We spy a Pelonkey ninja at the 5th Anniversary MES Masquerade mixer!

Modified from Ciera Gallub‘s post on DJ Neekola’s blog on November 6th, 2014.

Being keen as ever, Pelonkey CEO DJ Neekola hopped around the Metro Events Specialists 5th Anniversary Masquerade party without anyone knowing who she was until her reveal!

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The MES event did not disappoint! Taking place at the beautiful Carnegie Library at Mt Vernon Square, the venue was completely decked out for the occasion.

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Beautiful lights and draping landscaped the rooms and halls, and strange but brilliant masked creatures turned up around every corner, making the night take on a mythical vibe!

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Neekola had an incredible time munching on tasty little treats and morsels, dancing to the band, enjoying a libation or two from the open bar, getting her picture snapped left and right from the Umbrella Syndicate, socializing with friends, and networking Pelonkey with the best professionals the DMV events industry has to offer.

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Here’s to the next amazing MES mixer and five more spectacular years!

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What we learned in Vegas at Tech Cocktail Celebrate

The Pelonkey Team had an amazing time out in Vegas this past week for Tech Cocktail Celebrate! We easily had the coolest booth at the expo, and Max Major and DJ Neekola tore up the pitch competition, impressing all the attendees, judges, and mentors with their passion and vision for the company.

We learned some very important tips and lessons from the many great speakers and panelists at the conference, including 1776 Co-Founder, Donna Harris! Some of these pointers that we felt were especially applicable for our company, we have shared below.

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1. Make your own path. We do not want to mimic or follow the rules and boundaries set by other companies, whether similar to Pelonkey’s goals or not. Pelonkey plans to completely revolutionize the event and entertainment industry, changing the way entertainers and party planners do biz together – that will take risks and traveling down the unbeaten path, a challenge we are more than excited to face!

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2. Be selective about whom you choose to partner with. The Pelonkey Team has worked very hard to bring our customers only the best in local partnerships for the company. We chose one of the most popular night venues in the city, Heist, to host our awesome entertainer events at; the Beat Refinery DJ school offers discounted classes and sessions to local DJs, who can also test to become Beat Refinery certified; Chuck Levin’s offers discounted equipment specials to Pelonkey musicians; Digital DC is our connect with the local DC government; EventsDC brings Pelonkey all the latest in events around the area as well as an in to the party planner side of things. We are always looking out for the best interests of our Pelonkey peeps!

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3. Know your audience and constantly customize your product to their needs. We want to know all the good stuff as well as what we can improve on here at Pelonkey – please reach out to us with any feedback! This site is for you all, so we want it to be the best experience possible.

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4. Be responsive on social media. Pelonkey’s company values focus our priorities on customer service. If you need something, we try to be as accessible as possible to your request, whether it’s in a tweet, email, FB message, text, you name it!

There are many other awesome tips we received from the pros at the Celebrate Conference, and we wanted to outline these four super important lessons we learned for all of our great supporters and users! Vegas was awesome, and we can’t wait to launch Pelonkey officially in early 2015! For more deets into what we did while at Tech Cocktail Celebrate, check out our previous blog post here.

Pelonkey goes to the DC Crowdfunding Challenge!

Last week, the Pelonkey team headed out to attend the launch event for the DC Crowdfunding Challenge!

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Hosted by the National Crowdfunding Services and Digital DC with DC Innovates, the event wanted to raise awareness for the upcoming crowdfunding pitch competition and to harvest more DC Sharks.

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Pelonkey Advisory Board members Tony Cord and Max Major were in attendance, and Tony spoke on the basic goals of the Challenge on the Fish & Richardson rooftop.See what people are saying about the City’s efforts to help small, local businesses raise money!

