Go Get it! Booking Large Events in the Portable Sanitation Business

Go Get it! Booking Large Events in the Portable Sanitation Business
A portable restroom company sets up units, anticipating the arrival of 30,000 runners. (Photos courtesy of Beverly Lewis)

High-profile venues, celebrities, black-tie galas and the next golf tournament in town create a lot of excitement, even in the sanitation industry. Let’s face it, we love the glamour and the bragging rights that come from someone famous stepping into one of our facilities. Although a brush with fame is fun and exciting, there is a substantial amount of planning and expertise that goes into executing events like these. The people who organize major affairs — professional event planners, company employees or volunteers for an organization — look for knowledgeable vendors with a good reputation to ensure their event goes smoothly. 

Providing portable restroom services for community and private events is a great opportunity to grow your business in the sanitation industry, but to be the kind of company organizers trust (and recommend to others) requires some planning and a little strategy. I once provided services for an event where the celebrity entertainment insisted, at the eleventh hour, that a private restroom be placed on a second-story balcony, which gave new meaning to “in the air tonight.” To prepare for odd requests like this one while also growing your business in the special events field, follow these guidelines. 

Get promoted

Effectively promote your business to the special events industry. Event and wedding planners need to know your company and why they should use your services. Describe the value of doing business with your company in industry trade magazines, social media and customized brochures. Advertise at local trade shows targeted to event planners or those that attract them. Post reviews and recommendations on your website and in your social media. Consider posting an online video of an event for which you provided services. Choose an event that highlights your capabilities. 

Get connected

Get connected with event planners in your community. These professionals handle everything from corporate events to backyard BBQs, weddings and sporting events. Visit them and learn specifically what type of equipment and services they need from a sanitation provider. Get involved with local associations or organizations where event planners, rental companies and suppliers network and get to know others in the events industry. 

Get informed

The more you know about what’s going on in your local community, the better you can manage your presence in the event industry. Build a master list of the upcoming events in your service area, tracking when they are going to take place, the location and estimated equipment needs. List all the events you know of, not just the ones you would like to book. 

Get strategic

Meeting the demands of providing services at events is not always easy and can stress a company’s capabilities. Load-in and load-out schedules and complex placement instructions can be taxing on the operations department. Lengthy or difficult deliveries cost valuable labor hours. Determine a strategy that best utilizes equipment and crew, and one that allows you to focus on bidding on events that work within your operational capabilities. 

Get profitable

Growing profitability requires that you know the true cost of providing your service and charge appropriately. Meeting specific event schedule demands and difficult placement requirements can increase the cost of providing services. Create a system to estimate the total expenses for a particular job based on the type and quantity of equipment, labor costs, trucking, supplies and overhead. This could be done on a simple form or a spreadsheet that does all the calculations automatically. Once the true cost has been calculated, then a proposal can be prepared with greater confidence. If the price is right, it is a competitive bid with an acceptable profit margin. 

Get green

Sustainability is a growing trend in the special events industry. Event planners are seeking vendors who share the vision for Corporate Social Responsibility. Consider the ways that your company can establish green initiatives. For help, there are consulting agencies that can evaluate current company processes and behaviors and make recommendations on how your organization can be environmentally friendly. Once these standards are in place, promote the company’s innovation and commitment to the environment. Be sure to specifically mention, either in advertising or in proposals/bids, how your company’s green standards can make a difference in the community and at local events. 

Events are a great way to expand your business and an opportunity to earn additional revenue. Secure company bragging rights by getting promoted, connected, informed, strategic and profitable. Go get it! 

About the Author
Beverly Lewis runs a marketing agency, the Beverly Lewis Group, dedicated to helping small businesses with marketing solutions. Having served as the director of sales & marketing for two portable sanitation companies, her unique background combined with an expertise in marketing is well suited for the portable sanitation industry. She believes that a company’s image is represented in every aspect of the company. She is an active member of the PSAI and was awarded the distinguished Sani-Award in 2008 for outstanding service. Contact Beverly at beverly@beverlylewisgroup.com or visit www.beverlylewisgroup.com.



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