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“EVERYTHING IS BIG IN TEXAS”, as Uncle Sam takes a big break to enjoy the latest issue of EVENT MARKETER magazine. Rainbow Entertainment wasn’t clowning around for their client, IKEA, at the record breaking brand marketing event outside Dallas at the Dr. Pepper/7 up Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. The costumed entertainers even had to read the 2005 EX AWARDS results before festivities for their 4th of July Freedom Fest celebration. The entertainment production and sponsorship for the event was a grand slam, as a record crowd listened to the musical legends band: AMERICA and watched the southwest‘s largest fireworks.
RAINBOW ENTERTAINMENT DALLAS,TEXAS
FULL SERVICE ENTERTAINMENT TALENT AND SPECIAL EVENT SERVICES AGENCY
Over $550,000 per year in Entertainment Talent booking and special event services.
. For the past 8 years, I have provided a wide variety of specialty acts for the State Fair of Texas and our own Texas talent for the City of Dallas.
With the advent of the Internet, Rainbow Entertainment is now universal providing performers from Russia, Israel, England, Africa and Canada who have performed in Hungary, the United Arab Emeritus, Belgium and the United States.
HOW DID I GET INTO EVENTS
After a successful career as the owner of the Funnybone Comedy Club in Dallas.I was approached by 3 young ladies who wanted to organize a children’s festival. I began to book children’s entertainers for the Pepsi Kidaround Festival, although I do not have any children of my own. I was able to book 5 stages for 3 days of the children’s festival including headliners; Parachute Express, Norman Foote, Micky Dolenz and Eddie Coker. Over the next five years I provided National headliners for the Main stage, ethnic cultural performers for the international stage, Texas traditional acts for the Regional stage and strolling performers for 10-15 city sponsored festivals and country fairs in the state.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGE:
With a degree in Marketing and over 20 years experience in the restaurant marketing industry it was not difficult to successfully market my business. With the first 5 years, sales and profitable doubled exponentially. However, I could never understand the mind set of the performer! From a business standpoint, I would gladly grab any opportunity that I could and try to fit a square peg entertainer into a round hole scenario. In other words have them work for whatever the client was will to be paid. I could not comprehend why a performer would rather sit home then be paid his minimum. I wanted to get into the mindset of the performer and understand where he was coming from. As a part-time writer using my talent mainly as a hobby to get into sporting events, write off my travel vacation, and dining experiences for local magazines, I was given the assignment of writing about the Dallas Opera. I did not know anything about the Opera, had never booked any opera performers BUT was giving the chance to audition for BILLY BUDD, the story of a British war ship mutiny with an all male cast. I looked forward to the auditions hoping to get a feel for my entertainer’s plight AND WOULD YOU BELIEVE I GOT THE PART! I was a super, a non-singing member of the chorus. After 4 weeks of rehearsals, I was ready and would you believe, THEY PAID ME $5 for each rehearsal and $15 per show. I was now a professional Opera performer earning $165. When it came time for the cast party, I was informed by the associate director that I was not actually invited only the stars of the show and the sponsors. So I used my event expertise to plan our own cast party after our last Sunday matinee performance, the exact same time as THE CAST PARTY. With an ALL-MALE cast, the stars of the Opera were more interested in getting to know some of the other cast members rather than the sponsors so they came to my cast party instead. I have been graciously asked to return for additional performances but can’t because of my busy schedule’
WHAT DO I DO TO RELAX
I build waterfalls in my backyard. Actually Willie Nelson paid for my new backyard when I booked him last year in Colorado. Although, I live in Dallas, My home is definitely California Contemporary painted peach with Palm trees and coastal plantings. I love to sit out in my backyard and listen to the water falling against the pond. There is a real sense of accomplishment when you can move water with electricity in harmony.
OTHER BACKGROUND EXPERIENCE:
I never was an entertainer and you can only get me near a microphone on my birthday after I’ve had too much to drink. Unlike many performers who get tired of the road and late nights, I have an education and professional experience in marketing, promotion and events. I book entertainment but truly failed at playing 4 different instruments (piano, trumpet, cello and bongos growing up!
