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

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!

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?

Pelonkey Grand Launch Party

Last Wednesday. September 16. LIVE at 10th & G.

Were you there? Have you recovered yet?

Did you miss it? Are you still crying yourself to sleep?

Our Grand Launch Party was aMAHzing. What a night. What an awesome group of people and unbelievable support. Who’s down for a little recap?

If you were at the party, you either met me, your Pelonkey Eagle Eye, or saw me walk awkwardly on stage to accept Nicole’s thanks and give her flowers – I’m not on on-stage person, I’m a BTS, other-side-of-the-computer person – and this was my day-long Grand Launch experience.

6:03 am

Early morning reveille. Especially considering last night’s office work lasted til 10 pm. Not including my 1.5 hour commute back to VA.

6:47 am

Showered, hair prepped, bags packed for later.

7:00 am

Have to finish making name tags using a template that doesn’t work. The bane of my Grand Launch prep so far. Found out my color printer at home is working again, so I don’t need to rush to the office to print the leftover tags.

Simultaneously scheduling a Staples run for extra name tags, Costco run for green room beverages, pickup of the Step & Repeat, printing more signs, scheduling social media posts on Hootsuite, and finalizing a slideshow. Oh, and my gas tank is chilling on Empty.

8:49 am

I was wrong; color printer not working. Name tags took way longer than expected (everyone better wear these). Plan B!

9:15 am

Out the door with everything stuffed into my car in record time considering 20 minutes ago I wasn’t wearing pants.

9:32 am

Step & Repeat acquired! Success #1 of the day.

10:30 am

The rest of my errands went smoothly, and I can take off for DC.

11:04 am

For the first time maybe ever, I am actually relieved to find traffic on route 66 because it is the first time I’ve been forced to slow down in about a week. Here I have my second freakout of the day; the first was that damn printer, the second was the enormity of the impending event. Nbd.

12:37 pm

I will skip over the boring details of arriving at the office, receiving two packages, running out of ink the second I finished printing my last name tag, and getting a $16 parking ticket for only one hour in the garage.

1:00 pm

It’s venue time, baby! All eerily quiet so far because an event is going on upstairs, and we can’t start setting up yet.

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1:14 pm

I am trying unsuccessfully to iron table cloths and runners on a plastic table with an iron sans water on low heat. Machines: 1, Eagle Eye: 0.

1:30 pm

Setup can begin. We are tackling the Step & Repeat first, which was a workaround to begin with, so trying to construct our own stand has been an ordeal. And when I say “we,” I mean Nicole and her friend Cenk, while I sit at a nearby table assembling name tags (seriously, everyone better keep these forever). Ciera is running around like a crazy person and it’s not even 2 pm.

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3 pm

So far, so good! Setup flowing smoothly, vendors should be arriving now.

3:02 pm

Chaos. Vendor load-in times never end up how you originally scheduled.

4:41 pm

This place is actually looking like a party site. Some performers are starting to arrive, green room is looking lived-in, and Ciera is officially going to put holes in her shoes with her running back & forth.

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5:00 pm

Nicole’s makeup is almost done, downstairs & registration are set up, photo booth looks amazeballs, red carpet has been rolled out, and we are making sure vendors have what they need.

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5:20 pm

Holy crap, no one has chilled any of the white wine yet. To the freezer!

5:35 pm

If we leave this in the freezer too long will it explode? We may find out…

5:41 pm

Somewhere in here I have managed to throw on some makeup, curl my hair, and put on my dress.

5:59 pm

I have my comm device (think secret service agent meets trench soldier) hooked up, and it’s off to the races. Eagle Eye to Unicorn, do you have eyes on Neekola? Over. 

6:00 pm

Doors open. Let’s do this.

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6:20 pm

So. many. people! So many, in fact, that I have already found and lost half our performers three times trying to get them to the green room. I’m checking on current entertainers, chatting with guests, making sure the kitchen isn’t on fire, the usual. Ciera has flown by me at least twice on one mission or another. I sigh again with relief because what would we do without her? Perish, surely.

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7:30 pm

A lot of guest networking and problem-solving later, and it’s time to relinquish my comm. My life will never be the same. But the sound manager for the theater needs it more than I do, I guess… Theater doors also open at this time, and guests are being pulled in by the sounds of LJ MTX and the sexy DystRucXion dancers.

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7:50 pm

A word from our sponsors… And let me take a minute here to thank them. Each of them. For our success was due to them.

VeeKast, for providing the performance slide show and live tweeting action. Travelling Bean, for the specialty barista station of our caffeinated dreams. Eco Caters, for organic, fresh food that is still making our mouths water. SkipperFilms, for making sure we didn’t miss a minute of the magic. OM Digital, for the best party favor ever. Sugar Rim Bar, for sangria and stellar service. Zelos Trading, for beer (three cheers!). Event Farm, for the ticketing service from which you all received our beautimous emails. Beat Refinery, for appointing two DJs to the battle and partnering with us always. Carlos, for an unbelievable sound & lighting setup. And Tommy McFly, for Emceeing our event and lending his charisma and energy to the show.

