Parcel Forum 2019 Survival Guide
The PARCEL Forum is one of the leading events for anyone who works in the order fulfillment industry or who is responsible for shipping, warehousing, packaging, distribution, and delivery of parcels.
As the only conference dedicated to serving the parcel shipping and distribution industry, professionals who attend can collaborate and learn about benchmark setting practices, processes, and technologies required to excel in parcel distribution. With 50 educational sessions, 14 learning pods, and five workshops spanning across three days, there are plenty of educational and networking opportunities all within this year’s Parcel Forum in Dallas.
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If you’re attending (or thinking about attending) PARCEL Forum 2019, planning ahead can take a lot of the confusion out of the equation and help you get the most value out of the conference. Below, we explore some of the key benefits of attending, as well as offer some tips you can use to be more efficient on the showroom floor.
What is PARCEL Forum 2019? Why Should Your Organization Attend?
For nearly two decades, the PARCEL Forum has served as one of the largest trade shows for professionals in the fields of shipping, warehousing, packaging, distribution, and delivery of parcels.
PARCEL Forum 2019 is scheduled to take place October 28-30, 2019 and will be located at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center at 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine, TX 76051.
If you’re planning to attend this year’s forum, here are some reasons why signing up can benefit your company:
1. With the attendance of more than 120 exhibitors all within a range of different industries displaying their methods of shipping, warehousing, packaging, distribution and delivery, the PARCEL Forum offers an extraordinary opportunity to stay up to date on the industry’s latest innovation, improvements, and technologies.
2. The PARCEL Forum allows attendees to learn from industry experts regarding new methods and technologies of shipping, warehousing, packaging, distribution and delivery of parcels that can improve and enhance your business strategy and operations. This includes informative seminars, knowledgeable keynote lectures, and so much more.
3. Uniting such a significant number of relevant vendors, speakers, and attendees makes for a powerhouse networking event. Utilized effectively, this will enable you to maintain existing connections and/or grow new connections with potential customers and clients.
How to get the most out of the PARCEL Forum 2019
Once you’ve committed to attending PARCEL Forum, it’s critical to develop a clear plan of action before the conference begins. Here are some tips to get the most out of your PARCEL Forum 2019 experience.
1. Book travel accommodations far in advance.
As with any travel plans, the sooner you book a room, flight, etc., the better. In 2018 alone, the city of Dallas saw a record year for tourism with over 27 million visitors fueling a local economic impact of $8 billion, so it’s no secret that tourism is alive and well in northeast Texas.
If you wait until the last minute, just a month or two out—or worse, a few weeks – you’ll likely be disappointed in the remaining options—hotels on the outskirts of the city that require lengthy commutes and expensive airfares.
You can find information about the local hotels catering to PARCEL Forum attendees by visiting this page.
2. Be familiar with transportation options.
If you are unfamiliar with the area, doing some research to determine the best options for transportation to and from the conference, airport, and your hotel can alleviate any headaches in scrambling at the last minute.
Refer to city maps to know whether you should book a car reservation or rely on Lyft or Uber, or if walking would be a reasonable expectation. Also be aware of the city’s rush hour traffic when determining the best time to travel to the conference each morning.
Other transportation options to and from the PARCEL Forum include a complimentary shuttle bus service for participating partner hotels and taxis. More information can be found here.
3. Know your way around the showroom.
Equally important as mapping a route to the PARCEL Forum is making sure you can navigate the showroom floor. Although you’ll receive a map and brochure with your badge upon arrival, you can also reference the building map below to help visualize what the conference will look like.
4. Set your game plan—browse the list of exhibitors.
Trying to “wing” your way through a tradeshow of this size is a surefire way of burning out. In order to be efficient, effective, and keep yourself from becoming exhausted, you should come to the show with a plan of action.
Before the show, we recommend that you browse the list of exhibitors, find those that are most relevant to your company, industry, or business challenges, and prioritize by visiting those booths first. Once you have worked through your top priority booths (your A Team), move on to your B Team, and so on, until you’ve seen all the exhibits that could bring value to your operations. Also, it’s best to identify your prime networking opportunities and make plans to come together.
While you’re at it, if you already know that you definitely want to make time to speak with a particular vendor or partner, consider booking time on their calendars in advance of the show. That will make for a much easier experience than trying to squeeze a meeting at the same time as hundreds of other people.
5. Network! Find the time in your schedule to attend seminars.
Networking is always a key function when attending any trade show. You will often learn as much if not more from attending the seminars and speaking to the exhibitors and attendees. It would be unwise to completely fill your time with other meetings, forcing you to forgo the educational opportunities offered by the PARCEL Forum.
With an agenda page providing a listing of each session, you can review the schedule for each day and plan your time accordingly. Some sessions may be tailored to shipping issues only, while others may focus on planning cost effective solutions for packaging. Creating a schedule by reviewing the PARCEL Forum’s agenda is a great way to make the most of your time in Dallas. Also, there is a section allowing for registered conference-goers to select their interests based on the PARCEL Forum’s agenda for each day.
