Tag Archives: virtual

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.

When Will I See You Again?

remote work isolation human interaction blogBy Roamy Valera, CAPP

Saying goodbye to someone after a visit or meeting was clearly underrated prior to the pandemic. We had become accustomed to moving freely and willingly to visit family, friends, and colleagues. In my case, getting on a plane once a week and traveling for meetings and events was as common as my wife driving to her office.

For some of us, affection when meeting and/or greeting someone is part of who we are. The new normal makes it difficult for that firm handshake or warm hug. Instead, we are faced with a virtual reality, where our camera and microphone must carry and communicate our feelings. At times we find ourselves around a virtual table, feeling invisible.

I am reminded daily of how important being in the moment is for our family, friends, and colleagues. And how critical human interaction is for our well-being. According to novelist Terry McMillan, “Every human being I know craves love and affection.” This seems to ring true in today’s environment, where distance from our daily routines has affected us and our ability to show our love and affection has taken a different form.

I hope and trust we find the right vehicle to continue to express our love and affection to those we care about and come in contact with during our new normal. In the end, your legacy and mine will be made more meaningful by the impact we have on the lives we touched.

When will I see you again? I hope soon and I hope I have the ability to give you a firm handshake and a warm hug. Stay safe!

Roamy Valera, CAPP, is CEO, North America with PaybyPhone.


Communication in a Virtual Training World

Virtual world blog postBy Kim E. Jackson, CAPP

I have the distinct honor of being a trainer for IPMI. I have been training for the past 23 years and one of the major highlights has always been the face-to-face interactions with trainees. During COVID-19, I decided to participate in Frontline Training Live Class Series in addition to teaching a session during the IPMI Virtual Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo. What an incredible experience! I was challenged in ways I did not think possible and realize this experience will make me a better manager.

In the world of Zoom and virtual meeting space, the interactive feedback I was used to during in-person trainings was often a black square, sometimes an initial and last name, making it impossible to see trainees’ reactions to the information I was sharing. Now there were those brave souls who turned their cameras on; they have no idea how helpful that was to this trainer.

Then there are the chat functions—a great feature when you have a co-facilitator, but very nerve wracking when training or teaching solo. It is nearly impossible to keep up with the flood of messages being shared to your questions or comments from others in attendance.

So you may be asking: How can this help me become a better manager? I have learned to be patient with the silence. I have learned eye contact, something I highly value, is not always necessary for comprehension or understanding. It is OK to take a risk and trust your own skills and abilities to communicate in any situation!

Kim E. Jackson, CAPP, is director of parking and transportation at Princeton University and an IPMI trainer.


Wrapping Up – and Taking Next Steps!


The past few months and weeks have been difficult—no matter what part of the industry or world you live in.

As we look toward a brighter future, coming together with our IPMI community through the 2020 IPMI Virtual Parking & Mobility  Conference & Expo reinforced everything we know about our members and friends. You were, as always, insightful, collaborative, generous, innovative, thoughtful, and inspiring. From on-demand to live education, and two amazing general sessions, we felt your courage and learned from your expertise. In the networking chats and the Expo, we explored every topic under the sun and collected so many resources. It would be easy to sit back having enjoyed the experience and move on.

Please don’t! Remember you have access to this valuable platform for an entire year. Some suggestions to stay engaged:

  • Keep learning, keep reading, and keep collaborating here and on all our platforms.
  • Go back and watch the sessions you didn’t have time for or the ones you want to revisit, including valuable resources and videos in the IPMI Now Resource Center (under Partners Pavilion 2 in the Expo Hall).
  • Connect with the experts you met in the Expo and keep them close in your network.
  • Collect all those CAPP points from the event—let us know if we can help in that pursuit!

If you weren’t able to attend, stay tuned for more information on how you can take part in the platform.

Thanks so much to our Board, volunteers, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and participants for taking this digital leap with us. Stay sharp, stay connected, and stay well.

Rachel Yoka, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, is IPMI’s vice president of program development.


