Having literally just touched down from attending the SSAA Convention 2018 a week ago, the team were very keen for me to share my insights with you in time for this newsletter. Whilst my thoughts are not yet fully formed, I have tried to share with you some of my initial insights from the Convention.

Firstly, let me paint the picture. The scale of this Convention was incredible. Some 319 attendees, across 3 days, inhabited the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) with an exhibition floor of 35 Exhibitors, the largest in some time. With 6 keynotes, 25 stream sessions, the roundtables, facility tours and the Open Day for newcomers to the industry – there was something for all delegates. Then there were the amazing networking events; The Trans-Tasman Golf Championships, The Tradeshow in the Spotlight, Women in Business High Tea, the Industry Leaders Dinner and the Awards for Excellence Gala night.  So, what did I learn?

There are many parts to a convention with delegates travelling from around Australia, New Zealand, India and the United States all coming together to share, learn and experience everything that is self storage.  Whilst it was not physically possible for anyone to attend all sessions there were some highlights for me personally across the 3 days of great speakers and topics.  David Blackwell’s session on the self storage market, Storage Wars online with Grant from iBidOnStorage, Industry Insights with Michael Dogger on how big data is shaping the future of self storage and the devastating events encountered by our panel in Fire, Flood & Earthquake.  In conversation with Sam Kennard, we heard a very personal side to family and business uniting to build an amazing outcome.  As always Bernard Salt reviewed the current business and social dynamic with insights on how it may affect our business and who can ever look at a Sunday morning breakfast of smashed avocado on toast quite the same way again.

All self storage operators face similar challenges in their everyday business operations and in the networking sessions individuals were able to comfortably communicate those matters with fellow delegates to help solve the problems or seek assurances that they were not the only ones experiencing a particular issue.

There was a big focus on technology, as it now effects every waking (and sleeping) moment of our lives.  We look forward to delivering the “how to” steps in the 2019 Convention.

Whilst we don’t tend to “shout from the rooftops” our achievements, the SSAA takes pride in delivering services to all our 860 plus members across more than 1450 facilities.  I would have to say that it was reassuring to receive so much positive feedback from delegates that they do appreciate the efforts of the Executive in the provision of these services.  Every member regardless of their classification is valued as part of the association.

So now it’s on with the planning of SSAA Convention 2019 in Cairns, North Queensland, incorporating the take-out messages from 2018.