Renting The RAC at Rutgers? We Can Help

Events at
The RAC

The Rutgers Athletic Center, better known as The RAC, has been the home of Rutgers basketball since it opened more than 40 years ago.

Today, the space is being use for more than just athletics events.

The 8,000-seat arena has hosted a variety of other university events, including wrestling matches, gymnastics meets, and the annual Rutgers University Dance Marathon.

But you don't have to be organizing a Rutgers event to host at The RAC.

This facility is available for public rental throughout the year. With its drop-down video board, LED boards and signs, and full air-conditioning system, the RAC is ideal for trade shows, speaking events, concerts, and other special events that require a large space.

If you're looking to rent The RAC for an upcoming concert, trade show, or other event, you'll likely need some help from outside vendors. The Hurricane Productions team are experts in this space, and we'd love to help you bring your vision to life.

What can Hurricane do
for your Event at The Rac?

We provide a full range of individual audio visual (AV) solutions, as well as full event production through our sister brands MediaCutlet and CaneAV.

Sound System Rental and Production

Professional Audio Systems

AV Support for Events at The Rac

Audio Mixing and Control

IMAG Display Screens Projector Rental AV

IMAG, Displays, and Screens

Event Video Services

Professional Event Video

live

Event Live Streaming

Professional Stage Lighting Design

Event Lighting Design

Professional Stage Design Services

Staging and Stage Design

3D Rendering Floor Plan for Events

Layouts & 3D Floor Plans

Hosts and MCs for Events at The RAC

Event Hosts and Emcees

DJ Entertainment for Events at The RAC

DJs & Music Programming

Content Creation for Event Marketing

Custom Content Creation

Event Registration Website Design

Registration & Ticketing

Why hire Hurricane to produce your event at The RAC?

  • We've produced more than 25 events at the RAC since 2013, including Dance Marathon.
  • We're familiar with the space and understand the ins and outs of its video and LED technology.
  • We're deeply embedded in the Rutgers community – our founders and many of our staff are RU alumni!
  • If your event requires tables and chairs, tents, staging, or other rental items, we have a strong working relationship with trusted vendors like Miller's Rentals.
  • You'll have direct communication access to our staff before, during, and after your event, as well as 24/7 access to our online planning and payment tools.

Our work at Rutgers Athletic Center

Here are just a few of the events we've worked on at The RAC over the last six years:

  • Rutgers University Dance Marathon – A Hurricane staff favorite, Dance Marathon is a 30-plus hour fundraiser for the Embrace Kids Foundation. Each year, we provide professional support and consultation for this event, including social media, video production, entertainment, marketing, and advancement.
  • Athletic Events – We've provided DJ entertainment, MC announcements, lighting, and other event production services for RU sporting events. Most recently, we helped introduce wrestlers at the USA Wrestling Final X Series at The RAC.
  • Awards Programs – Hurricane has helped Rutgers Athletics produce numerous awards banquets and programs with AV setup, stage design, projection mapping, and more.
  • Convocation – We've provided AV services at annual convocation ceremonies for some of Rutgers' individual schools.

Need AV or event production services for your next event at Rutgers Athletic Center? Fill out the form below with your upcoming event information to learn more about how Hurricane Productions can help.

Event Request Form

Event Information

Your Information

Your Next Sporting Event DJ

Why hire Hurricane to staff your athletics DJ roster?

  • Nearly two decades of college sports event experience
  • Professional, stadium-level music programming and event coordination
  • Deep understanding of sporting event chronology and timelines
  • DJs are comfortable working in fast-pace, broadcast environments
  • Direct communication access to DJs before, during, and after events
  • Up-to-date music libraries from professional record pools

Full Time Support Staff

Your athletics event DJs and hosts are always on time. Should you have any questions, you'll always have a direct line day-of-event contact at Hurricane HQ. Our dedicated team is in constant contact with our staff when they are fulfilling event services.

Communication Through Technology

Let us run the show and feel confident putting years of musical programming and college sporting event management to use. Or have as much control as you'd like. We offer direct communication as well as online account access for uploading custom music, online payments, and more.

