Major life events have a way of triggering change. With personal and professional lives in upheaval from a global pandemic for more than a year, changes are certainly afoot. It simply comes with the territory. We already know, for example, that some procedural changes self-storage operators have implemented (contact-free services, more online offerings, etc.) will likely have some permanency, even as life begins to return to “normal.” At Inside Self-Storage, we’re also implementing changes, whether directly or indirectly related to impacts from COVID-19.
ISS World Expo
The most obvious, of course, has been the pandemic’s effect on the ISS World Expo. Even with case numbers falling and vaccines being administered at a high rate, the show must still adhere to government and corporate policies to ensure the health and safety of all participants. Last month, we published this News Desk video on some of the format and procedural changes attendees can expect when they convene with us at The Mirage in Las Vegas, July 13-16. Policies and guidance remain fluid, but we look forward to feeling the energy (and even seeing some smiling faces!) in the education rooms and on the show floor next month.
If you’re a careful reader of ISS, you may have noticed some style changes in recently published articles. In any corner of journalism, changing local style isn’t taken lightly. It often comes with rigorous debate. Consistency of voice, tone and word use is paramount in publishing, and adopted style is at the center of it all. We use the Associated Press (AP) as our base style, along with our own preferences on certain items. In the last few years, the AP and many media outlets have dramatically altered their stance on some longstanding style standards, most likely because we’re no longer primarily driven by character counts on a printed page. It’s an online world now.
Some of the changes we’ve implemented may be obvious or seem laughingly inconsequential to outsiders, but I assure you none of them are accidental. So, while we quietly removed the hyphen from email a short time ago without anyone noticing, give yourself a pat on the back if you consciously detected us using a % sign instead of writing out the word, fully spelling out states in body copy instead of using AP abbreviations, and inserting the pronoun “they” in cases when we don’t know the gender of the subject or we’re speaking in general terms. There are others, but those are the biggies and the most difficult to become part of this writer’s muscle memory.
This week, we kicked off data collection for our 2021 Top-Operators Lists, in which we’ll identify 100 of the industry’s leading facility and brand owners and 50 of the foremost property-management firms based on total net-rentable square footage. The legacy database has been given the heave-ho, so this year’s campaign is taking place on a shiny, new platform called JotForm. If you’ve previously submitted information for a Top-Operators list, you should have received an email on June 10 that includes a personalized link to your listing. You can simply review, update or confirm the information, and then submit the form. We’ll take it from there.
If you’re a facility owner or management company that didn’t receive the email and would like to confirm its presence in the database, please reach out to ISS Editor Amy Campbell for assistance.
Companies that are entirely new to the Top-Operators process can create a listing here. Submissions must be received by June 21 to be considered for inclusion in the 2021 list rankings. The 2021 lists will be featured in the September issue of ISS magazine and published online this summer.
Of course, past lists are available for purchase in the ISS Store and include extras not available in the free, public listings, such as an analytical report, an easy-to-digest list summary, and a sortable Excel file of list participants and their data.
Change Is Normal
I’m certain we’ll have other changes to announce in the next few months. After all, if there’s one constant, it’s change, even if it’s not always easy to embrace. Inevitably—eventually—new processes, better technology, evolution of standards, etc., become normalized and comfortable. That is, until it’s time to switch things up once again.