techsytalk LIVE 2016

NYC & back in less than 24 hours – we’d only do it for the best event ever.

techsytalk LIVE, folks! Last year Nicole & Ciera headed up north for the all-day conference and loved it so much they decided Pelonkey had to play a bigger part. This year Pelonkey was techsytalk’s official Entertainment Sponsor, Nicole gave a kickass 10-minute Pelonkey presentation, and we had a swag-filled table at which we chatted up the event prof attendees. We may not have slept, but… when in New York, right?

5:45 Wakeup call

6:45 Uber to Midtown from Harlem

7:30 Arrive & Begin table setup – We brought the swag, yo! Temporary tattoos, bumper stickers, sunglasses, cell phone adhesive pockets, info cards, and more fun stuff for a giveaway!

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We held a social media raffle – tag us in a post online & you would be entered to win – and the prize was a bag of goodies including a Pelonkey tee, notebook, varied of stickers and aforementioned swag, and an Amazon gift card! (Congrats to Regina for winning!)

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8:30 Breakfast – You guys, food was bomb. Just…so bomb. We have no photographic proof because we were too busy eating the evidence.

9:00 Attendees start arriving

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9:30 Speakers begin speaking – It was a full house! Liz King Events (lovely techsytalk host) goes all out, and this 8th year was no different. Attendees were there ready for speakers, presentations, fireside chats, case studies, and more.

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11:00 Entertainment break! – We invited our friends from Fun E Folk to take the stage and wow us with their laughtastic energy. OK, that sounds really cheesy, but they seriously did knock us out of our seats with their hilarity. [Eagle Eye here – I am very picky when it comes to comedy, and it’s very difficult to make me genuinely belly-laugh out loud, but these guys delivered.] They brought some volunteers to the stage, played a few games, and the crowd really enjoyed their energy and wit.

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12:00 Lunch – Again, no pix, but we promise we were well fed.

1:00 Speakers resume

3:00 Entertainment break! – Our second entertainment surprise of the day came in the form of BAILEN, a sibling group of folk harmony magic. I’ll let the music speak for itself. But really, if you are in the NYC area, hire these guys.

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3:30 Pelonkey Case-Study – Our fabulous CEO Nicole took the stage for a 10-minute presentation all about the ins and outs of Pelonkey. Or at least as much inning and outing she could squeeze into 600 seconds. We’re always so proud to see her up there speaking her truth and representing the company she has poured all her blood, sweat, and tears into.

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5:30 Cocktail Hour – Over hors d’oeuvres and the final wave of visitors to our table, we closed out the event in 8th place of the top RTs/Replies on Twitter, the only real goal of attending anyway… 😉

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6:30 Depart for DC – New York saw us off in style (you know how we love a good sunset/sky scape), and we left buzzed from the day instead of drained (OK, we were drained when we finally hit the pillow that night). A huge thank you to everyone involved in techsytalk (looking at you Liz King Events), and a giant Congrats to another successful event (you again, Liz). Can’t wait til 2017!

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Event Planner Appreciation

Last week we met with some of our event planners to show them a little appreciation the best way we know how: with food, drink, and entertainment, duh.

A number of our event planner clients gathered at Sugar to be wowed by the likes of Alain Nu, Robert Mac, Michael Rosman, and DJ Dirty Hands. These are some unique and very talented performers  and come highly recommended by Yours Truly… OK, and some other super cool event planners who have hired them for fantastic events.

Each of the performers has been striving and working with Pelonkey to reach more people, make suggestions, give feedback, and improve the online platform (which, in turn, improves their personal experience as an entertainer on the site, so hello killing two birds with one stone), BUT each of these performers is also uniquely invested in elevating the way we as an industry book talent. Just like us, they want to stabilize this sometimes very (read: too) opaque booking culture.

So we chatted and listened and watched and altogether boozed & schmoozed, and it was as lovely a time as ever.

