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DC Event Planning Essentials

Once you have decided to host an event in the DC Metro Area, your success will be determined by your ability to remain focused and organized throughout the planning process. Our essential guide to event planning has a number of tips that can help you stay on track and ensure your gathering is memorable for all the right reasons.

Establish Your Goals

Having a clear definition of your goals and objectives can help you optimize every aspect of event planning for maximum results. For example, if the event is a for-profit venture, you will need to know how many people you will need in attendance at a set ticket price to reach your target and whether sponsors or partners will be required.

Determine Your Budget

Put together a preliminary budget which lists the following key expenses:

  • Catering
  • Decor
  • Electronics equipment such as speakers, cameras, and internet
  • Entertainment such as musicians, guest speakers, or DJs
  • Marketing
  • Miscellaneous including chair rental, staffing, taxes, and more
  • Venue

Assemble a Team

Whether you choose to hire or put out the call for volunteers, you will need to amass a reliable group of team members to fill a variety of roles. Consider appointing one member to head the event and a number of individual chairpersons as needed depending on the scope of your affair. This type of system allows for individual and group accountability and makes it easier to see which aspects of your project require more assistance or attention.

Choose the Date

For large events, you may want to plan up to six months or more in advance to give you time to prepare. Consideration should be given to federal and religious holidays, and be sure to choose several date options in the event that your choice of venue isn't available.

Review Venue Options

Before finalizing the venue, make sure to visit it in person and meet with the event coordinator. View a number of properties so that you can make an informed decision based on your criteria for size, location, price, and availability.


Food and beverages are a key component of any event and can consume up to 30 or 40 percent of your budget. Find a caterer that is willing to work within your budget constraints and can provide the volume of staff you will need to serve your guests.

Choose Your Entertainment

The style of entertainment you choose should be in line with your objectives for the event and suitable for the venue. If you will be showcasing one or more speakers, you will need to provide the equipment needed to ensure your guests can see and hear the presentation including:

  • Lighting
  • Microphones
  • Projectors
  • Screening
  • Soundboards
  • Speakers

Don't Forget the Basics

Depending on the scope and location of your event, you may need to provide all or additional sanitation services for your guests. The team of professionals at Don's Johns will ensure all your needs are met, offering competitive pricing and the finest service and equipment including:

  • Hand sanitizer stations
  • Handwashing facilities
  • Portable restrooms
  • Restroom trailers
  • And more!

Event Wrap-Up

After the event is over, take the time to review the proceedings and evaluate its success. This process can help you learn what worked and what type of mistakes were made to ensure your next event is even better.

The sanitation experts at Don's Johns can help to secure the comfort and safety of your guests with the finest in portable restrooms and restroom trailers. Contact us today to learn more or call us at (703) 273-7100 to request a free quote.

Post date: Jan 30, 2019 - 4:47 am

Is Your Job Site Prepared for the Summer Heat?

3 Tips to Ensure Your Construction Site Stays Fresh this Summer 

Working on a construction site can be especially tough in the hot summer months. With temperatures pushing toward 100 degrees, not only is it hard to stay cool, but it is also hard for construction managers to keep job sites fresh and odor-free. While each site might be different, there are a few tips and tricks you should know to help keep your construction site fresh this summer!

Contact Don's Johns for more tips and to learn how we can help you with your construction site's sanitation needs.

