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The 21st European Self Storage Conference and Trade Show comes to London

Sep 08, 2019
​An interview with Self Storage Association CEO, Rennie Schafer, about the upcoming European Conference and Trade Show to be held in London, October 1 – 2.

The 21st European Self Storage Conference & Trade Show comes to London cover
The European self storage conference is coming to London.  Every year it gets bigger and Rennie said he was excited to see the conference in the city as 45% of the European industry is based in the UK. “This is only the second time this event has been held in London and we are expecting over 800 people across the two days,” he said.  “It’s the biggest self storage event outside the USA.  Anyone with an interest in self storage will get value out of attending, whether you be an owner, operator, investor or just someone thinking about getting into the industry.  The industry is growing and maturing, and this event is also getting better every year.”

Self Storage Association CEO Rennie SchaferThis year there will be some high-calibre speakers on the agenda, Lord Stuart Rose Conservative MP and sporting personality Karren Brady along with some industry heavy weights in James Gibson and Martin Gerhardus.  Rennie said that the conference always tries to have a mix of business and industry speakers. “We look for business leaders whose lessons and experiences can be transferred to our industry,” he said. “It is always interesting to hear an outside view on our developing industry. People like Stuart Rose and Karren Brady have such a wealth of business and retail experience and are such powerful speakers.  Delegates are sure to learn from them on how to improve their marketing, retail focus and business management.  Our industry speakers will give a much more personal analysis of their businesses, what has worked and what did not.  I am looking forward to hearing from Julia West on how she has engaged with local communities to improve her turnover.  We also have some very practical sessions on improving your sales techniques and disaster management.”

The European elf storage conference is well known for taking the opportunity to release industry research. This year it will present the European Storage Report produced in conjunction with property consultants JLL.  This details the growth of the industry and key measurables such as occupancy and revenue generation across the individual European markets.  “This year though we also have a special study into what millennials really think of self storage and how the industry can better market to this emerging segment,” said Rennie.  “The results really are fascinating, hearing first-hand from millennials who took their first self storage journey and video blogged the whole process.  What they liked and did not, the barriers they faced and the pleasant surprises they received.  It really is insightful for any self storage operator.”

This year the event will be held at the QEII in Westminster, right in the heart of London. It’s one of the few venues in central London that can accommodate plenary sessions for that number of people and the trade show under one roof. “We have 50 trade stands available this year and almost all have been sold.  We will be profiling everything for your self storage business including construction companies, management companies, software, insurance, packing materials and even a self storage robot.  Everything you need to set up your self storage business all in one place.”

Rennie said that the first night’s dinner will be held at the iconic Natural History Museum with the industry awards dinner back at the QEII on the final night.  “The event is not just about the speakers but also networking with the other delegates and learning from the wealth of experience that is in the room,” he said.

There are still places available.  All booking details are available through www.ssauk.com   Rennie said that the self storage industry is continuing to grow both in size, occupancy and returns. It is also attracting more institutional investors who are seeing the many benefits of the industry. ”We are putting on an event that reflects the growing maturity of the industry,” he said. “We have some world-class business speakers and insightful industry speakers with many years of experience, from both large chains and independent operators.  We are covering topics that are really relevant to self storage operators, online sales, disaster recovery, millennials, engaging local communities, sales techniques and so much more, not to mention a huge trade show.   There really is something for everyone with an interest in self storage.”

Photo: Rennie Schafer.

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