Well… What a strange past two years it has been.
When all events Australia wide were shut down on the 13th March 2020, our Events division had just finished the traditional events season with the busiest weekend of the year (Mad March weekend). Everything came to a screeching halt….from an average of 125 events a month to none. Staff had their hours cut, some made redundant, and voluntary annual leave was taken. Previously empty yards were full of idle fleet.
But where one door closes, another opens. Government incentives around renovations and new builds saw a boom in the construction industry. All of a sudden, our construction division was busier than ever. Staff were reinstated, hours increased, depots started to quickly empty and the event fleet, where possible, was turned over into construction. We bought new trucks, renovated others and employed more staff. When building materials started to become scarce, a normal build of 18 weeks, was dragging out into 26 weeks or longer and we’ve never been so busy in construction. Our events division even started to get busy again. Vaccination clinics, testing clinics and even increasing toilets at warehouses, to enable staff to socially distance better on breaks. Things still weren’t the same in events but we had dollars coming in.
Then we started running out of toilets…
Apparently, so had every other toilet hire company in the world. Our suppliers had an extremely long lead time on new stock and shipping was delayed. There were many months where we had long wait lists, were unable to take any new customers or even deliver to existing customers. There were some edgy moments with depots completely empty. As soon as a toilet was returned, it would be cleaned and sent out the next day.
Finally, our containers arrived, we employed more staff and started them building flat-pack toilets. After a steep learning curve (apparently building flat pack toilets is not a common skill in Australia), the crew are now able to build 16 odd toilets per day. As quickly as we build them, they are on a truck and out the door. We were still not able to accept any new customers but at least we were able to start servicing existing customers again.
At the time of writing, the Events world is exploding and gigs are turning back on all over the country. Promotors and Event owners are like kids getting let out on the last day of school and all rushing to run their event as quickly as they can. We now have a nervous wait for the next round of shipping containers (already delayed) to arrive to replenish the Event fleet before the season really kicks off on NYE. Then it’s not stopping in March like usual, it is extending through to April, May and potentially longer. Skilled and expert staff is a serious issue in all aspects of Events. The industry has lost many experienced staff to “real” 9-5 jobs, and this will have a real impact on festivals and Events operationally.
We are looking forward to the challenges of the next 12 months. To deal with booming construction and event division at the same time is a challenge we can’t wait for. Bring it on!!
The annual Roady4Roadies event Took place Yesterday (11th April) at 11 major locations across Australia. Roady4Roadies brings together live music crews, and the musicians they work for, to reconnect and support each other – and celebrate the return of live music, in a covid safe way, of course!
Due to Covid, the event was unfortunately canceled early last year, just weeks out from the proposed date. The event experienced a great turnout in all locations across the country and proved to be a fun day for all ages. Attendees received a free Roady4Roadies branded T-shirt and Facemask and were entertained with a lunch and live entertainment from local artists and big names like Missy Higgins, Icehouse and Paul Dempsey, whom are all ambassadors for the organization.
Roady4Roadies is hosted by Crew Care, an organization aiming to improve the care and support of technical and backstage workers within the live music, event and entertainment industry. Roady4Roadies is staged by a voluntary team of Australia’s leading live production professionals. This year Crew Care have partnered with and directed all proceeds to the Supportact charity; Supportact ensures ongoing crisis relief and mental health services for artists, backstage crew and music workers.
After being involved and experiencing firsthand the devastating impacts and effects of a year full of canceled events. The Viking Rentals team attended the event in Brisbane to show support for the industry and volunteer our time to this much-needed organisation.
If you missed out on the event and still wish to contribute and show your support, commencing next week Roady4Roadies will also be launching an online auction to raise further donations for Supportact.
Numerous items will be up for offer, the first being a corporate table for eight at Australia’s Largest German celebration, Brisbane Oktoberfest! Octoberfest support just under 1000 artists and workers in the entertainment/events industry each year.
Otherwise Donations are always greatly appreciated through their website below.
2020, the year we will all never forget.
Like most companies and businesses around the world, it was one very unexpected and disparate year for Viking Rentals.
Viking Rentals was lucky to have survived through the pandemic and economic downturn as well as we did.
Unfortunately, our event side of the business suffered, as you could imagine. It was a moment in history most staff in our office will not forget, all sitting down in front of a computer screen, watching the live moment Scott Morrison announced the tough restrictions on events, social gatherings, and the normality of everyday life.
The weekend prior our team had bumped in for Ultra Music Festival in Melbourne, who could have imagined this would be our last and largest event we would supply during 2020. Our estimated 1500 events booked in for that year, soon dropped down to under 500, all of which were actually event facilities being ordered for Hospitals, Covid testing facilities and essential businesses that would require extra hygiene facilities, such as hand wash stations and sanitizer stands.
We benefited greatly within the construction hire division of our business, many factors contributed to this, such as the construction industry being considered as an essential service, which kept most of our customers and staff employed and eligible to continue on with everyday duties and work. Existing customers began requesting additional servicing on their facilities, to maintain a higher level of hygiene due to the spread of Covid-19.
Viking Portable Toilets became the perfect facility to hire on sites during the Covid period, as all of our toilets are fitted with soup dispensers and hands free flush and washbasin, this made our toilets a standout compared to our competitors who did not have these functions available in their facilities.
Now having made our way into 2021, Viking are seeing a massive demand for portable toilets, temporary fencing and temporary power poles, due to the government introduced “new home builder grants” and “economic stimulus packages” seeing Home Builders & Renovators inundated with new orders.
We have bought an extensive order of new toilets, Trucks and have hired more staff to cope with the upcoming demand, to ensure uninterrupted supply for all of our customers.
2020 is behind us now, thankfully, and Viking Rentals are equipped and ambitious to continue conquering the portable hire industry through 2021 and onwards
For the month of April, Viking Rentals is offering an amazing gift voucher give away for all new construction customers on their first hire. All you need to do is hire any of our construction toilets and have it scheduled for delivery during anytime in April and you will be eligible to receive a $50 Bunning’s voucher.
Copyright 2020 Viking Rentals | All rights reserved