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED:
I was unhappy with my work situation as marketing manager for Burger King Corporation event though I was making $50,000 per year back 18 years ago. I spoke with my first boss the guy at the professional ice hockey team in Philadelphia when I was growing up, who gave me a job running to get his lunch, taking the mail to the mail box and allowing me to skate all afternoon in the arena by myself. He told me that even the President of General Motors goes to work everyday but doesn’t necessarily love what he’s doing.. I should find something that I love doing. I always reflect back on this when I see the Seinfeld show about George looking for a job and wanting to get into sports!
I’m getting too old to worries much about getting every single piece of business that is out there. I take a much broader approach knowing that if I AM OUT THERE, IT WILL COME! You can also focus on a goal and attain it! Take joy in the small accomplishments, they will build up to a big one1
DALLAS MULTI-CULTURAL COMMITTEE CELEBRATES CINCO DE MAYO
The Dallas Chapter of MPI, Multi-Cultural Committee celebrated Cinco De Mayo and a presentation of their 2005 MC Initiative Survey with a Mexican Fiesta Dinner at the legendary Ojedas’ Restaurant.
In order to review the MC survey results in a unique and entertaining format,Richard Pollak of Rainbow Entertainment created a family feud game show contest with Outrageous Adventures and committee chairman Jim Monroe. Participants were challenged to name the top 6-8 answers to various MC survey questions and hilarious Dallas MPI Chapter trivia questions were intermingled in the contest. After dinner and the game show, Dr. Lawana Gladney presented the actual results of the survey and lead an enlightening dialogue emphasizing that there are millions and millions of dollars spent in the meeting planning industry through multi-cultural companies and organizations. Special recognition goes out to M.T Hickman for the record number of her meeting planning students who attended the event.
“Looking for the top 8 answers to the MPI Multi-Cultural Survey: and the Survey says” were the words that MPI game show contestants and their guest participants played at the Cinco De Mayo celebration on May 5th at Ojeda’s Restaurant.The Cinco De Mayo holiday party created a wonderful relaxed atmosphere for MPI members to network over Margaritas before the night’s activates began.In order to create a unique event, Richard Pollak recommended that the committee review the survey results in a fun and festive way and then he came up with the family feud game show concept which MPI member Keith May of Outrageous Adventures Corporate Team Building Events executed to perfection as the evenings’ MC. There was a hilarious roar from the crowd as humorous MPI Dallas Chapter Trivia questions (with the help of Sherri DeLaGarza and Peg Wolschons’ creativity) were intermingled with the actual Mulit-cultural survey results. Truly, a special nomination for MPI Event of the Year is due! Following a delicious Mexican Fiesta Dinner, Dr. Lawana Gladney presented the cold hard facts of the survey in an enlightening dialogue emphasizing that there are MILLIONS AND MILLION of Multicultural meeting money out there!M.T.Hickman should be congratulated for the number of her future meeting planner students who attended the event.The entire event could not have been made possible without the incredible efforts of Jayna and committee chair Jim Monroe’s creative event savvy.
An entertaining recipe for a delightful meeting experience
By Richard S. Pollak, Rainbow Entertainment/Special Event Services
Recipe for a delicious meeting:
1 scoop of light entertainment to greet all of your meeting attendees as they arrive at your conference. Here in the Southwest, we like to have “Big Texy”, the 12 foot tall western Cowboy stilt walker greet everyone (because as you know, everything is bigger in Texas!). You can really kick off the theme and enthusiasm of your entire conference, right at the front door! Imagine superheroes, high tech characters from outer space or even just a mariachi band to kick off your theme or let everyone taste just a little of the southwest spirit that is in store for them. Clearly tell everyone we’re starting our conference off with a boom and a bang!
A few sprinkles of entertainment between meeting breaks. Appetize your attendees with more entertainment between sessions. Don’t stop the entertainment buffet because it’s time for the educational sessions. Breaks are a great time to refresh, nourish and re-energize your meeting attendees. How about quick- pick game, smooth jazz trio, strolling jugglers or even a crazy waiter to get everyone pumped up and ready for another seminar.
A dash of excitement for everyone as they board their buses for an off property sightseeing/shopping excursion. Oh! My god! There are cowboy rustlers on the bus, it’s a holdup! Cowboy characters have taken over the bus handing out bandanas, sheriff’s badges and bags of western shaped candies as we head on out to the special venue while Black Jack, the strolling magician shows great slight of hand tricks. How about a lovely string guitarist serenading from the back of the bus or a quick game of conference trivia on the way to a manufacturing plant showcase or educational touring side trip.
