“Disruption? You are moving from the ‘transit business’ to an ‘on-demand, shared-ride mobility service business!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
On this day in 2018, I was at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, opening a major urban transit conference. The quote says it all!
Self-driving busses and the electrification of urban transit. The emergence of seemingly crazy ideas like the Hyperloop. Massive infrastructure challenges in the fact of fast-paced trends and increasing expectations from ridership. There’s a lot going on in the world of transit today, and if you are one of the leading suppliers of software to the sector, you want to provide your annual user group meeting the best insight on the trends that will redefine the industry going forward. That’s what I covered in my keynote – and then spent 2 hours in a private session with about 30 CEOs from the largest transit organizations in North America to discuss these trends in greater depth.
Like every industry, this one is changing fast, as new vehicle infrastructure arrives (battery, electric, self-driving buses), business models shift (Uber and Lyft had cut deals with some small towns to run their bus/mobility system), and as workforce patterns and hence demands shift. Little did we know how Covid-19 would turn this industry upside down. When’s the last time you’ve been on a bus or a subway?
Even so, the trends have not changed, and that was the core of my message at this event.
Even before the event, I was working hard to get people into the right future frame of mind. I filmed a customized video, focusing on the rapid trends impacting the urban transpiration sector, encouraging people to attend.
In addition, before the event, we did a lengthy Q&A article on the types of issues that would be covered at the conference — and why people in the industry should be in attendance. You can read the full article here:
Then there was the press release which went out, in order to continue stirring up the buzz!
Of course, then there are all the social media that goes with this material.
Some speakers will show up, do their keynote, and take your money.
Not me! I will do more before I even show up – I will work hard to take your money!