A giant thank you to Sugar for hosting and to our attendees for, well, attending! Getting to know you means getting to know your events means getting to know the best talent to recommend for those events means getting all kinds of new talent signed up on the system! *and breathe*

Til the next one!

[Sorry some of the pictures are quite dark; we had too much fun mingling to double-check our photos!]

To learn more about each performer, and hello, book them, visit their Pelonkey pages below!

Alain Nu, The Man Who Knows (yes, that is his trademarked name) – Mentalist & Magician

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Robert Mac – Comedian

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Michael Rosman – Juggler, Circus Performer, Comedian, et al

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DJ Dirty Hands – um, DJ

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SXSW 2016 Recap

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This morning we woke up, looked at the rain outside our window, and thought, We need something exciting to counter this dreary day. And then BAM! it hit us – we never recapped our 2016 SXSW trip! And now the sun is peeking out from behind the clouds, ready to join us in our happy nostalgia of getting weird for another year in Austin, TX.

Partnering with our faves at EventsDC and WeDC, we had Rex Riot, Mathias., JC Flores, & DJ Neekola perform at various times throughout the entire weekend-long event. The DJs provided dance music during the day while attendees mingled at the WeDC house, as well as a little at night. In fact, Rex Riot helped warm up the crowd for QuestLove at the crazay closing party. We had a big presence, wearing our Pelonkey tees all over Austin.

 

In addition to that, our CEO, Nicole, was able to pitch to a ton of tech people at the WeDC house at their Tech Breakfast, which included 1776‘s very own Evan Burfield. And (yes, there’s more!) Nicole participated in the WeDC startup showcase along with other DC innovators, such as our new friends at BlueCart, to spread the good Pelonkey word to other SXSW attendees. At the showcase, we had a booth for one day where visitors could come by, ask questions, and generally be wowed by all things Pelonkey. It was a hit, and we were able to talk to so many new people!

Let’s see… what else? We saw Chromeo perform (can we just get them on our platform already & be BFFs??), met the COO of TechWeek at the TechWeek party, mingled some more, party-hopped, explored the city, met DC mayor, Muriel Bowser, were featured on Buzzfeed’s SXSW promo, saw some Events DC friends – Ashley & Greg – and hung out and rocked the WeDC house from Saturday-Monday.

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A huge, gigantic shoutout to Julie, Damelia, and Tiffany for being awesome, as always, and running the WeDC show like the #bosses they are! Wow, the WeDC has made a baller name for itself at SXSW; it’s always the party and place to be! We are so proud to call them Pelonkey supporters and friends. D’awww, DC love, y’all!

We like to think of ourselves as seasoned pros now that we’ve been to SXSW twice…and really it’s just a matter of time before people are partying it up at the PelonkHouse with some kickass DJs, performers, and peeps. 2017, here we come! #DoYouPelonkey

Prequel aka “Pretty Cool”…see what I did there?

Last week Prequel DC had their launch party c/o RJ Whyte Event Production, and let me be (definitely not the first and absolutely not the last) one to say Holy Guacamole, Batman! That place looked awesome-sauce.

Three floors, each with a different theme and decor, scattered with 11, yes 11, talented entertainers from our site.

I’ll let the photos do the talking (a picture says a thousand words, after all), but before we even get to the magnificent visuals, let’s chat about the man who took them: Alexander Morozov. He also took our launch party photos, and he always captures the magic of the event! He manages to get the best expressions, candid conversations, and elegant setups.

Check out Alexander’s full album here.

A big thanks to all the entertainers who helped make the Prequel Launch shine!

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Anna Pineapple – Human Statue | Second Floor

Jessie Campbell – Makeup Artist (she brought a lipstick bar!) | First Floor

DJ Wizdom | Second Floor

Rajan – Live Artist (he painted the huge canvas in under two hours!) | Second Floor

DJ Alkimist | Fourth Floor

DJ Civil | Second Floor, Roaming

DJ Sean J | First Floor

DJ Foster | Second & Fourth Floor, Roaming

Alexander Morozov – Photographer | Roaming

DJ Neekola | First Floor

Max Major – Mentalist | Roaming

Show these peeps some love, and book them for your next event! They can all be found on Pelonkey.com along with a slew of other serious talented groups and individuals.

