How Two New York City Founders Grew A Multi-Million Dollar Event Company Out Of The Pandemic

When covid shut down the nightlife group, Todd Mackall and Duncan Abdelnour based a useful resource for these starved from reside occasions: a model dubbed Project 91. The reside occasions firm initially started as a pastime and a method to occasion with associates, however it grew to be a lot bigger—promoting out 300 particular person lounges to five,000-plus festivals. Project 91 has booked the likes of Diplo, Tchami, Malaa, Devault, Sam Blacky and extra. In addition, the occasions show to be covid compliant as Abdelnour pivoted from reside occasions and based Crowdhealth to implement protected occasion practices.

The community-oriented model supplies totally different choices than the usual New York City bottle golf equipment with the identical recycled expertise. Project 91 provides a distinct outlook on New York City events and has established itself as a go-to selling firm that ushers in a brand new period of high quality artists and curatorial occasions. Indeed, Project 91 has turn out to be a standard title amongst New York City nightlife-goers that’s spearheaded by two males who guess on themselves. Their subsequent occasion is Spring Fest, which boasts Jai Wolf because the headliner.

Here, Mackall and Abdelnour share with Forbes the turning level the place they noticed Project 91 as one thing greater than a method to occasion with associates, recommendation for many who want to begin their very own model, their key to success and extra.

This interview has been edited for size and readability.

Lisa Kocay: Project 91 was initially began as a pastime and a method to occasion with your folks. What was the turning level if you realized this was greater than that?

Todd Mackall: “I feel there have been a number of turning factors. I feel even the primary turning level was our first occasion. It went very, very effectively, and it wasn’t a enterprise again then. It was a pastime, as you stated, and we had an especially terrific turnout. And then I feel the second is post-pandemic in May of 2021 once we actually began to re-enter that power that we left off in 2019….Then I feel post-pandemic, we had been capable of acquire traction on social media buzz. That was the second main turning level, at the very least in my thoughts.

“The 4th of July, two months later, we were able to produce our real event. It wasn’t just a party. It wasn’t just a gathering—it was 3,000 people on the Brooklyn waterfront.”

Kocay: You’ve stated your group is fairly various.

Mackall: “It’s a diverse community, but at the same time, everyone has a bunch in common and it’s…the love for house music, the ambition to really just have a good time. And the outgoingness is definitely something we see. We’ve heard some crazy stories. We actually had one person in our [direct messages]. He met his girlfriend in a Project 91 event and he wanted to propose.”

Kocay: So you’d say that the love for home music is just about the commonality.

Mackall: “Going out and the energy and…it’s really hard to describe. Because New York City has so many different things to do, yet we see these people choosing to spend their time with us. So that’s what I find most fascinating…is that there’s hundreds of clubs to go to, hundreds of bars, but people choose our events because they can rely on a sense of community.”

Kocay: For those that have not been to certainly one of your occasions, how would you describe it?

Mackall: “Good organized chaos with just love and energy. We’ve had one hundred plus events. I think we’ve had like one or two fights happen, which is something we’re pretty proud of. We draw a respectful crowd. It’s organized chaos, which ultimately is people and their energy.”

Kocay: That’s actually spectacular that contemplating how small you’re, you’ve got thrown over 100 occasions.

Mackall: “We had last summer. It was supply and demand.”

Duncan Abdelnour: “Just nonstop.”

Mackall: “People really choosing to go to our parties. We still consider ourselves pretty small, but at the same time, definitely recognized in New York. I don’t know if we have a scale for how many events we want to do this year, but we’ve already had at least 10.”

Abdelnour: “It’s more kind of producing just larger.”

Mackall: “Larger events. Quality over quantity.”

Kocay: What do you suppose has been the important thing to success with Project 91?

Abdelnour: “Just kind of thinking outside the box.”

Mackall: “Bringing a fresh perspective.”

Abdelnour: “But it’s kind of just a little bit curation of things. People trust us now. Some people go out once a month, and they’ll pick one of our events because they really like the deejay or whatever.”

Kocay: Can you discuss just a little bit extra about what the recent perspective means?

Mackall: “For me, that’s putting a twist on your average party, whether it might be a themed party, whether it may be us taking you to a new venue that just opened. We’re event producers at heart.”

Abdelnour: “We can take a regular bar and we’ll bring in sound, lighting, production, haze machines and turn it into a full club experience. Or we’ll do that on a rooftop and bring a whole large scale sound system to a place that has never had that before, so that you can have a mini concert setting in a cool location.”

Kocay: What piece of recommendation would you give to others beginning an occasion firm?

Mackall: It is constructing blocks.”

Abdelnour: “Start small and take one step.”

Mackall: “You can’t just start throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars around it and booking an event. You have to have experience doing events.”

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