Before the show even began, Nicole took the stage to welcome everyone, and before she could get a word out, she was met with a standing ovation. A testament to how beloved she is in this community. And for good reason. That woman is a rockstar. 

8:03 pm

A little behind schedule (if we’re being picky, which Ciera is), but I can promise nobody in the crowd cares because the best show ever is about to start. Max Major to take it away, followed by an epic lineup of DC talent we also want to thank now. You guys have no idea how amazing these folks were. Over the next few weeks, we will be spotlighting each performer who took the stage (or party room) and represented themselves and Pelonkey. Look for that on our social platforms.

Max Major – Mentalist, Kelly Jo Stull – Circus Performer & Dancer, Chicago City Limits – NYC Improv Troupe, Ben Hoyt – Violinist, DJ Sean J, DJ As-One, Michael Rosman – Comedy Circus, Chip Han – Beatboxer

DJ Foster, Anna Pineapple – Circus Performer & Dancer, DJ Gavin Holland, DJ Phlipz, Dan Lamaestra Jazz Trio, Brian Curry – Magician, DJ Heather Femia, Joe Goldman – Voice Artist & Announcer, Rajan – Artist, David Meneses – Magician

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9:09 pm

Party time! The show was great, everyone is having so much fun, and Ciera, Nicole, and I can finally take a breath, have a drink, and talk with our guests.

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10:13 pm

I’ve been giving the VIP room some love, marveling at the Dan Lamaestra Jazz Trio & Ben Hoyt transform the upstairs into the classiest act ever. Schmoozing is not my middle name, but when in Rome (and when it’s my party), I do as the Romans do… 😉 When in Rome, I also consume more than my fair share of Duck Confit Johnny Cakes c/o Eco Caters. These things were heavenly. And made fresh by Chef Robbie. Just like the rest of the bomb food.

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11:13 pm

The time, it flies. I have had so much fun, met so many wonderful people, and rubbed so many blisters onto my feet. The latter is usually a huge indication of the former.

11:48 pm

All the guests have left – reluctantly, I may add – and it’s breakdown time. The party may have been glamorous, but I’m looking around at all these trash bags knowing the next steps will not be.

12:52 am

Thanks to helping hands from our vendors and friends, we have finally gathered all the trash bags into the kitchen. The venue looks a little like a frat party came through, but I’m taking that as a successful sign. Except for the trash cans that look like beer troughs. I was really hoping I left that in my freshman year of college, but alas…

1:22 am

During load-out, we have managed to lock ourselves into the garage. Let me paint you a word picture. The glass door into the elevator room is shut, the gate to exit the garage is shut and only opened with a parking ticket, we are three floors below ground with no cell service, I have run through a maze of stairs only to lose myself in a neighboring building, and we have decided to cram three of ourselves (one ex-football player included) into the front seat of Ciera’s teeny car in order to bust ourselves out. Finally Nicole comes down to find out what the hell happened to us, and we are freed. Exhausting doesn’t cover it. Slaphappy might.

1:44 am

The venue is empty, the car is loaded, our eyelids are heavy, and it’s time to leave. What is a great party without a calamity of events before and after?

1:46 am

What was that tip my drivers’ ed teacher told us to do when we were tired and driving? Sing along to the radio? I did. To every song that played from the corner of 10th & G St. to my driveway.

2:12 am

I don’t remember getting out of my car or into bed, but I do remember falling asleep with the sounds of Pelonkey ringing in my ears. (Not trying to be cheesy; I was seriously delirious from fatigue and could only remember that something big regarding Pelonkey had just happened, but I couldn’t tell you what.)

I wish I had had the sense to take photos throughout the whole day to illustrate every tiny detail of the party, but I didn’t know I was going to write a diary account of the launch until after the fact. Like many of my great ideas, this one occurred to me too late.

We want to take this launch party city to city as Pelonkey grows. After doing it once, I can promise that the second, third, tenth times will be just as hectic and crazy. And thank god for that. Because the alternative is downright boring. And Pelonkey doesn’t do boring.

Ps. The wine never exploded in the freezer. Take that, science.

Pps. Thanks to Shimeng Tong, Alexander Morozov, and Vithaya for the photography.

Ppps. 82% of the name tags ended up in the trash. Mine is displayed proudly above my bed.

TL;DR – The show and party were a great success. Be super jealous you weren’t there. Or proud that you were. Either way, don’t miss the next one.

Stone Driver steers into our hearts… and the National Archives

Let me break it down for ya: One live band + Roaming performers + Open bar + Close vicinity to some seriously important historical documents = A chance to party all night long with the Declaration of Independence. ROCK ON

The August MES Mixer will be held at The National Archives this coming Wednesday. The Archives is a pretty sweet place, no? Well, we’re about to spice it up. With music. Rock music. Echoing through the halls and reverberating off The Constitution. Enter Stone Driver.