We’re proud Mama Bears over here, always wanting to show off our Pelonkey users…can you blame us?

WeDC 2016 SXSW Kickoff

WeDC has this great way of making everyone at their events feel like one of the gang. I mean, hello, it is We DC after all! We the people… Well, another WeDC event later, and we are just as obsessed with these guys!

The SXSW kickoff was a blast, and we brought DJ Duffin, DJ Civil, and DJ Rene to rock the house as the guests mingled, networked, and checked out the startup tables (um, ours was the best, le duh).

 

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Notice the company you see wherever you look? 😉

DJ Duffin kicked off the night with a fun mix of music to pump up the arriving guests. From high above the evening’s Pelonkey perch, he had the best vantage of anyone there!

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We met a ton of great people, exchanged more than a few business cards, and let’s be honest, did what Pelonkey does best: told people what we’re all about, and probably cracked a few bad jokes as well 😉

Prior to Black Alley, the band for the evening, taking the stage, DJ Civil had us grooving to some R&B, some throwbacks, and like the rockstar she is, she made WeDC’s recap collage, so for your viewing pleasure… (Bottom red tee haaaaay girl!) –>

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And after Black Alley finished up, it was DJ Rene with the closeout. Another rockstar, I tell ya. But, really, when you come to Pelonkey, it’s rockstars left and right. The talent we’ve got on our side are serious performers. In case you didn’t already know based on the amount of bragging we like to do about them.

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Great day for the PelonkTeam, and anytime we’re able to hang with WeDC it’s a great day overall.

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Rene, Ciera, Nicole, Danielle, Duffin, Civil

Until next time, WeDC!

So… the rest of y’all ready to get this SXSW wagon on the road to Austin?? We sure are!

O City Perch, how we love thee

“For more than a year now, Pelonkey DJs have been exclusively supplying the soundtrack to City Perch brunches and nighttime parties!” –> Nicole, giirllllll, those words are music to my ears!

You heard right – in the past year, if you’ve eaten at City Perch before catching a weekend movie, you’ve been grooving in your seats to one of Pelonkey’s fantastic DJs. Of the 26 (and counting) entertainers who have rocked the City Perch house so far, we’ve rounded up a number of them to weigh in on the Pelonkey-CP love affair.

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DJ Civil: “I’ve had the pleasure of entertaining patrons and staff at this great establishment since August 2015. The experience has been beyond what I ever expected. First, at the bar area, it’s always nice to see heads nodding and feet tapping. Second, the restaurant is a beauty. Third, and most important, City Perch has a selection of food on its menu that competes with no one in the area.

I recently DJ’d City Perch for Brunch Super Bowl Sunday. Of all the great times I’ve had at City Perch, I’d say the ‘whispered rap battle’ to the beat of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ is the best so far! The staff and managers always show how much they enjoy my tune selection. And if it wasn’t for Pelonkey, this new experience would have never happened.”

DJ RAW: “Fantastic food with great presentation from the staff. Great servers. The outdoor area with the fire places lit at night and the outdoor lighting are perfect for the spring, fall and early winter. The space has a ginormous back dining area. It is a hidden gem in Rockville-Bethesda area. When the area is completed you will have to wait in line for a table. Perfect for a dinner before a movie and cocktail afterwards.”

Trayze: “Spinning tunes at City Perch is always a good time!  I have fun setting the vibe at the balcony and getting people in the mood to dance at their tables or at the bar. Booking through Pelonkey is always a breeze. From contracting to payment, it’s always smooth!”

