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How an entertainment company trains a team to rely on



Once a one-man operation, Tempoe Entertainment DJs in Long Beach, California, has grown into a network of more than 16 DJs and 30 employees. But owner Ryan still juggles a little bit of everything: In addition to music, Tempoe provides photo booths, lighting equipment, photographers, and event coordinators—everything you need to make an event a success.

That flexibility made all the difference for Yelp reviewer Cassandra G., who hired Tempoe Entertainment DJs for her daughter’s 16th birthday party. “I don’t remember which came first, whether I was looking for the photography studio first or the DJ first, but somehow it all kind of worked out that they were all a one-stop shop,” she said.  

Between the set list and photo booth, the team at Tempoe Entertainment transformed Cassandra’s backyard into a night to remember. Cassandra was particularly impressed by the efforts of both DJ Mike and the photo booth attendant, who helped with other aspects of the party after setting up her own station.

“The fact that they were able to just get in there and get to work on their own without too much direction from us—it really took a lot of stress off of us,” Cassandra said. “We were able to finish up what we needed to do and then go on to play the hosts of the party.” 

According to Ryan, who also goes by DJ Tempoe, that willingness to pitch in is a core value of the business. Tempoe Entertainment plays a key role in milestone events in their customers’ lives—and the team takes that responsibility seriously by preparing for every possible challenge. There’s no such thing as “That’s not my job” at Tempoe Entertainment DJs. 

“Our photo booth attendants are actually trained to do everything except DJ,” Ryan said. “They’re not only just friendly and great at what they do with the photo booth, but they’re always looking at something that they can advance on.”

In addition to training, Ryan has also developed a communication system to make sure everyone has everything they need to pull off a flawless event. The process starts with two consultations to discuss the client’s needs and any specific filters, such as song preferences. Next they go over the plan in a final meeting before the event—with no detail left up to chance. 

But when your product is as experiential as entertainment, it can be hard to showcase your work. Ryan relies on photos and videos of Tempoe in action to draw customers in. “Showing them some samples [of our work] goes a long way,” he said. “Yelp is a really big help with that because we’re able to actually post our pictures on Yelp, and people go through them and they’re like, ‘Hey, you know, I really liked that.’ 

The next step is building trust with customers. To provide a behind-the-scenes look, Ryan has also created promotional videos about Tempoe’s equipment, lighting, special effects, and DJs. “That way they can kind of get a sense of who’s going to be there at their events, before even committing to us for their event,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ryan and his team routinely turn to customers for feedback to improve the business. The DJ said he’s worked to implement ideas from reviewers into his process, which not only makes his business better, but leaves his staff feeling energized for the next event.

“We take reviews very, very seriously,” Ryan said. “That’s how we see what the client not only expected from us, but the finished product as well. So we value our reviews, like 100%. Some customers will come up to you at the end of the event and say that you did a great job, but it really goes the extra mile when someone takes 15, 20 minutes out of their busy work life and says something positive about you online.” 

Small businesses—especially those that are service-based like Tempoe Entertainment—can benefit from these other key business tactics from Ryan: 

  • It’s always your job. Teamwork and cross-training make a huge impression on clients and can improve your reviews. 
  • Reviews can be a key to innovation. Reviews are important for growth as a company and can help you implement new policies and procedures that improve your business.  
  • Always show and tell. Have examples of your work readily available to show patrons, especially when your service is auditory and/or visual.
  • Talk it out. Ensure you’re communicating efficiently with staff and guests, a crucial element when hosting highly personal events like weddings and birthday parties. 

Photos from Tempoe Entertainment DJs; editorial by Holly Hanchey & Emily Moon


These lessons come from an episode of Behind the Review, Yelp & Entrepreneur Media’s weekly podcast. Listen to the episode below to hear directly from Ryan and Cassandra, or visit the episode page to read more, subscribe to the show, and explore other episodes.

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The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.

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