Its the month of the tradeshow. Wait, let me clarify that ... Its the month of the tradeshow, the Inside Self-Storage Expo in Las Vegas. If youve seen any of the marketing collateral for this show, you know its the industrys largest international conference and exhibit. Newbies to the business sometimes confuse it with a competitors fall Vegas event; but this is a horse of an entirely different color. Whats the color of success? Yep, thats the right shade!

This years expo takes place at the lovely Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Feb. 20-23, and it promises to be the most high-energy, comprehensive show to date. The buzz its been generating is better than a three-latte caffeine high. And dont fret if youve yet to register. You can do so online 24/7 at just sign up when you get there! (Of course, its always more economical to plan ahead. See the website for pre-registration and travel discounts.)

Tailored Tracks

I could write for pages about all the individual learning and networking opportunities the show provides. But what I really want to emphasize is that the expo is designed to meet multiple needs.

Whether youre a storage manager, owner, developer, investor or supplier, youre going to have access to tools and information that will help you improve your business. The educational seminars, roundtable discussions, forums and other scheduled activities are diversified to address all levels of knowledge (beginning to advanced) and perspective (builder vs. operator vs. financier).

Revitalize and Motivate

Vegas is a natural choice of venue for gatherings of this type, not only because of its diversions but because it accommodates a wide range of budgets and palates. Still, I frequently hear about managers who get left behind to run the shop while owners and regional managers get to play. To this, I say Boooooo! Managers need fun too and, furthermore, they are the real lifeblood of the store.

So, all you decision-makers out there, let your managers come along for the ride! Sign them up for the full-day management workshop. Decide in advance who will attend which seminars to get maximum coverage. Then watch in awe as they return to the site revitalized and full of fresh ideas for marketing, curb appeal, collections, etc.all of which can only increase your bottom line.

Yes, tradeshows are a significant expense. But the return on investment can be extraordinary. As an employee perk alone it is priceless. Add in the value of all that quality information, and you surely come out on top.

Join us this month in Las Vegas for the industrys biggest shindig. Youll be glad you did. And dont forget to stop by the ISS booth (No. 225) to share your thoughts and suggestions for the magazine and website. Well look forward to it! 

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