In addition to the introduction of our annual State of the Industry report, my comments here should be of particular interest to this audience. At the close of each year, Inside Self-Storage speaks with several of this industry's most knowledgable and respected insiders, asking their predictions for the months ahead in relation to self-storage development, amenities, financing and more. You'll find this year's insightful missive beginning on page 22.
More important, I thought you might like to know of some promising new developments budding in this industry's political arena. Recently, the ISS staff had the distinct pleasure of meeting with Self Storage Association Executive Director Michael Kidd. It is no secret to those seasoned in this industry--particularly our suppliers--that there has been rather poor communication between our organization and the association. This has been partially attributed to the SSA's affiliation with MiniCo's rival publication, the Mini-Storage Messenger. But mostly, the weakness has stemmed from a complicated political history we now recognize as irrelevant--and damaging to future industry progress.
It has been pointed out to both parties the necessity for more collaborative efforts between the two groups, particulary in the area of industry tradeshows and conferences. As self-storage witnesses what many predict will be a leveling of business, exhibitors as well as attendees are frustrated at having to split annual budgets over numerous events just to keep up with the Joneses. The question has been put to us: Why can't the organizations combine efforts, saving everyone time, energy and money? And it's a great question--one we addressed in our recent meeting with Kidd.
In efforts to repond to the needs of our supporters, Inside Self-Storage is considering a consolidation of it's annual Las Vegas and Fall Expos into a single, mega-tradeshow in Las Vegas. And that's just the beginning. ISS and the SSA will be looking to partner in other ways that will make access to information easier--and more economical--for all industry participants. You will soon be seeing a dedicated page in the magazine each month for association news and events. You'll also see links on both organizations' websites, joining the two resources. Other developments are in the works. (Feel free to contact the SSA for information on its own personal strategy.)
That's the real state of the industry. Our primary goal, as information and service providers to self-storage, is to be accessible, affordable and, above all, useful. It's time we see more unity between the organizations our professionals rely upon. It's the only prediction I have for the upcoming year, but perhaps the most significant.
Happy new year to you,
Teri L. Lanza