For University of Miami juniors Nikolay Nedyalkov and Jordan Weinkle, organizing a sold-out nightclub event on the weekend of Ultra, Miami’s largest music festival, is all in a day’s work. Featuring a DJ set by Passion Pit, UM student Troy Kurtz and Pirate Stereo, Nedyalkov and Weinkle’s “WMC Safe House” event in Miami’s downtown strip Saturday was a highly successful event.
With more than 750 guests in attendance, including press, celebrities and general admission, the event-planning power duo earned their stripes in the local entertainment industry.
“It was our first big event, so we tried to not shoot too high, so we aimed for about 500 guests,” said Nedyalkov, a double major in management and Spanish. “On the same day, our online sales rocketed and we had about 100 more guests. We had previews written in more than four newspapers, so it was heavily marketed.”
With proximity to Ultra and ticket prices as low as $20, their competitive advantages earned the duo a sizeable turnout and unanimously positive reviews in “The Miami New Times” and “Yelp.”
But how exactly did these two make their names in the event planning industry at such a young age? The answer: networking. Working as a club promoter since high school, Miami native Weinkle built up his reputation in the nightlife scene early.
“I went to high school in Miami, and when I got into college I realized there was a much higher demand for event promotion,” said Weinkle, a marketing major with law aspirations. “At one point, I was doing seven to eight parties a week with 15 promoters working for me at a given time. That’s how we created our reputation.”
Though Weinkle himself began the duo’s working group, Legion Entertainment, at the age of 18, he and Nedyalkov now consider the trademark to be a business partnership in event and concert planning.
“It started as a promotion company with clubs like Mokai, Set, Mynt, Cameo, etc.,” Weinkle said. “Then we got into event production, and now we’re doing marketing, advertising, design and talent booking.”
The business partners, who became fast friends as soon as they met, consider the success of the “WMC Safe House” only a first in their careers. Working on more cost-efficient business models, managing seven full-time employees and several part-timers, Legion Entertainment has intentions of growing bigger and better- after dedicating some time to schoolwork, of course.
“We’re trying to be more entrepreneurial than other people,” Nedyalkov said. “Our goal is to be successful, but we also want to be our own bosses.”
Nicolette Roque may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.