Low calorie, high carbs: Planners now are calling upon entertainment and special event services companies to go beyond the basic entertainment recipe of a red-and-white checkerboard turnkey barbecue and beer off-premise ranch here, in the southwest. They want more high carbs; high energy entertainment with a lower calorie; lower budget to match! With over 6,000 names that currently fill the Hollywood based Celebrity Black Book we now feature hundreds of outstanding Southwestern flavored national headline performers like B.J. Thomas, Eruka Badu, Bill Engvall and Charlie Pride, at a popular range of fees from $15,000-$150,000. However, more and more, the planners, who can not comfortably work within those budgets for national acts can now, turn to the entertainment professional who can reduce the caloric costs with regional southwestern home-grown fresh off the vine local stars. In the southwest, we can turn a meeting or event into a rip-roaring success for only $1500 TO $15,000 with our own regional entertainment recipes for success. If you can’t afford the caviar of entertainment like Willie Nelson himself, your entertainment menu doesn’t have to turn to a hot dog budget when you can still enjoy Willie with impersonator, Sherman Burton singing- his own rendition of “My heroes have always been cowboys” at your next southwestern themed meeting.
The same old menu of entertaining at a conference here in the southwest used to be taking your event to one of those many turn-key western ranch-style facilities. For many years, entertainment at meetings in the southwest only meant a popular country
& western band with dance hall girls, trick poker strolling saloon card sharks, trick rope artists or even an interactive mechanical bull. There is a new modern twist to the old honky-tonk with the new flavors of southwest musical entertainment here in the southwest featuring:
Texas Americana music, a blend of C&W and folk with artists like Pat Green, Ray Wylie Hubbard, 1100 Springs and the Lucky Pierres’ band.
And the Mexican influences which has traveled north with the fiesta. The Ah-carumba theme is the second most popular to that of the honky-tonk.
Today entertainers from the southwest can take you far, far away to unique places with themes from around the world. We can now produce local themed productions for a Hawaiian luau, big city night of cool jazz, a glitz-glitter third coast movie premiere or authentic Irish folk/dance festival.
Regional menus can feature top acts like Vince Vance and the Valiants, Emerald City, Gary P. Nunn and Havana NRG.The diverse entertainment menu can also include any one of 3,000 southwestern performers from a Philippine folk dance troop to a Cher impersonator!
The main course: Before entering the grand ballroom at the conference gala, the entire group recalls how they were enthusiastically greeted with an explosion of sound, movement and color as the entertainment exploded right in front of their eyes. Your
Entire posse of attendees won’t forget the impact of their conference with a dynamic encore of a main course night of entertainment. The creativity is unlimited when it comes to entertainment. Meeting planners now challenge entertainment/ special event services companies, calling upon them to create unique themed events with a sky is the limit attitude. Today, there are resources in the Southwest through a diverse cultural network of performing arts groups that feature over 60 ethnic cultural performance troupes. With German Oktoberfest themes to South American Carnivale productions and over 35 musical stylings are readily available from the Yarborough and Peoples funk to Jeanette Brantley’s singin the Blues to Kirk Franklin’s gospel.
Do we still have room for desert? What better way to end a productive conference than with a real big bang. Just when your attendees though their plates where full, you give them the desert that they will never forget! It doesn’t have to be New York cheesecake when it can be a sweet southwestern sopapillas of southwestern songs by a serenading senoritas.
When the final bill arrives our attendees have had their fill of sweet tasting southwestern entertainment and the meeting planner has followed a recipe for success with a little icing on their meeting cake!
Planning, Marketing & Selling Guest Tours and Off-Site Events
By Richard S .Pollak, President, AAA Rainbow Entertainment/Speakers
No longer are Meeting Planners asked to only provide simple spousal
Shopping tours at their conferences! Today’s challenge for the meeting planner is to include high level educational, cultural, historic and entertaining oriented tours in addition to special tours of their clients’ on-site products/services locale .Secondly, attractions that were once reserved only for the family visitors are quickly becoming primary off-site event venues for new and exciting creative outings.
