Why Are There Never Enough Portaloos at Events?

It’s a feeling we’re all familiar with. You’re out with your family and friends, enjoying the atmosphere and food at a local festival. Then nature calls and you cast about to find the nearest portaloos. As you lay eyes on those big blue boxes, relief turns to horror as you see there’s a bare handful of toilets, and the line is so long that you’re not even sure you can see where it begins. You can already feel your patience wearing thin as you join the queue and pray the sunburn won’t be too bad the next day.
So, how come there are never quite enough portaloos at events? They’re convenient, and organisers are supposed to provide them, but would it have killed them to order a few more?

How Many Portaloos Is This Festival Supposed to Have Anyway?

When trying to figure out why events always seem to be running a short supply of portaloos, this is the obvious place to start.
The exact number depends on the type of event and whether or not guests are consuming a steady stream of junk food and alcohol. For a small event maybe that handful of portaloos was the right amount, but as the number of attendees climbs, so does the number of porcelain thrones you’ll need to install.
To figure out how many portaloos an event needs, you’ll need to answer the following questions:

  • How many people are attending?
  • How long will the event last? Several hours or multiple days?
  • Do you have enough toilets to space them out around the venue?
  • Are there any local sanitary laws?
  • Will food and drinks be served at the event? What about alcohol?

All of these things affect the number of toilets you’ll need if you want to keep your queues to a minimum. As a general rule of thumb, you want to order 1 portaloo for every 50 people, but ordering a few extra is always a good idea.

Yes, But Why Are There Never Enough?

If it’s possible to just tally up the number of portaloos needed with a few questions, then how come you still ended up with third-degree sunburn while waiting for your turn?
It’s a sensible question with a simple answer - some event organisers skimp. They need to make money from their festival and many are tempted to order the bare minimum in the hopes festival-goers bring a hat and a book to read while they wait.
In some cases, the minimum number of toilets works out fine. At a short event with little eating and drinking, you might get away with it. But as events stretch on it becomes apparent that more portaloos should have been ordered. Remember, you aren’t just providing facilities for a certain number of people, you’re providing facilities across the venue. 

Keeping Event-Goers Happy

The money you save on your sanitation design might haunt you later. Guests who had a good experience are more likely to come back to your next event, after all. If all they remember is the heatstroke they got while waiting in line, it’s possible to spoil their day and ruin any chance of luring them back next month.

Planning an Event and Need Portaloos? Contact Poles & Holes Today!

If you’re hosting an event and would like to avoid leaving your guests with unhappy memories of long queues and near-misses, the friendly team at Poles & Holes can help! Contact us today to discuss what your event needs and how we can make it happen.

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