Pelonkey Advisory Board Member Spotlight: Steve Britt with LTB Law

Steve Britt is an incredible law firm partner who helps advise the Pelonkey team on all matters legal! In addition to being a great Pelonkey Advisory Board member, Steve also mentors a lot of early stage companies. Currently, he is mentoring a graduate of Acceleprise and a new inductee into MACH 37. Steve also advises an interesting NSA hybrid storage company as well as a Big Data play, run by the former head of SAP Mobile. He has just been invited onto the board of MIT Enterprise Forum.

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Steve knows how hard it is to build a good company, so he utilizes his “strategic negotiating skills” to provide Pelonkey solid business advice based on his knowledge and extensive experience. Even in his personal job commitments, Steve sees the importance of providing people something beyond just the hourly rate. He helps clients understand that there are usually ways to reduce risk while still achieving primary goals. Especially for Pelonkey, avoiding surprises is important this early in a company’s life.

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Steve’s main hobby outside of his work is to chase his precious 4 year old around his house (Here it comes, everyone! Let’s all let out a giant “Awwww!”). He also enjoys a good round of golf, preferably in Italy, which is where his wife will argue is the most wonderful place to travel in the world! As if he didn’t impress you enough already, Steve has eaten rattlesnake before! Ewwwwww, but cool!

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We are super excited here at Pelonkey to have the amazing Steve Britt on our team! He makes for an incredibly smart and intellectual advisor.

Pelonkey Advisory Board Member Spotlight: Tony Cord

Tony Cord is our awesome connector and thinker here on the Pelonkey Advisory Board. Not only does he love to find interesting people and business to introduce us to, he is also very strategic about his advice. Years of experience in different DC sectors allow him to truly analyze Pelonkey‘s developments and figure out how to best help us reach the next platform of strong company formation!

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In addition to serving as one of our wonderful Advisory Board “cheerleaders”, Tony is on the board for multiple non-profits and organizations, including DC Innovates, which harbors the Digital DC Tech Fund, and the National Crowdfunding Services. Coming up is the first DC Crowdfunding Challenge, hosted by the National Crowdfunding Services, and Tony is very excited about it! In a format best described as Shark Tank meets Power to the People, “communities will be empowered like never before as the crowdfunding democratizes raising capital for projects, causes, and businesses, harnessing the power of social media and the Internet”.

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Tony has always been a go-getter and purveyor of helping people realize and accomplish their goals. He frequently volunteers in his community and promotes various local causes. Tony is also an angel investor and an entrepreneur, himself! He sees the need in the growing DC creative community for a business platform like Pelonkey, which will help so many entertainers get a better hold of their business and maximize on all the opportunity Pelonkey provides for them!

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When he is not working (rarely, he is always ready and looking for opportunity!), Tony likes to kick back to a nice glass of wine and cigar, preferably on a rooftop to watch the sunset with his guitar.

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Also a huge lover of beaches and the water, Tony aspires to travel the world. Enjoying his time with his four children and partner, Tina Palmer, Tony tries not to take himself too seriously and make sure he’s really living his life!

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We here at Pelonkey thrive off of Tony’s zest and energy! We are so proud to have him on our Advisory Board!

Pelonkey Advisory Board Member Spotlight: Eddie Fam

Written by Ciera Gallub, COO and Staff Writer

Meet Eddie Fam, one of our awesome Pelonkey Advisory Board Members! Eddie is also the President of IMPACT Marketing and Events, the founder of the Meant 2 Live Foundation, and the Marketing Director at the Winery at Bull Run. All these activities, you would think he’d be exhausted! Not Eddie; he is always lively, spirited, encouraging, and ready for the next challenge!

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With all of his great insight and experience, Eddie likes to connect private event clients to Pelonkey‘s many talented entertainers, whether for a wedding, corporate event, festival, or charity fundraiser, to name a few. Eddie has a real passion for Pelonkey and the company’s future impact. Pelonkey is going to change the way clients and entertainers do business together, making both sides more easily accessible to each other within a secure, trusted environment. For Eddie, this streamlined process will make the client’s event that much more wonderful and special!