Summertime Construction Site Tips

Here are three easy ways to keep your site fresh during the dog days of summer:

  1. Additional Weekly Servicing – At Don’s Johns, Inc., we take pride in the once-a-week restocking, waste removal, and unit sanitization that comes with each standard unit. However, in the summer heat, it is necessary for additional servicing to reduce odor and keep the job site clean. If our uniformed technicians come out at least once more per week, job sites are essentially odor-free during the hottest months of the year.
  2. High-End Holding Tank Deodorizers – There is the standard, blue solution deodorizer that is seen in most porta potties, and it gets the job done in the cooler months of the year. In the summer. though, we recommend going with high-end deodorizing chemical paks by Walex. We have found that this deodorizer pak has performed the best in the extreme heat and is the most powerful in our industry.
  3. Air Freshener – Our last suggestion is a simple but effective solution. By placing air fresheners in your porta potty units, you will be able to not only minimize odors but also keep your portable restrooms smelling great! Air fresheners will keep the porta potties bearable in between servicing during the hot summer months. If you choose Don's Johns, air fresheners are a standard part of our service every week! 

Contact Don's Johns for Construction Site Restrooms

Don's Johns has been providing sanitation services for construction projects in Northern Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC, and beyond for more than 50 years. We are the region's leading portable restroom providers, and we're ready to help you with your next project!

Give us a call at (703) 273-7100 or contact us online to get started.

Post date: Jan 25, 2019 - 3:49 pm
Category: Business, Construction, construction restroom rentals, construction site, Event Planning Tips, Porta Potty Rental, portable restroom rental
Tags: Construction, construction portable toilets, Construction Rental, construction site, Porta Potty, porta potty rentals, Portable Restroom Rentals, portable restrooms, summer

EY Announces Kristie Harrell of Don’s Johns, Inc. Entrepreneur of the Year® 2018 Award Finalist in Mid-Atlantic Region

The spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and kicking in the Mid‑Atlantic — and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of all the action! Our very own Kristie Harrell, CEO of Don’s Johns, Inc., was recently announced as a finalist in the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 Mid‑Atlantic Awards program. As the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs, Entrepreneur Of The Year has been at the forefront of identifying game‑changing business leaders for more than 32 years. The program has honored the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company, John Mackey of Whole Foods Market Inc., Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc., Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn Corporation and Mindy Grossman of HSN, Inc. We’re honored to have Kristie Harrell recognized among so many other notable business luminaries in the Mid‑Atlantic region. Learn more about the Entrepreneur Of The Year Mid‑Atlantic program and follow our journey here to the awards!

View Press Release Here

Post date: Apr 30, 2018 - 8:54 am

Meet Kim: Your Go-To Resource for Special Event Reservations

At Don’s Johns, Inc. we always say, “Our People Make the Difference.”  Kim Brawn, Special Events Sales Manager, makes a difference for our customers and her colleagues. We recently spoke with Kim to get her take on portable restroom reservations and working at Don’s Johns, Inc.

Kim Brawn, Special Events Sales ManagerWhat is your role at Don’s Johns and how long have you worked here?

I have been the Special Events Sales Manager at Don’s Johns, Inc. for two years, although in total I’ve worked here for six years. I’m responsible for handling our high-end clients such as the Redskins, Preakness and Quicken Loans National. I’m mostly involved with the larger events that need hundreds of restroom units, rather than smaller scale events.

Can you walk us through the reservation process?

First there is initial contact with the customer – either they reach out to us or we reach out to them. The goal is to make their event successful so we try to obtain important information such as length of the event, how many units are required, where units can be set up, etc. right from the beginning.   We try to give some guidance based on our experience when needed and will use that experience to make sure that all of the details are covered. For example, with larger events, the suggestion of a VIP area with high end products may be something the planner would like to offer the customer and that is a detail that may not have occurred to the planner.

Once we have all the event information and finalize the number of restroom units, a contract is prepared and sent to the customer. After the sale has been processed, a project manager (something that is unique to Don’s Johns, Inc.) will coordinate the event and plan exactly what the customer needs. This includes conducting walk-throughs, supervising load ins and being on site to staff the event. Large special events are usually staffed by at least 2 employees, the project manager and myself.

How early before an event should portable restrooms be reserved?

It depends on the size of the event. For large special events, customers should reach out 3-6 months beforehand.  For events requiring less than 25 units, a couple of weeks before the event is okay. However, reservations that take place during our busy season should happen as soon as possible! We are extremely busy from April 1 to October 31, so customers need to take that into consideration when planning their event to ensure that the specialty products they desire are available.