Need sound or AV support? No problem.

We provide audiovisual solutions for events including staging, outdoor sound systems, lighting, DJ gear, microphones and more.

Case Study: Rutgers University, DJ Nate Hawley

Want to take your sporting event entertainment to the next level? Don't hire just any DJ -- get the official DJ of Rutgers Football!

Meet Hurricane Productions' Nate Hawley, the go-to DJ for Rutgers Athletics. Whenever there's a football game, wrestling match, or gymnastics meet at RU, you're almost certain to find Nate behind the DJ booth.

University Football DJ

Nate first connected with Hurricane Productions after attending a Rutgers event the company had produced. His lifelong passion for music and DJing propelled him to reach out and ask how he could get involved. With a strong interest in being a college sports event DJ, Hurricane gave then-sophomore Nate his first Rutgers DJ opportunity in 2014. Within a couple of years, Nate became known as the “Official DJ of Rutgers Football.”

Since then, his skills as a professional DJ and MC have only improved.

"My music library and knowledge has grown and my mixing is no longer tied to a specific genre," he says. "I’m comfortable with any crowd and I can now use the mic without stumbling through announcements

While Nate is best known for entertaining crowds on game day, he's so much more than the Rutgers Football DJ. He's also one of our most popular private event entertainers. Whether he's working solo or as part of a DJ-MC team, Nate will curate the perfect playlist for you and your guests while delivering the professionalism you expect.

Interested in having Nate entertain your next event? Get in touch with us and let us know you want DJ Nate!

Create a Unique Branded Experience with a Pop Up Instagram Museum by Hurricane Productions

Instagrammable experiences are all the rage right now. In the last year alone, made for Instagram exhibits like the Museum of Ice Cream, The Color Factory, and the Museum of Selfies have launched in cities around the world.

With more than 110 million Instagram users in the U.S. alone, it's no surprise that there's been a surge in "Instagrammable events" – unique, ephemeral, pop up Instagram experiences where art and technology merge. But what are they, and how do you make one happen? Here's what you need to know about this growing – and highly effective – branding strategy.

What are Instagram museums?

scarlet mansion ball pit room

Pop up Instagram museums aren't museums in the traditional sense. They're temporary exhibits, usually constructed in a multi-purpose event space, that provide a cool experience with amazing photo opportunities for attendees. For the organizations that host these Instagrammable events, there's huge potential for increased brand awareness and exposure on social media.

The concept of a temporary art exhibit isn't necessarily new. Established galleries have always had limited-run artist exhibits, and the first true pop up exhibitions appeared in New York City in the late 2000s. These events are designed to create a sense of exclusivity and urgency; they encourage people to come visit while it's there, because after the exhibit's short run, they won't get the chance to see it again – at least not in its current form.

However, the difference between regular pop up events and Instagrammable pop ups is that the latter is specifically designed to be shared on social media. Every detail of a pop-up Instagram museum is created to be photographed, from the room layout to the color scheme to the lighting. Attendees can then snap and share their selfie experiences using the event's branded hashtag.

What's the point of a pop up Instagram event, anyway?

If you've ever heard the phrase, "do it for the 'gram," then you might understand the draw of an Instagrammable event. As The Daily Beast puts it, these exhibits "promise an experience you can share online, which is increasingly the only experience that matters." No matter what your feelings about modern social media culture, there's no denying that Instagram-worthy backdrops combined with a catchy hashtag can produce a whole lot of shareable user generated content for a brand.

If you're not familiar with the concept of user generated content (UGC), think about how often you see a brand share photos, tagged posts, and positive feedback from real-life satisfied customers. These posts have become a mainstay of branded social media content, as they provide authentic "social proof" of a brand's popularity and performance. A few good reasons to pay attention to UGC, according to AdWeek:

  • People want to feel a "real human connection" to your brand before buying from you, and UGC accomplishes that by highlighting actual customers.
  • Customers who share good experiences with your brand often encourage referrals from their network, which helps you expand your customer base.
  • It cheaply and effectively boosts your brand's credibility.
  • It gives you tons of unique content to use in future ad campaigns.
  • It enhances your brand experience.