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In his spare time, Eddie enjoys drinking wine, going to awesome rock concerts (here’s to U2!), and traveling the world. One of his favorite places to travel to is Africa.

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Every year, Eddie and the Meant 2 Live Foundation go out to Africa on a missions trip. In his most recent trip this past July, Eddie reunited with his brother, a Mission Priest who has dedicated his life to care for more than 220 orphans in Zambia. He is already hard at work planning next year’s trip to Zambia! M2L plans on continuing the expansion of their orphans project into three more communities.

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If you’d like to go on the next missions trip to Zambia, book your wedding at the Winery at Bull Run, or just have a smashing conversation with a genuinely happy, passionate guy, do not hesitate to introduce yourself to Eddie Fam! After all, humans are his favorite animal. They can impact every other animal out there! We are so proud to have someone like Eddie Fam on our Pelonkey Board of Advisors! Catch Eddie at any upcoming Networking For Good event!

Pelonkey Advisory Board Member Spotlight: Charles Koch (aka: DJ Dirty Hands)

Written by Ciera Gallub, Pelonkey COO

His name is certainly popular around DC, known by his night time role as DJ Dirty Hands! Our awesome Pelonkey Advisory Board member, Charles (Chuck) Koch is a hard-spinning disk jockey as well as a savvy business man. He is a partner at Heist Lounge in DuPont, which he generously allows us to use for Pelonkey events.

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Chuck has the great ability to connect people together and is an excellent networker. He believes that Pelonkey will help to stabilize the industry, especially pertaining to nightlife. The growing trend of becoming a DJ has been increasingly prominent in the DC nightclub scene, and Chuck feels Pelonkey will really help both the entertainers and the clients navigate the growing industry. Dirty Hands plans to use his awesome DJ network and connection skills to help Pelonkey scale and continue to grow, offering great insight from the DJ world, nightlife scene, and venue owner perspectives.

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Heist has been doing so well this summer that Chuck is excited to see what the cooler months will bring! I asked him what one of the most ratchet moments DJing was like. One time while he was spinning at a club, six girls got into a huge fight behind him at the booth! Good beats can make people go bananas sometimes.

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Outside of his Advisor role and his other occupations, Chuck enjoys flying (planes!), golf (FORE), and snowboarding (watch out for the yeti!). He rolls out to Cabo every year for vacation and says he could live on a beach, easily.

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We love having Chuck on our Pelonkey Advisory Board! He gives us great insight, excellent advice, and graciously opens his venue to us for Pelonkey events, which is the perfect atmosphere for getting up close and personal with the DC DJ scene. Thank you, Chuck!

Pelonkey Advisory Board Member Spotlight: Rich Shea

Our awesome Pelonkey Advisory Board member, Rich Shea runs HiBall Events, which owns 7 different event companies operating in 6 states, and Washington, DC. Most noteworthy within HiBall is the Big Night America New Year’s Eve events, which produce 5 of the largest NYE celebrations in the country! Bigger news than that party, Rich is a new daddy!

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Rich brings great insight to the Pelonkey Advisory Board with all of his event planning and venue experience. Being neck deep in the entertainment industry and managing different artists across the nation on a regular basis gives him a very focused understanding of all levels of company operations. Specific to Pelonkey, Rich brings insight to the relationship between the artist, the promoter, and the venue from the promoter’s perspective. He also has a good degree of marketing/sales expertise, especially in regards to the online world, which can be helpful to Pelonkey as it scales up.

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Marketing is Rich’s strongest skill – he has extensive experience in opening new markets by connecting people with unique event environments. Rich believes that Pelonkey will bring all event industry people closer together, since the back business content is easily automated and taken care of, allowing more time for everyone to do what they love best: entertain!

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HiBall has many exciting events coming up, and the one Rich is most excited for is a new Big Night America in Chicago! Located at one of the best hotels in the city, the Hilton Palmer House, this event is sure to be huge and super awesome!

