We shipped a crew of StorageAhead sales guys, engineers, C-suiters and account managers to Las Vegas for the ISS World Expo last week. While the office was quiet without them (as the rest of us continued our work in not-as-exciting Kansas City*), they did return with a wealth of knowledge to share with the rest of the left-behind team.

Self storage operators have a thirst for web marketing knowledge.

StorageAhead met with an incredible amount of operators throughout the week and realized that their SEO expertise varied greatly; some had heard certain tactics for boosting their PageRank, but they either weren't sure if they should trust the source of the information or they weren't having much success. Our account manager, Steve Lam, was there to set everyone straight at StorageAhead's roundtable discussion as he explained the industry best practices for getting indexed by the search engines.

Storage Ahead team at the 2013 International Self Storage Expo

When it comes to customer reviews, be proactive, not reactive.

Remember that list of prioritized events I compiled to check out at the trade show? We had StorageAhead employees attend, and we thought the presentation on "Handling Customer Reviews and Complaints in a Facebook World" was a particularly important topic; this topic especially hit home with StorageAhead because of the recent WebWorks' update that incorporates customer reviews on our clients' sites. Many customers will only leave reviews if they've had a bad experience, and a collection of negative feedback does not shine your facility in a positive light. So how can you be proactive? By making sure you're asking customers who've had exceptional experiences to leave reviews.

We have the best clients, and squeezable sheep are a hit.

Since we're stationed here in Kansas (while many of our customers are off in much more exotic places), we hardly get to interact other than via e-mail and phone calls. The ISS Expo let us meet many of our new clients in person and rekindle relationships with our long-term ones, as well. Our sales team had a great time catching up with those owners they've grown to know over the past few years.

Attendees also loved our stress-ball sheep and left us feeling bittersweet that we didn't get to bring any back home.

Squeezable StorageAhead sheep stress ball

*I'm not that bitter I didn't go… promise!