Case study: Portable party

Photo: Integrated Landscape Management
Photo: Integrated Landscape Management
Photo: Integrated Landscape Management
Photo: Integrated Landscape Management

With its towable event trailer, one landscape company’s staff can entertain clients anywhere.

Having seen event trailers in action at some Arizona Cardinals football games, John Garigen and Robert Clinkenbeard, co-owners of Integrated Landscape Management (ILM), started thinking about implementing a similar idea for their business. The company, which has locations in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Tucson, Ariz., often entertains prospective and current clients. The partners thought adding an event trailer could enhance the experience, so two years ago the company invested in one—and it’s been a success.

Of course, it wasn’t exactly a small investment. At approximately $30,000, the towable trailer was a big chunk of change. But Clinkenbeard says the response the company has gotten has made it well worth that cost. The trailer makes an impression—and therefore has helped land jobs—as it makes its rounds to various events at the company’s three locations.

Photo: Integrated Landscape Management
Integrated Landscape Management’s party trailer has made a splash with clients at local sponsorship events.Photo: Integrated Landscape Management

The trailer folds out and contains games like ping-pong and corn hole. There’s also a full bar, two flat-screen televisions, a stereo system and lots of chairs available to set up around the trailer. It’s the life of the party, and Clinkenbeard says it brings events to the next level.

“We’ve gotten really great feedback on the trailer,” he says. “In fact, companies in similar industries that we network with have asked to rent it out for their own events. We don’t do that very often, but it just goes to show how useful it has been.”

During the busy season, the trailer goes out for events at least once or twice a week, Clinkenbeard says. These events include sponsoring a hole at golf tournaments, pulling into clients’ offices to host a meal, entertaining prospective customers and even serving staff parties at the company’s different branches. The ILM’s business development team helps Clinkenbeard coordinate the trailer’s ongoing schedule.

Clinkenbeard says the maintenance on the trailer has been minimal. Of course, it does need to be cleaned after events so that it’s ready for the next one. And food needs to be stored properly—but he notes that was an events-related concern before ILM had the trailer. Now there is the benefit of having access to refrigeration in the trailer for food storage.

Clinkenbeard says the decision to add a trailer is similar to buying any vehicle or piece of equipment.

“My best advice to other companies that might be considering something like this is to do the research and find the trailer that works best for you,” he says. “You’ll need a plan in place regarding transportation and maintenance. Besides that, the biggest factor is having a good scheduling process so you have the trailer scheduled out regularly but with no overlap.”

By planning ahead, it’s easy to ensure the trailer is getting regular use and therefore paying for itself. While Clinkenbeard doesn’t have exact return on investment figures, he says its value in “keeping people happy” is hard to beat.

“From existing employees to potential customers, the trailer makes an impression,” Clinkenbeard adds. “And that alone is worth the investment.”


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Casey Payton

Payton is a freelance writer with eight years of experience writing about the landscape industry.

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