Greetings all! I’m back in the office after a fantastic week on the Gold Coast for the Self Storage Association of Australasia’s (SSAA’s) annual convention & tradeshow… and what a fantastic show – I hope you enjoyed it as much as the Storman team and I did!
Here’s a look back at the last few days from the tradeshow side of things. You’ll find some photos scattered throughout as well as at the end of this post. Feel free to leave a comment at the end, too!
Tuesday 5th August
After an early start in Brisbane packing the car, Ben & I headed down to the Jupiters complex and started the tradeshow booth setup at 10am. A few hours later the screens were up, the cables laid and we were ready to rock ‘n roll. As soon as we finished setting up the tradeshow stand, I rushed off to check in, had a bite to eat and jumped onto bus “1B” for the Facility Tour.
First stop on the tour was the brand new Storage King at Helensvale – a cutting edge self storage facility in Helensvale, featuring the latest in IP cameras, the latest PTI access control, some great new building design features, an INSOMNIAC self storage kiosk and a very different & spacious “open plan” office area for customers (including in-store wifi & a hot-desk work area for people on the go). I took a few (hundred?) photos… you can find a few of them below & even more on my dedicated Storage King Helensvale photo blog.
Sadly there was an accident on the freeway, so our trip to facility 2, which should have taken 30 minutes, took about an hour… but we eventually arrived at Eco-Centre Self Storage in Stapylton. Well… when I say arrived, I mean “tried to drive into”. Sadly the bus couldn’t make it into the little side road, so we ended up taking a further 5 minute detour around a few back roads – many of which weren’t even sealed, before we arrived via the back way.
We had a great tour of the complex – which features creeks, water cascades and a large lagoon with plenty of wildlife. It must be a great facility to work at – nature at your front door! Sadly we spent a large amount of time going through the eco-aspect of the complex, that many of us only got to spend a few minutes inside the actual self storage facility before we had to head off to the third and final location on the tour.
The accident from earlier was still causing havoc, so we took a few service roads before we eventually arrived at Gasoline Alley Harley Davidson at Springwood. Many of us on the tour wondered what this place had to do with self storage, but our host, David Staughton, said to pay close attention to the branding and merchandising – as it would tie in to his session tomorrow. But what a place – I had no idea there were so many different types of Harley available!
You see, it’s not about the product; a Harley from this store is the same Harley from another store… but it’s the customisation and personalisation that makes it different. A Harley from Gasoline Alley is never going to be the same as one anywhere else, as it can be customised for the rider in hundreds of different ways – and that’s what sets them apart. It’s about standing out and differentiating your business from others that sell, or do, the same thing. I’m sure David will touch more on this tomorrow during his session as he goes into how to make your self storage offerings stand out.
After a quick tour, we headed back to the conference venue; but sadly – due to traffic and even more accidents on the way back, the 45 minute trip ended up taking 90 minutes and we got back at 6:50pm (instead of the scheduled 5pm); meaning I only had 10 minutes to check-in, iron my clothes, shower and get ready for the next event – the cocktail welcome party!
As you guessed, I was a little late to that one, but made it by 7:30pm… what a night! The theme was “the fun of the fair” and it was fantastic – circus acts, circus games, drinks, lots of yummy food and some great time with our fantastic group of association members. I headed off just after 10pm, but I’m sure it kicked on for a few hours more. As expected, I’ve included a bunch more photos below in the photo gallery.
Wednesday 6th August
After breakfast & a bit of a catch-up on emails, I headed into the tradeshow area at around 8am to start preparing for the day. By 10:30, it was morning tea time and the masses entered the tradeshow hall for a bite to eat, a ‘cuppa and a chat. It was fantastic to chat to so many clients, put faces to names and run through our self storage management software with a large number of interested people; more-so than any event I’ve ever attended to far.
Our newly developed Storman Online Reporting (SOR) and Online Customer Portal (OCP) modules have been a massive hit in our tradeshow demo’s – so if you didn’t see them at the show, I welcome you to read up about our Online Reporting module. Remember, these two modules are included in your ongoing monthly Support & Upgrades Subscription – so if you already use Storman, feel free to sign-up to our SOR open beta and check it out! We’ll have more information on the Online Customer Portal as it nears completion.
Lunch is always a big one at these events, as they’re usually the longest sessions – and at 90 minutes, today’s was no different. As I said earlier, the sheer number of demonstrations we all provided to new people was fantastic – however, I am starting to lose my voice from talking so much, so hopefully it comes back overnight. To all those that came by and saw us today – thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed the speaker sessions. I’m off to a catch-up Teppanyaki dinner this evening, but we’ll all be back on deck tomorrow for our final day on the tradeshow floor – see you then!
Thursday 7th August
The last day of a tradeshow is always the busiest and today was no exception, with both sessions full of software demonstrations. Before I knew it, it was time to bump-out and within an hour, the stand was packed away and ready to go. At 6:30pm, the SSAA kicked off their convention closer with the fantastic gala dinner & celebrations, of which I’ve included a number of photos below. A big ‘congratulations’ to all of the award winners (listed below).
We had a great time at the convention and hope you did too. Thanks for supporting us – and the Self Storage Association of Australasia – by attending their flagship event. If you missed out on one of our demo CDs (they disappeared like hotcakes!), you can still download our free trial. Of course, if you need to chat to one of our friendly staff about Storman, we welcome you to get in touch. Thanks again and see you in 2015! Don’t forget to check out more photos below & leave a comment at the end!
2014 SSAA Award Winners
Congratulations to all award winners!
- New Industry Entrant Award: On-Guard Self Storage, Noosaville
- Small Operator of the Year Award: Capital Self Storage, Mitchell
- Best Expansion / Upgrade of the Year Award: U-Store It, Keswick
- Innovation of the Year Award: National Storage, Head Office
- Service Member of the Year Award: CentreForce IT
- Manager of the Year Award: Temeike McLean, Storage King Browns Plains
- Regional Facility of the Year Award: Storage King Rutherford
- Facility of the Year Award: Fort Knox Storage, Vermont
2014 SSAA Convention Photos
PS: Want more? Ben’s also put together a great convention wrap-up on his blog.