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The ISS Blog provides a series of insightful, industry-relevant posts to help readers keep abreast of the latest trends in the marketplace as well as premium content and educational offerings. Read the thoughts of the ISS content team and other industry experts on issues related to self-storage challenges, news, operation, development, marketing and much more.

Teri L. Lanza,
Vice President

Tony Jones,
Contributing Editor/Store Manager

Amy Campbell,

Are You Playing Games With Us? We Hope So!

By Teri Lanza Comments

It wasn't often that my folks would allow me to lounge around watching TV during my childhood summer vacations. Back then, parents kicked their kids out of the house after breakfast with a simple set of instructions: "Go play, stay out of trouble, and be back at 6 for dinner." I barely saw my mom and dad during those languid, sunny days. My friends and I were too busy making forts, throwing ourselves down the Slip'N Slide, and riding our bikes to the corner store for Lemonheads and Jolly Ranchers.

But when it rained, I could sometimes whine my way into the den for a few hours, where my mother would be ironing and sewing as part of her custom drapery business. There were always soap operas to be watched in the afternoon, and I was never to mess with the sacredness of that regime. In the mornings, however, the TV was up for grabs, and I liked to watch game shows. My favorites were "Family Feud," "$10,000 Pyramid" and "Price Is Right," though I also enjoyed "Wheel of Fortune" and "Hollywood Squares." They proved to be a fantastic source of trivia and other practical tidbits. They were often a bit racy, too, which was a bonus in my book.

Regardless of your age, games are a great way to learn and interact with others, which is why we're excited to announce the addition of a Game-Show Learning Track to the seminar lineup at this year's Inside Self-Storage World Expo. On Tuesday, April 1 (no fooling), the education program includes three game-show-themed sessions, each led by experts in the business who know how to educate and entertain.

The first is "Self-Storage Family Feud," hosted by Rachel Greenfield and Barry Finder of industry online marketplace SpareFoot. They're going to help attendees learn the simplest modern techniques for filling empty units at their facilities, focusing specifically on marketing ideas. Game questions will cover topics like how to get more customer love online, strategies to increase your move-in rate, how to earn more per square foot, multi-channel marketing and more.

Next we'll play "Self-Storage Celebrity Squares," with a focus on facility operation. Our "square master," Stacie Maxwell of Universal Storage Group, will be joined by several well-known names in the business who will serve as our "celebrities," folks like Anne Ballard (aka "The Hat Lady") and Dan and Laura Dotson of "Storage Wars" fame. She'll ask them questions about key operational issues, and they will answer—but will their responses be true? It's up to our contestants and audience to decide. Those who correctly separate the truth from the lies can win prizes!

Last up is a game of "1 vs. The Audience," an industry take on the popular "1 vs. 100." This version, hosted by guru Jim Chiswell of Chiswell & Associates LLC, zooms in on issues associated with conducting feasibility studies for new self-storage projects and acquisition due diligence for existing facilities. Everyone will have a chance to participate and win prizes in this engaging session, which will reveal the truth about construction costs, common due-diligence challenges, competition examinations, site demographics and more.

So, come on ... Don't play games with our affection. Come to Vegas and play games with colleagues and industry hard-hitters instead! You'll learn a lot, have a great time, and maybe take home a prize to boot. To participate in these game-show sessions, you'll need to register for the Education or Premium Package, and early-bird discounts are available until Jan. 30.

What are your favorite game shows? Have you ever been on one? Any that would be fun to adapt to self-storage? Share in the comments section below!


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