Two weeks from tomorrow, folks across the nation will be donning their seersucker suits and colossal hats, sipping ice-cold mint juleps, and noshing on classic Southern fare, all in giddy anticipation of the “greatest two minutes in sports.” That’s right, it’s Kentucky Derby time. Even if they don’t follow horse-racing year-round, many people climb on board for these festivities, which celebrate the nation’s oldest continuous sporting event. I’ll be among the revelers myself, as the Derby is a personal favorite. So lay down your bets ... We’re off to the races!
But before we tune in to what’s happening over at Churchill Downs, there’s another momentous event on the horizon. Many of us in self-storage are heading to Las Vegas next week for the industry’s largest conference and tradeshow. This year’s Inside Self-Storage World Expo kicks off on Monday with a series of deep-dive workshops, then bursts through the gate on Tuesday with five tracks of education seminars, an open-forum Q&A, exhibits, a cocktail reception and more. Attendees will experience four non-stop days of networking, learning, shopping and decision-making. And like the Kentucky Derby, it’ll be over in the blink of an eye.
The trick is to make the most of the opportunities this “great storage race” presents. Prepare in advance, arrive fresh and well-rested, find your stride, and stay focused. You’ll need lots of energy, as there’s always something happening. Here are a few strategies that will help:
- Download the official show app from the AppStore or Google Play. This is the perfect way to get organized and stay on top of the many events taking place.
- Follow hashtag #ISSExpo on Twitter. This will keep you apprised not only of official show events but what fellow attendees are thinking, feeling and doing around the show.
- Grab copies of the Show Guide and Pocket Agenda at registration when you pick up your badge. These handy publications will keep essential details at your fingertips (and they don’t require Internet connection or batteries!).
I feel blessed that I’ll be able to enjoy these two amazing events, back to back. If the Kentucky Derby is the “Run for the Roses,” then the ISS Expo is the “Run for the Revenue.” It’s the place where industry investors, owners and operators discover what they need to make their business more productive and, ultimately, profitable.
I recently stumbled across one of the coolest infographics I’ve ever seen. I was looking up some Derby stats when I landed on this page. Not only is the presentation creative and beautifully executed, it hits the high notes for those interested in race history and trivia. I particularly love what it has to say about the event audience, ““Those who have never attended Derby are often surprised by the things they see walking the infield. Part Mardi Gras and part high society—the crowd is a perfect mixture of class and chaos.”
I feel the same way about the ISS Expo. It attracts a rich, lively mixture of personalities and skill sets. There isn’t an industry question you can’t get answered or an industry need you can’t fill at this show. You’ll meet experts and neophytes, colleagues and competitors, insiders and tire-kickers. They all come together for the “greatest four days in self-storage.”
Can’t make it to Vegas to participate in the show live? That’s OK. Many of us who celebrate Derby do so at great distance from Louisville, Ky., and you have options for ISS Expo, too. While the event won’t be televised, DVD copies of all 45 of the education seminars are now available for pre-order. You can buy them in singles or discount bundles. You can peruse your options in the Inside Self-Storage Store. Your best bet is the “Total Self-Storage Solutions 2016: Education 45-pack,” which includes every session from all 10 education tracks.
If you’re joining us for the show, don’t be content to just “stand on the lawn.” Follow the suggestions above to maximize your show experience and take advantage of the many excellent resources available to you on site. In doing so, you’ll not only make it on the track, you’ll be sure to emerge a champion in your storage business. Have questions or comments about next week’s event? Feel free to post them in the comments box below. See you in Vegas. May it be great for your purse!