The IPI 2017 Experience: A First-Timers Rundown

Tradeshow & Premiums

The IPI 2017 tradeshow floor was a treat to explore. Each booth was unique, from a massive bus, to 30 foot high displays, to video games, to the humble 10×10. I anticipated seeing a more homogeneous giveaway offering from booth to booth, but was really surprised at the variety of trinkets being distributed. A few unique items were licorice packaged like a candy bar, a smiley face fan, and casino chips (yes, real money for Harrah’s down the road – and I’m still wondering how they were able to set that up). I’d love to hear what everyone else though was worth taking home – be sure to comment below!

ParkPlus had our crawfish cut-out for you to take pics with, plus a scooter luggage giveaway. Jeri was our big winner on that – congrats! Hoping to get some video footage of her in action with it soon… In the meantime, below are Richard and Miguel modelling it before the big giveaway!

Richard and Miguel at the ParkPlus booth at IPI 2017

ParkPlus giving away a luggage scooter

Conference-Scheduled Activities

First, can we have a moment for how fun the opening night event was?! Mardi Gras World had some great displays. Did you know Chick-fil-A’s “Eat Mor Chikin” campaign cows are made there? If you peered through the window of the office in the middle of the floor, there were several cows hanging out waiting for assignment. If you’re not familiar with this 20+ year old campaign, check it out here. Then, IPI had us move on to the outdoor garden and appetizers. I wanted to get my tarot cards read, but after half an hour in line, eating took priority. Did anyone get theirs done? Or have their palm read? Anyways, dinner could be found through a secret entrance past the bathrooms (hopefully you didn’t miss it). The food was accompanied by a great cover band and a highly entertaining tap group. I even broadcast our first Periscope!

After that, private vendor functions really took over the conference. My invites seem to have gotten lost in the mail, but I hear there were some fun events. Be sure to tell me about the ones you attended below!

Sessions

Lots of sessions to attend at the IPI 2017 conference – often so many that it was hard to choose. Topics ranged from autonomous vehicles to campus challenges to bikes to self-improvement. It was interesting to see Sidewalk Labs there, and the opening general session with the mayor wasn’t so bad either 😉

One improvement I’d like to see is more interaction with the audience in sessions. A PowerPoint slide show usually doesn’t cut it for me anymore. I enjoyed the text voting in the session about the annual IPI survey, and heard there was a great hands-on session on building a parking guidance system. Who doesn’t love a tactile learning experience?

Food

The South sure knows how to prepare a meal. The ParkPlus team tried out Acme Oyster Company (that’s us indulging below), Emeril’s New Orleans, and Cochon. Although I was left wanting a vegetable or two, the food was delicious. IPI 2017 also provided some great lunches, with the bread pudding being my top pick. There were so many recommendations it was tough to choose where to eat. Another trip back to New Orleans will be in order so I can try out Peche as well. What did you decided on?

Chelsea, Richard, Carla, Miguel, Mike and Kurt at Acme Oyster Company

The ParkPlus team enjoying Acme Oyster Co

Attendees

This was a huge show, with over 3000 people in attendance. It was great to meet some of the Women in Parking members, who put on a great networking hour. ParkPlus had lots of traffic to our exhibitor booth, and made some great contacts from the US and around the world. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to chat!

Overall

Our team had a great time (you can see us enjoying the photo backdrop below – and check us out on Twitter and Instagram for more pics) at #IPI2017 and can’t wait to do it all again next year. Hope to see even more of you then!

Kurt, Chelsea, Carla, Richard and Miguel at IPI 2017

The ParkPlus team at IPI 2017

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