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DJ Dirty Hands: “I’ve been playing here for a few months now, and I love the people that come here. Everyone is surprised that [the DJs] are mixing live. Raasikh [General Manager] is the man!”

LJ MTX: “It was my pleasure to help City Perch kick off 2016 as their DJ. The management and staff were super accommodating from the time I walked through the door. The venue is beautiful and food is amazing. I highly recommend this spot if you are looking for a nice low key night of great food, drinks, and music.”

DJ Dimmy: “DJing at City Perch is always a treat. The staff is great, and the clientele is fun.  Thanks to Pelonkey, the booking process is smooth and flawless.”

DJ Bo: “City Perch continues to be one of my favorite places to DJ because I’m trusted to play a vast amount of music I do not get to play at most bars. The lagers are to die for, and I can’t get enough of the crab cakes. The staff is always awesome, and I look forward to seeing them again in a couple weeks.”

DJ Sean J: “City Perch is one of those great places that DJs love: A cool vibe that allows you freedom to play really cool music along with great food! The Brioche Crusted Maryland Blue Crab Cakes are amazing! For me, playing the music is all about creating the right atmosphere wherever I play. The look and feel of City Perch compliments a lot of the music that I listen to and often don’t get a chance to play out!”

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Gavin Holland: “I love DJing at City perch! There’s a vibrant bar scene, and the build-out of the whole place is really organic and inviting. Musically, I strike that balance between hooks people know and beats that are futuristic and warm. It was a high compliment the other week when someone came up to me and said, ‘I didn’t think I would hear this tonight!’ That’s always the goal. — And it’s great booking through Pelonkey; everyone’s on the same page as far as expectations and payment. By the time I get home, I have an email from Pelonkey letting me know the event is complete, and within a few days, my fee is deposited directly into my bank account. No need to annoy a manager at the end of the night for a check she’s trying to close up shop!”

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DJ Oz: “City Perch is a lot of fun. I get to play a wide array of music and the partons really enjoy it. I think it enhances their experience at the restaurant.”  

DJ CYD: “City Perch has a great staff and amazing food. It’s a very diverse group of people  from youthful business professionals to wholesome families.”

As-One: “City Perch is a must visit for those in Montgomery County. Great vibes within a gorgeous setting, friendly staff, and delicious menu. I always have a blast DJing there!”

DJ Neekola: “City Perch has been a most wonderful event planner to work with, taking very good care of our DJs, with patrons bouncing up and down while enjoying their meals before peeping a movie in fancy chairs… We love having them on Pelonkey!”

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DJ Alkimist: “I love spinning at City Perch; it’s a place with a cool vibe with even cooler people.”

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We think our entertainers did a pretty sick job of showing how much we LUV this venue…

City Perch, y’all deserve a huge THANK YOU and a full house from now until 2025. Talented DJs, you guys deserve all the success, dancing, and future bookings in the world. Readers, let’s get on that, yeah?

Hap-Pelonk-ZI Christmas!

When you sit in an office everyday, doing work on the same screen, it’s nice to get up, slap on a pretty dress, and dance the night away, am I right?

The Pelonkteam kicked off the holiday season last night at the coveted Zinzi Christmas Party at the Convention Center in DC, and what a night it was! We were dressed to the nines, food, drink, and music flowed, and we met some awesome people in the party and at our table. Also, there were multiple photo booths involved. And DJ Neekola closed out the night with the best dance set of 2015 (if we do say so ourselves).

Phew, I’m exhausted again just thinking about it.

We started our own hashtag for the night – #pelonkZI – which you can peruse on Twitter or Insta, but here are a few teasers for your viewing pleasure. We love a good (mini) photo diary. Even more when it’s holiday-themed. Bring on the Christmas cookies!

Neeks in Cancun con la Marriott!

I bet I know where you wish you were right now…

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Cancun. Am I right? Knew it.

