Six Tips on Attending the ISS World Expo From Editor Amy Campbell
Each April, Inside Self Storage brings more than 3,600 prospective and veteran self storage operators to Las Vegas for four days of education, networking and inspiration. The event features several hundred exhibitors plus presentations on topics ranging from self storage digital marketing to a popular legal Q&A.
If you’re a first-time attendee or exhibitor, it’s important to make the most out of the experience. You want to connect with the professionals who can help you meet your goals and hear the speakers who will answer your questions.We caught up with Amy Campbell, editor of Inside Self Storage, to find out exactly what you should know if you’re considering putting this annual expo on your agenda. Here are her six top tips for getting the most out of this dynamic industry event.
Do Your ResearchBefore you head to the ISS World Expo, do your homework.
“Get familiar with the seminars, workshops, exhibit hall and all the networking events that are happening,” says Campbell. “Plan your experience.”
All of this information is available on the ISS website before the event (and in your email after you register). Take the time to read descriptions of presentations, so you know which of the educational components you’d like to take part in. Have an idea of who will be at the exhibition hall, and make note of any exhibitors that spark your interest.
Have a PlanThe ISS World Expo is a massive event that attracts a growing number of attendees. At any given moment, there are endless opportunities for you to take advantage of. Avoid getting overwhelmed by the sheer volume of presenters and exhibitors by strategizing.
“When you come to the exhibit hall, speak to the exhibitors that you are seeking information from first,” says Campbell. “The exhibit hall is very busy. Sometimes you might have to wait to speak to an exhibitor. Have your questions ready. Be prepared; know what you want to talk to them about.”
You’ll be meeting a lot of self storage professionals at the ISS World Expo. The event is a chance to make connections and gather information. After the expo, it’s important to follow up with the vendors and individuals with whom you’re looking to do business with.
Campbell recommends exchanging business cards and reconnecting with important contacts after the event.
“You’re not necessarily going to make a deal here,” she says. “You’re going to meet the exhibitor and get an idea of who they are and what they do. When you get back home, follow up and make a more permanent relationship with them.”
Use the ISS App“A lot of people think that self storage is a low-tech industry,” says Campbell. “But it’s not. There are some tech-savvy people here, and the ISS app has made a huge difference in their experience at the show.”
Once you check in for the ISS World Expo, be sure to download the app. The app allows you to plan your day, read descriptions of educational events and view a map of the exhibition hall.
Attend Educational and Networking EventsThe ISS World Expo will offer you a diverse array of self storage-related opportunities, from seminars to networking. To get the most out of your experience, try to attend as many events as you can. Campbell mentions the cocktail hour as a highlight that allows attendees to network, relax and reflect on the day’s events. “It’s a nice time to unwind and meet old friends after a long day of education,” she says. “It’s a personal event in a relaxed atmosphere.” She also mentions a popular buyers and sellers meeting as a must for self storage operators interested in learning about buying or selling a facility.
Thinking about attending next year as an exhibitor?“Get in on it early,” says Campbell. “Because these booths sell out quickly.”
This year, booths sold out within five months. Exhibitors are buying larger booths and looking to have more of a presence. Next year, the event will be moving from Paris Hotel & Casino to The Mirage. The new venue will offer more space, but that space will still be in high demand. Prospective exhibitors should look for booth information to be available mid-summer, and they should plan on booking as soon as possible.“We bring in the most attendance,” says Campbell. “We offer the most elaborate show with networking, education and our exhibit hall. It is the best place to meet your customers.”