What are some common frequently asked questions?

We get a lot of questions about timing of delivery. For example, some events only have a one-day permit, so the units need to be delivered and picked up on the same day. While we can accommodate these short delivery/pickup windows, we would prefer to have a larger window. I think most people don’t realize there’s a lot of team work between us and the customers, so giving us as all the information about the event is very important!

What’s the deal with getting a permit?

A lot of people also call and ask about permits. We do not handle any type of permitting, so customers need to get the permits from the specific venues, county, etc. The reason we stay out of the permit discussion is because there are a variety of permits required by different counties, so we ask that the customer determine what permits are required by their county. Sometimes the contract between Don’s Johns and the customer is required to get the permit, so in that case we help them by providing that.

Are there questions customers ask too late?

Customers make last minute changes all the time and assume we can accommodate them. We do our best to work with the customer to make sure they are satisfied, but it is better for both parties to be prepared ahead of time.   For example, unit placement at venues is a huge issue that needs to be addressed beforehand because it’s something that isn’t easy to change. Determining unit location beforehand makes the delivery process much smoother and will cause less stress for the event planner who normally has multiple vendors to work with on load in day.

What’s your favorite thing about working at Don’s Johns?

It’s twofold — working with customers is enjoyable and it’s very satisfying to see events, especially brand new events, pulled off from start to finish. Also, the Dons’ Johns’ team is a great team and I appreciate working with them every day. From operations to every aspect of the process, we all have to work together and everyone is willing to do what it takes to get the job done.

Can we give you a call if we have any additional questions?

For more information about special event reservations or to personally ask Kim a question, email her at

Post date: Jul 27, 2016 - 12:00 am
Category: Event Planning, Porta Potty Rental, Restroom Trailer Rental, services for special events, Trailer Rentals, VIP Treatment

What do you do when you’re on a run and need to go? Don’s Johns, Inc. to the rescue!

We give you some of the most popular running sites in DC, Maryland and Virginia 


At Don’s Johns, Inc., we love the running community in DC, Maryland and Virginia. That’s why we always service races like the Army 10-Miler, Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run and shorter races hosted by Pacers Running and Potomac River Running. But what about the runners who are training for those races and need scenic trails, or who run just for the joy of it? We’ve got you covered too!

With more than 800 miles of trails in the DC region, runners are guaranteed to see Don’s Johns along their route. Some of the most popular running trails in the area include:

National MallNational Mall: The National Mall is an incredibly popular trail for both natives and tourists. It offers historical views in the heart of DC such as the Capitol Building, the Memorial Bridge and the Lincoln Memorial.









C & O Canal Running Path

C&O Canal: The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail runs along the Potomac River from DC to MD. With a surface of clay and crushed stone, it’s a popular spot for hikers and bikers as well. Although it occasionally gets crowded, it’s a great trail for beginners.









Capital Cresent Trail Running Path

Capital Crescent Trail: Built on an abandoned railroad track and partially paved, this trail also connects DC and Maryland. Runners often see deer, foxes and other wildlife along this 11-mile trail.









Rock Creek Trail

Rock Creek Trail: A winding path that flows toward the Potomac River, Rock Creek Trail is popular with joggers looking for a quiet run. With paths that are not always well marked and include unexpected side paths, this trail keeps things interesting.









These are just a few of the many trails runners can enjoy in the DMV area. For more paths in DC, check out these five routes not to miss. You can also get a breakdown of the best trails based on length and views, and TrailLink gives you access to all the running trails in Maryland.


Did we miss your favorite trail? Have you seen a Don’s Johns, Inc. along your run in the area? Let us know and we’ll be sure to update our list because at Don’s Johns, our main goal is to keep you happy while on the go.


Happy trails!

