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Teri Lanza

Teri Lanza
Editorial Director
tlanza@vpico.com

Last Day in New Orleans: What We've Learned

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We’re wrapping things up today at the Inside Self-Storage World Expo in New Orleans, where for the past two days we’ve been talking with industry professionals from all over the globe. I’ve met operators from Alberta and British Columbia, Canada; Colombia and Ecuador, South America; and just about every U.S. state. What are they all saying? They feel ready to come out of the foxhole and get back to building their businesses.

Education is always a critical draw at ISS Expos, but never more so than in the past two years. Our attendees show up hungry for info, keen to pick up knowledge that will help them surge past the point of “getting by” and propel them into growth. In seminar rooms this week, I witnessed an incredibly engaged audience full of questions and wielding a critical eye. Our presenters got a run for their money, as students challenged them on industry stats, strategies and insights. Attendees wanted answers to their greatest business challenges; and I believe that, in most cases, they got them.

As I type, there are still two intensive workshops going on: the Developers Seminar, and Tom Litton’s Marketing and Sales Boot Camp. Even on a gorgeous Friday in an intoxicating city like New Orleans, we have two rooms full of dedicated students who want to do things right, both groups looking to build their businesses―some literally.

Tomorrow the ISS team will head back to Phoenix to begin the post-show work: compiling and analyzing feedback forms, following up with attendees and vendors, and answering any final information requests. We immediately switch gears and set our sights on Las Vegas, where we’ll host the industry’s largest conference and tradeshow of 2011, March 14-16, at the Paris Hotel & Resort.

But until then, we’ll enjoy what remains of our stay in this culturally rich city. I’m happily anticipating a sumptuous meal prepared by Susan Spicer, chef extraordinaire of Bayona, where the goat cheese crouton appetizer is good enough to make you weep. I’ll share it with my husband who proposed to me here, seven years ago today.

To those of you who participated in this week’s event, thank you for contributing your energy and expertise to yet another successful expo. It’s been a pleasure to talk with and learn from you. Again I am reminded of how fantastic this business is―not just as an asset class, but as a family of informed professionals, each of whom brings something special to the self-storage table. Have a great weekend.

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