The Spark That Lit the Fuse…
The Ohm Nightclub in Portland, Oregon was a very special place that has left an imprint on hundreds if not thousands of lives from around the world. Every week there were events people attended at The Ohm and they will tell you they will NEVER forget. We were in our early 20’s and spent 4-5 nights a week at The Ohm. Simon owned a production company and produced music events on a regular basis. I was studying music industry and marketing at Western Washington University.
We were having the time of our life. But like any good thing must come to an end, so did the Ohm. At this point, Simon and I were now dating and started MEGA Music Entertainment. Then for the next 10 years we planned over 500 events, produced our own expos and events, and also opened another business.
We started MEGA Music Entertainment as a DJ & MC team in 2006. Since we both had been planning live events and concerts since 2003, we decided it was time to start a business together. We charged about $200-$300 when we started and made some incredible mistakes, all you can do is look back, laugh, and learn!
One year after we started MEGA Music Entertainment, I was brought on board as the Portland Teen Idol Director for the City of Portland. For a little over 2 years, I put my blood, sweat, and tears (a lot of them) into that program and managed sponsorship sales, production, mentorship, marketing, advertising, program management, and more. I was working with a team of 30 or so volunteers, hundreds of local teens, and the who’s – who of the music industry with world-renowned musicians. Simon was the director of sound for the program and in two years Simon and I had planned over 20 concerts and events exclusively for Portland Teen Idol.
Portland Teen Idol was exhilarating, stressful, amazing, and exhausting! After the program went a different direction and was no longer managed by the City of Portland. I went on to plan a concert series on the popular Columbia River. I planned about 10 events and concerts for that venue in 2009. After the Portland Teen Idol series was over Simon and I decided to make MEGA Music Entertainment our #1 focus.
In late 2009 we saw one of the most respected DJ’s and entertainment directors in the NW DJ our friend’s wedding. Simon and I looked at one another and I said, “Now, that’s how it’s done.” We realized we had to step up our game. That’s when we took classes, workshops, and specialized training in public speaking. We invested in all new and top-the-line equipment, lighting, uplighting, visual technology, and quadrupled our music library. It was a life-changing moment for our business. Within 1 year we went from charging a few hundred dollars to a couple of THOUSAND for our DJ/MC services!
We Were Ready to Disrupt the Industry
One more year went by and we started to also plan weddings, corporate events and came up with the idea for The Wedding Experience event (a mock wedding boutique expo for real couples getting married). The wedding experience was a year-long planning process with a team of 30 professional vendors!
100 couples enjoyed:
- Mock ceremony
- A catered cocktail hour with fun activities like cigar rolling and sampling local whiskey
- 3-course meal at The Benson Hotel, Portland OR
- Cake and champagne
- Dancing and fun
- One lucky couple won a nights stay in the Presidential Suite and helicopter ride of the city of Portland
We created this different kind of event because we saw how wedding expos just weren’t doing justice to attendees and also to vendors. One, we knew that we had to get the groom more involved in the purchasing process for the wedding. Two, we knew that we had to create an amazing experience that didn’t come off as a sales pitch to these engaged couples. We did just that and our event was a hit!
But, this is when we took on one too many projects…
In 2011 we also started a high-end drop shipping business called LumiNight USA and were the exclusive USA distributor for Luminex, a high-end fiber optic material that lit up. We sold products like table linens, wedding dresses, event pipe & drape, and other creative design items. Luminex was based in Italy and sold the patent in 2015.
We Were Sinking …
We were juggling way too much at once and were trying to do everything ourselves. This really took its toll on our cash flow and our emotional well-being. We were slashing the NUMBER ONE area of our budget that should NEVER be reduced and we knew better, too! Our marketing budget kept taking a hit when our event budgets kept increasing. At this point, we were now married and after three years of trying to stay above water financially, we wanted a lifestyle change. We wanted kids, so we took a break from producing live events, our entertainment business, and LumiNight.
Time For a Change …
Simon went to work in corporate America in B2B sales (he also planned corporate events for the companies he worked for) and I continued the MEGA brand and in 2013 created MEGA Marketing & Event Solutions. I had been the creative director of all our marketing for the past 10 years and decided to take on marketing clients (mainly website development, event marketing, and social media marketing).
For the last 5 years, I have worked with coaches, influencers, and business owners who are making their mark.
Everything Brought Us to This Point Right Now …
Now Simon and I have a toddler running around and keeping us busy! We also have rebranded, restructured, and rejuvenated MEGA Marketing & Event Solutions. We have a formula and system that works. It’s a proven system that will make your event and experience of a lifetime. For the last few years, we’ve been saving for our own business’ budget, learning more about cash flow and perfecting our event formula. More so then ever before, we love what we do because we’re not sinking, we’re fulfilling our dreams and that started with growing our family. We realized our success is all about mindset. Your mindset is everything, and we want to help you create an event or series of events that grow your business or career right now!
An Event Can Change Your Life Course
The energy in the room was like being at an *NSYNC* concert. From the moment I entered the ballroom I could tell I was going to be inspired. They introduced the 1997-98 state officer team. The team was full of energy and got the crowd pumped up. I could tell it was a big deal to be a state officer just from watching the opening session of this conference. The keynote speaker was the Executive Director of the new museum coming to Seattle, the Experience Music Project.
The next day was a full 8 hours of workshops and more keynote speakers. I learned so much, took so many notes, and was even entertained. For example one of the speakers at the workshop was also the closing session speaker, a hypnotist. I was actually hypnotized among a group of 300 teens.
After a day full of workshops there was a 3-course dinner in the ballroom. We were entertained by the hypnotist and had so much fun. Later that night there was an EPIC dance party with the most popular radio DJ in the Seattle area. The ballroom was full of 2000 teens dancing the night away, with a fully catered snack area, laser light show, and so much more.
The closing session was still full of energy, even though most of us were running on only a few hours of sleep!
Because of that EXPERIENCE I ran for Washington State DECA Secretary the following year. I WON and my senior year of high school was the experience of a lifetime because I was part of the planning process for more than 3 conferences and state competition. I was flying all over the state of Washington, plus Orlando and Louisville. I was on a team with 17 other teens from all over the state of Washington. This truly was the start of my event experience and why I love creating awesome events.
Now, nearly 20 years later I still do the same thing… I strive to help my clients host the event that is an experience of a LIFETIME!