It often takes time and effort to curate UGC organically, but by hosting an entire event dedicated to Instagramming, you'll get a wealth of photos in just a few hours, all branded with your unique hashtag and shared with your attendees' followers.

Pop up Instagram museum success story: Scarlet Mansion at Rutgers University

scarlet mansion gobo light design

Hurricane Productions recently had the opportunity to help Rutgers University create a pop up museum called Scarlet Mansion, in honor of the school's official color (red) and its Scarlet Knight mascot. RU wanted to give its students a cool place to take Instagrams, and they enlisted Hurricane to make it happen.

Hosted by the Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA), Scarlet Mansion was open for a single weekend at The Rutgers Club house on College Avenue. Each of the five rooms was decked out in red and offered different themed experiences for attendees.

"There was a ball pit room, a 'senses room' with walls that you could touch, a light up dance floor, a snack room with strawberries hanging from the ceiling, and a 'secret garden' room, which made students feel like they were in a garden," explained Hurricane's general manager, Chelsea Rutkowski.

To bring RUPA's Scarlet Mansion room ideas to life, Hurricane provided an LED dance floor, lighting, and DJ services. We also designed a custom Scarlet Mansion gobo to project on the walls. By the end of the weekend, there were 115 posts associated with the hashtag #ScarletMansion.

How do I create an Instagrammable event?

Whether you're trying to raise awareness for a cause, promote your business, or create a fun "selfie factory" at a conference or event, an Instagram museum can be a great way to generate a lot of brand engagement in a short period of time.

It's important to find an event venue that's relatively customizable. Look for somewhere with a lot of open space and blank walls that will allow you to use projection technology and lighting to truly transform the area. You'll also want to come up with unique interactive room concepts, like Scarlet Mansion's ball pit room and senses room. A cool backdrop and atmosphere is essential, but your attendees will also want something fun to do besides take photos!

Finally, come up with a unique event hashtag that suits your brand. Promote it on social media ahead of time so people know when and where your event is – and be sure to let them know they'll get an opportunity to snap selfies they can't take anywhere else.

With the right resources and a great partner to help you execute your ideas, the only limit to your pop up Instagram exhibit is your imagination.

Interested in creating your own pop up Instagram event? Get in touch with Hurricane Productions and let's chat about your vision.

Tell us about your idea!

Tell us a little about your vision for your event and we'll help you make it happen.

Event Request Form

Event Information

Your Information

From Ray Catena Audi of Freehold, NJ to Audi of Greenwich, CT

Hurricane Productions was tasked with creating a "wow" factor that would draw customers in for the Audi Q5 Launch event, held at Audi of Freehold.

On top of a dazzling display of custom animations and video projections, our team illuminated the columns in the dealership with a colorful lighting system, highlighted in our blog post about the event. Audi of Greenwich Connecticut liked what they saw, and asked Hurricane to install permanent uplighting in their recently-opened facility.

Co-founder Vincent Velasquez and Nick Nittoli, director of operations, thoroughly discussed lighting needs with the Connecticut-based dealership, and recommended various lighting fixtures to achieve the desired look. From there, Nick drove out to Connecticut early one morning to install the entire system for them before the sales floor opened for the day.

"Audi of Greenwich had a slightly smaller showroom [than Freehold], so they were able to take advantage of a wireless system to control the lights," Nick explained. "The lights were programmed to various color scenes so the dealership could change the colors at the click of a button."

After completing the installation, which took approximately four hours, the Hurricane team educated Audi staff members on how to operate the system properly. However, Nick is able to access the dealership's lighting all the way from Hurricane's New Jersey headquarters in case there's ever an issue.

"The benefit of going with a computer-based system is that it allows us to connect remotely to troubleshoot any potential problems, perform maintenance or to provide any additional programming," Nick added.

