Taking Events to the Next Level
Photography by Sarah B Photography and Paul V Photography
Catching a glimpse of Jason Klock at rest is about as rare as filming the Loch Ness Monster dancing the Macarena. As the eponymous Klock Entertainment founder, he strives to push the bar ever higher whenever possible, and that means working practically round-the-clock. Fortunately, his naturally energetic personality and infectious positivity allow him to effectively juggle the demands of making sure wedding, familial, nonprofit and corporate clientele within a two-hour radius of Central Pennsylvania are blown away by the services he and his carefully selected team of professional, imaginative DJs, emcees, sound experts, lighting gurus and event technicians provide.
From the first time Klock DJed as a preteen, he saw his role not as a person who simply brought music to events, but also as an integral part of the experience. This unique outlook helped him build a devoted circle of clients over the years and cement in his mind that there had to be a way to turn DJing from a part-time hobby to a full-time, legitimate career for those passionate about the field. Fast forward to the latter half of the 2000s, and Klock Entertainment was formally established, a company that not only has a brick-and-mortar location, but also employs full-time staff with benefits, something rare in businesses offering comparable services.
“When everyone is an employee, you have quality control,” explains Klock. “We can give clients extra TLC for each event, take the time to prepare and plan, handpick songs and implement technology-driven ideas for lighting and special effects. We also pick up the phone, old-school style. People hear back right away. Customer service matters more today than ever; we always have to outwork and be outstanding in service, talent, ideas and innovation.”
More Than Music
Klock has allowed Klock Entertainment to evolve into a product that is more than just music. As he’s fond of saying, “We don’t play the same 35 songs at every event.” His team’s focus is the ambiance that’s created when the lighting hits the floor or shines upon the bride’s wedding dress, it’s the way the visitors feel when they’re at an event – in essence, it’s all the “little things” that add up to extraordinary memories.
All this innovation comes from a track record of leadership, not just by Klock, but also by his company. Klock Entertainment was one of the first companies in the region to bring photo booths to its events, one of the first to use intelligent lighting, the first in the area to have its own meeting space and display area and the first to embrace mobile website technologies to make it easier for communication to occur between clients and his team. Ultimately, Klock’s vision has turned Klock Entertainment into the largest non-caterer and non-vendor wedding-industry small business in the Harrisburg area.
Where Dreams Do Come True
Klock might not sleep more than five hours each night, but he’s definitely in the business of dreams. In fact, the goal of every person at Klock Entertainment seems to be that of dream-maker.
Whether helping a couple plan a wedding or a corporation set up an unforgettable convention, Klock Entertainment’s bevy of experts never let themselves be hampered by the seemingly impossible.
As Joe Cooper, production manager, notes, “I’m a big fan of media, production, lighting and sound. There’s a lot you can do now. …You can make it ‘snow’ in a room, you can projection-map and shine lights or video onto any surface. It’s theatrical.”
Cooper, who is actively building Klock Entertainment’s relationship with corporate entities, is helping businesses drive their messages through conceptual, high-quality lighting and sound. In some cases, music isn’t even part of the arrangement. During the 15th season of the Harrisburg-based Très Bonne Année, Klock Entertainment brought to life the crystal and maroon theme using only lighting elements, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg of what Klock Entertainment is capable of doing.
“We’re just dipping our toes in the pool,” states Cooper. “With our combined creativity and experience, we can create an event, transform a room and build an experience all while getting a corporate message across and ensuring guests have a good time.”
Adding Charisma to the Party
All the technology in the world doesn’t matter if a host doesn’t have the personality to rev up a Sweet 16 celebration, quinceañera, mitzvah, wedding, conference, seminar, gala or anniversary soirée. This is the reason Klock has carefully selected the best of the best in terms of DJs and emcees. Each Klock Entertainment personality undergoes intensive training to rise to the challenge of seamlessly becoming an integral part of any event. With around 600 events a year, there’s plenty of opportunity for employees, such as Nick Fortini, account executive, a former tour manager for bands who started as a guitar tech, to up his game and win kudos from crowds.
“I’ve managed massive events with up to 50,000 people at concerts,” says Fortini. “Now, I’m really trying to redefine what this market has to offer. I want to bring a new, modern edge to everything that’s happening in our industry.”
Fortini spends his time figuring out the right ways to keep events harmonious, especially when eclectic groups are mingling together.
“It takes a massive amount of events under your belt to be able to adapt to the crowd on the spot,” Fortini says.
Fortunately, Fortini has hundreds of thousands of tunes at his fingertips and knows how to effectively spin and cohesively meld them.
“It’s very tough to request something we don’t already have because we continuously add new music every week. I try to provoke nostalgia as part of my process – of course, I’ll take requests at appropriate events, too.”
The Klock Entertainment Process
Though Klock Entertainment offers a menu of items from which clients can choose, there’s nothing cookie-cutter about their approach to hosting weddings and events. Some people know what they want, other people want to be inspired and enjoy seeing examples of Klock Entertainment’s previous work, which is on display at their facility as well as on their robust website. Ultimately, a plan is set in motion with the blessing of the client, and that plan is built around the goal of making the day meaningful.
As Klock explains, “Events are happening once for a very short period, and clients are putting time and investment into it. We need to do that, too, by serving and helping people, as well as being a leader who gives structure and excitement to guests. You’re only as good as your last party, and being humble and level-headed is important. When you make it about the little things, that’s when it’s successful.”
Once a DJ, Always a DJ
Klock’s passion for DJing hasn’t waned over the years, and he continues to throw his hat into the ring by hosting nearly 100 events every year. It makes his life busier, but he wouldn’t change a thing.
“My love and passion is performing, so I still do that,” he says.
However, he adds, with a growing family at home, he makes sure to have a work-life balance.
“This business is fun, but as an entrepreneur, your family, health and fitness are still important,” he says.
Giving back to the community where he grew up, which gave him the chance to rock events east and west of the Susquehanna, is also critical to Klock. Klock Entertainment regularly adds pizzazz and rhythm to local 5Ks, walks/runs, fashion shows and more. Though they can’t do all the donation requests they receive, they try to find those that align with their corporate vision. Additionally, higher-level staff members are asked to volunteer a certain amount of events each year, proving it isn’t always about making money; it’s about supporting neighbors.
“When I was in high school and DJing, it wasn’t about getting a paycheck,” Klock concludes with a chuckle. “It was about finding a way to get everyone dancing and having a great time.”
For more information, visit klockentertainment.com.