We're gearing up for one of parking's biggest events of the year, The IPI Conference & Expo. This year's event will be held in New Orleans and we're already getting jazzed up for four jam-packed days of learning and sharing.
Whether it's your very first time or you're an IPI veteran, check out the tips below to help you make the most of your time in The Big Easy.
1. Plan your IPI goals. It's easy to get overwhelmed or distracted at large events like IPI, so figure out what you want to get out of the conference before you go. Are you there to scope out vendors? Meet new industry contacts? Report back on new trends? Read up on the agenda ahead of time and plan your schedule accordingly. Remember that your plan doesn't have to be set in stone! One of the most exciting things about IPI is that you never know who you might bump into or what new discovery you'll find walking the floor. But creating a draft schedule before you go will help you stay on track and have the most productive trip possible.
2. Download the IPI Conference & Expo mobile app. Based on our experience, this app is going to be your best friend at IPI. Use the app to create a personal schedule, read up on sessions, and find networking events. It's also a great way to interact at IPI in real-time and stay up-to-date on what's trending. You can download the app from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.
3. Be nice to your feet. Chances are, you'll be doing a lot of walking at IPI. Do yourself a favor and wear shoes that will sustain you through long days of conference programming and after-hours events. Function over form for this one, friends. We repeat: IPI is not the time to break in a brand new pair of kicks.
4. Keep your phone charger on hand. There's nothing worse than running out of juice on the expo floor (especially right when you're trying to take a picture or add a new LinkedIn connection). Bring your phone charger along in the morning—you'll probably be away from your hotel for hours at a time. Better yet, bring a lightweight portable phone charger with you so you don't have to stress about finding an open outlet.
5. Write a short recap at the end of each day. Look, you're going to be tired at IPI (trust us, we get it). But, commit to taking 3 minutes to reflect on your day while it's still fresh in your mind. IPI is a whirlwind, and you might forget little details after a busy week (and the holiday weekend right after IPI concludes). Jot down a few thoughts in your phone, or go old-school analog on your hotel stationery. Try writing a sentence to answer each of the following questions:
- Who did I meet today?
- What's something new I learned?
- What was the best part of the day?
- Who do I want to talk to next?
6. Finally, have fun! You knew this one was coming, right? IPI is a chance for you to meet, learn from, and network with some of the most talented people in the parking industry. Take advantage of it, and enjoy yourself!
Keep these tips in mind and your IPI experience is sure to be a memorable one. And, don't forget to visit T2 Systems at Booth #1001 during IPI, May 21st - 24th.
See you there!