find new ideas here.

Music City
As always, the 2016 IPI Conference & Expo takes place in a vibrant city—Nashville, Tenn., birthplace of so much of your favorite music and an experience unto itself. With fantastic restaurants, an unbelievable music scene for both up-and-comers and already-famous singers and songwriters, and charming shops and historical attractions, Nashville has something for everyone.

Did you Know:

  • Nashville’s United Records is one of only four remaining vinyl record manufacturers in the U.S.
  • The Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry, is widely considered the best theater in the nation.
  • Jazz and rock play a huge part of Nashville’s music history. Greats that include Jimi Hendrix, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Etta James, and B.B. King played in local clubs.
  • Oprah Winfrey was raised in Nashville.
  • Tennessee was the last state to secede from the Union during the Civil War and the first to be readmitted when fighting ended.
  • Three Presidents—Andrew Jackson, James Polk, and Andrew Johnson—were from Tennessee.
  • Goo Goo Clusters, considered the nation’s oldest combination candy bar and a Southern icon, are produced by the Standard Candy Company, which can make 20,000 every hour.
  • The Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson’s home, has a driveway in the shape of a guitar.
  • The Parthenon in Centennial Park is the world’s only exact replica of its famous Greek namesake.
  • The radio program now known as the Grand Ole Opry was founded in 1925 by the National Life & Accident Insurance Company.

Elvis Presley recorded more than 250 songs at RCA’s Studio B on Nashville’s Music Row. The red, blue, and green lights still in the studio were left over from one of his Christmas albums—the crew installed them and cranked the air conditioning as low as it would go to
get the famous musician in the holiday spirit when recording in July.

The Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center contains nine acres of indoor gardens, complete with a 44-foot waterfall, and is the largest non-gaming property in the U.S.

Nashville has more than 120 live-music venues. Those that play music four or more nights a week have guitarpick-shaped “Live Music Venue” signs.

Ready for the single best parking event of the year? Don’t miss the 2016 IPI Conference & Expo—we’ve only scraped the surface of all the excitement and value. For more information, Conference registration, and everything you need to reserve your room at the Gaylord Opryland, visit IPIConference.parking.org—don’t wait! We can’t wait to welcome you to Nashville!

KIM FERNANDEZ is editor of The Parking Professional. She can be reached at fernandez@parking.org.

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