|The Inside Scoop|
A New Year Means New Developments at the Inside Self-Storage World Expo
A guest installment by Alex Koupal, Event Manager, Global Development, VIRGO Publishing (parent company of Inside Self-Storage)
With the New Year quickly approaching, it’s time to reflect on 2012 and look forward to next year. Unless, of course, you think the Mayan’s were on to something, in which case you may want to wait a few more weeks to do any planning!
Unfortunately, most self-storage professionals don’t have the liberty to sit back and wait for the end of the world. For many of you, business planning for 2013 has already begun. Similarly, the Inside Self-Storage team has been working overtime, planning for the 2013 Inside Self-Storage World Expo, which will take place April 3-5 in Las Vegas.
By popular demand, we made the decision this year to shift from a bi-annual show format to an annual one. Fewer shows means our attendees have to spend less time away from the office. This change was so well received we have decided to keep the format for 2013. That being said, it’s more important than ever we deliver quality content to you during the April expo—and a ton of it, making my job that much more challenging!
As the self-storage industry has evolved, so too has ISS and its events. I’ve made it my personal mission to learn what self-storage owners, operators and managers need to help them be more effective in their business endeavors. What are your pain points and how can we better prepare you for success in the current market?
After talking to hundreds of attendees and attending many other industry events, one thing is very clear. Attendees need content that will give them a competitive edge in the market. We’re seeing more and more owner/operators attend the expo each year from all over the world. This means new content is in high demand, and more peer-to-peer networking opportunities are also desired.
To help meet these needs, the 2013 ISS Expo education program will feature more than 50 sessions, four workshops and four networking events! Education sessions have been categorized into seven different tracks: Manager Essentials, Owner Essentials, Investor Essentials, Limiting Liability, Building Blocks, Marketing and International. Each track features hot topics and industry experts that pertain to each category.
As you look over the education program, you will notice this year’s marketing track is shorter than during previous tradeshows. This is because we’ve launched a new, in-depth Marketing Workshop presented by M. Anne Ballard, aka “The Hat Lady” and president of Universal Management Co., in partnership with Christopher Baird, CEO of Automatit Inc. During this three-hour session, Anne and Chris will take a deeper and more advanced look into different types of marketing strategies and examine how self-storage operators can utilize each to increase profitability and sales.
Also new for 2013 is an entire track dedicated to our international audience. Over the past few years, the number of international attendees participating in ISS events has grown. Many international operators look at U.S. storage models for guidelines on how to conduct business in new and underdeveloped markets. The International Track will feature four (and possibly a few more) sessions on international self-storage. Currently on the program are two panel discussions, one on investment and development, and the other focusing on operations.
This track also includes a session on how to market in a virgin territory and a case study that will feature the experiences and insights of a small U.S. company that ventured overseas to open several self-storage facilities in Europe.
Another new event I’m excited about is our Peer-to-Peer networking reception on Wednesday, April 3, 7:30-8:30 p.m. This new event will be another great opportunity for owners, managers, investors and developers to network with their peers and enjoy a few cocktails on behalf of our sponsors, Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, Locke Group and The BSC Group LLC.
There will be so many new and exciting opportunities at the Inside Self-Storage World Expo in 2013, it will definitely be a year you don’t want to miss!
Early bird registration is open now through Feb. 1. I encourage you to register early to take advantage of the expo’s best deals. Be sure to check the website frequently for show updates, as some additions to the agenda are still being finalized.
I’m excited to be working on the show again this year, and I can’t wait to share new developments with you as they occur!
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