Post date: Apr 26, 2016 - 12:00 am
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: dons johns inc., MD, Portable Restroom, runners, running, running trails, VA, Washington DC

Don’s Johns, Inc. Selected as 2016 Family-Owned Business Award Honoree from the Washington Business Journal

2016 Family Owned Business Award from Washington Business Journal Family businesses like Don’s Johns,Inc. are an often overlooked form of ownership, yet they are all around us and provide invaluable support to local economies like ours. That is why the Washington Business Journal is spotlighting the region’s best at the Family-Owned Business Awards this month. We are proud to announce we have been selected as an honoree for this award, which honors the top multi-generational, family-owned business in our region for overall excellence, innovation, ethics and philanthropy!

So what makes us one of the top family-owned businesses in the area? Here are just a few of the many reasons why:

Our History: Don’s Johns, Inc. was established in 1964 by Thelma and Don Rainwater as a small septic company. Their business was one of the first portable toilet companies in the nation and in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area. The first toilets were built of wood and constructed as quickly as the orders came in. Over the past 50 years, Don’s Johns has come a long way from the original wooden outhouse.

Present Day: Don’s Johns, Inc. is still 100% family owned and has been passed down for three generations. Kristie Harrell, Chief Executive Officer, joined Don’s Johns, Inc. full time in 1992. She is the granddaughter of founders Don and Thelma Rainwater and started helping at Don’s Johns from the age of 10 stuffing envelopes for billing.

Who We Serve: We are a proud supplier of sanitation services to the biggest names in sports, government and private industry in the Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC area.  Each year, we service hundreds of construction sites including the MGM site at National Harbor to emergency services throughout the region.

Philanthropic Involvement: Don’s Johns, Inc. is a proud supporter and supplier of the Marine Corps Marathon, local volunteer fire departments, Willing Warriors and dozens of charity runs and events.

We are proud to have been one of the first temporary restroom companies on the East Coast. For more than 50 years, being family-owned has helped us live by our motto “Our People Make a Difference” because it means treating employees the same way we would treat family. We strive to be a leader in our industry with how employees are compensated, and look forward to many more years of regional success as the “go to” company for sanitation services!

Post date: Mar 17, 2016 - 12:00 am
Category: Don's Johns Inc.
Tags: dons johns inc., Portable Restroom

Planning a wedding this summer? Consider these do’s and don’ts before you say “I Do”…

With all of the snow the area has gotten recently, it’s hard to think about warmer weather and sunny days. As anyone planning a wedding will tell you, though, those days will be here sooner than you think. So while you’re getting ready to say “I do,” keep in mind these wedding planning do’s and don’ts.

  • Do start planning now: Often times it’s easy to focus on the “fun” planning activities such as buying a wedding dress and ordering invitations, but don’t forget about the logistics of planning for guests, including their restroom needs. By calling us early in your planning process, you will get one major to-do out of the way that is hugely important. Haven’t started planning yet? The SCTimes has some great tips to help you start planning your wedding, including prioritizing and being realistic.
  • Don’t settle for standard restrooms: Don’s Johns, Inc. offers quality portable restroom resources that aren’t your typical porta potty experience. Our award-winning luxury trailers are just what you need to impress guests and give your outdoor summer or fall wedding a touch of elegance.
  • Do provide us with as many details as possible: Have you found the perfect outdoor venue but there’s one drawback—no outdoor restrooms? The Washington, D.C. metro area is full of beautiful outdoor wedding spaces that will benefit from extra restroom units. This is especially true if you have a large number of guests or alcohol will be served. Our event planning guide will help you estimate how many units will be needed based on attendance, event duration, alcohol served and more.
  • Don’t ignore these common wedding mistakes: Planning a wedding is so much fun but often couples jump in too quickly and become overwhelmed. Little items like photographers and favors are just as important as budget and venue. We like Glamour’s wedding section to help with planning, especially their tips on avoiding major planning mistakes.
  • Do have fun while planning: This is a great time for you and your significant other! You’re getting ready to start a new journey together, so it takes both of you to plan your wedding. Even if there are snags along the way, just keep thinking like these men who secretly love wedding planning and you’re guaranteed to have the perfect wedding day.

