PowerHouse Blog


Getting your Booth or Display noticed at Shows

Have an event where you need help showing off your business? Get in contact with PowerHouse to help put together a booth that will grab the attention of everyone that walks into the room. Big or small we do it all!

Full Truss Booth for Tri-State Tire. Counts Car Show 2013. Rapid City, SD. Really get peoples attention with a booth made of Truss.

Full Truss Booth for Tri-State Tire. Counts Car Show 2013. Rapid City, SD. Really get peoples attention with a booth made of Truss.

No matter your event, we can provide a solution to make you or your product stand out. Don’t get lost in the crowd and stand out from your competitors.  We can help with booths, displays and lighting at trade shows, stock shows, car shows, bridal shows, corporate events, fundraisers, and expos. Local and regional as well.

Counts Car Show Buisness Booth

Pricing is very reasonable, and adding that extra pop to you booth or display will end up priceless for the presence achieved.

Truss totems with booth lighting, Mobile FX. Counts Car Show 2013. Get peoples attention with truss totems.

Truss totems with booth lighting, Mobile FX. Counts Car Show 2013. Get peoples attention with truss totems.


Douglas High Black & White Black Light Dance 2013

Had a great time at a local Black Hills, South Dakota school this week. School dances are alway a joy when everything comes together in the right way. There are three things that make a great school dance. Great kids, Great faculty, and of course a good DJ. We also had the pleasure of a local photographer coming and hanging out for part of it. Big thanks to Henry Roy for the photos. Here is a nice smattering of the evening.

Black Hills Black Light Dance 1 Douglas Black Light Dance 1 Douglas Black Light Dance 2 Douglas Black Light Dance 3 Rapid City Black Light Dance 1 Rapid City Black Light Dance 2


For more images feel free to browse here – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.497747323602169.111214.180380252005546&type=3

For more info on Henry Roy Photography – http://henryroyphotography.com

And if you want to take your school dances up a notch, whether it be Homecoming, Prom, Winter Formal, or just a Dance for the fun of it. Give PowerHouse a ring and we would love to chat with you and your school about it.




How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?

The Flirty Blog posted a great article about this back in 2012. I couldn’t have said better myself.
the original can be found here – http://theflirtyguide.blogspot.com/2010/06/how-much-should-your-wedding-dj-cost.html

How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?

By Stacie Tamaki of The Flirty Blog.com

Honestly? Probably more than you were planning to pay.


Because this isn’t easy to say, I don’t say it lightly: When it comes to Wedding DJ’s, Brides and Grooms can and should expect more professionalism than the status quo that has been perpetuated as “acceptable” for far too long.

And that’s not just my opinion. Over the years I’ve talked to brides, grooms, friends, other wedding professionals and even wedding DJ’s and everyone seems to agree that the bar for Wedding DJ professionalism has been set (but even more oddly, accepted) at an often shockingly low level of expectation. In many cases the quality of the service provided falls well beneath the level of mediocrity. IMO that’s not ok because the reputation of the entire DJ industry is damaged every time a DJ falls short. It’s created an atmosphere of apathy where people in need of a DJ often hope to pay very little for one simply because they expect so little in return.

This post isn’t about bashing what I consider to be average or stereotypical Wedding DJ’s. For the most part I don’t think there’s anything particularly deceptive about how most of them run or market their companies. It’s not a bait and switch scenario. Clients hire them with their eyes wide open, understanding the level of service they will receive. Some are willing to contract an average DJ because they think what they’re seeing is “as good as it gets.”

In some cases their expectations are so low they don’t even try to find a qualified DJ or MC because they don’t realize good DJ’s exist. Recently I stumbled upon this blog post on Vegan Bride titled “Phil Birdsell Saved the Day!” written by her real life groom. It’s a perfect example of what this article is all about. He and his bride weren’t going to hire a Professional DJ… Until they met Phil Birdsell who completely transformed their perception of what a wedding DJ can be and exceeded all of their expectations.

I know a common misconception is that all DJ’s are “cheesy” or as MC’s they are “obnoxious” on the microphone. So the logic is: Why pay a lot for someone who is most likely going to annoy or disappoint you? For some companies those may be accurate descriptions of the types of services they provide. But I want to share with you today that not all DJ companies are like that…

Some are good.

Some are really good.

A select few are truly great.

IMO the major factors that really matter when it comes to price are:

If a particular DJ doesn’t fit your budget, keep looking for the most qualified one who does. You want to choose the right DJ to entrust your reception to: One who is going to try their hardest and do their best for you, not the first one you talk to or the most convenient one.

What is a DJ Worth? 

