Automatic VIP anywhere and everywhere on South Beach: if only the life was that easy. The deep circles around the eyes and the look of complete body exhaustion is not what you would expect your typical party promoter to look like. As full time students and full time party promoters, there is little room for free time for anyone involved in the business of partying.

“Everyone thinks it’s easy but you’re only as good as your last party,” NOK promoter Shaun Gold said. That is entirely true because in the eyes of club owners, promoters prove their worth through long guest lists, high tabs (from guests of course) and the ability to really market themselves and their ability to be the perfect host.

As a result, Facebook mailboxes, inboxes and mailboxes have been filled with constant party invites from Ryan Van Milligen’s company Elite Entertainment and Shaun Gold because that is their job: to get people out at the clubs and to have a good time.

“We make the club money. Anyone who comes to my events I’ll treat the same, whether it’s a college student or a star,” Van Milligen said.

While the perks are nice-partying at popular downtown and South Beach clubs such as Mansion, Nocturnal and Amika four to five nights a week and hanging out with stars like Jamie Foxx and Nikki Hilton, things like sleep and time for friends seem to fall through the cracks.

“I pride myself on making sure everyone has a good time,” Gold said. “When you’re on my list there is minimal if any wait and you get in for free.”

Party promoters have to be outgoing, friendly and appealing, according to Van Milligen. They have to have the charisma to get people to come out to the events, stay at events and continue to come to events.

“I am the owner, CEO and CFO of Elite Entertainment and Events, Ultrahost events and Rush Productions. We are one of the biggest promotion companies in Miami and South Beach,” Van Milligen said. “I’ve thrown parties for Shaq and Jamie Foxx and we’re looking to expand to New York, Los Angeles, Vegas and Chicago within the next couple of years.”

Long hours and late nights make a party promoter experience college life very differently than most students; time management is key. Gold is a junior entrepreneurship major and Van Milligen is a senior business finance, pharmacy and entrepreneurship major. “Five days a week I’m out till 5am the earliest. It’s hard on girlfriends and close friends. It’s a lot of stress but that’s the industry, you live off each party,” Van Milligen said.

If you are interested in attending one of the events or think party promoting is right for you, you can email Gold at umnightlife@yahoo.com or Van Milligen at eliteentmiami@aol.com.

“This is my life, you can always contact me. I have two cell phones, email accounts and screen names,” Gold said. “I’m always available.”

Bari Lieberman can be contacted at b.lieberman@umiami.edu.

how to survive the worst-case scenario, party-style:

This is easy: call the cab ahead of time and make sure to stand outside so no one steals it from you.

Drank a little too much the night before? Preventively, before you go out, you should make sure to eat a full meal and drink lots of water throughout the night. But inevitably you wake up with a headache so try drinking some Gatorade or visiting the local Jamba Juice for a shot of wheatgrass…or just go back to sleep.

They made the outfit, you absolutely had to wear that perfect pair of heels, but after a night of dancing, they don’t seem so perfect anymore. All you have to do to cure the blisters is rub on some Neosporin, cover them with a band-aid and leave them alone. No matter what anyone tells you, do not pop them, as it will not make them heal faster.

So the night carried on to the next morning and now you need to go back to your dorm. Borrow clothes if you can; walking back in gym shorts or even an undershirt and dress pants (boys, remember that jeans are acceptable as “party” attire) is better than the previous night’s outfit. Or if you are lucky, demand a ride back or call a friend to pick you up. Either way, it’s not that shameful, so don’t worry.

November 8, 2005


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.