Hurricane was honored to work with such a prestigious brand in multiple locations, and the team hopes to help other businesses attract customers with beautiful custom lighting displays.

"It's always rewarding to improve the overall appearance of a something," said Nick. "To beable to do it with the premium brand – that's just icing on the cake."

Creative Services and Special Effects for Tradeshows, Award Shows and more

From brand activations, tradeshows, and corporate functions of all sizes - Hurricane Productions is comprised of solution-oriented team leaders.

One of our most recent clients asked us to develop a 'show-opener' for an award show. A basketball arena hosted the show - so the effect not only had to 'wow' an audience of over 1,000 people, but it needed to be safe.

After meeting with the client and communicating with fire safety professionals, Nick Nittoli (Director of Operations) presented a special effect that checked all the boxes.

Sparkular - a safe, environmentally-friendly indoor fireworks system - was used under the control of Hurricane to light up the stage as the show's emcee welcomed the guests to the event. Hurricane programmed, synchronized, and safely controlled through Sparkular's fireworks simulator machines.

Unlike typical indoor fireworks, this non-pyrotechnic system is neither hazardous nor explosive. When the Sparkular machine is activated - a specialized powder safely combusts - providing a dazzling firework display.

As an added precaution, Sparkular machines come with an emergency stop tilt function. It automatically stops the fireworks program if the machine is tipped over or tilted more than 45 degrees.

Learn more about how we can develop creative solutions for your event by contacting us here.

University Library Transforms Into Club

The Club Alex concept began as a joke amongst students spending late hours at Alexander Library preparing for finals.

Rutgers partners with Hurricane annually to bing this clever anecdote to life as part of 'Senior Week' at the university.

On most college campuses, Senior Week is simultaneously the most exciting and the most stressful time of the year. Between completing final projects, studying for exams, and preparing to enter the "real world," graduating seniors have a lot on their plates. For many of them, balancing academic and career pursuits with a little bit of fun in their last weeks of school is the key to avoiding burnout.

Since 2014, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, has given its graduating class a proper send-off.

With an exciting night of dancing, refreshments, and activities in a familiar setting, the university library is transformed into Club Alex.

According to a Rutgers blog post, students have had a longstanding tongue-in-cheek joke about Alexander Library being a nightclub, especially during finals.

"Sorry, I can't go out tonight," they'd say, "I'm spending the night at Club Alex."

Three years ago, the university brought Club Alex to life by turning the library's reference room into a fully-functional nightclub – and they've been doing it ever since.

Hurricane Productions – whose co-founders Vincent Velasquez and Strato Doumanis are Rutgers alumni – has been involved with Club Alex since its inception.

Under the guidance of producer and MC Robert Padovano, Hurricane pulls out all the stops for Club Alex with multiple rooms and DJs, each with its own unique flavor.

Club Alex, Rutgers

Audi Q5 Launch Event Ray Catena's Casino Night – Freehold, NJ

If you really want to make an impression when you're unveiling a new product to the world, you introduce it with an unforgettable launch event.

That's exactly what Ray Catena – Audi in Freehold, NJ did on April 20 to celebrate the launch of the new Audi Q5. With the help of Hurricane Productions and MediaCutlet, the dealership transformed from a car showroom to a spectacular casino, complete with games tables, live entertainment, and even aerial acrobatics. Game tables provided by A1 Casino Party.

Vincent Velasquez and Strato Doumanis, co-founders of Hurricane and MediaCutlet, produced Audi Casino Night, and brought together the unique talents and assets of each company to make the event one to remember for staff and patrons of the dealership. The team built what they called the "Hurricane Canopy," a large structure that allowed Hurricane's lighting director Nick Nittoli to hook up purple full ballroom uplighting, strobe lights and CO2 jets for a club-style haze effect. On one wall of the dealership, Strato coordinated projection mapping to create a lit-up, electric environment like one might find in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

"We projected the Audi logo, the Q5 launch commercial, and just some other animations and effects to make this place really come alive and look like a casino," said Strato in a behind-the-scenes MediaCutlet video.