Our main goal is to help make your wedding planning not only easy, but enjoyable. If you’re looking to bring luxury and comfort to your outdoor wedding, call Don’s Johns, Inc. and start planning with us today!

Post date: Feb 02, 2016 - 12:00 am
Category: Event Planning, Event Planning Tips, Event Rental, Fall, outdoor event, Summer, Wedding, Weddings

What do Utilities, Businesses, Government Agencies and First Responders Have in Common?

They All Turn to Don’s Johns, Inc. for Restroom Relief in Emergency Situations

A pipe bursts and leaks, a city shuts down because of a natural disaster, or a water valve needs repair when no one expects it. As utilities, government agencies and first responders move to take action around these scenarios, it’s important to keep in mind the necessity of comfort and hygiene. Having an emergency plan that includes portable restroom facilities is imperative. Whether it’s hand-washing stations, multiple portable restroom units, restroom trailers or shower trailers, a trusted partner that can respond in real time is critical.

Don’s Johns, Inc. has responded to countless emergency events in Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland over the last 50 years, including:

  • A long-term gas leak issue in Northern Virginia, which had an immediate need for portable restrooms. Accidents aren’t just for hours, they can occur for days and even weeks. For this site, we delivered over two-dozen units, sinks and restroom trailers to be used seven days per week…for several weeks!
  • Leaks and floods. In downtown Washington, D.C., water valve repair can cause a disruption in traffic and business. For the owners of one of the largest companies in the District experiencing this issue, one of the first calls was to ensure portable restroom facilities at their location to ensure the business day is minimally interrupted. Restroom units are un-obstructive in a busy downtown area as well as a crowded construction site.

For planners or point persons responsible for emergency and disaster planning, we are here to work with you on solutions for any emergency, crisis or disaster situation. Our fully staffed customer service call center is here to respond to requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a dedicated emergency service line, the largest inventory in the Mid-Atlantic region, and the largest fleet of trucks.

Post date: Oct 29, 2015 - 12:00 am
Category: Emergency, Porta Potty, portable restrooms, Restroom, Road Crew Units, Sanitation, Sanitation Facilities, sanitation service
Tags: disaster relief, emergency planning, emergency preparedness, portable bathroom, Portable Restroom Rental, Sanitation

Looking for a little luxury at your fall outdoor wedding? Find out how to plan for when nature calls.

Fall is one of the most popular times to have an outdoor wedding because of the cooler weather and beautiful colors in nature. But planning an outdoor fall wedding can be tricky – between knowing the right number of restroom facilities needed to keeping your guests warm – things can get complicated. With 50+ years of experience in the industry, we have some insider tips to help ensure all your guests’ needs are met and your wedding day goes off without a hitch.

1. Proper Restroom Facilities

Many outdoor wedding venues don’t offer a sufficient amount of restroom facilities for your guests, which forces guests to wait in long lines or walk a long way to the bathrooms. When guests are provided with adequate restroom facilities, they stay longer and have a better time. If you are planning on serving alcohol at your reception, it’s important that you increase the number of restrooms by 20%. If you know there are going to be a higher percentage of women in attendance (beyond 50%), increase the number of units by 25-50%. Additionally, it’s important always include at least one wheelchair accessible unit! For more guidance on choosing the correct number of restroom facilities check out our Event Planning Guide.