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Pelonkey CEO, DJ Neekola was there recently as part of the Marriott’s Fearless conference… because Pelonkey’s supporters are always awesome sauce clients who host conferences on tropical islands. (Thanks to Entertainment Exchange for hooking up Neekola with the Marriott!) And cue the jealousy. Well, you can pretend you were also there by listening to the playlist of all the jams Neekola played throughout the duration of the convention. And then look at the sunshine outside and pretend it’s not going to drop to 40 degrees tonight.

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Alright, alright, DC. Just throw on your bikini and this playlist & dance around your apartment. No one will ever know.

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To JAM:

SLEDGE – Croatia Squad, Me & My Toothbrush and Peter Gabriel
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Groove Conductor’s Remix) – Daft Punk
Bright Lights (Extended Clean) – VICE Ft. Estelle
Can’t Feel My Face (Joe Maz and Adam Foster Remix) – The Weekend
We Found Love (Toy Armada Diamond Remix) – Rihanna
September (Taylor Wise Remix) – Earth Wind and Fire
Geronimo (Sunstars Remix) – Sheppard
Barbara Streisand – Duck Sauce
Thunderstruck (Shameless Bootleg) – ACDC
Uptown Funk (Neekola Disco Remix) Bruno Mars
Don’t Stop the Party – Pitbull
Bamboleo (Neekola Remix) Gypsy Kings
Malosax – Afro Mix – Stan Courtois
Fun – Mixshow Intro – Pitbull
Should’ve Been Us (Noodles Remix) – Tori Kelly
Sweet Dreams Vs. Just Dance, Lady Gaga Vs. Eurythmics
Call on Me – Eric Prydz (Neekola Remix)
I Love It – Icona Pop (Neekola Remix)
Sexyback – Scooter Remix – Justin Timberlake
Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop tip you Get Enough – Gigamesh Vs. Neekola
Dance – Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez, Party Starter Neekola Remix
What’s My Name Moombahton Remix – Rihanna
Latch Vs. What Do you Mean – Sam Smith Vs. Justin Bieber
Levels Die Young – Avicii Vs. Ke$ha
Let Me Clear My Throat – Party Favor Remix – DJ Kool
Temperature Vs. Americano – Sean Paul Vs. Yolanda Be Cool
Five Hours – Chris Brown

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To CHILLAX:

Adore – Jasmine Thompson
Dreams – Gigamesh Remix – Fleetwood Mac
Promise – Kaskade
Bondye – Never Too Much
Cream – Flyosphy – Claptone Remix
Aint Nobody Loves Me Better – Felix Jaehn Remix
One Thing (Nora en Pure Remix) – Me and My Toothbrush
Clocks – Coldplay Vs. Rythims Del Mundo, Cuba Salsa Remix
Hello (Paul Damixie Remix) Clean AXB Cut – Adele
Say My Name (Kids Want Techno Remix) Odezsa
Colors – Leo Perez
Oxas – Gamper Dadoni De Hofnar
Summer Sippin – Boehm & DVNNI
Sugar – Robin Schulz
Cold As Ice – Louie Fresco Remix
Shades of Grey (Nora En Pure Remix) – Oliver Heldens and Shaun Frank
Night – Janet Jackson
Groove is in the Heart – Gigamesh Remix – Deee Lite
Hotline Bling – Kue Remix – Clean AXB Cut – Sam Smith / Drake
Show Me Love – EDX Remix – Sam Feldt

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#Celebrate2015

Yes, we are hashtag whores. Yes, we hashed all over #Vegas. Yes, you can filter through the Tech.Co #Celebrate2015 tag and find our (dare I say witty?) commentary. And yes, you should go and do that #rightmeow.

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#Celebrate2015 was Tech.Co’s global conference for tech startups, which took place this past Sunday-Tuesday in Vegassss, baby! It was three packed days of networking, panels, meetings, (yes, some #parties), one-on-ones, mentors, new faces, and new friends. It also included a startup showcase, of which Pelonkey was a part last year. We didn’t win, but because the conference was gads of fun, this year Nicole and Danielle returned to network, strengthen connections, and of course, visit Vegas. (Though, with two red eyes in as many days, it’s not quite the same as it would have been with time to recharge to 100%.)

