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Tolling Points

The Tolling Community Connects at IBTTA’s Virtual 88th Annual Meeting and Exhibition

By: 
Bill Cramer

The Tolling Community Connects at IBTTA’s Virtual 88th Annual Meeting and Exhibition, September 9-11 and 14-16

When you attend IBTTA’s Virtual 88th Annual Meeting and Exhibition, you’ll get so much more than a series of fast-paced, relevant education sessions September 14-16. A full schedule of learning and networking will equip you with the tools, ideas, and business contacts to survive and thrive in one of the toughest operating environments in living memory.

IBTTA and its members have been in a constant state of rapid transformation from the moment the COVID-19 pandemic hit, bringing profound change to every aspect of tolling industry management, finance, communications, and operations. Agencies have responded heroically—shifting complex operations to home offices in a matter of hours, remaking annual budgets to account for drastic and unforeseen revenue losses, and rescheduling major projects to take advantage of the temporary drop in traffic, all while putting the health and safety of staff and customers front and center.

Just Like an In-Person Meeting. But More.

The Annual Meeting program captures all the dimensions of that experience, but like any other IBTTA conference or workshop, it’s about so much more than the education sessions. IBTTA staff and volunteer leadership have worked hard to build a robust, user-friendly online space where you’ll be able to meet your peers one on one, participate in informal networking sessions and mixers, attend virtual tours of state-of-the-art tolled facilities, and get into in-depth discussions with service providers in the online exhibit hall.

In fact—those discussions will have at least one advantage over the in-person meetings we’ve all been used to, and so many of us still crave -- opening a virtual space for participants who wouldn’t normally have the time, budget, or authorization to travel to a face-to-face meeting, IBTTA is hoping to bring together the widest, most diverse group of members ever.

That means the opportunity to learn, develop your skills, and take home new ideas and best practices will be limited only by the time you have to meet dozens of new colleagues online.

The Tolling Community Connects

The members of the meeting planning group have really outdone themselves, pulling together an outstanding, fast-paced program with something for everyone. But this is one year when no one needs reminding that professional networking with friends and colleagues is the most enduring takeaway from any IBTTA event.

Earlier in the pandemic, we heard lots of questions about whether those informal conversations could possibly be as sharp, as deep, as focused online as they are in person. For anyone who attended IBTTA’s first-ever virtual workshop in July, those questions are answered. The annual meeting program is full of opportunities for networking and informal learning, from the Zoom crawl sponsored by Platinum sponsors Monday evening, to the product demos in the exhibit hall Tuesday afternoon, to the private Zoom rooms many exhibitors are setting up to create space for thoughtful, in-depth discussion.

On Tolling Points blog last week, Co-Chief Meeting Organizer Dee Anne Heath, Director of Government Relations and Communications at the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA), discussed how a virtual format opens the door to a whole new tier of participants. For the first time, an agency like CTRMA will have all 30 of its staff attend the meeting sessions that matter to them, rather than picking the four or five who can travel within the available budget.

That makes this year’s annual meeting a forum where younger tolling professionals can meet their peers, learn from industry veterans, and share their own innovative ideas for moving the industry forward.

Show Up for Your Colleagues. Stay for the Content.

But even if the format makes it easy to drop in and out of the annual meeting, the program will make it tough to look away.

On Thursday, September 10, the Women in Tolling Session will present and celebrate a panel of trailblazers who’ve shattered the industry’s glass ceiling and helped advance tolling and transportation around the world. They’ll explain how to overcome bias, share their words of wisdom for emerging leaders, and discuss strategies for confronting today’s challenges. Later that day, Heath will chair a special general session on the transparent, nimble communication strategies that can meet the expectations of a new era.

The annual Toll Excellence Award presentation is on tap earlier, Thursday morning, September 10th from 11:00 am ET to 12:30 pm ET. The announcement of the coveted President’s Award will take place during the official Opening Session Monday morning, September 14th.

The program includes General Sessions on business continuity and cybersecurity, and financial implications of the pandemic. And breakout sessions Monday and Tuesday will bring together a host of timely topics on connected mobility, communities and vehicles, mobility apps, infrastructure-enabled autonomous vehicles, fostering an intergenerational workforce, mobility as a service, how to stand out in an ever-changing industry, and the power of blue-sky thinking.

Best of all—with the program online and registration open, it isn’t too late to clear your calendar for the segments of the annual meeting you want to attend. You won’t have to allocate any budget for air travel or lodging, and this year, we’ve waived registration fees for IBTTA members.

Which means the best networking and education in the industry is just a few keystrokes away, and only a few weeks away.

Don’t delay! Sign up today for IBTTA’s Virtual Annual Meeting and Exhibition September 14-16.

Newsletter publish date: 
Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 09:15

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