Why an Industry Trade Show Is Worth the Trip

You may not be able to attend every year, but taking the time to connect with others in portable sanitation is a smart move

Why an Industry Trade Show Is Worth the Trip

Every February our industry comes together to attend the Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show, formerly known as the Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo. Each year, I hem and haw about whether I should go to the show. It is nice to travel to a new city, but I have a busy job and life and it’s hard to find time to get away from all of that. This year, I attended for the first time in five years and I was really surprised to see how much the show and our industry have changed.

Yes, there are portable toilets, restroom trailers and trucks on display. But now portable restrooms are a small speck compared to the wastewater industry portion of the show. Our industry has evolved over the last decade, and it is greatly apparent when visiting the show.

So if portable restrooms are just a small portion of the show, do you really need to go? I say yes.

Did we go to the show to buy equipment? Of course we did. We purchased new toilets, paper products and deodorizers, and even considered a couple new restroom trailers. It is hard not to be enticed when tired, a little bit hungry and riding a sugar rush from all the free candy.

But the best thing I got out of this year’s show was the ability to be with other portable restroom operators. When you are all in the same city, it is so great to meet for a drink or dinner and really talk about business. Knowing that I would only be in Indianapolis for two days, I decided to see as many people as possible and it was the highlight of our trip.

Some would say it is scary to sit down and have a drink with a major competitor. They may steal your ideas or steal your customers. Instead I look at it as an opportunity for collaboration. Every one of my competitors has something that they are the best at. One company runs a very tight ship and has procedures in place that are some of the finest in the industry. Another competitor bases its decisions solely off how profitable a job is and probably doesn’t leave their yard without making good money. Wouldn’t we all like to be that sensible? 

Whether you came to the show to buy products, to see what is new in our industry, or to fill your office with all of the free pens, there really is something for everyone. When you make yourself available to meet new people and gather new ideas, that is when your business truly shines. Did you go this year?

About the author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.


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