Since it was founded in 2003, the bloc Group has ascended to premier status in nightlife from New York to LA. Specializing in public relations, strategic marketing, product placement, consulting and branding, this versatile communications firm has taken a multi-dimensional approach to nocturnal affairs. And, through its intrinsic network of insiders, from up-in-coming talent and trendsetters to Page-six regulars, the bloc Group continues to set milestones within the industry. Clubplanet plays shadow for The bloc Group Event Coordinator Aaron Plenty to bring you a look inside the life of a professional party promoter.
Scene: Tuesday night, 12:28am.
Past the ropes, it’s hard to miss them. The bloc Group’s party radiates – the beautiful and the well heeled. Girls clutch sequined bags below their arms, dark eyes, heavy bangs and blush. They dance on tables in uneasy stilettos, bodies bouncing, heels piercing – and it seems the whole club has turned to stare.
If the crowd parts long enough you can catch a glimpse of The bloc Group’s co-founders Jordan Harris and Matthew Isaacs and their level-best event coordinator, Aaron Plenty. At 6’4” Mr. Plenty is the group’s power forward - in both stature and status. Tableside, he pours more Grey Goose than cranberry into a pretty girl’s glass, dapper hat dipped low across one eye - smile wide and bright. It hasn’t taken him long to learn how work and play should coalesce, a smooth and subtle cocktail.
After a quick flash from the pretty girl’s camera, he slips away from the table and heads for the main doors, his face aglow in the cool, blue light of his cell phone. It’s early still, even for a Tuesday, and the bloc Group has only begun meeting and greeting their long list of guests. Watching him from afar, it seems all too easy. The energy booms; a steady, contagious rhythm that causes vibrations in our chests and sends ripples across the tops of our libations. It’s the fast-beating pulse of the business, and the bloc Group seems to know it best. But if life as a professional party promoter was that easy, wouldn’t we all be doing it?
10:30am: Alarm clock goes off. Snooze.
10:35am: Alarm clock goes off. Snooze.
10:41am: Aaron stretches under a rumple of sheets and fumbles blindly for his Blackberry on the nightstand. He turns his phone off when he sleeps, otherwise the beeps would be incessant. Twelve text messages already, “What’s up for tonight?” It’s only begun.
10:56am: Wake up shower.
11:18am: Aaron throws on some gym shorts and a sweatshirt and heads out for a run. ”A little Rocky Balboa action to kick off the day.” It’s the only way to keep the energy up for 5am turn-ins. And let’s not forget, in this industry, you’ve got to look the part, too.
12:34pm: Search for food begins on the walk home. Today, it’s a quick salad from Whole Foods and back home to get ready. Aaron rocks jeans, a button-up with a blazer, and a fedora to top off his look. He’s known for his stand-out style, but especially his hats. Rumor has it he’s never worn the same chapeau twice.
1:39pm: On the street. By now Aaron’s on the phone every fifteen minutes – fielding calls for the bloc Group’s eager party-goers and maintaining all-important connections with some of the industry’s top players. “People want to know – they need to know – what’s going on,” he says just as the phone rings again. Tonight is the group’s weekly party at The Plumm, but it’s also a special birthday event in honor of an aspiring, young model – so today Aaron has some extra planning to do. He heads across 14th street to meet up with the club’s managers. Together they arrange for a cake, balloons and decorations.
2:30pm: Late lunch with fellow promoters David Wright and Dane Riley at Coffee Shop. They reflect on the past week’s events and map out upcoming parties. The latest word: This Tuesday, The bloc Group will host Athena Lundberg’s (a.k.a. Playboy’s Miss January 2006) birthday party at Marquee. The team of promoters is hooked up in the entertainment industry at every touch point: music, modeling, acting, entertaining. Any late-breaking news in their area of expertise and The bloc Group will be the first to know.
3:32pm: By the time lunch is over it’s already time to jump into high-gear for the evening’s festivities. Aaron starts the trek up to Chelsea. More phone calls…
4:00pm: He swings across West 27th Street to pick up checks from Marquee.
4:46pm: Back down to the bloc Group’s newest office in the Flatiron District. Aaron hops on the computer alongside two other employees. Together they reach out to guests – following up with emails, SMS, MySpace, and Facebook messages and phone calls. Today’s marketing spans all social networks.
6:17pm: He jumps on the subway down to SoHo to catch the shops before they close. After all, he’s got a fashion reputation to uphold. First stop Banana Republic for a new shirt. His favorite places to shop: Scoop, Bloomingdales and Guess.
9:00pm: Dinner with Matthew, Jordan and a new client at STK in the Meatpacking District. Here, the discussion revolves around branding a new vodka label and how to ‘best time’ the spirit’s launch party.
11:12pm: Time for the finishing touches. During dinner he’d received 12 new voicemails with questions about tonight’s party, along with two last minute-bottle requests. Aaron consults with Matthew in order to accommodate the new table reservations.
12:03am: Inside the ropes, Aaron meets and greets the team and door staff. “What’s up, chief?” a burly bouncer smiles - quick nod of recognition. The two shake hands and Aaron is introduced to a few new and important faces. Finally, a tall man in a burgundy blazer ushers him past the heavy doors and into the club.
12:29am: A call from the birthday girl; she and her friends will be arriving any minute. Now and throughout the beginning of the night, Aaron will help escort the bloc Group’s guests from door to table. When you’re hosting, it’s little things like this that matter most. The extra bit of finesse that will launch you into a whole different level in nightlife entertainment—a much higher level.
1:19am: Taking the birthday girl by the hand, Aaron steps out into the open space. Maybe it’s his height and his hat - or maybe it’s his signature dance moves - but it’s not surprising that many of the other guests follow suit.
2:33am: After sitting down for a drink at the table, Aaron is approached by a two young guys. As it turns out, they’d remembered him from the party he’d helped Matthew host in Miami a few weekends ago. They join the table for a drink and Aaron suggests th