There was no shortage of entertainment during the event. In keeping with the casino theme, attendees could choose from casino-style games like blackjack, roulette and craps. Hurricane DJ Alvin kept the music going in between sets of the live band that played throughout the evening, while an aerial silk performance artist wowed the crowd.

The media team at MediaCutlet made sure the event was well-documented. In addition to capturing on-the-ground video, MediaCutlet flew a DJI Mavic Pro drone for great footage inside and outside the dealership.

5 Events That Explain Everything You Need to Know About Hurricane

Every event you're about to see in this post is a staple of the Hurricane Event Production portfolio.

Although we produce private events like Sweet 16s and Weddings, these larger-scale corporate events are important to the company and part of the fabric of New Jersey.

All of this content, event production as well as the videos themselves, were created by our in-house staff.

1. Audi Grand Opening – Corporate Event Production

From soup to nuts, everything you see in this video is provided in coordination with Hurricane Productions: Lighting, Audio, Projection, Production. We transformed this dealership to what you see in this video.

2. AARA Trade Show – Audiovisual and Video Support

Since 2012, Hurricane is an integral part of AARA's annual trade show hosted in Somerset, NJ and Edison, NJ on rotating years. We provide sound, lighting and coordinate the company's branding and social media efforts. Hurricane Productions has a secondary brand which acts as its Corporate AV Production arm called CANE AV. (caneav.com/)

3. Dance Marathon – Event Production, Content Creation, Talent, and Marketing

Hurricane started within the DM organization a decade ago when the event was barely raising over $100,000 for Embrace Kids Foundation. In the last decade, the teams at Hurricane and Dance Marathon work in concert, year-round, to create the largest student-run philanthropic event in the state.

4. The Yard – Activation, Talent, and Event Calendar

When it comes to community events at The Yard, DEVCO hires MediaCutlet to consult on the who, what, when. But when it comes the how: Hurricane executes the events from the nuts and bolts end of things: Production, music, etc. It's the perfect marriage of how both brands exist under one roof. Hurricane helps fill the event calendar and produce events at The Yard.

5. Weddings and Private Events

Weddings and Sweet 16s give Hurricane the ability to connect with families and showcase their full scope of abilities. Private events also provide a safe training ground for interns and young photo, video, and DJ talent. Weddings and private events give Hurricane access to families and young influencers in the state, turning them into clients and onto our other services. Even Hurricane's path to producing the AARA Trade Show came by way of a Sweet 16 for the director's daughter.

Corporate Events hosted at Rutgers Football Recruiting Pavilion

Corporations seeking a motivational and hi-tech space for an upcoming event should look no further than High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, NJ. The home of the Scarlet Knights features a number of event spaces - including the Brown Recruiting Pavilion - that can accommodate a variety of corporate functions of all shapes and sizes.

The pavilion is accentuated by tall glass windows and an outdoor deck that overlooks the football field.

Hurricane Productions provides audio and visual solutions for the unique space as well as other locations around Rutgers University.

At a recent event hosted by Allstate, Hurricane helped the insurance leader integrate its own technology with existing technology operated by the University.

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8 Groundbreaking Moments of 2014

This list usually stands as our annual “Top 25 Live Events.” Although that feature is wildly popular amongst our private event clients, we felt like it was time to move away from that format.

Hurricane continues to evolve and the question always arises: What else does your company do?

This list is a true snapshot of who we are, what we do and where we are heading in 2015:

8. Vincent and Strato launched Hurricane Innovation LLC, offer social media consulting to small and mid-sized businesses.

Starting another business isn't just about creating a website or coming up with a name. We needed clients. We needed a vision. So with the help of some of our existing web clients, Rutgers University and the addition of Journal Multimedia, Caesars Entertainment, and The Olde Mill Inn, we evolved into a social media and video consulting firm.

And we have our former General Manager, Julia Crimi, to thank for making sure that Hurricane Productions operated at full strength while we jumped into our new endeavor.

7. We got more social (and accessible) to our clients with #HurricaneSocial

Every company should do this: Let your employees be themselves ... and share it on all forms of social media.