Each session provides a question and answer session, which can be helpful in addressing specific problems to your parcel shipping business. However, it’s also important to collaborate and network with other industry professionals face-to-face as well. Among the many benefits to attending PARCEL Forum 2019 is the extensive opportunity to network with other leading professionals. Neary every attendee mentions the invaluable insight gained through networking and collaboration.
Visit us on Tuesday, October 29 from 12:00 – 12:50pm to learn about 10 Applications Using Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) & Robotics to Solve Labor Issues, presented by Conveyco’s own Ed Romaine.
This session will focus on utilizing AMR and Robotic technologies to reduce, eliminate and optimize labor, throughput and accuracy. We will concentrate on 10 key applications most warehouses and distribution centers utilize and how these technologies can be deployed today.
Likewise, there seems to be new AMR and robotic technologies introduced daily offering different features and benefits. We will review some of these different models and functionality.
By integrating single and multiple models and styles of AMRs for a single application, new levels of execution and performance can be reached. These AMR and robotic technologies can operate 24/7-365 to provide a reliable and steady labor force.
Key learning objectives for the session include:
- How to reduce, eliminate and optimize labor by using a robotic workforce
- Understanding what applications AMRs and Robotics can execute
- What are the benchmarks for the applications
- How to combine multiple models and styles to achieve success
6. Don’t forget about the special networking events.
The PARCEL Forum hosts several special networking events with food and drink specials throughout the conference. These events provide a fun environment to network at the beginning of your day, or as you’re winding down at the end of the day.
If you’re an early riser, events such as the “Bacon & Eggs with a Side of Networking” or the “Wake-Up & Network Continental Breakfast” might be right for you. There are other opportunities to collaborate over food and spirits with events such as the “Get to Know Ya” Meetup at Gaylord Silver Bar and the “Platinum Poolside Hawaiian Luau Reception” as well. No matter your challenges, the Parcel Forum offers plenty of opportunities to discuss and collaborate with other industry professionals.
7. Nominate your company for PARCEL Forum’s Game Changer of the Year.
If you’re looking to stand out among other industry professionals, now’s your chance. Take your company to the next level with a nomination as the Game Changer of the Year. The nomination process is quick and easy and, if selected, your company will receive:
- Two Platinum Conference Passes
- One Night Stay at the Gaylord Texan
- Team Members will be Recognized at the Award Luncheon
Additionally, if selected, your company will be featured in an upcoming issue of PARCEL magazine, which serves as the voice of the shipping and distribution industry. This offers a great chance to showcase your company and stand out among other industry professionals for excellent work in packaging, shipping, and distribution.
8. Have Fun.
Ultimately, the PARCEL Forum is about learning and growing as industry professionals, but it’s also about taking time to enjoy team building activities and relaxation. Dallas offers countless opportunities to explore and relax. Not to mention, the mild weather around October provides pleasant conditions to enjoy all the city’s benefits. Here are a few ideas:
- With 66 acres of garden space, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens offers a beautiful location to relax and explore in a quiet, serene environment.
- Speaking of exploring, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is home to five floors of 11 exhibit halls containing state-of-the-art video and life-like simulations and interactive kiosks.
- For the sports fan in your group, be sure to check out Dallas Cowboys Tours at AT&T Stadium. Home to the Dallas Cowboys and the world’s largest dome structure, the VIP guided tours are a great way to explore and enjoy one of the most unique events spaces in the world.
- For nightlife, the downtown area of Dallas offers numerous opportunities and locations to enjoy live music, local food, and cocktails. A full list of notable locations and nightlife activities can be found here.
These activities can provide excellent relaxation and team building opportunities to enjoy the many benefits of the greater Dallas area while attending PARCEL Forum 2019.
Have a Plan
If you want to get the most out of your PARCEL Forum 2019 experience, it’s important to go in with a plan of attack. Following the tips above will help ensure that the conference is a valuable one for your team—one with the potential to impact your operations and your bottom line to ultimately ship packages more frequently and efficiently with cost effective solutions.
Romaine has spent over 30 years involved with organizations looking to optimize their distribution, manufacturing, and warehousing operations. Focusing on the customer’s processes, automation and business model, Romaine has helped dozens of organizations improve profitability by reducing labor, floor space, errors and inventory while improving accuracy, inventory turns and cut-off times.
Within the industry trade association, MHI, Romaine has taken numerous leadership positions including: Chairman of the Automated Storage & Retrieval (AS/RS) Group, Chairman of the Order Fulfillment Council of America, Chairman of the Warehouse Execution Systems Group and was one of the originators of the Carousel and VLM Product Section Group. He has also spearheaded the efforts to create the first ANSI industry safety standards for horizontal carousels.
Romaine is a frequent editorial and information contributor to hundreds of publications, blogs and online publications and has been a speaker at dozens of Supply Chain, Logistics, Lean and Facility organizations and functions. Just a few include the Parcel Forum, Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), Promat, North American Material Handling, Modex, National Mfg Week, Southern California Plant Operations, NJ Material Handling Assoc., Applied Ergonomics, Warehousing Education & Research Council (WERC), Lean Manufacturing Conference, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), NeoCon, Health Information Distribution Association (HIDA), National Catalog & Operations (NCOF), CSCMP and more.
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