2. Upgrading from Standard to Luxurious

Almost as important as providing an adequate number of restroom facilities, is providing your guests with luxurious restroom trailers instead of standard units. Weddings should feel anything but standard and this simple switch is an easy way to wow your guests. The Don’s Johns, Inc. luxury trailers come with amenities such as granite countertops, marble walls, shelving and climate-controlled heat and air. The trailers include a dual audio system that not only plays soothing music for visiting guests, but also ensures those waiting to use the restroom don’t miss any moments from your big day with three flat screen televisions. These trailers always give guests something to talk about!

3. Bathroom Décor

If you really want to get your guests talking, we suggest including a few subtle extras in the trailers such as, a bathroom essentials basket, monogrammed towels, fresh flowers or luxe soaps. Remembering small details like these create the finishing touches on a luxurious fall wedding. Guests will think they have transported from an outdoor venue to a five-star hotel!

Now that you know the industry tips to creating a luxurious outdoor wedding this fall, contact a Don’s Johns representative today for a free luxury restroom trailer quote. Let us help you with your special day!

Post date: Oct 08, 2015 - 12:00 am
Category: Don's Johns Inc., Event Planning, Event Planning Tips, Event Rental, Fall, luxury restroom trailer, outdoor event, Outdoors, portable restroom rental, portable restrooms, Restroom, Restroom Trailer, Restroom Trailer Rental, restroom trailers with elegance, Seasonal Outdoor Events, services for special events, Trailer Rentals, valet service, valet services, VIP Treatment, virginia, Washington DC, Wedding, Weddings
Tags: dons johns inc., event, event planning, Event Rental, Fall, luxury restroom trailers, Outdoor wedding planning, restroom trailer, restroom trailers, wedding, Wedding planning, wedding restroom rental, wedding restrooms, weddings

Portable Restrooms to Prevent Life’s Most Awkward Moments

The representatives at Don’s Johns, Inc. often receive calls from customers inquiring about our portable restroom options. They sometimes get involved in a few “odd” conversations. However, our representatives can answer their questions with confidence and ease. Trust us, at Don’s Johns, Inc., we’ve heard about every awkward situation you’ve had, so nothing leaves us surprised. We ensure our portable restrooms are there to prevent life’s most awkward moments.

  1. Too few stalls to the point where you must consistently peek under each to see if it’s occupied.
  2. Having an extreme emergency, just to get inside a stall and notice it does not lock.
  3. After relieving yourself and ready to get back to the festivities, you notice the stall won’t unlock.
  4. Feeling that a courtesy flush is necessary, but then realizing all too late the water flushes extremely high.
  5. Using the restroom just to discover the stalls are all too close and non-private.
  6. Walk into a restroom trailer met with horrific smells.
  7. Wondering why children don’t have their own area of the restroom to use as they peep under your restroom door.
  8. Using the one stall where the toilet automatically flushes 100 times while you are still in there.
  9. Finally making it to the restroom just to discover you’re the only one in there, and the toilet tissue is out of stock.
  10. Ready to wash your hands at a black tie event just to discover there is no soap and furthermore no paper towels.

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. However, when life gives you options of a trailer provider, you choose Don’s Johns, Inc. Our portable restrooms are always clean, fresh, and well stocked. In addition to that, Don’s Johns, Inc. Luxury Presidential Restroom Trailers have:

  • Climate controlled environment providing heat and air conditioning
  • Flat screen televisions
  • Granite counters and shelves
  • Black marbleized walls
  • Wood panel doors
  • Hardwood designed floor
  • Energy efficient toilets
  • Recessed lighting
  • Sinks with hot & cold running water

To ensure none of the above awkward moments ever happens to you again, rent Don’s Johns, Inc. portable restrooms for your next event. We guarantee the quality to meet your utmost satisfaction.

Post date: Mar 21, 2015 - 12:00 am
Category: portable potty rental, portable restroom, portable restroom rental, portable restrooms, Portable Sanitation, Portable Sink, Portable Toilet
Tags: dons johns inc., Luxury Restroom Rental, Porta Potty, Portable Restroom, Portable Restroom Rental, portable restrooms, restroom rental 0


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