Event Planning – How Many Portable Toilets Will I Need?

The most common question we get in this business is “How many toilets will I need?”

We get asked this by regular people planning private events as well as seasoned event planning pros alike, so we wanted to take the opportunity to break it down for you.

Regardless of the size of your event, having enough bathrooms is crucial in ensuring that guests will be able to enjoy themselves. No one wants to have their guests waiting in long lines (or leaving) to use the bathroom! That’s why it’s so critical to get it right from the outset of your event!

(Trust us, you don’t want to be the guy calling frantically asking to have more porta potties delivered mid-event!)

Use Our Planning Chart

We have a helpful chart to help estimate how many units you’ll need for your event. It’s a grid that simply multiplies the number of hours for your event by the number guests expected. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect that one porta potty unit can service up to 50 guests for up to 3 hours. For events where the number of attendees is unknown, you should round your estimates up to prevent finding yourself in a situation where there aren’t enough bathrooms for all the families and individuals that show up.

Consult the Pros

Our planning chart provides an estimated number of units that you’ll need, but if you want a more customized recommendation based on the type of event and the geographic size of the event, you can always give us a call at 888-320-9992 and we’d be happy to help you out!

As professionals, we have many years of experience in the portable restroom business, which means that we know best when it comes to rental toilets. We know when to recommend luxury restroom trailers versus standard porta potties, and we have all of the add-ons that you’ll need to keep your event sanitary!

Scale Up or Down

If the event you’re planning has been held before, you can scale up or down based on your previous experience. Typically this means learning from past mistakes and getting more toilets and trailers than you’ve had in previous years to better accommodate guests.

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!

How to Avoid a Scheduling Conflict with Your Large Event

Here at Kerkstra we’ve definitely seen our share of large events delivering portable toilets and luxury restroom trailers all across Michigan, which is why we know that the worst thing that can happen is a low turnout. If you’re planning a large event, you want to make sure that your hard work pays off by attracting lots of attendees (especially if it’s a paid event). Whether you’re planning a community gathering, a music festival, a big wedding, or any other get together, these tips will help you avoid a scheduling conflict:

Consult Key Guests

If you have a way to communicate with your VIP guests, ask them which dates and times work best for their schedules in advance. You can email executive employees for corporate events, poll existing customers for in-store events, and set up an online survey for local community events to determine when to have your gathering. This will give you a better chance of getting more of them in attendance and will put your event on their radar so that they can schedule accordingly.

Check Community Event Calendars

The last thing you want to do is plan your event for the same day as another popular event in your area. Making your event compete for attendees with other big local happenings means that you’ll lose at least some people that would otherwise have been in attendance. It also means that any advertising that you do leading up to the event may end up being overshadowed if the other event organizer has a bigger marketing budget.

Respect Holiday Plans

Holding events on major holidays or over holiday weekends only works if the event has something to do with the holiday (like a Fourth of July picnic and fireworks show or Turkey Trot run). Otherwise, your event will conflict with people’s normal celebration of the holiday with friends and family. This is why wedding planners often advise against scheduling a wedding on a major holiday to respect guests’ plans.

Consider Your Target Audience

Think about who you want to come to your event and then pick a date and time that works well for them as a demographic. For instance, if you want to attract families with young kids, don’t have your event start too late or run for too short of a period of time, otherwise it may conflict with bedtimes or nap schedules, limiting attendance.

Use Past Dates

If the event that you’re planning is an annual event, lean on when you’ve had it before. For instance, if you typically have your event on the first Saturday in December, assume that your guests are expecting your event to take place at that time again this year and don’t stray too far from that normal date. This gives regular attendees the opportunity to plan well in advance so that they can come out to your event again.

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!

5 Ways Not Having Enough Bathrooms Will Ruin Your Event

What’s the worst thing that can happen at your event? Not having enough bathrooms!

We deal with corporate event planners, party planners, engaged couples, and tons of other people every year who are looking for portable restroom rentals for their upcoming events and we tell them all the same thing: you can’t have too many bathrooms! The reason for this is simple – skimping on the bathrooms for your event can ruin it even if everything else goes perfectly. Sometimes people are skeptical and think that we’re just trying to sell them on getting more units or trailers than they’ll actually need, but that’s not the case at all. Don’t believe us? Here are 5 ways that not having enough restrooms can ruin the success of your event now and in the future:

  1. Unsatisfied Attendees
  2. A great way to frustrate people at your event is to make them wait in long lines. But while people tend to wait in lines for food, beverages, and merchandise without much complaining, bathroom lines always make people angry because having to hold it when you really need to use the facilities isn’t comfortable.