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The band is made up of members Chad Lesch, Tim Boyer, John Gossart, and Dan Epley, and in their own words, their music is “meaningful, relevant, and real.” It has taken them to venues across the area and featured them in media outlets around the world. Next in line to hear the crooners is the National Archives. Talk about a prominent US stage.

Besides knowing them personally (whaddup, 1776!), we also know their music. In fact, it was the soundtrack to Nicole & Danielle’s SXSW road trip. And it is good. It makes you wanna just, get down and jam, man. I mean, they categorize it as Space Grunge. That’s definitely something you want to listen to, right?

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They’ve been supporters of Pelonkey from the beginning, and we are oh-so-proud to feature them as our hard-working, hard-rocking live band entertainer of the week. (And after Wednesday, we promise they’ll become the entertainer of your hearts.)

Have you RSVP’d to the MES Mixer yet? Why would you want to miss the chance to party with Stone Driver & all our other awesome performers? Huh?? Why?! Why would you do that?!

See ya there 😉

Pelonkey at 2015 SXSW Interactive

pelonkey sxsw cover

Austin, is it time to come back yet?

It was just a couple months ago that our CEO Nicole and social media intern Danielle hit the road in their swanky Chevy Volt, courtesy of Buick and Digital DC, and headed to Austin, TX to exhibit Pelonkey at SXSW Interactive. 22 hours of driving led them through Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, and parts of Texas where they met local talent, checked out the entertainment scene (or at least what they could see of it during their hour-long rest stops), and spoke to a few performers about their life on the stage.

Once in Austin, Nicole and Danielle hit networking events, parties after parties, and conferences meeting local and remote companies and representatives, their only goal to make sure that everyone knew the name Pelonkey by the time they left. Arriving with a fairly open game plan, the two also spent time in the convention center and on the city streets checking out talented performers (and not only musicians!) that make Austin the live music capital of the country.

The highlight, for sure, was taking part in the Monday night WeDC House event, which was the place to be. Pelonkey was the most sought-after table inside, passing out swag left and right, and DJ Neekola made an appearance outside, spinning between live acts as the evening’s host. A surprise visit and shout out from DJ Kool sealed the deal as the best night of SXSW! No doubt about it, Pelonkey will definitely be back next year.

Throughout all of SXSW and the journey traveling to Austin from DC, Nicole and Danielle had their GoPro turned on, gathering footage of daily events, parties, and interviews with local entertainment.

Below, check out our little photo diary of Pelonkey’s trip to SXSW 2015!

 

We started our drive bright and early on Saturday morning, March 14. Taking a car down to Austin instead of a plane allowed us the freedom to stop whenever and wherever we wanted to explore. We were out to discover any kind of local talent we could. After conducting some research and outreach at home before the trip, it turned out that hitting the streets yielded the best results. On Day 1, from Knoxville to Nashville to Memphis, the Pelonkey duo was uncovering talent and native flair around every corner. And also eating some crazy good southern BBQ while enjoying the sites!

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On the second and last exhausting and exhilarating day of the road trip (you try squeezing 22 hours of driving into two days without wanting to stop, drop, and nap), we were anxious to finally arrive in Austin. We took a pit stop in Little Rock and then flew straight on to Texas, where we only stopped for more BBQ (never enough) and finally arrived in the heart of downtown Austin. Our first party (and main event!) that evening was with Tech Cocktail at Maggie Mae’s. From there, we wandered the city streets, hopped to more bars and parties, made new friends, and soaked up as much of Austin as we could until 3am, running on fumes from little sleep.

        

Continuing with the motto “sleep is for the weak”, we were up and at ’em Monday morning preparing for a long day in Austin. The first half of the day was spent party-hopping, chatting up new people, plotting and planning the Pelonkey launch, and sniffing out free food & drink. Finally, after a focus meeting, it was time to get ready for the We DC House event, where DJ Neekola donned her pink ‘do to hit the decks and Danielle worked the Pelonkey table inside. We DC has been a great supporter of Pelonkey, and partnering with them for their SXSW event was just one of many collaborations to come. Thank you guys so much for helping to bring us to Austin and for putting on such a great party! You guys rock!

                        

The highlight of the night was when Neekola was blasting “Let Me Clear My Throat”, and DJ Kool himself walked over to say “Hey, that’s my song!” He grabbed the mic and gave Neekola and Pelonkey a shout-out, essentially rocking both the party and our world.

The last few days of SXSW, Nicole and Danielle did more of what they came to do: network. Beautiful Austin weather followed them everywhere, and introductions were made to individuals and companies from all across the country.

We are so grateful we were able to go to SXSW 2015, and we can’t stress enough how much we learned and how many great contacts we made. Pelonkey is close to launching, and the excitement we felt in Austin surrounding our venture and the tech culture in general was infectious! Thanks to everyone who helped get us to Austin, and we can’t wait to come back!