With the help of a company-wide hashtag, we implemented a way to aggregate all of this content from each popular social media platform and display it in real-time.

If you want a true snapshot of what we're doing, where we're going (as a company and individuals) please visit HurricaneProductions.com/social or just type #hurricanesocial into your favorite social media platform.

It looks great on Instagram.

Read more

Hurricane Will Enhance Fan Experience at Rutgers Football Games Through Video

Photo via @vinvelasquez on Instagram
Photo via @vinvelasquez on Instagram

When RFootball fans enter High Point Solutions Stadium for Saturday's opener versus Howard, they'll be treated to new visual experiences throughout the game.

One of those enhancements is a same-day video edit produced by Hurricane Productions.

The 60-second RFootball videos will document the fanfare and pageantry of each Rutgers Football home game. From tailgates to pre-game traditions, each video will vary as the Big Ten atmosphere arrives 'on the Banks.'

"Our video product is cutting edge and engaging," said Hurricane Productions CEO Vincent Velasquez who is also a Rutgers College alumnus. "We're excited to partner with Rutgers Athletics in this capacity."

The Rutgers football video will be filmed during pre-game festivities and the first half of the game. It will be edited by half-time and displayed on the LED scoreboard in the second-half of each home game.

Hurricane is also slated to produce a "Legendary Moments" video segment sponsored by the Rutgers University Alumni Association. Those videos will be shown in the stadium and shared via social media. The "Legendary Moments" videos will compile archived video footage and graphics from landmark achievements in RFootball history.

Hurricane and Rutgers University have a longstanding relationship.

The company provides media support, entertainment, production and event consultation services throughout the year to various University departments.

For more information about Hurricane's work around campus, click here.

Wireless Speakers - Sound Solutions for any event spaces

In an industry where aesthetics are everything, new, high-tech wireless speakers stand out.

Introducing the new Sennheiser LSP 500 Pro series; totally wireless speakers for the cleanest set up ever. With a name like Sennheiser, you can expect the highest quality sound reproduction coupled with extreme ease-of-use. Hurricane Productions is proud to offer the use of this amazing technology to our clients.

With the wireless capabilities of the system, it's possible to seamlessly link up to 20 speakers together with one embedded master transmitter.

For us, it's an easy and lightning-fast setup; for you, it's a beautiful and truly aesthetic feel for your event.

The advantages don't stop there. These wireless speakers are battery-powered for up to six hours - making them the perfect choice for corporate and hotel conferences, Sweet 16s and weddings.

With a built-in wireless receiver the user can adjust equalizer settings and volume, play music from a USB drive, and integrate multiple wireless microphones into the mix; all with a single app on iPad or iPhone.

To match an elegant space like the Audi Club in the Hale Center at Rutgers University, it's essential to use equally aesthetically pleasing equipment. No wires means an extraordinarily clean look in the venue with virtually no footprint!

If you're interested in using this new state of the art system for your next event, contact us or call 888.393.7066.

 

Top 25 Live Events of 2013

When people look at back at Hurricane's 2013, it'll be highlighted by expanding its reach across the northeast. Hurricane used the powerful tool of social media content and marketing to move into other markets.

A strategy that kicked off 2013 with a press conference that announced the company's expansion to Boston, Hurricane saw a boost in regional exposure.

Aside from the live events documented in this post, Hurricane owners/founders Strato Doumanis and Vincent Velasquez created consultation sessions with mid-sized businesses in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The seminars used Hurricane Productions' marketing model in the private events platform to demonstrate how to grow brands online.

A majority of 2013's events featured unique hashtags that helped clients share moments via photos and videos on Instagram but also stream and print pics in real-time at each unique event.

Here's a look at the top 25 live events of 2013:

25. Christina and Shanna's Wedding

wedding-rutgers-gardens

When: June 1, 2013
Where: Rutgers Gardens - New Brunswick, NJ

The Story:
Christina and Shanna celebrated a wedding during a summer that rewrote a history in NJ that previously did not recognize same-sex marriages.