    A lot of people head for the bathrooms when they first arrive at an event and/or just before leaving, which means that long bathroom lines may be the first and/or last thing that they experience at your event. Don’t start off your event on the wrong foot by frustrating people when they first get there, and don’t end your event by having a bad experience be the last thing that event attendees remember. Instead, rent enough units from your local portable toilet supplier to accommodate all your guests comfortably and ensure that they’re clean and well-maintained.

  3. Reduced Length of Visits
  4. People won’t stay at your event for as long if they have to leave to use the bathroom. If you’re hosting an event where you want people to stick around to make it successful (to make purchases, participate in activities, create a packed vibe, etc.), this can be a real killer. Get attendees to stay for the duration of your event by providing for their basic needs (bathrooms, food, shade, places to sit, etc.) to make them comfortable.

  5. Fewer Families
  6. Families and bathrooms go together like peanut butter and jelly – they’re meant to be. Parents instinctively look for larger bathrooms to accommodate an adult and multiple children (or a child in a stroller) all at once to make bathroom trips easier. Not having handicapped stall-sized bathrooms or enough bathrooms to get people in and out quickly is a big turn off for parents and other caregivers. If you don’t have enough bathrooms, the word will spread quickly and it’ll cause families to stay away because people with children don’t want to hear their kids whine and cry when they must wait in long bathroom lines (or worse yet, clean up after accidents occur).

  7. Unsanitary Conditions
  8. If you’re serving food at your event, having enough bathrooms is an absolute must-have! Aside from just the inconvenience of having to wait to use the restroom, trying to have too many people use too few toilets can cause the units to run out of hand sanitizer/soap. The last thing you want is people to use the bathrooms and then be handling and consuming food without an adequate way to wash their hands and kill germs. This makes a foodborne illness outbreak more likely, which can make people seriously sick and get your public event shut down.

  9. Decreased Long-Term Attendance
  10. Recurring annual or seasonal events hinge on providing a good experience for attendees so that they’ll want to return in the future. We already covered how not having enough portable toilets can irritate attendees and cause them to cut their time at your event short, but the long-term implication is that they may not return in the future either. Worse yet, they may share their bad experience with other people who are interested in your event and dissuade them from wanting to go the next time you put it on.

    Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!

It’s Not Too Early to Start Planning Your Next Outdoor Event

The temperatures have fallen and snow is on the ground, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start planning your spring or summer event. In fact, now is when you should start putting the details together for your warm weather outdoor event to ensure that everything will run smoothly. Whether you’re planning a wedding, large community event, fundraiser, neighborhood party, or anything else, you’ll need to take four important steps well in advance of the big event:

  1. Vision Board
  2. The first step in planning a great event is visualizing what that event will look like. Put together a vision board that highlights who will be at the event, what kind of food will be served, which decorative touches you’ll use, how you’ll organize your venue, etc. Having visual examples of what you want to accomplish will

  3. Check Event Calendars
  4. For big events, always check local public calendars to ensure that your event won’t have to compete against any other popular happenings. You want to give your event the best chance of succeeding by not dividing your audience.
    For smaller events, check the personal calendars of key guests to find a date that’s suitable for everyone that you want in attendance. Don’t make people choose between your event and other important things going on in their lives.

  5. Generate a Guest List
  6. Decide who you’ll invite and start creating invitations or event announcements to get people invested in your event early on. The more buy-in you get for your event at the beginning, the more interest you’ll generate and the more help you’ll have planning the event later on.

  7. Secure Popular Vendors in Advance
  8. The hardest part of planning any event is finding the right vendors. Whether it’s a caterer or portable restroom service, be sure that you can book the best vendors for your event. Call in advance to research rates and put down a deposit to hold your date.

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!

Planning Your Spring Event

As we approach the busy spring/summer event season, you might be tossing around the idea of hosting an event for your local community, but where do you start? If you’ve never planned an event before (or you’re just out of practice), this event planning how-to guide will outline the most important steps along the way!

Determine an Objective

The first thing you need to do is figure out why you want to host this particular event because that reason will be what you’ll use to convince the community that they should attend. Obviously paid events are organized to make their organizers money, but that’s just part of the story. That might be driving force behind hosting an event, but why this event?

Is it to give local families and kids something fun to do? Raise awareness about a particular cause or money for a worthy charity? Make use of popular local attractions or features (like a beach or lake for example)? Offer a different type of activity that your community has never seen before? Whatever the reason, that will be your value proposition when it comes time to market the event. It will also help drive your vision when it comes to the critical stage of determining the specifics for the event.

