There’s always a great deal of anticipation for a tradeshow event, but other than the first Inside Self-Storage World Expo 30 years ago, we probably haven’t planned and hosted a conference and expo with more challenges and unknowns. Thanks to the global pandemic, safety protocols and official guidance remained fluid for more than a year and forced formatting and procedural changes to this year’s show, which just concluded in Las Vegas.
You never know how everything will turn out during normal times, so this year’s expo was filled with extra question marks. How willing would folks be to travel? How would they adapt to changes to registration, education and the expo hall? What would the energy feel like? The answers to those and other unknowns were overwhelmingly positive.
For me, the show was surreal but familiar. Strange but comforting. The last year-plus hasn’t been easy, so there was undeniable joy in being in the presence of company and industry colleagues as well as experiencing the enthusiasm of attendees and seeing smiles on unfamiliar faces. There’s a natural vibrancy to an in-person event that’s difficult to duplicate virtually.
This year’s show tagline, “Smart Solutions for a Changing World,” was apt, as the pandemic has impacted every facet of the self-storage industry. It wouldn’t surprise me if COVID-19 was referenced directly in all 42 education sessions. We’ll soon know, as we begin production and editing on the videos shot during the conference. As in past years, we’ve captured the entire concurrent-education program, spanning six tracks: Building, Customer Experience, Investing, Management, Ownership and Technology.
DVD pre-orders are now available exclusively through the ISS Store. Special show pricing runs through July 19. Each session will be available as an individual DVD or on-demand video. Each complete track is offered as a DVD set, which offers savings from buying titles individually. In addition, there are three larger bundles, which offer even greater discounts:
- The entire 2021 collection, 42 sessions, is available through the “Total Self-Storage Solutions 2021 Education DVD Package.”
- The “Self-Storage Operator Essentials 2021 Education DVD Package” includes all 28 sessions from the Customer Experience, Management, Ownership and Technology education tracks.
- The “Self-Storage Builder/Investor Essentials 2021 Education DVD Package” includes all 14 sessions from the Building and Investing tracks.
Though the impact from COVID-19 is a running theme throughout the education slate, there are several sessions that deal directly with pandemic-related industry trends. With the delta variant surging across the nation, it’s clear that many of the adjustments operators made at the peak of the pandemic will continue, as will impacts on building and investment. Here are 10 highly relevant sessions to be aware of:
- Advanced Self-Storage Deal Structures for the Current Lending Climate
- Buy, Hold or Sell in a Bull Market? The Best Strategy for Your Self-Storage Asset
- Designing Healthy Self-Storage Buildings to Serve in the Pandemic and Well Beyond
- Getting Your Green: A Glimpse Inside the Minds of Today's Self-Storage Loan-Makers
- An Owner’s Guide to Remote Self-Storage Management: It Isn’t Just for Pandemics!
- Can’t Touch This! A Thorough Exploration of the Contact-Free Self-Storage Rental Process
- The Legal Questions You Need to Ask—and Answer—Around Offering Contact-Free Storage
- No Money, Mo' Problems: Addressing Self-Storage Delinquency in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond
- Pivot to Win It: How to Think Fast and Change Quick in Any Self-Storage Service Environment
- Technology Trends to Welcome in a Progressively Virtual Self-Storage Landscape
If one thing was clear from my interactions with expo attendees, thirst for education and professional development remains high. In times of uncertainty, it’s critical to stay up to date to gain any advantage under current conditions as well as prepare for success through all the inevitable ebbs and flows that likely lie ahead.
Thank you to everyone who chose to attend the ISS World Expo this year to help make it a tremendous success. Coming together as an industry community is one of our great professional privileges, and we look forward to convening with you once again next year!