Key Takeaways from Waste Expo
Behind the scenes with Citibin at North America’s largest solid waste and recycling event
30-second recap: We’re pretty sure it was our fantastic booth that made Citibin so popular at Waste Expo this year. Or maybe it was the fact that Citibin’s innovative trash systems look great and make sense that made us a buzzy topic at the event. Which even made the New Orleans local ABC news! Read on to find out why Citibin ruled at Waste Expo.
CITIBIN intel from Waste Expo
For everyone from building managers to city and state officials, Waste Expo is a yearly must-attend conference. So, what is Waste Expo anyway? “Waste Expo is the global summit for trash and trash maintenance,” CITIBIN COO Frank Picarazzi said. “From enormous earth movers to till the soil of landfills to cities and municipalities looking for ways to manage their garbage output, it’s all there.”
While having everything related to the trash disposal industry in one place can potentially make things easier, you have to know how to work a conference for the best results. Frank and CITIBIN CEO and Founder Liz Picarazzi and Sales & Client Manager Alejandro Bautista were all at Waste Expo in May. They not only represented CITIBIN, but they also had a strategic plan for having fun while introducing conference attendees to the brand.
Waste Expo, which took place in New Orleans this year, attracted attendees from around the world. Topics of great interest included sustainability, technology and innovation, recycling, and landfill. Most of all, decision-makers in the waste industries wanted to find out how to manage all that garbage. Needless to say, the CITIBIN booth was a huge attraction.
Frank and Alejandro shared some of their key takeaways from Waste Expo.
Conferences are a long-term investment
If you’re heading to a conference expecting to recoup your investment immediately, you might be disappointed. For the most part, people attend conferences to see what’s out there, take stock of their needs, and then move on to the next step of the decision-making process.
While CITIBIN almost always makes sales at every event, that’s not the focus of attending events like Waste Expo. It’s more about meeting people, hearing their pain points, and making connections. “For New Orleans, we knew we wouldn’t get customers right away,” Alejandro said, “but we knew we’d get a lot of exposure- people from all over the world.” How vast was the reach at Waste Expo? “We connected with people from Columbia, Peru, Asia, and a lot of companies from Canada,” Alejandro said. “From the smallest exterminator in the country to the biggest truck companies in the world —Mack, Caterpillar — they were all there.”
At Waste Expo, cities and municipalities are involved rather than individual homes or properties, which means things can take a bit longer. “The gestation period for these sales is longer,” Frank said. “There are more approvals to be secured, there’s more protocol involved.” But based on previous success at Waste Expo, Frank is confident the conference will end up producing a lot of sales for CITIBIN trash enclosures “I have faith that we’re going to have a lot of orders.” Part of the confidence comes from the great relationships created at the event. “I’m currently in discussions with about 10 different people that we met at Waste Expo,” Frank said.
The schmooze factor
Frank and Alejandro often attend industry events together for maximum networking and outreach purposes. “We’re like Batman and Robin as we work the floor,” Frank said. At the end of a conference, Frank said that they usually have about 60-70 new contacts interested in CITIBIN.
One of the more interesting extended conversations Frank had at Waste Expo was with representatives from a well-known movie theme park based in Orlando. Every weekend they hold special events at the park. Every weekend they’re left with massive amounts of garbage strewn throughout the property. Frank is excited about the idea of creating branded CITIBIN containers that will highlight the entire park experience while keeping trash contained and rodents out.
Liz did a fun spot with Bill Wood of New Orleans WGNO News.
Lead capture is key
Following up on conversations started at a conference is critical. Most conferences will have an app available to attendees. Sometimes though, that can come at a steep price, with some conferences charging hundreds of dollars to use their services. Other times there can be a glitch in the features meaning if you’re relying solely on the app for your notes and initial impressions, it can take weeks to access the information.
If you’re planning on attending an industry conference, you should also probably create a backup system so that you don’t lose any momentum. Keep track of the hottest leads so that you don’t lose touch.
Be the solution
If you’re going to spend the money on travel, hotel, booth setup, shipping, meals, and more, you really should have a product that people really need. “People come to the trade shows looking for solutions and we have them,” Alejandro said. “Rodent issues, trash violations – they want to try to find something that’s going to solve those issues for them,” CITIBIN presents a stunning option to the things plaguing city planners.
To give you an idea of some of our recent city partnerships, CITIBIN RECENTLY partnered with the city of Newark, NJ. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka had been following NYC’s Clean Curbs partnership with CITIBIN. In January 2023 Mayor Baraka’s team reached out to CITIBIN to talk about trash, containerization, and clean and safer streets. That resulted in the rollout of 16 beautifully wrapped XL CITIBINs strategically placed along the Broad Street commercial corridor.
Show them what you’ve got
One of the main reasons that CITIBIN is such a hit at conferences is that our trash systems are beautiful and innovative. And we have no problem showing off our goods! CITIBIN booths at conferences allow people to experience firsthand the ease of use and setup options. We’re really easy to get along with and are here to explain the entire process to anyone interested in their own CITIBIN. Oh, and we’re instantly recognizable. Liz most often works the booth and schmoozes with the press, while wearing her (and CITIBIN’s) signature shade of chartreuse, making her hard to miss!
Liz, Frank, and Alejandro will be at Waste Expo again next year when it takes place in Las Vegas. Be sure to look for them at the CITBIN booth or on the conference floor.
Were you at Waste Expo this year? We’d love to hear about your experience there. We’d love it even more if you called to discuss setting up a CITIBIN trash management solution for your town or city.
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