Set a Date

When selecting a date for your event, be sure to check community calendars and ask around to ensure that you won’t choose a date that conflicts with another community event. Not only should you ensure that the location you plan on using for the event is available, but you should ensure that there aren’t any other large events that will conflict with yours in order to give yourself the best chance of attracting large crowds.

Secure Vendors

Once you know what you want your event to look like and when it will be, you’ll want to book your vendors. It may be possible at his stage that one of the vendors you had your heart set on using is booked for those dates, in which case you may need to alter your dates. (For this reason it’s a good idea to have a backup date available as well.)
You’ll want to secure your most important vendors early on in the process because portable toilet suppliers, caterers, and other vendors are often booked out months in advance.

Invite Key Participants

There may be a certain guest list that you want to be sure is in attendance. If this is the case, send out information concerning the event as early as possible to these key participants. This way you can get your event on their radar right away. If there are any celebrities or well-known figures that you want to be able to tout when marketing the event, get them to commit to attending early on so that you’re not scrambling at the last moment to find that hook to draw people in.

Market the Event

Get on social media and market your event! If you don’t have the time (or knowhow) to do the social media marketing yourself, hire a professional to help you out so that you can be sure that the event will be well represented online in your community.
If there are other popular local avenues that you can utilize to spread awareness for your event, get started with those channels as well. These may include TV, radio, flyers, billboards, etc. Be sure to also spread the word verbally in your local micro-communities (church, school, workplace, doctor’s office, etc.) Just get the word out!

Have a Contingency Plan

Often spring and summertime events take place outdoors, but if you’ve ever been to and event that you were really excited about only to have it get rained out, you’ll understand how disappointing it can be when there isn’t a contingency plan in place. Depending on the nature of your event it may not be possible to have a plan B, but taking the steps early to plan for bad weather or other potential event-ruining occurrences can help you avoid disaster later on!

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!

4 Reasons Why Planning an Event is Easier than you Think

With warmer weather right around the corner you’re probably already starting to think about the parties and events that you’ll want to host this summer. But even with so much time between us and those long summer nights, there’s plenty of time to overthink your upcoming social plans. This is why planning a private event can feel overwhelming at times. But we’re here to remind you that it really doesn’t have to be! Here are four tips for simplifying your event planning to put together an event that’s fun and easy to pull off!

  1. You Can Host People Outside
  2. Don’t think that just because a party is happening at your place that you need to have people traipsing through your home! Why spend the time cleaning and tidying your house when you can take advantage of the nice summer weather and just keep everyone outside instead? By renting a tent to protect guests from too much sun or the chance of rain and portable restroom trailer you can make sure everyone’s needs are met without needing to have people overrunning your home.

  3. The Guest List Can Include Everyone
  4. Often times deciding who to invite can get tedious, political, and downright frustrating. By having the event outside, you’re not capped in the same way that you would be if you intended on hosting everyone under your roof. So, take advantage of that and just invite everyone. Inviting everyone on your block or all of your family in the area ensures no one’s feelings will get hurt by being left out. Some people won’t come, but they’ll be flattered that you thought of them and you’ll likely see more invites being extended to you as a result.

  5. Food Can Be Catered
  6. You don’t have to cook for every event that you host – that’s why catering was invented! Find a good caterer in the area and put together a menu for your event. You’ll enjoy the party more if you don’t have to cook, and you’ll be supporting a local business! Of course catering can be more expensive than doing the cooking yourself, so if you’re on a budget you’ll either have to pick less expensive menu options from the caterer, or go the potluck route and have everyone bring something to share.

  7. Entertainment Doesn’t Have to Be Elaborate
  8. Hiring a band is fun, but you don’t have to do anything that elaborate to ensure that guests have a good time. Doing something simple like running a cord outside to a stereo and providing lawn games can be just as fun! Popular tailgating games like washers or bags can keep partygoers entertained for hours! And if kids are invited, be sure to include activities for little ones as well!

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote for your next event!

The Top 5 Must-Haves for Any Event

We service a lot of different types of events here at Kerkstra, but one thing that we’ve noticed is that a lot of the most successful events share a few of the same qualities. Whether it’s an annual community marathon, music festival, employee appreciation event, or even a seasonal clam bake the best events follow the same script. If you want your upcoming event to be a smash success, you need to nail down these 5 must-haves for any event:

  1. A Location with “The Wow Factor”
  2. A location can make or break an event (and sometimes a location is the very cause for the event). When selecting the right location for your event, consider the amenities offered and ensure that they fit the overall objective for your event. Now, there may be times when the location is basically chosen for you. For instance, if you’re planning a sporting event, you may not have too many options to host your game or race; but if you’re planning a seasonal or corporate event you’ll have a lot more locations to choose from. Ensure that the location you book has enough space for all of your guests, favorable hosting policies if you plan on bringing in entertainment, plenty of luxury restrooms to accommodate everyone, and enough of a draw to entice people to attend.