The answer to this question varies based on your needs, expectations and priorities and the level of talent, skills and customer service a DJ is able to provide to you.
The funny thing (as in ironic not ha ha) is that I have worked in the wedding industry for 13 years and by far know more vendors who do not charge enough for their services than those who overcharge. So many people who work in the wedding industry do so because they love to make people happy, they’re really not in it for the money. Some barely charge enough to break even on the cost of their labor, supplies and equipment. (When I was a custom bridal accessory designer I spent a lot of energy talking brides out of things they didn’t need because imo when it comes to wedding accessories, less is more. Less will always look classic and elegant while too much can look costumed or silly.)

Are DJ’s Who Charge More Worth More?
They can be but it may take research on your part to verify if a company is charging what they’re worth or if they are simply being opportunistic. The sad truth is that any company can “look” legitimate. All they have to do is build a nice looking website, print up some business cards and brochures and start advertising. They may even have some impressive credentials. But those things alone aren’t a guarantee of anyone’s current level of professionalism or your satisfaction as their client.

On the flip side of buyer beware is knowing that paying a premium price for something doesn’t always mean it’s overpriced. Whether or not something costs “too much” can be determined by the answer to this question: Is it worth what it costs? You can spend $5,000 dollars on something that’s worth $10,000 and get a great deal. Or you can spend the same $5000 on something that’s only worth $50 and be completely taken advantage of.

My pov is: “Value is not relative to price but to the quality of the product or service you receive in return for your investment.”

DJ as MC

And what about their Master of Ceremonies skills? Especially if you haven’t ever seen them perform before I urge you not to just send out an email or chat on the phone before hiring a DJ because they will almost always be acting as your MC. You need to meet them in person. During your face to face consultation you can see their personality and even ask them to stand and do an introduction for you. When they do, watch for the following elements to see if they have mastered the MC skills needed to do a great job at your wedding:

  • Facial expression and demeanor: Do they smile and look happy to be there?
  • Body language: Do they slouch, rock or shift about nervously once they begin speaking? Or do they stand straight and tall with confidence?
  • What are their speaking skills like? Do they talk so fast you can barely understand them? Or are they so timid you can’t imagine them getting everyone out on the dance floor?
  • Do they sound engaged, interested and excited to be there or is their voice flat as if they are reading a nutrition label on a box of breakfast cereal?
  • What does their voice sound like? Do they speak with sincerity in their own voice or turn on a different affected performance voice once they’re speaking into a microphone? (Or spoon or ballpoint pen, whatever is handy during your consultation.)

After taking Mark Ferrell’s MC workshop it is now much more apparent to me how undervalued and overlooked MC skills have been in both the past and present. It’s all the more shocking because everything the MC does is an integral part of your wedding reception and should be considered when you are choosing your Wedding DJ.

The first and most important question would be: Were you referred to a particular DJ by someone you know and trust, who hired them for an event and were thrilled by their service? Or were you impressed when you saw them successfully performing at another event? If your answer to either question is yes, that may be all you need to know when it comes to selecting who to hire.

If you’re starting from scratch, here are some tips that may help you decide if a company is going to delight or disappoint you. If you can answer “yes” to all or most of the questions below you’re definitely on the right track to finding a DJ of quality.

Does the DJ you are considering hiring:

  • Have a Business License?
  • Use a Written Contract? Do they guarantee the date, their arrival and departure time and the rate they are charging you?
  • Have Quality Equipment?
  • Carry Insurance?
  • Own a Vehicle Large Enough to Transport all of the Needed Equipment? Or will they forego the correct equipment because they don’t have the space to transport it?
  • Come Prepared with Back Up Equipment?
  • Have an Appropriate Selection of Music to Play at Your Wedding?
  • Know How to Properly Mix Music? If mixed music is what you’re looking for be sure the DJ you’re hiring knows how to mix in the style you’re seeking.
  • Dress Appropriately?
  • Not Use Inappropriate Language?
  • Not Drink Alcohol on the Job?
  • Bring an Assistant When Necessary? i.e. not enough time allowed for set up before guests arrive or lots of stairs that their equipment must be carried up and down.
  • Are they a member of an organization that has real standards for business practices and ethics? A group where not just anyone can pay to be a member.
But here are the intangibles:
These are the things that you can’t always discern from a website. These are the things a trusted testimonial from someone you know or an eyewitness account can confirm. Does the DJ you are considering hiring:
  • Rely on Expertise not Ego?
  • Deserve your trust?
  • Have Solid MC Skills?
  • Know how to Use Their Equipment Properly?
  • Understand the Pacing and Timing of the Reception?
  • Have a personality that reflects your own and/or the type of event you would like to host for your guests?
  • Care About Your Wedding? Are they honored to be a part of your special day or is it just a job to earn money?
There is a Big Difference Between how “Professional” and “Stereotypical” DJ’s View Weddings
To me there are no exceptions, every DJ is one or the other. It comes down to integrity and the choice they make when it comes to how do they approach your wedding day? You will find both types of DJ’s within owner operated and multi-op companies. Professionalism is defined as competence and skill. The Professional understands and cares that your wedding is special and will use their competence and skills to help make it enjoyable and memorable. For the Stereotypical DJ’s, the common perception is that they treat weddings as just another “gig” on their calendar.

