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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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?

Entertainers, update your profiles!

Do we sound like your mom yet? Pick up your room, eat your veggies, update your Pelonkey profile. Are we at that level? We can’t believe you’re tired of hearing us ask you to update your profile because not all of you have done it yet! So we say it again. Update your Pelonkey profile. Like, yesterday.

And just as when Mom tells you if you finish all the veggies on your plate you can have dessert, we are telling you if you update and promote your profile you will make money. (And in the dessert vs. money race, there really are no losers, am I right?) We won’t waste more of this post nagging you, but we will shame you into logging in and customizing your photos & bio by showing you some fab examples of users who have already done so.

There are three steps to updating:

Step 1 – Fill out your Profile details. (You know, your name, your Bio, your social media links, your keywords to show up in event planners’ searches. Get witty jiggy creative with it.)

Step 2 – Choose a profile picture. (Come on, we all have Facebook. You know what profile pix are and how disturbing it is when someone doesn’t have one – are they real?! are they a bot?! are they catfishing me?!)

Step 3 – Upload three (3) profile slider photos. (These pictures will slide behind the text at the very top of your public profile like a scrolling marquee.)

Now, watch & learn…

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You do all these things, and that’ll lead to glowing reviews (aka: you booked a gig, you put on a killer show, you made the $$). And those reviews lead to more gigs, which lead to more $$, which lead to general merriment and all around good times, ya dig?

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Now, let’s get to business. Hop to it!

Pelonkey at 2015 SXSW Interactive

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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! 

              

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 Advisory Board Member Spotlight: Max Major!

Posted by Pelonkey writer Ciera Gallub.

Max Major is not just an awesome Pelonkey Advisory Board member, providing sound business and entertainment advice and bringing great industry insight to the table. Max Major is also DC’s finest and most popularly booked magician, with his own company. He performs for corporate events, privates parties, and all sorts of special events on top of his highly successful magic show THINK, which will be taking a national theater tour this summer from Chicago to New Orleans!

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On top of that, Max Major is also the owner of Metro Event Specialists, a highly specialized network of event industry professionals. MES mixers and workshops are hosted every month, benefiting local event planners, entertainers, and business people by helping them make excellent connections and contacts within the DMV area.

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Max brings a lot of excellent qualities to the Pelonkey Advisory Board table, with vast event industry experience, insight from an entertainer’s perspective, as well as excellent business advice for Nicole, being an entrepreneur himself. Not to mention his ability to read minds and his perfect hair – that swoop though! For anyone who was wondering, yes, I did ask Max to read my mind during our interview, which he was successful at!

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Asking Max for his activities while he wasn’t working was difficult – he’s always working! However, being a lifetime snowboarder, he sometimes indulges in the beautiful snowy slopes. Max also frequents the gym, and his drink of choice is whiskey. If Max could only eat one food for the rest of his life, he would consume sweet potato hash forever because it is “buttery and fatty and delicious”. He has no idea what his favorite color is. Perhaps it is green, like butter lettuce.

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Check out Max Major’s amazing mind-reading abilities at his next upcoming THINK show! Let him know that he makes an awesome Pelonkey Advisory Board member while you hand him a whiskey shot.