Beauty and the Beatz is cooler than you

A rising sophomore at Woodrow Wilson High School, Beauty and the Beatz does teenage stuff. Her favorite subject is Art. She does homework. Eats family dinners. Enjoys basketball and watching magic tutorials on YouTube. Oh, and you can also hire her to DJ your corporate Christmas party, a job for which she has almost 10 years of experience.

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We all know the first big thing people want to talk about is how young you are – [15!] – but what is one other thing people should know about you right away?

I think the other biggest thing would be my creativity when it comes my music selection. I like to be diverse when it comes to music. Hip hop, electronic, reggae, all different types of music. I like to be a diverse DJ.

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Which genre is your favorite to play?

If it was totally my call I think I would still go through the genres, but I like hip-hop and electronic trap music. I like to mix them together. It brings a whole different life to the music when you mash it up.

What can people expect from you at any one of your gigs?

They can definitely expect to hear music they’ve never heard before.

How old were you when you started?

6. My parents are into music; my dad was a radio personality, mom was an interior designer. I went to events in Vegas, and plenty of rappers, poets, and DJs would come on stage and perform, and for some reason the DJ always caught my attention. I would stand behind them and pay attention to what they were doing. Then I started asking for equipment.

When did you first realize “Oh wow, I’m pretty good. I can make a career out of this”? 

When I played my first couple of gigs – my first gig was at my elementary school when I was 8. At that event people were coming up to me telling me I was doing a great job. I was DJing for two years by then; it was a great feeling having so many people coming up congratulating me, the feeling of making people dance. I wanted to keep [DJing.]

What is your favorite thing to see looking out over the crowd?

People having fun, getting along. Celebrating whatever we’re here for. If it’s a party, I want people to celebrate whatever is going on. Listening to great music, having a great time, never thinking about the negative things.

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When you aren’t DJing, what are you doing?

I love to play basketball. I love to do challenging things – I taught myself to solve a Rubik’s cube. [Her current record is 2 minutes.] I like to solve brain games, do certain things that other people can’t do. I taught myself to juggle, spin a basketball on my fingers. I do things just to figure them out.

[Speaking of the Rubik’s cube,] the reason I solved it was because my sister was able to do one side of the cube, and she was gloating about it. So, I said “I’m done,” and then I had to do the whole thing.

What is your biggest guilty pleasure music?

I like all different types of genres. When I play music in the shower I go on Pandora. Every once in a while – I don’t really listen to country that much – but there’s one song that I like to play, when I’m by myself and no one else is around, “Boys ‘Round Here” [by Blake Shelton.]

Top songs on your playlist right now?

“Desiigner” – Panda

“Higher Ground” – TNGHT

“Gage” – Throat

“Children’s Story” – Slick Rick

 

Who have you worked with before?

There are plenty of DJs I like to link up with. Trayze, I also work with producer DJs, Martin Garrix, Skrillex, Coldplay. I’m young so I like to work with younger DJs.I’m a big fan of a lot of people that I’m close to – I see their work ethic is strong. The people who are super dedicated to what they do, I look up to them.

I DJ’d the Annie movie premiere, I met Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, plenty of people at that event. I DJ’d at the White House. I met a lot of artists there for the Easter egg roll [in 2014,] including Big Sean.

If you weren’t a DJ, what would you want to be?

Before I was DJing I was into all different kinds of instruments. I started with acoustic guitar, then I got into drums – African drums – then electric guitar. I always wanted to be a musician.

Fun fact: I also wanted to be a magician! I think it’s so amazing. The magic happens right in front of my eyes, and I never notice it. Plenty of times I’ve looked up YouTube videos on how to do it, and now it’s not as magical.

What was one of your favorite gigs?

My favorite gig was when I DJ’d at the White House. [The Obamas] are pretty awesome. Michelle Obama told me she was proud of me, and President Obama told me ‘Good job.’

Any funny stories?

Before I play at any event we ask [the organizer] what type of music they want me to play. For this one event the lady who emailed my mom said it was a 90s party, so I got some 90s songs ready to go. I get to the show, and once everyone comes in the building I realize she meant the guests were in their 90s. They were asking for songs and singers I had never heard of. I had to do lots of research on the fly.

Anything else event pros should know about you and experience?

They can follow me on IG and Twitter: @theflyestlildj. I do a mini series on IG “Things DJs Hate.” [We’ve watched, and it’s funny!]

I also [speak to students] at schools, I do master classes anytime people book me for certain events where they want me to teach the kids how to DJ. We have all the equipment for that. I do it all.