After the launch party and our first month post-site launch, our focus on managing the company shifts every day as we explore new aspects of outreach, marketing, partnerships, and more, and the conference was great in aiding our efforts to tackle these frontiers. The people we met were awesomesauce, and the business cards we got are spilling out of our purses in anticipation of follow-up emails.

We flew in to Vegas late Sunday night, so we missed the first day’s activities, but here’s what our schedule looked like:

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See? Busy. Monday and Tuesday were no joke. Neither are my 24 pages of notes that are begging to be organized and prioritized, but I digress.

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Frank Gruber, Co-Founder and CEO of Tech.Co

Nicole and Danielle split up in order to meet with more people and cover more ground. Monday’s highlights were a mix of some panels and great individual sit-downs. Tuesday was comprised of valuable lectures and some heavy duty speakers (Microsoft, Google, American Airlines, Yahoo News, and more were in attendance).

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Danielle heard from Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappo’s, a panel discussing partnerships, Susan Cooney and Stacy Parson, who led a workshop on Next Level Results from startup teams and how they can grow their business through leadership (one of my favs, and a class every young professional should take to teach them about owning their leadership potential), and Clarisa Lindenmeyer from Tech Wildcatters, among others. Nicole met with Gerome Sapp, NFL player turned tech master, Jermaine Dupri, record producer and founder of So So Def, and heard a lecture about investor meetings.

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They both listened to talks by Danielle Morrill from Mattermark, who discussed the business of collecting and organizing the world’s data, and Lauren Fritsch from TCC Consulting, who blew their minds with her Customer Experience talk (right up Pelonkey’s alley!).

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We took a little time to walk around Downtown, but did not make it to the strip (though Nicole did try unsuccessfully to get Danielle to go out with her). Instead we opted for Tech.Co parties and networking (a worthy choice).

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After a Pelonkey brainstorm (read: brain dump), final speakers, and startup awards ceremony (shoutout to Blendoor!), the conference wrapped up with a closing rooftop party and a visit from Kuzco, the Tech.Co alpaca, which, naturally, was our favorite part.

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And then it was back to the airport for red eye #2! And straight to meetings after that. #Tech stops for no one.

#Celebrate2015, you were fantastic! Let’s do this again sometime. Say, 2016 perhaps?

MES: Most Extraordinary Stars? Or…

MES: Many Excellent Successes. MES: Master Entrepreneur Supporters. (<– Hey, that was actually a pretty good one.)

MES: Metro Event Specialists, aka our homedawgs. Our peeps. A real swell group of hardworking event tycoons.

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We have introduced you to lots of heavy hitters in the events world (shoutout to our ab-FAB Pelonkey Launch sponsors!), but there’s one group we want to throw in the spotlight for a hot minute. MES holds a special place in our hearts as our good friends Max Major & Troy Francis are the ones that run it, and our CEO Nicole is on the board. Max & Troy and the rest of the MES gang have a finger on many crucial events that take place in DC, and they have been nice enough to toss us countless tips, tricks, and advice on our path to entertainment marketplace stardom (that’s a thing, right?).

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You’ve already heard a little about them through our MES Mixer coverage (we sponsored all the entertainment at their August mixer at the National Archives), but we want to urge all of you in the events industry to take a closer look. Get involved with them. They are a network of event professionals in the DMV area. They are 100% free (um, yes, really), AND they host super fun events with food and drink and talking and laughing and mixing and photo booths and fun and, well, now I’m just rambling.

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They were well-represented at our launch party, and we wanna throw ’em some love. Some mushy, mushy event lurrvvve. They are such a force in the area, and we are glad to call them partners. Get on their list, and don’t miss their next event! No, don’t miss it. Don’t do it. Don’t make us come over there…