When planning an event, most people think about the fun stuff first: Decorations, music, ceremony, speeches, T-shirt designs. But it’s the unglamorous stuff that can make or break your participant experience – such as, are there enough toilets? For more than 15 years, United Site Services, which provides portable toilets, restroom trailers and fencing rentals for events nationwide, has been a valued partner on our events. We talked to National Sales Manager Rollin Kay about the work we’ve done together. You can also learn more about them at www.unitedsiteservices.com/.
How did you first get into the business? Over 20 years ago, my uncle told me he had a friend who needed help. He gave me an address and told me to show up at 4:00 a.m. – that was all. I arrived at the location to find all of the employees working to clean and load over 500 portable restroom units onto trucks for a large parade in Downtown Chicago. The rest is history – I’ve been working in the industry ever since.
How have events (in terms of the services you provide) changed in the 15+ years we’ve been working together? ADA accessible restrooms and hand washing stations are two trends that have emerged in recent years. These two items more often than not are being addressed by event organizers during the planning stages, which is great. Event attendees have definitely warmed up to the concept of portable restrooms over the last decade, too. With more modern designs and amenities like hand sanitizers, flushing toilets and improved ventilation, they are not as primitive as they were 20+ years ago. The product line that has evolved the most over the last 15 years is without question restroom trailers. Some of our high-end luxury restroom trailers are nicer than my bathroom at home!
Tell us your favorite aspect of supporting events. My favorite aspect of supporting events with portable sanitation and fencing is witnessing the planning stages translate into a smooth load-in, load-out and ultimately clients having a successful event. Portable restrooms are certainly not the most glamorous aspect of an event but they are extremely important. Attention to detail is very important to me and everyone at United Site Services and seeing that pay off is extremely gratifying.
What do you not like about event work? The work/family balance can be taxing at times. Due to the nature of our business, which happens all across the country, there are many periods throughout the year with multiple high profile events taking place on the same or consecutive weekends for months on end. Vacations around the holidays when events are less prominent are always the light at the end of the tunnel for me and my family.
Sometimes the portable toilet business is hard to escape. This past spring my family and I rented a cabin in the mountains, and guess what was the first thing we saw when we pulled up? An old school outhouse!