Student entrepreneurs turn to party promoting as a means of income.
Throwing parties and going to parties are two very different things, but when James “J.T.” Soyemi, a sophomore kinesiology major, met six other socially driven students his freshman year, a good time turned into a full-on business.
“We all met at a party on the second weekend of school [and] decided we wanted to get into the party-throwing and -promoting business to develop our social network around Temple,” Soyemi said.
And with that, Chosen Few Entertainment, a party-promoting company, was born.
Soyemi now serves as the CEO and runs the business with science and business majors. Chosen Few Entertainment promotes parties using social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. The business makes approximately $800 per party, but partying isn’t simple when you’re the ones running everything from behind the scenes.
Brady Ettinger, a business partner for So Far Out Entertainment, a disc jockey, sound and promotion company, knows this from experience.
“It’s a lot harder than people realize,” said Ettinger, a sophomore broadcasting telecommunications and mass media major. “Things go wrong. People flake. You have to conjure up makeshift. We work so hard just to give people a good time.”
“It’s not easy being the CEO or founder of any group. You have to make the final decisions and do a lot of work around the time of the event,” Soyemi said, adding that if he were unable to keep up with his demanding major, he would work less.
While Chosen Few Entertainment works to promote parties, So Far Out Entertainment DJs its events as well, working with local artists, such as Paris Artelli and Dannie Phantom. Sophomores Brett Bedevian, an economics major, and Saleem Sabree, along with juniors Robert Lawton and Malik Robinson work with Ettinger to run So Far Out Entertainment.
Sabree, a journalism major, Lawton, a marketing major, and Ettinger also DJ events.
“[Ettinger] and [Lawton] are musicians who devote several hours a day to mastering the trade,” Sabree said. “Brett is a business major who manages the crew. [Robinson] is responsible for our wardrobe and documenting all of our events.”
Regardless of their personal music tastes, the members of the company keep their audience in mind when spinning tunes.
“We vow to cover all genres of music so that we can please the masses,” Sabree said. “On one of the most diverse campuses in the country, it is important for us to keep a diverse mindset when DJing and promoting.”
So Far Out Entertainment throws parties twice a month and provides entertainment at events thrown by other party promoters. The business also donates a percentage of its earnings from each party to a local charity.
But for both promoters, the only way for their companies to grow and succeed is to work together.
“No particular person runs the business,” Soyemi said. “We have a lot of people who are down with Chosen Few Entertainment so we have a lot of help when it comes to setting up events and preparing for it.”
Fatia Kasumu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.