We present the ABC’s of tour planning and exciting off-site Texas touring venues.
First, from an industry Expert, considered one of the Texas pioneers of the Destination Management Industry, in the Metroplex. Elizabeth Turner Calloway, founder of Kaleidoscope, turned a local two-person office into a $10 million dollar organization, as one of the first statewide full services Destination management companies (which she eventually sold to PGI).
Author of four novels about her experiences in the industry- A PASSION FOR MEETINGS, A MEETING OF THE MINDS, A TIME TO MEET and MEETINGS TO DIE FOR; Betty, as her MPI friends call her, will offer insight into organizing tours and a few exciting stories from events/meetings past.
Joining the discussion will be Paul Serff, President and CEO of the Texas Travel Industry Assn.Serff will guide us through what can be done for a planned tour, once a Texas destination has been selected. TTIA represents a wide range of Texas attractions perfect for unique planners’ tours in ever corner of the state. Paul has spent the last 30 years in the management of facilities and attractions in the travel and tourism industry.
Rounding out ouresteemed panel is Catherine Caulet, V.P. of affiliate operations, from our April, host Boston Coach
CHAPTER MEETING: Thursday April 28, 2005 11:00 AM
INDUSTRY ISSUES 2005
“ARE WE THERE, YET?”Planning, Marketing & Selling Guest Tours and Off-Site Events
Tours are not just spousal shopping sprees anymore! Meeting Planners are challenged with implementing Tours to be educational, historial, entertaining and even product/service familiarity driven. In order for the Planner to fulfill this vital aspect of the conference program process. You must first know how to find, plan, coordinate, budget and finally determine an ROI for any venture outside of the main meeting venue.
We plan on presenting the ABC’s of a “TOUR” from season DM veteran Elizabeth Turner Calloway, who took a 2-person office and turned it into a $10 Million Dollar international meeting services business featuring Texas home grown methods and exciting stories of her on-site events. This perfectly leads us into our own Texas state market today. Paul Serff, a 30 year tourism veteran and President/CEO of the Texas Travel Industry Assn tells us what to experience, once we have selected a Texas destination. Our hosts, Boston Coach, Catherine Caulet,V.P. of affiliate operations for BOSTON COACHwill literally drive the BUS, as moderator for this exciting industry issue.
All aboard as we pack the bus and take an exciting tour of Industry Issues 2005
Planning, Marketing, Selling Guest Tours and Off- Site Events
APRIL 2005 MPI/DFW program committee: David Abadie- Medieval Times (chair), Leah Bealsco-Independent, Richard Pollak-AAA Rainbow Entertainment/Speakers, Lori Clark-Boston Coach (host), Bill Reeser, CMP/CTS-AVW-TELAV, Nicole Hahn, Elizabeth Chandler- Meadows Foundation
INDUSTRY ISSUES 2005
THURSDAY April 28, 2005
11:00 AM-11:30 AM Orientation
11:00-12:00 noon Registration and Networking
12 noon-12:15 Opening and General Session
12:15 PM-1:30 PM LUNCH and Group Discussion
Cost: Member Price-$30.00; Guest Price-$35.00; Onsite Price-$40.00
RAINBOW ENTERTAINMENT HAS 12 SANTA CLAUS IN DALLAS FOR HIRE THROUGHOUT NORTH TEXAS. ONE HAS A RED SANTA COWBOY HAT FOR WESTERN THEMES LIKE AT STOCKYARD STATION IN FT WORTH. ONE SANTA CLAUS IS 12 FT TALL AND MAKES A BIG IMPRESSION AT PARTIES AND COMMUNITY EVENTS. WE HAVE SINGIN SANTS AND SAXOPHONE SANTA AND BLACK SANTA TO GO ALONG WITH REAL LIVE REINDEER, CHRISTMAS CAROLERS AND AUTHENTIC LAS VEGAS STYLE CASINO GAMES. AT YOUR COMPANY CHRISTMAS PARTIES IN DALLAS YOU CAN ADD A GREEN SCREEN, PHOTO BOOTH OR CIGAR ROLLER
HO HO HO ITS HOLIDAY SEASON ENTERTAINMENT IN DALLAS FROM RAINBOW ENTERTAINMENT
ACCORDING TO RICHARD POLLAK OF RAINBOW ENTERTAINMENT, THE DALLAS/ FT WORTH TEXAS AREA’S LARGEST CHILDRENS’ ENTERTAINMENT AGENCY, “ I GET 4 to 5 TELEPHONE CALLS FROM MOMS EACH WEEK ASKING ME TO PLAN THEIR 1 YEAR OLDS FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY ENTERTAINMENT AND NATURALLY THE FIRST QUESTION THAT THEY ALWAYS ASK IS WILL THEIR SOON TO BE ONE YEAR OLD CHILD BE AFRAID OF A CLOWN
I QUICKLYENCOURAGE THE MOMS WHO ARE PLANNING THAT FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY TO GO AHEAD BECAUSE OUR CLOWNS ARE SEASONED PROFSSIONAL WHO HAVE TAKEN PROFESSIONAL TRAINING COURSES FROM CLOWN COLLEGE AND MANY OF WHOM ARE TEACHERS OR COMMUNITY RECREATION PROFESSIONALS WITH YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. WHICH A FIRST TIME BIRTHDAY MOM MAY NOT POSSESS.
