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High on the Massive Wave: Self-Storage Professionals Flock to ISS Expo to Get Their View From the Top


Self-storage manager and first-time attendee Diana Espinoza expected to pick up a few ideas at this year’s Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Las Vegas, April 10-13. But by the second day of the event, she already had a legal pad full of notes and “to-dos” to implement at her Climate Self Storage business, with four locations in New Mexico and Texas.

“I already had my eyes open as a manager. But now I have a broader view of what needs to get done,” Espinoza says.

Attendees rush toward the expo hall. This year’s show at the Paris Hotel & Resort drew nearly 4,000 professionals from worldwide to learn, network and share information about an industry that’s enjoying a massive wave of success. The biggest self-storage event of the year included seven specialized seminar tracks, seven deep-dive workshops, an International Program, sessions in Spanish, roundtable discussions, several networking events and vendor presentations. It also included two days of exhibits by more than 180 product and service suppliers.

The 2017 expo was attended by people from all 50 states as well as seven Canadian provinces and nearly 30 countries. It boasted more than 1,400 first-time attendees.

“We’re extremely grateful to all of the presenters, exhibitors and attendees who participated in the biggest international self-storage expo ever,” says Troy Bix, vice president of ISS. “The overall experience was the best I’ve ever been a part of.” 

Getting Schooled

The ISS Expo has always provided outstanding education, but this year’s platform drew record crowds of professionals seeking to advance their skills. They had access to more learning opportunities than ever between 45 seminars, seven workshops, roundtable discussions, two open-forum Q&As and more. Nearly 100 total presenters provided guidance on all things self-storage.

The show opened with three workshops on development, legal issues and marketing, with the Development Workshop reaching a new attendance record of more than 300. Students included new investors as well as existing owners looking to grow their portfolio.

Education rooms were packed as attendees enjoyed access to seven seminar tracks.Day two launched with an “Attendee Welcome & Orientation” that served as a primer for show participants to help them maximize their experience. They learned how to navigate the show, where and how to download the expo mobile app, which events were “can’t miss” and much more. From there, they funneled into one of five seminar rooms focused on building, management, investing, ownership and marketing. In the late afternoon, they got their burning questions answered at the annual “Self-Storage Q&A,” where several folks won great prizes.

The program continued on Wednesday with tracks focused on finance, management, marketing, ownership and technology. Espinoza particularly liked the seminars on legal issues and emergency preparedness. “Being a supervisor, it’s important that I’m aware of the legal stuff so I can let the other managers know about the do’s and don’ts,” she says. “I learned about the steps we need to take in case of an emergency. It was very helpful.”

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