Eighteen months ago, the Campus Times featured a story about a new, little-known event promotion company called BDubD Enterprises started by two graduates of the Simon School of Business, Ben Witten ‘11 and Rob Chen ‘11, who wanted to add a bit of silliness to the typically serious event promotion world. At the time, the duo was preparing to test their experiment at their first bar party.
“It worked, and now we’re here,” Chen said. “It got really serious really fast.”
“Here” is the point of success that BDubD has reached over the past year and a half. It has hosted a slew of bar parties and private events. Its most recent event, a Meliora Weekend alumni party at Vinyl nightclub, had more than 600 attendees.
“It was definitely an ever-better kind of night,” junior Amber-Danielle Baldie said.
Initially, fun was the center of the company’s principles. Once the duo saw the potential for growth, they quickly dropped this strategy in favor of a “really serious, really business-like approach to partying,” Chen said.
To gain clientele, they targeted on-campus groups and leveraged the connections they had made in the city. In turn, they used the business of these groups to create and strengthen relationships with venue owners, which proved crucial to the rapid growth of BDubD.
“The entire industry is based on reputation,” Chen said. “Not only with the bar owners, but also with the students.”
Witten and Chen said they continued to shape BDubD’s reputation among students through their choice of DJs, inexpensive cover charges, drink specials, and party photos. It seems to have worked.
“This year, one of the biggest changes I noticed is that we had a lot groups reach out to us, as opposed to us reaching out to them,” Chen said, including Greek organizations, cultural organizations, and the Senior Class Council. “I think that it is one of the biggest indicators of our growth that people are starting to know who we are and what we do.”
There have been other changes as well. BDubD now employs a staff of UR students. Witten completed his MBA in brand management and entrepreneurship in June and has since moved to Washington, D.C. where he serves on the board of the company. Chen, who will finish the same MBA program in December, is acting as CEO. Despite their busy schedules, the two still make the majority of the decisions for the company together.
Witten and Chen agree about their goals for the company over the next 18 months. They would like to see its continued growth and interaction with the student community. They also want BDubD to successfully promote at least one concert. For this endeavor, they’ve teamed up with the UR Consulting Group.
“We thought it was a great opportunity to give students some real-world experience,” Chen said.
The pair is eager to team up with students of their alma mater, believing that the skills and knowledge they learned and the relationships they formed, both as undergraduate and graduate students, were invaluable to the creation and development of BDubD.
“The entire reason BDubD exists is because I went to UR,” Chen said.
Witten and Chen know that running a company is not easy. It is a job that requires constant attention and follow-through. However, they encourage other aspiring entrepreneurs to go for it.
“If you see something that can be done better or differently, pursue it,” Witten said. “Make a positive difference.”
Hansler is a member of
the class of 2015.