She really does.

Book her for your next event!

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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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!

A good joke is priceless, so luckily Free DC Comedy Week is here!

The first time we met Wayne Manigo (co-founder of the Washington DC Comedy Writers Group with Mandy Dalton) was at the WeDC pre-SXSW party back in February. Our table was all kinds of flashy (duh), Wayne walked over, stuck out his hand, and said, “Alright then, tell me about Pelonkey!” And the rest is comedic history. Wayne is a high-energy, joke-cracking, people-meeting PelonKing. We’ve always been impressed with his enthusiasm, and now we are be impressed with his community involvement. Enter the Free DC Comedy Festival (#FDCCF)!

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The concept for #FDCCF is based on a number of Wayne’s previously successful designs and projects with the primary goal of informing the public of free comedy shows in the area. Most people know about the Improv, and the Arlington Draft House. And that’s where their knowledge ends. But there are more awesome venues and shows out there! You gotta catch ’em all…

#FDCCF’s secondary goal is to help comedians gain more exposure. Hilarious but unknown comedians are no good to us as we cannot laugh at their jokes if we do not hear them. Hosting a festival such as this one will provide those superstars with the opportunity to display their talent to a variety of audiences.

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The Festival is taking place all this week, November 16-21. All the details can be found on their Facebook page.

The schedule of events looks a little something like this:

Monday 11/16, 8pm – Jackpot Comedy Show
Monday, 11/16, 8:30pm – WDCCWG Comedy Writing Session @ Judy’s Bar and Restaurant
Monday, 11/16, 8:30pm – Pretty Funny Entertainment @ Recessions

Tuesday, 11/17, 8:30pm – Bottom Shelf Comedy Show @ Black Whiskey

Wednesday, 11/18, 6pm – WALA Trademark Workshop @ FHFG&D
Wednesday, 11/18, 8:30pm – The DC Writers Group Semi-Pro Show @ Duffy’s Irish Pub (Pelonkey will be there!)

Thursday, 11/19, 8:30pm – The Looking Glass Comedy Showcase (Pelonkey will be there!)

Friday, 11/20, 8pm – Jokes @ Judy’s Bar and Restaurant
Friday, 11/20, 8pm – Smokin’ Hot Comedy & Smoke BBQ

All of these events are – as the title suggests – FREE, so you should all go and check out some funny people saying funny things! And find our man Wayne and tell him nice things, laugh at his jokes, etc.; unless you find him at his roast, then feel free to roast him. But before you do, you should probably know some of Wayne’s background.

Wayne (with Mandy) is currently celebrating the Washington DC Comedy Writers Group fifth anniversary. “We started with five members at Duffy’s Irish Pub, and now we’re past 1,700 people” Wayne said. “We found it odd how there wasn’t a group in the DC area with a dedicated focus to comedy writing. So….we decided to create one!”

Developing a comedy community has always been important to Wayne. Prior to the DC Comedy Writers Group, he held two comedy conferences focused on helping comedians develop a career in the entertainment industry. He also created the annual “Comic Sunday Funday,” a networking event where people can learn more about the comedy resources available in the D.C. area. He attributes a huge part of his comedy education to the years he was employed at the (now-defunct) Riot Act Comedy Theater. “I received comedy advice and coaching from some of the best comedians on earth!” he said.

Wayne continues to provide suggestions to comedians with his “Addicted To Comedy” column for Stage Time Magazine.
He’s been on an Ellen Degeneres segment during Mardi Gras this year.
He is a former writer for On Tap Magazine.
As a chef he organized a cooking club that ran for three years.
An event he organized, “Quiet Party,”  was featured in the Style section of the Washington Post.

And now he brings you the Free DC Comedy Festival. Enjoy, folks!

Pelonkey Grand Launch Video

That’s right, it’s business video time! Our grand launch video is finally here, and we would shout the YouTube link from the rooftops if we could! Since we cannot do that (roof access is blocked from our floor), you can help us metaphorically scream the web address by sharing the link with everyone you know and their mothers! (Feel free to share it across all social media networks, we’re on ’em all.)

If you didn’t make it to the launch party, you can read a full recap here. And if after reading you’re still dying to attend such a party, fear not! We plan to take this shindig to cities up and down the East Coast before moving west. Sign up for free on www.pelonkey.com to get involved & invited. And to help you manage and plan ALL your entertainment events. (OK, sales pitch over.)

Now go watch, ya silly!