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One thing you may not know about Rich from the outside is that he loves bananas. They are fruity perfection. Rich also plays hockey in his free time with DC Street Hockey, making sure he maintains a great summer bod all year round! If you would like to email Rich, you should customize your font to Helvetica, which is his favorite due to its aesthetic appeal. We love having Rich on our Pelonkey Advisory Board as a great power player!

Pelonkey Board Member Spotlight: Victoria Michael

Our lovely Pelonkey Advisory Board member, Victoria Michael, is one busy lady! Not only does she serve as our fabulous public relations member for Pelonkey, Victoria also owns her own boutique PR company, VM Public Relations, that caters to all sorts of fun companies! Every client is a new adventure for her.

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On top of owning her own company, Victoria is also currently on the board and various committees for multiple organizations, including the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association, Washington Humane Society, the Make a Wish Foundation, Save the Children, the Gio Gonzalez Foundation, Second Chance, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, Becky’s Fund, Knock Out Abuse, the list goes on! Victoria has been on over 100 board/committees over the past few years.

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All of this expertise makes her an astounding Pelonkey Board member! Victoria thinks Pelonkey will help small businesses and artists attain some of the common support that all big businesses have at their fingertips, all in one easy-to-use format. Pelonkey will expand to many industries, beyond our current focus on the DC DJ scene. Victoria’s best skills are her ability to network, build brands, and create exposure for those brands. This is why her main role is to get the word out about Pelonkey and garner as much awareness for the brand as possible.

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Outside of work, Victoria loves to travel, try new foods, and indulge in sports! Growing up, she was a big football fan, but now she really enjoys all sporting events – her new favorite being baseball. Our hometown Washington Nationals is her favorite team, and Vicotira is a PR consultant for them! She has worked with all of our favorite home sports teams in some capacity, including the Washington Capitals, Redskins, Wizards, Kastles, and DC United. She loves them all! Secretly, Victoria roots for the Buffalo Bills when our home team isn’t playing!

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A very patriotic lady, Victoria Michael’s favorite bird is the eagle, and if she could only sit in one type of chair for the rest of her life, it would be a lounge chair. She loves the tropical beach life! And we love her! Pelonkey is proud to have Victoria Michael on our Board for all of our PR support.

Pelonkey Partners & Advisory Board Happy Hour!

On Wednesday, Pelonkey brought together its fabulous partners and Advisory Board members together for a meet and greet group happy hour! One of our great Advisory Board members, Tony Cord with DC Innovates, hosted the happy hour at his beautiful penthouse over in Thomas Circle, with yummy food sponsored by Chix (Eat Responsibly).

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Stylus Chris and DJ Alkimist came out from the Beat Refinery DJ school to meet our awesome Pelonkey Board! The Beat Refinery teaches people how to be an awesome DJ, and they have partnered with Pelonkey because they believe in the mission – this business will disrupt the events and entertainment industry! Performing artists aren’t always the savviest on the business end. Pelonkey provides a secure business platform for the entertainers and puts the power of their contracts back into their own hands. The Beat Refinery is completely on board with that! Another Pelonkey partner, Heist Lounge owner DJ Dirty Hands came out for the celebration! Heist allows Pelonkey to host sponsored events at their venue at no additional fee, with a heavy emphasis on the DJ market for entertainers.

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Other awesome Board members that came out were Victoria Michael with VM Relations, Rich Shea with HiBall Events, Eddie Fam with Meant 2 Live Foundation, and Steve Britt with Leach Travell Britt Law. DJ Neekola gave a quick update to everyone about all the exciting things that have been happening for Pelonkey, including our most recent win at Tech Cocktail in Vegas a couple weeks ago!

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It was an awesome evening, and everyone had a wonderful time getting to know each other and being the DREAM TEAM that they are! Thank you, guys! Pelonkey wouldn’t be what it is today without all of your awesome support!