Yesterday, I attended the Arizona Self Storage Association's Conference and Tradeshow at the Mariott Buttes Resort in Phoenix. The Buttes is built into the side of a mountain so it's a lovely place to host a conference.
The association did an amazing job, pulling together two days of excellent seminars and attracted several big-name vendors for the tradeshow floor. Local companies The Mahoney Group, TLW Construction and OpenTech Alliance talked with Arizona self-storage professionals. Other companies included BETCO Inc., The Chamberlain Group, JanUS Door and Mako Steel.
Although there were many existing self-storage operators in attendance, a large number of people looking to get into the self-storage industry also walked the floor and attended seminars. One man I spoke with had a large plot of land he was hoping to develop. Another woman said she and her husband wanted to buy an existing property but had yet to find the right one.
Attendees also soaked up information from several key industry people, including Tom Litton, president of Litton Management and Consulting. Tom gave a seminar on auditing self-storage, an important topic in today's economic environment. Other speakers included ISS columnist Derek Naylor, president of Storage Marketing Solutions, Bill Alter, Rein & Grossoehme Commercial Real Estate, Shawn Hill, Beacon Realty Capital and Chris Sonne, Cushman & Wakefield.
If you have a state self-storage association, I encourage you to join it. State associations offer self-storage operators many wonderful opportunities for education and networking.