Big thanks to Skipper Films for putting together this masterpiece! We think they captured the high energy perfectly, but you’ll have to watch and see for yourself…

A wordy (but not overly wordy) and super helpful guide to using the Pelonkey site because sometimes we all need a few tips, right?

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Before you can learn to use the site, you need to sign up. Done that already? Excellent.

Let’s go.

1. Update. Yo. Profile.

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Because when your profile is not customized, and people go to search for you, you look like a ghost, and ghosting is only good for Halloween, not entertainment marketplace profiles, business, or dating.

2. Promote your Pelonkey profile

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(Say that five times fast.) Share your page across social media, link it to a flashing “Book Me!” banner on your website, tape it to your car bumper. Get it out there. This is your career. Rapper or wedding planner, your events are your livelihood.

3. Invite new users for points

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Finally, the swag. With our new ‘Invitation’ feature, we are tracking how many clients and colleagues you invite to the site, which will culminate in points you can trade for perks later.

4. Send a contract to outside clients

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Entertainers, you can now send a contract to a contact/Event Planner who is not yet signed up with Pelonkey. Rejoice! After you send the contract, they will receive an email asking them to sign up on Pelonkey (for free, of course), and after doing so they’ll be able to review and sign the contract. We so fancy, huh?

5. Use the Discussion box to your advantage

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This is your “C.Y.A.” Anytime you and your client discuss something about the upcoming event, especially if it’s outside the Pelonkey platform, you should stick the info in the Discussion box. Just in case. Additionally, if no one has responded to your inquiry or contract yet, send them a message in the Discussion box. They will receive a notification and an email letting them know they have something to respond to.

6. Read the FAQs

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Chances are we’ve anticipated some of your questions even before you have them. Didn’t we tell you we’re mind readers in addition to entertainment business mavens? Learn somethin’ new every day…

7. Make sure your payment information is correct

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Entertainers, if your bank account is not linked right – just one number off – you don’t get paid. And we don’t need to get into that, do we? Event Planners, if your credit card is not in place, you can’t even receive a contract or send an inquiry. Kinda puts a damper on the whole event planning part.

8. Include custom terms from both parties in the contract

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You may not have any other custom terms to include in the contract, but the Event Planner might. Be sure to ask them what kind of language they would like included in the contract, if they have their own text they want pasted in, etc. Chat early and chat often because once you have both signed the contract, you can’t make any changes unless you cancel, and cancellation fees will incur.

9. Leave reviews

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This is helpful and a courtesy. Entertainers and Event Planners both have the chance to leave a review of the other’s performance on the day of the event. Leave constructive tips for next time or sing your praises. Help future gigs succeed. Feedback is invaluable.

10. Send Pelonkey your feedback

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Speaking of helpful reviews, send us your thoughts on the site. Let us know what has worked smoothly. Let us know what’s been a little bumpier. We want to hear your ideas for improvements, future updates, necessary features, anything to help us make the site better. Is there a reason you can’t use us to book your events? Tell us so we can make fixing that roadblock our #1 priority. Email admin@pelonkey.com.

Landmark Festival Shenanigans

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The line to get in. When doors opened at noon, the crowds flooded to the stages! Head to Instagram for that video…

Didn’t you hear us yelling from the rooftops? (Or see our snapchats on @neekola?) Pelonkey was at Landmark Music Festival with Events DC on Saturday and Sunday. We invaded their Recharge & Chill Out tent and brought DJs to spin all weekend long. Props to this fantastic partnership, by the way, as the Events DC tent was the only one to have live house DJs bringing the party to the non-stages of the festival. *Pats self on the back*

Many things happened this weekend:

The Pelonkey team ate a bunch of shaved ice and turned their tongues every color of the rainbow.

We started a massive dance party in the rain.

Nicole pushed her way to the front row of the Chromeo concert, aka her future husband’s band.

We got into then kicked out of the VIP area.

Lauren Mayberry from Chvrches made Danielle’s heart melt.

All in all, it was a DC weekend for the books. We had superstar DJs Chris Styles, Rex Riot, DJ Alkimist, DJ Neekola, DJ Dirty Hands, DJ Trayze, and DJ CYD on the decks, and they rocked the house, each and every one of them. The other artists were ya know, also great and stuff. Drake, Miguel, Wale, Lord Huron, Chromeo (obvs), Chvrches, and more. How could that lineup not bring all the DC kids to the yard?

Take a looksie at our photo diary below. And then come with us next year, ‘kay??

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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…