Free Online Shoptalk: How to Not Suck at Virtual Networking

Free Online Shoptalk: How to Not Suck at Virtual Networking

Friday May 15, 2020  11 am-12 pm ET

Free to all industry professionals

Access Recording here


Networking is such a personal activity—it is not a one-size-fits-all practice. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details and miss out on the foundation of how to build and retain a retain an effective network. At the end of the day, no one cares what you do as much as whether you know and like them and whether you can be trusted.

In an industry built on the power of connecting face-to-face, establishing and growing meaningful relationships is undeniably critical to long-term success. During the current pandemic, networking has shifted from onsite to fully online.

Are you prepared to nurture your network this way? Are you prepared to take advantage of online opportunities to learn, collaborate, and grow through platforms like the 2020 IPMI Parking & Mobility Virtual Conference & Expo and IPMI’s ongoing free industry Shoptalks?

Get registered for this interactive webinar (it’s free!) and get ready to grow your personal and professional network, with lots of takeaway value and strategies you can use right away.

In this presentation, networking concierge Ashley Owens shares ways to nurture your current business relationships to create your own tactical, individualized approach. Save time by recognizing the best strategic partners and effectively engaging contacts through email, messaging, social media, and other digital tools. Dive in and engage with your peers in this highly interactive keynote, and learn how to balance your strengths, network strategically and with confidence, and craft an authentic, powerful, professional networking process to achieve a wildly successful career.


Ashley Owens Bio picPresenter: Ashley Owens

Ashley Owens is the first and only networking concierge who puts you in the right situation or gets you out of the wrong one. Ashley works as a strategic partner, attending events with professionals as an extension and champion of them. Starting her career as a personal and executive assistant to two celebrities in New York City, her experience in networking grew as she obtained positions in customer service, business analytics, and account management. Since 2017, she has grown her business into something she could have never dreamed of. Ashley is a host of two digital TV talk shows on RVNTV and This is It TV, speaking and interviewing on the topic of tactical networking. She has taken more than 700 introduction phone calls with business professionals looking to grow their network, and has made close to 1,000 introductions. She has spoken to over 50 networking groups, organizations, companies, and conferences, including the coveted Pennsylvania Conference for Women. She has been interviewed on the Mel Robbins Show on CBS, produces and hosts a podcast talking to entrepreneurs about their screw-ups, raises thousands of dollars for local nonprofits at her Cocktails and Conversation networking event, has over 185 referral partners,and has keynoted around the U.S.

My First Virtual Conference

IPMI goes virtualBy Justin Grunert

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, IPMI decided to transition from an in-person Conference to a virtual event. Our first priority was to keep all of our attendees, sponsors, and vendors safe.

It saddens me that I won’t be able to see many of you in person this year. But I am happy that I will still be able to interact with you virtually.

This may be your first virtual conference—the same for me. I have never attended a virtual event on this scale and am very excited to be a part of it!

Being part of IPMI’s professional development team, I’m looking forward to the process of making this year’s IPMI Conference & Expo a reality. We will be bringing you more than 40 hours of education, both live and on-demand. Every attendee will have the option to attend all of the education sessions and visit our virtual Expo hall.

With only weeks until the start of the Conference, here are five things to keep in mind:

  1. Review the agenda. The schedule shows our live events and the Virtual Expo Hall. Don’t worry about missing any sessions. IPMI will record all education sessions, and you will have access to those recordings until June 2, 2021.
  2. Find something new to learn! Review both the on-demand and live sessions and watch or attend those sessions. When I approach an event, I think about a problem or a skill I want to learn more about, and I make those sessions my priority.
  3. Network, network, network. IPMI will have virtual areas where you can discuss topics and network with your peers.
  4. Earn CAPP Points. This year will give you the best opportunity to earn the 25 CAPP Points for your new application or help fill in those holes for your recertification.
  5. Have fun! Remember, this will be the only conference you can attend while wearing your loungewear.

I am looking forward to seeing each and every one of you at this year’s Conference & Expo.

Justin Grunert is IPMI’s LMS and training coordinator.