The couple chose the hashtag #cswed2013 which helped Hurricane collect over 200 photos from family and friends on Instagram. The pics streamed to a screen setup by the bar and printed as photo favors for guests.

Links:
#cswed2013 on Instagram
Recap Album on Facebook
Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire

Read more

Loeb Boathouse Central Park Welcomes Phi Sigma Sigma's Centennial Celebration

The Loeb Boathouse Central Park is not just for intimate dinners.

The beautiful, lakeside restaurant, located in the heart of New York City, is also host to private and corporate events. Gorgeous dining rooms, shaded patios and delicious catering menus make the Loeb Boathouse Central Park an ideal destination for your next corporate event.

Phi Sigma Sigma celebrated their Centennial Anniversary with dinner and dancing at the Boathouse. The dinner was one event during a week full of activities to celebrate and commemorate the organization. The Loeb Boathouse served as a central location that allowed women of all ages to connect and celebrate.

Hurricane Productions provided DJ entertainment for Phi Sigma Sigma's dinner at The Boathouse.

DJ Strato Doumanis entertained the guests and kept them dancing until the very end.

Hurricane's photography team captured the event. Hurricane's photographers were not just present at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. They also spent the entire week with Phi Sigma Sigma documenting the Centennial Celebration.

Hurricane Productions offers photography and video services for corporate events like Phi Sigma Sigma's. Coverage can be determined on a day by day basis or event by event basis. Phi Sigma Sigma chose to use Hurricane for the entire Centennial week. The week culminated with a photo montage recapping the events.

To learn more about Hurricane Productions' corporate entertainment, production and photography, visit the website or call - 888.393.7066.

2009 Archive: Vincent Velasquez comments on Hurricane's 6th anniversary

Hurricane Productions New Jersey Wedding

I will say this about our six-year anniversary - These first five years of Hurricane Productions have been nothing more or less than research and development.

We've been able to learn about the DJ entertainment business in terms of what we like and what we want to change. All the while, we graduated high school and I recently graduated Rutgers University.

So here is my statement:  I don't believe that we've truly competed with our real competitors up to this point. Today is when we start.

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2008 Archive: Hurricane co-founder Vincent Velasquez reflects on the company's five-year anniversary

Robert Padovano, Vincent Velasquez, Guido Santiago - 2012

Hurricane Productions has done so much for me.

It has given me the ability to enjoy college life and work a second job that I love just as much as DJ entertainment. But most of all, its given the the opportunity to reach out to so many different people in so many different places.

We've been all over New Jersey. We've entertained in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, New York, and Brooklyn. Our videos and music have been seen and heard all over this great country and even in the Netherlands. I've gotten phone calls from companies in Cleveland, Los Angeles, Phoenix and emails from people overseas. And all of this is from a company that worked its first party in a backyard in Morganville, NJ five years ago today.

I'll never forget that party - an eighth grade graduation for a friend's sister. Strato and I worked three days straight beforehand building a small music library and making sure my dad's speakers and amplifier set from the 1980s still had some juice in them. My dad drove us to the party (we were 16 years old) and we played music for four hours. Strato liked changing the CDs in our two five-disc changers and I fell in love with talking on the microphone. Strato became a DJ, I became an MC.

We didn't charge that family any money, but afterwards the mom came to us and handed me an envelope with a tip. I took half and Strato took half. Boom. A 50-50 partnership was born.

Last night Strato and I looked back on our entire collections of emails and reminisced about all the gigs and jobs we worked and all the different people in our lives.

On the entertainment side, we just keep growing. Everyday we make improvements to our product. Strato and I brainstorm and make things happen. Our talents are so diverse but at the same time, it is the secret ingredient that many have tried to copy and/or discover on their own.

We work long hours, but it is expected because we own and operate the company. But on top of that, we have to make it to your event energetic and fun. I've never complained about any event we've worked. Even one I showed up to with pink eye and a dent on my front bumper after a car accident!

