Top Self-Storage Moments of 2010
Last year, I created a “Self-Storage Top 10” chronicling the top 10 things that happened at ISS in 2009. 2010 was an interesting year, so I thought an update was due. Here’s my “top” moments for 2010 in no particular order.
1. Self-Storage Talk thrives. Self-Storage Talk, the official online forum for Inside Self-Storage, grew by leaps and bounds in 2010. SST ends the year with about 3,916 community members, up from about 2,500 members at the end of 2009. And not only do we have more members, but participation is way up. Read more about SST’s achievements in Community Manager John Carlisle’s blog.
2. The Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Las Vegas, March 1-3. Sure, we were still feeling the effects of the recession, but that didn’t stop self-storage professionals from flocking to the big show. Technology was a hot topic, as was cutting costs, social media and online marketing.
3. ISS revamps website. After months of prep, ISS unveiled a new website in June. The sleek design includes more content, improved search-engine capabilities and more graphics. Teri and I love choosing art for the featured items each week. It’s loads of fun to bring you interesting—and sometime quirky—art.
4. New bloggers. With the new website came the opportunity to add even more blogs. Gina Six Kudo, general manager at Cochrane Road Self Storage, continued to blog for the website. We also added several other industry professionals, including Matthew Van Horn of Cutting Edge Self Storage Management and the crew at G5. Shameless plug: If you’re interested in blogging for ISS, send me an e-mail!
5. John Carlisle. While not new to the ISS team, he’s definitely in my Top 10. John has done an outstanding job as community manager of SST. Not only does he keep the forum running smoothly by registering new users, putting together the SST newsletter and keeping controversy at a minimum, his posts are engaging and often entertaining.
6. ISS also added more regular contributors this year. Chuck Gordon of Sparefoot.com, came on board in late 2009 as a regular columnist. We also welcomed new content from Jon Orlando, Christian Sonne, John Gilliland, David Zorich, John Barry and Ben Vestal. Plus favorite columnists from the past, including Cary McGovern, Brad North, Minh Tran and Tron Jordheim, all contributed in 2010.
7. My first trip to New Orleans. OK, it was really my second, but the first time in The Big Easy was not so great. This time around was AMAZING! With New Orleans serving as the backdrop for the Inside Self-Storage World Expo last October, it was a far more relaxed atmosphere than that of the hustle and bustle in Vegas. Attendees seemed to be in a different frame of mind. Don’t get me wrong—everyone was serious about learning and networking—but at a more relaxed pace.
8. John Roser’s cartoons. While John has created the “Adventures in Self-Storage” cartoon for several years, I gotta say 2010 produced some LOL material. My faves include John’s nod to the movie Psycho, the funny take on hieroglyphics and today’s storage concessions, and the sweet, colorful and beautifully drawn holiday-themed cartoon this month. Keep ‘em laughing, John!
9. ISS Expo 2011. Naturally, we begin looking at the next year’s expos way in advance. Of course, our annual show in Las Vegas, slated for March 14-16, is a big draw. The 2011 will be no exception with new seminars, a special tech day and first-time speakers and exhibitors. We’re also venturing into a new market in 2011 when the fall expo heads to Seattle, Oct. 4-6. Keep up with Expo happenings at www.insidselfstorageworldexpo.com.
10. ISS readers. We are so fortunate to have so many wonderful people in this industry. We reported on an astounding amount of goodwill this year—toy and clothing drives, free storage to those affected by fires and floods, customer appreciation giveaways, and other charitable campaigns and donations. Yes, there’s a smart marketing angle behind these efforts, but I also believe the owners, operators and vendors in this industry truly care about their communities and customers.
While it was still a rough year for most everyone—professionally and personally—I’m sure you can name a few highlights. Share them by posting a comment below or on Self-Storage Talk.
Finally, I’d also like to offer a very heartfelt thank you to all our writers and advertisers. Your support means the world to the staff of ISS. Have a wonderful and safe holiday!