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It may seem totally unbelievable, but the holidays are coming. It all begins in just a little over 4 weeks with Halloween. While some might not see trick-or-treat time as an official “holiday,” many self-storage operators take advantage of the spook-filled fun day to market their facility.
Take US Self Storage 1 in Boynton Beach, Fla., for example. Known for its many community events, the storage operator is once again hosting a Halloween-themed party on Oct. 31 complete with food and “sweets.”
AA U-Stor-M Self Storage in Upland, Calif., is also throwing a party on Halloween day, the facility’s “8th Annual Halloween Treasure Hunt.” The operator hands out “loot” bags and a treasure map so kids and their parents can hunt for candy and other treasures. Plus, the facility features a singing pumpkin light show every night during the week of Halloween.
Last year, All Canadian Self-Storage turned its facility in Toronto into a “haunted storage” on Halloween night, daring community members to walk its ghostly halls. The operator rounded out the event by hosting a silent auction and drawings for prizes. All proceeds from the Halloween festivities benefited a local charity.
If you’re not a fan of the fright, that’s OK. Halloween is just one holiday storage operators can use as a backdrop to promote their facility. With the festive season just weeks away, now’s the time to start planning your holiday décor, parties and marketing messages to attract new customers and say thanks to existing ones.
So how can you capitalize on the season to sell your brand? This article from the Small Business Administration includes 33 ideas for holiday marketing. Check out No. 16: “Hold a kids’ contest like a make-your-own-ornament or holiday coloring. Give a big prize or just give everyone small prizes, like candy canes.”
If you’re considering an event, such as a barbecue, visit from Santa or a “family fun day,” start planning now. Here’s an excellent article from the ISS archives on how to throw a memorable community event.
Simply adding some fun decorations that celebrate a holiday is also a great way to attract notice. Add some creep to your facility office with a few cobwebs, spiders and a bowl of candy corns this month, then go for fall foliage and pilgrim décor in November. During December, consider adding bright lights, an inflatable snowman near your front door and a stocking packed with yummy treats. Your presentation doesn’t have to be over the top to be effective. For more ideas on holiday decorating or share your advice, check out this Self-Storage Talk thread.
Another great way to promote your facility and provide goodwill is by becoming a drop-off site for any number of charities collecting food, clothes or toys. This is a favorite act among many self-storage operators. If you’re not sure how to get involved, try your local chamber of commerce, food bank or other local charity. Nonprofits are always seeking support and will typically have a number of ideas on ways you can help.
Adding a few decorations to your facility or hosting a holiday-themed event are just another way for you to show your community you’re more than just the another storage facility. It’s an opportunity to be a part of your community, give back, attract new customers and show your gratitude to existing ones. Try these “tricks” and I’m positive you’ll receive many “treats!”
With wedding season coming to a close, DJs will soon find themselves needing to store audio equipment and any lights or fog machines they use during their gigs. While speakers, lighting, and other equipment are capable of withstanding short-term exposure to outdoor elements like heat and humidity, keeping them in a garage or an uncontrolled environment over a long period of time isn’t a good idea.
In order to stay in good condition between gigs, DJ equipment needs to be kept in a safe space where temperature and humidity can be monitored—and where it won’t come into physical contact with other items that could damage it. Under these requirements, a self storage unit can be the perfect place for storing DJ equipment.
But before you move equipment into self storage, you need to make sure the unit you rent has adequate space and climate control. Also, your equipment should get a good cleaning before heading to storage.
Find Adequate Space for Your Equipment at a Storage Facility
Because DJ equipment is so fragile (both internally and externally), you’ll want to find a self storage unit that can hold everything without getting too cluttered. This is important because you don’t want your equipment resting against or falling on top of other equipment in your unit. But how much space do you actually need?
According to Taylor Morken, marketing director for UniqueSquared, which has grown into a top 10 pro audio retailer in the U.S. since 2007 and provides customers with a unique buying experience that minimizes the stresses of online shopping, the amount of equipment you store will ultimately determine what unit size you’ll need.
“If you’re a DJ, you probably have your performance gear (turntables and mixer or DJ controller), a PA system, lights, fog machine, etc.,” says Morken. Though not every DJ will be storing all of this equipment, these are the most common pieces stored.
Tim Kallas, general manager for Stadium Self Storage in Milwaukee, Wis., states that DJs using units to store equipment can get away with a unit in the 5×5 to 5×10 range, as long as they’re not stacking equipment.
The most significant advantage for using self storage for DJ equipment is climate control. This technology allows the temperature and humidity levels inside the unit to be controlled and adjusted. As a result, sensitive items, like electronic equipment, are protected from damage.
“The enemy of any piece of professional audio gear is humidity,” Morken says.
Too much humidity for too long presents the same threats as direct exposure to water. Over time, iron surfaces face the development of rust, and chassis could begin to corrode. Worse, humidity could make its way through gaps in the surface material and damage the internal components, ultimately ruining everything.
“The normal rate of humidity for any sustained period of time should be between 30-50%,” says Kallas, who adds you should never assume humidity isn’t an issue just because you live in a region that doesn’t experience high humidity. “In the Southwest, [there’s] very low humidity in the 15-20% range. [In this situation], you have to inject humidity into the air.” Why would you need to add humidity? Well, too low of a concentration results in static buildup, which has the potential to ruin circuitry as well.
While humidity is the big issue, Morken says temperature fluctuations aren’t that much of a concern, as long as the equipment remains stored in a “dry, cool environment.” Still, it’s always good to be on the safe side and keep your unit around 60-75°F (or room temperature).
“[Some] storage facilities will have a much narrower range of temperatures [and] move a lot of air to maintain the humidity levels,” says Kallas. “Others will have a quite broad temperature range of 50-80 degrees. So it really is buyer beware.”
Once you’ve found a suitable storage unit for your DJ equipment, it’s a good idea to clean all of your equipment to remove dust and other contaminants, which, over time, can get into the internal components of your equipment and cause damage. Since equipment varies by model and manufacturer, always read the owner’s manual for recommended cleaning instructions.
In general, you can dampen a nonabrasive cloth with some isopropyl alcohol and wipe down the surfaces—for safety reasons, make sure you’re using the brands of isopropyl alcohol specifically used for cleaning electronics (like laptops screens). This will remove dust and other contaminants from the surface of your equipment.
One final tip: Cover your audio equipment with a sheet of plastic while it’s in storage. If the unit experiences roof failure or contains a high amount of dust, the sheet will help block potential damages to your equipment.