Do you remember in the movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding” when Julia Robert’s self centered, no frills character makes the analogy that she is “Jell-O” and in the same breath labeled Cameron Diaz’s sincere character as being “Creme Brulee?”

Professional DJ’s are the Creme Brulee
They are honest, have integrity and treat being a DJ as an occupation, not a hobby. Professionals know that their business requires commitment, effort and integrity to be successful. They treat their clients with appreciation and respect because they care about the fact that weddings are special events.

I’ve noticed over the years that because they get to know their clients so well, many owner operated “Professional” vendors in all categories, often create friendships with their clients that may last for years or decades. That’s a great thing!

A Professional DJ will incur many overhead expenses to maintain their company and the high level of service they provide to their clients. These costs have to be factored into the price they charge for their services to create a profit margin. The expenses may include but are not limited to:

  • An annual business license
  • Registering their business name (DBA) with the city
  • Business Insurance
  • Association Fees
  • Computer and needed software
  • Collateral/Printshop: Brochures, business cards, letterhead, etc.
  • Website which includes: Design, development, monthly hosting fees, annual renewal for their domain name, periodic updates to their webmaster, etc.
  • Continuing Education: Attending educational industry events, workshops, seminars and conferences
  • Graphic Designer: Logo design & collateral development
  • Equipment: Initial purchase, maintenance and repair
  • Company Vehicle: A DJ has to own a vehicle large enough to transport their equipment to and from your event. Some own a dedicated vehicle and others purchase a larger personal vehicle than they actually need on a day to day basis simply to be able to transport their equipment on the weekends.
  • Gas and mileage: Some events and consultations may entail a 4+ hour round trip to reach the wedding venue
  • Vehicle maintenance and repair
  • Paying assistants when required to do their job properly
  • Advertising: Bridal shows, magazines, etc.
  • Hiring a book keeper or accountant

Stereotypical DJ’s are like Jell-O

Sometimes Jell-O does hit the spot, it can have its moment. But as Julia said in the movie: “Jell-O can NEVER be creme brulee!” The Stereotypical DJ’s have made being average an accepted standard. Many often treat being a DJ like a hobby. Their most common offenses, many of which you may have witnessed in person or have seen portrayed in movies or on tv that have helped to perpetuate the stereotype are: Being late, incorrectly pronouncing the bride or groom’s name during the introductions, not knowing how to properly use their own equipment, not following the timeline for announcements, dressing or acting inappropriately; hitting on guests, drinking on the job, using inappropriate language or using inappropriate humor.
I know. I get and empathize that these are the reasons that some of you are considering making your own mixed music cd or playlist and may forego hiring a DJ. You just don’t want to risk “that guy” showing up and ruining your wedding reception. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you didn’t before I hope you now realize that there are highly skilled, experienced, talented, caring Professional DJ’s out there. They do exist!

So, How Much Should your Wedding DJ Cost?

Because different areas of the country have different price ranges, and different couples have different needs and budgets, it isn’t possible for me to give you a definitive amount.
The best guidance I can offer is directly related to the following factors:
  • Do you want your guests to be able to hear the ceremony and vows by using an additional sound system not provided by your venue?
  • How important is the success of your reception to you and your fiance? Do you want classy intros, someone who entertains (as opposed to interrupts) your guests, unobtrusive sound systems that won’t look tacky in photos and great music & dancing for your reception? How things sound and how successful the dancing goes is especially important if you’ve hired a wedding videographer.
  • If you haven’t hired a professional wedding coordinator, do you need the DJ to help you create and execute your wedding day timeline to make sure all of the introductions and announcements are made at the appropriate times? Are you going to count on them to ensure that the photographer and videographer are in place for elements like the toasts, cake cutting and first dance?
  • Do you want a DJ you can trust? That knowing they are there will give you peace of mind that everything is going to go smoothly and that their presence will positively impact the success of your wedding and reception?
  • Have you ever hired the wrong person to do an important job? You didn’t realize until things went wrong how important it was to you. Or maybe you were just too busy to be overly concerned and thought you could get by. Whatever the reason, regret basically sucks when you know you could have had a better outcome if you had done things differently.

If the answer to any or all of these questions is yes, you will want to hire the best, most Professional DJ you can afford. What do good DJ’s charge? I will say while there is always the possibility you can find a better than average DJ at any price point, if you want a really good or great one they will probably charge at least twice as much as the average estimates you’ll receive.