In 2004 and 2005, we worked at a day camp in Manalapan and taught kids how to DJ on our amateur system. Every Friday the entire camp would gather in a large pavilion and listen to Strato play the Cha Cha Slide and watch me teach them new instructional dances. It was taxing work. Especially since another DJ company, a more experienced one, worked larger events for the camp. We were constantly criticized and put under a microscope.

Peers of ours would talk behind our backs and laugh every time we mentioned DJing. Even our own families doubted the company would survive once we entered college.

But here we are, five years later. And still working hard, still making a difference in people's lives. I don't know if many people are able to fathom how much of a responsibility it is on us to be accountable for family memories. Ten years from now, a Sweet 16 girls is going to look back on her video and remember how much fun she had. A bride and groom will always remember their first dance. All of that is captured in photos and video and Hurricane Productions is a huge part of making all of those memories happen in time.

Every party is unique to me and my passion for entertainment keeps each party fresh and new. I could work 52 weeks straight and entertain the same type of event, but it will always be different. Each week I'm greeted into a new family and make new personal connections.

It has not always been easy. We've gone through some hard times in our personal lives and in our family lives. Still, DJing and entertainment is always a release for me. I'll never forget having to wake up on a Friday morning to bury my grandmother in Brooklyn and then rush back to New Jersey to work a wedding. I was just 17-years old. I'll never forget going through a rough breakup with an ex-girlfriend and the next day having to work an engagement party for a young, happy couple. Sometimes we forget, myself included, that we are people too and we need the entertainment just as much as our clients.

One thing that really stuck out to me was the amount of charity and volunteer work we've done over the past five years. In year one and two, 2003 and 2004, we volunteered our small PA system to the Keansburg Library so that they could cut the red tape in front of their new building in style. And how did they celebrate? We played music and danced into the night.

We also entertained our high school's fundraisers for little or no money. We introduced varsity sports teams into the gymnasium for pep rallies, and provided music for two Walk-a-Thons.

Working for the Knights of Columbus in Sayreville in 2004-2006 always sticks out in my mind. We helped a man named Tom, a guy in his mid-forties in the National Guard, put together dances for his "Squires," or in layman's terms -- teenagers interested in the KOC. In early 2006 we found out Tom was deployed to Arizona and then to Iraq. We haven't heard from him since, but we hope the work we did for him touched the individuals he aimed to please.

This past year we donated our entire staff's weekend in the first week of April (and DJ companies know how valuable a Spring weekend can be) to Rutgers Dance Marathon. DM is a 32-hour event that raises money for the Embrace Kids Foundation in New Brunswick, NJ. Embrace Kids serves families with children that have blood and cancer disorders. This year, DM raised over $320,000. And thanks to contributions from our clients, we were able to make a $630.00 donation. Better yet, we're already signed on for next year.

Helping Dance Marathon and the Embrace Kids Foundation is a true sign of our company's maturity. We've gone from using a PA system for opening a public library to touching the lives of so many families in need in a critical time in their lives. Both are so important in their respective ways, but I get emotional thinking that we've grown so quickly to be able to staff a 32-hour, non-stop event.

Like my recently deceased grandfather said "Show me who your friends are, and I'll show you who you are."

The reason I mention that is because Hurricane Productions is not just Strato and myself. It is Ashley Best, Jon Brooks, Samantha Cella, DJ LaLima, Kyle Gries, Ed Romani, and Alex Rosenkranz. These are the people, no matter how big or small their roles are, that make this company work and work very well.

And even some of the people who came before them, like the Doctor of Style, Mike Mendez, have contributed to this company.

But most importantly, we have been able to grow these last five years because of the dedication our clients show us. We have so many repeat customers and return business. So many of our clients have become friends that constantly keep in contact with us. Their continued business is much appreciated. They trust us, and in return, we trust them tenfold.

We've labeled our company as "The business of building great entertainment." But I would argue, we're in the business of building great and everlasting relationships.

Thank you for the past five years and cheers to many more,
Vincent Velasquez
Co-Founder, Co-Owner, Master of Ceremonies

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