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FEDESSA in Stockholm

Nov 17, 2014
On 1 October over 380 self storage owners, managers, investors and suppliers descended on Stockholm for the annual FEDESSA European Self Storage Conference and Trade Show. Report by Rennie Schafer, Chief Executive Officer of the Self Storage Association Ltd.

They were treated to two full days of education, networking and entertainment at the Radisson Blu Waterfront in the heart of Stockholm.  This year’s conference featured a range of business speakers and industry workshops along with the largest dedicated self storage trade show ever held in Europe.


The conference opened with a key note session from Caspar Berry, former professional poker player and now successful entrepreneur.  He covered the topic of business risk and how you can evaluate the risks you take in your self storage business every day and understand your risk/reward profile. 


The day continued with presentations and workshops on legal Issues in self storage; building business income levels; a major operator’s perspective on the industry; and the future of marketing and communication.  Two speakers, whom delegates particularly enjoyed, were Michael Tate from Storage King Australia and futurist Johan Ronnestam.  Michael gave some really practical tips on how to improve the profitability of a self storage business and Johan gave a detailed insight into how people are communicating in the digital age and those innovations coming into place now that will change how we market our businesses in the future.   The day finished with drinks in the trade show and then a wonderful dinner at the Opera Terrace.  This magnificent venue took in the scenery of the old town in Stockholm at night and provided entertainment from members of the Swedish Philharmonic Orchestra performing impromptu renditions across the ages, from Smoke on the Water and Run DMC, to Bach.


Day-two opened with Emma Sinclair, formerly of Target Parking, who was the youngest person in the UK to float her company on the stock exchange.  She talked about challenges in car parking that are similar to that in self storage and how her business overcame them.  The day continued with an amazing first-hand account of the floods in Copenhagen and how City Self Storage dealt with its self storage centre being inundated with water.  The independent operators panel talked about how they do battle with the ‘big guys’ and focus on local initiatives to make their business a leader in their area.  The European self storage survey was launched and there was analysis on the industry by a group of valuers from across the world.  Par Magnusson from RBS gave an insightful commentary on the European economy and what to expect in the coming years.  The days’ sessions were wrapped up with the popular round tables, where delegates get to spend one-on-one time with the speakers and industry experts and delve into issues in more detail.


The conference culminated with the Gala event for the industry, the FEDESSA European Awards dinner.  This year’s awards saw a record number of entries, all of which were of an exceptionally high standard.  The judges congratulated all the finalists and the winners were announced.


The dinner finished up with a Swedish ABBA tribute band that had almost everyone on the dance floor enjoying themselves, particularly some of the award winners celebrating their victory!


Next year’s FEDESSA European Self Storage Conference will be held at the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam, on October 6-7.   There is also a special executive ski workshop being held in Chamonix France on February 11 & 12.   This is an exclusive event with very limited places, for more information and booking forms go to

Photos, top to bottom: Rennie Schafer, Chief Executive Officer of the Self Storage Assocaition UK Ltd; Conference round tables session; The largest dedicated self storage trade show ever held in Europe; European Awards dinner.


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