I hope this post has explained why and that I’ve made the process of locating, recognizing and qualifying a good DJ easier for you.


How to Plan a Successful Prom or Homecoming

This is a great article from www.perfectpromresource.com. Not all the tools one need, but pretty close.

The biggest social event of most teens’ high school careers is the Prom. Indeed, the Prom has become so important over the years that it has become a mini-industry of its own. With almost $1.8 billion spent on prom-related purchases and regular reporting on the industry from Wall Street analysts, the Prom is indeed the paramount high school social event.

With respect to planning, a typical Prom breaks down into the following areas that require attention.

The venue is by far the first thing you want to take care of. All other things flow from the choice of venue. You cannot set the date, hire entertainment, hire security, or plan a budget until your venue is set.  A good rule of thumb is to start looking at your possible venue choices as early as possible, and no later than at the end of September before your spring Prom. Early planners will usually get the dates they want, while Prom committees that start the planning process later in the year usually have to juggle their schedule to accommodate the venue they want or stick to their date choice and settle for a venue of lesser caliber. Looking at venues even a year ahead of time is not inappropriate, especially in areas where there is competition for the best sites.

IMG_4093_editedEntertainment – Very Important! 
The subject of entertainment is greatly misunderstood when it comes to budgetary planning. The mistake some groups make is to blow their budget on the venue, décor, and food, and not have enough left for quality entertainment. This is the biggest mistake that a Prom committee can make, as the choice of entertainment will determine the quality of the evening.  If your DJ is great, people will say they had a great time. If the entertainment is bad, your teens will remember the event as a dud. I’ve seen plenty of Proms where the food was not up to scratch but the attendees still considered it a success because of the quality of the entertainment. I’ve never seen an event with good food and bad entertainment that was considered a great time. Clearly, the entertainment choice is your most important choice, with the venue close behind.

The décor choices you make have only one major limiting factor: finances. If your budget allows you to create a virtual movie studio, then by all means go for it. If your budget is more limited, then you must figure out what part of your budget you can spend on decorations and make sure you do not exceed this amount.

Food is usually tied to the venue, in that almost all hotels and banquet halls have either an in-house catering department or a preferred list of caterers. As with décor, your limitations are primarily financial, with special consideration being given to nutritional concerns. Use your free school resources-your school district will usually have someone on staff who is knowledgeable about dietary issues and can advise you on subjects such as vegetarian meals or special dietary restrictions that some students may have. Your main decision about food will be whether to have a sit-down dinner, a buffet-style dinner, or just serve appetizers and desserts. Local custom usually dictates your choice in this area. In areas where most people favor restaurant dining before the Prom, it doesn’t make sense to spend the money to serve dinner. Also Buffets allow more time for dancing!

In the last two decades, schools have begun to run after-Prom parties, where all Prom-goers are locked into the school building or other community building for the evening to enjoy a variety of activities such as dancing, casino-type games, movie rooms, fortune tellers, caricature artists, breakfast, and raffle-type events. (At the 2004 After-Prom at Kennett (PA) HS, they even raffled off a brand new car!)
Indeed, in schools that sponsor such events, they have almost eliminated Prom night drinking fatalities, but just remember that almost as much planning goes into this event as the Prom itself.

Some sort of a security team is always a good idea at your Prom. My best recommendation is for your group to hire off-duty police officers and have them show up in uniform. A good show of force will eliminate a lot of the problems before they even start, and for those problems that still occur, the officers are there to solve them.


Finances Cash
The major overriding concern of every planning decision you make will be whether you can afford to do it. After fund raising efforts by your class, the major source of revenue for Prom expenses is your  ticket sales. When making decisions about cost, you need to
decide whether or not the incremental increase in the price of the ticket is worth the expense.

For example, let’s say you have 500 people coming to your Prom. You have a choice of an okay DJ company for $750 for the night or an amazing DJ company for $1,500. Your incremental ticket price for the okay company is $750/500 = $1.50 per ticket, and for the amazing DJ company it would be $1,500/500 = $3.00 per ticket. Base your decision on whether the increase from one cost per ticket to the next is the best decision for your group.

**Always Remember A Prom Is a Formal School Dance – so make all decisions based on that one fact! Flowers, Centerpieces and other possibly non essential items will not make or break your prom!
Guest Author: JacquesJordan


Bridal Shows, Fashion Shows and Runway Production

We were happy to provide the Sound and Lighting Production for the 2012 Northern Hills Bridal Show in Spearfish, SD.  This was a great event and enjoyable to meet all the awesome vendors and brides to be.

We are also looking forward to providing the same services at the up coming 2013 Bridal shows in Rapid City, SD & Gillette, WY the first weekend of January.

Also, we really enjoy the images from Traditional & Timeless Photography.