    In West Michigan, some of the most popular event locations include:

    • Scenic lakeshore areas
    • Breweries and vineyards
    • Botanical gardens and art parks
    • Colleges and Universities
    • Parks and nature preserves
    • Farms and rural settings

    Hopefully those provide you with some inspiration for your event!

  3. A Great Guest List
  4. The guest list is essential when it comes to shaping an event and, therefore, is crucial to it being successful. Inviting the right people ensures that your event will be filled with the right audience for whatever you’re hosting. Send invites to anyone who needs to be in attendance as well as anyone who may contribute to the success of the event. For instance, for non-profit organizations this means inviting the founders, current contributors, and other interested supporters who may contribute in the future. For community events and other functions where guests are not invited individually, the more the merrier! Invite people to come out and get location news and radio stations to hype your event for maximum exposure.

  5. The Right Entertainment
  6. The right entertainment for your event can vary from a live band to a clown or caricaturist to a giant outdoor movie screen. Ensure that whoever (or whatever) you bring to your event to entertain your guests is appropriate for your demographic. Nothing ruins an event faster than having entertainment that doesn’t appeal to your audience. Encourage people to stick around by properly spacing out the timing of different entertainment offerings and give people a variety of options to choose from to ensure there will be something fun for everyone.

  7. Ways to Capture the Memories
  8. Having a professional photographer capture your event or offering a photo booth is a great way to allow guests to remember the fun they had at your event. You can also encourage guests to share pictures and memories on social media with a dedicated page or hashtag so that people can appreciate others’ memories as well. However you decide to it, helping guests to capture memories of the event gives them a palpable way to hold onto the fun that they had, which is key to hosting a great event.

  9. Staying Power
  10. For annual or recurring functions, you’ll want your event to have staying power. This means getting guests excited about the next occurrence of your event. Tease them with what your planning for next year (or better yet, allow them to contribute ideas for next year’s event). For paid events, offer discounts or gifts if they purchase tickets for next year in advance. Encourage guests to rate your event on specific topics and then use the feedback you got from this year’s event to make next year even better!

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!

The Top 5 Gifts Santa Would Give Event Planners

Event planners are a unique bunch – they’re organized, driven, creative, and a little crazy. But being an amazing event planner isn’t just about a great problem solver, it’s also about having the right tools to have the event go off without a hitch. So what’s on a typical event planner’s list for Santa? These are the top 5 gifts that event planners want this year:

  1. Robust Planning Software
  2. Every event planner has planning software or an online tool to help them organize all of the details that need to come together to make a fabulous event. There are many different tools available and some have specific niches (like wedding planning, corporate event planning, etc.) but all are better than simply trying to keep track of everything on your own. For professional event planners simple lists on paper or in email won’t do – a robust planning software is an absolute necessity.

  3. An Easy to Work with Photographer
  4. Photographers can vary widely in their skill level, price, and customer friendliness. Some professional photographers produce great results but are incredibly difficult to work with, making an event planner’s life more difficult. The last thing that you want is to have a photographer who makes your already stressful job even harder.

  5. Versatile Caterers
  6. Memorable events have delicious food, but every event has different menu requirements. Instead of needing a whole contact book full of caterers to call on, having a short-list of really versatile caterers is the way to go. Knowing ahead of time that you can trust a caterer to provide rave-worthy food no matter what the customer’s requirements are is something invaluable to check off your list. This type of partnership can last you a long time throughout your event planning career.

  7. A Dependable Restroom Provider
  8. No matter what type of event you’re planning, you need to ensure that there will be enough bathrooms for all of the guests because this is the number one thing that can kill a good event. Having poorly located restrooms, dirty facilities, or an insufficient quantity of bathrooms for the number of guests is a one-way ticket to event failure. To prevent this from occurring, you’ll need a dependable portable toilet supplier. A good restroom service will deliver well-maintained units on time for a reasonable price across a wide service area.

  9. Their Own Dedicated Assistant
  10. No matter how put together an event planner seems, he/she can always benefit from having a helping hand. A dedicated assistant can be a life-saver when you need to be in two places at once or it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day. An assistant can also keep you company as you plan and manage events, giving you someone that can sympathize when things get rough. Hiring an assistant can improve your personal well-being as well as the health of your business!

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. We lead the industry in portable restroom service for construction sites, agricultural applications, weddings and special events – find out more!