TO WHICH INSTINCTIVELY THE MOM ALWAYS ASSURES HERSELF THAT THEIR CHILD IS SO MUCH MORE ADVANCED FOR THEIR AGE ANYWAY
I REINTERNATE THAT THEIR PARTY WILL ALSO COMPRISE OLDER CHILDREN WHO ARE NOT AFRAID OF CLOWNS AND THAT MANY TIMES THE YOUNGER CHILDREN TEND TO FOLLOW THEIR OLDER SIBLINGS AND GUESTS WHEN IT COMES TO NEW EXPERIENCES WHICH WILL NATURALLY DRAW THEIR CURIOUSITY TO THE PROFESSIONAL ENTERTAINER. BUT DON’T FORCE THE CLOWN UPON YOUR CHILD AT THEIR FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY. ALL OF THE EXCITEMENT OF A CROWD OF PEOPLE IN THE HOME OR LOCAL CHILDREN’S PIZZA VENUE WILL BE ENOUGH OF AN ADVENTURE. LET THE CLOWN DO THEIR JOB.
I SOMETIMES WONDER IF THIS FIRST QUESTION BY NEW MOMS PLANNING THEIR FIRST CHILD’S BIRTHDAY PARTY IS NOT A DEEP ROOTED ANXIETY TO THEIR OWN FEAR OF CLOWNS FORCED UPON THEM AT THEIR FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY AND I CONTINUE TO TELL THEM NOT TO WORRY:
FIRST, JUST REMEMBER AND ENJOY THIS FIRST TIME EXPERIENCE,
SECONDLY, THAT YOU HAVE AT LEAST 18 MORE BIRTHDAY PARTIES TO PLAN AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET TO CALL ME WHEN YOUR CHILD GROWS UP AND GETS MARRIED, I ALSO DO WEDDING ENTERTAINMENT
RICHARD POLLAK OF RAINBOW ENTERTAINMENT PROVIDES ALL VARIETIES OF ENTERTAINMENT FROM CLOWNS FOR CHILDREN BIRTHDAY PARTIES TO BIG NAME NATIONAL ACTS. WHILE HE PREFERS BOOKING BIG NAME ACTS AT CORPORATE FUNCTIONS, HIS WIFE AND BUSINESS FINANCIAL MANAGER, MASHA, WON’T LET HIM NOT CONTINUE TO BOOK THE MORE THAN 100 CHILDREN’S BIRTHDAY PARTIES A YEAR, AFTER ALL, IT ONLY TAKES 3 TELEPHONE CALLS, ONE FROM THE MOM, ONE TO THE CLOWN AND THEN CONFIRMATION OF THE BIRTHDAY PARTY WITH THE MOM.HIS WIFE MARSHA FURTHER POINTS OUT THAT THE 100 PLUS BIRTHDAY PARTIES A YEAR COMMISION OF $25 EACH ALONE PAID FOR THEIR $2500 TRIP TO HAWAII LAST YEAR TO WHICH
POLLAK FINALLY ADMITTED,” I’LL KEEP DOING BIRTHDAYS PARTIES JUST IN ORDER TO PAY FOR MY VACATION!”