We talk with Kevin Winston about the growth of LA’s largest entertainment tech startup networking organization.
Intro: [00:00:00] Welcome to the LA Business Podcast, a form for business owners and senior executives to share the experiences about the elements that drive their success. Your host is Robert Brill, CEO of brillmedia.co, an Inc 500 company delivering the power of hyper-local advertising. Robert writes for Forbes, Inc and Ad trade publications.
Our goal is to bring you the stories about successes and failures of people who are making big things happen in marketing, entrepreneurship, and management.
Robert Brill: [00:00:36] Everyone. Welcome to another episode of the LA business podcast. Today our guest is Kevin Winston, CEO and Founder of Digital LA. Kevin, thanks for being on the show.
Kevin Winston: [00:00:47] Hey Robert. Thanks for having me on.
Robert Brill: [00:00:49] Kevin, tell us a little bit about what digital LA is.
Kevin Winston: [00:00:52] Yeah. Digital LA is a company I started about a decade ago, so we’ve been around in the Los Angeles area for a while. It is has grown to be a LA is largest entertainment tech startup networking organization where we organize panels and conferences, something every week really, and even mixers, to bring the community together, people who are doing things and entertainment tech and startups. So it’s been a lot of fun. I can tell you a little bit more about how we got started.
Robert Brill: [00:01:22] I definitely want to know, tell us about how it got started in, and I’ll tell you why. It’s interesting to me because, you know, we’re always looking at growth and scale of businesses and your story is really interesting in our organic, in the way it started.
and it might be helpful for other business owners who are looking to grow their own thing.
Kevin Winston: [00:01:43] Yeah. So, sure. When I started Digital LA, I had no business plans, like a lot of businesses. It was just something that, was a passion project that somehow turned into a business. So, the way I got started was I was working at, Fox Interactive Media doing integrated media marketing. And, what that means is that I’m working on campaigns that help promote movies and other things with technology and tech, social media tools. So over the course of that, I would meet a lot of interesting, startups and people in the entertainment tech space who had things that they wanted to, pitch us to help people, I don’t know, re-skin their profile page with an image of a movie to get a chance to go to a movie. So we would think of these campaigns like that. And over the course of that, I’ve met a lot of interesting startups and interesting risk tech people and thought, why isn’t there some sort of organization for people who are in this space to immediate feather on a regular basis?
I mean, sure, there are conferences, but most conferences happened only once or twice a year. They happen and everyone kind of like goes on their way. What happens through the entire other, you know, weeks of the year. Because there are cool things happening with innovations in the Los Angeles area and entertainment tech and startups.
Every week there’s something new happening, something new going on. So why don’t we have some organization to bring people together on a more regular basis every week. So. The events first, it started off as monthly happy hours in Santa Monica where a lot of the tech community started back in around 2000, around 2000, basically.
So then, just out the 2010. We had, my first mixer, it was just me and 10 friends at a bar, hanging out. but everyone got to meet nine other fun, cool people. And people asked me when the next event was, so I said, okay, I’ll do a next one. So I organized another one the next month, and the 10 people had told their friends, and we have 50 people show up, which was pretty cool.
I was like, wow. We went from 10 to 50 and one month. I guess other people felt there was this need to connect to a cause, while you’re online is great with LinkedIn and Facebook, you can definitely meet people and connect online. There’s some magic that happens when, you have an in person event and people can, you know, shake hands, which we used to do back in the day network.
Thoes events that went well. By the third month, I didn’t another the third event, call it Digital LA and a third event. We had a 150 people show up, which was pretty amazing. And that’s when I was like, okay, I’m going to make this like a regular thing. So we continue doing these monthly events for the first year.
And then after about about that time, I was like, you know, I’m going to see if I can do this as a full time job. I started charging for, the panels that we were doing, and I got some sponsors to sponsor some of the events because I wanted to reach this very targeted specific audience. Kind of a difficult thing to do otherwise, to get both entertainment and tech. So, the digital age, you know, companies launched as a, as a side project and became my, became my, my, my business full time after I left Fox. So it’s been a fun journey and, just met a ton of interesting people along the way.
Robert Brill: [00:05:02] And so were your mixers just like people getting to know each other, was there any format to the original mixers that you started?
Kevin Winston: [00:05:08] Yeah, and the, in the first year, they were just monthly mixers. It was just basically people come in together and and, and networking at, at these bars and first in Santa Monica and then, in Hollywood, what happened was the mixers got so large because I did a few things. one of my friends at the time was a Hollywood Promoter, and he had reserved a premiere for some of these clubs that, back in that time were really hard to get into. So, but people still want to go. So I was able to say, Hey, look, if I bring in some, people into your bar or club on a weekday when it’s probably, you know, not that crowded.
can we do that? And he was like, that’s a great idea. Let’s do it. So we did it. And that helped grow too. So by end of that first year with the monthly events at the cool Hollywood clubs there, we had like 400 some people, at these events with these like lines going down the block to get into the events.
It was at that time that some people were like, Kevin, this, these events are great there are a lot of people, but I’m interested in, digital music, or I’m interested in, digital marketing and social media, or I’m interested in, finding a VC. they were, they had these like very specific things and it was a little bit difficult to find someone who could talk about that in a large, you know, a large networking event with like a couple hundred people. So that’s what I decided to organize my first panel, which was a panel on digital music portrait at the time my space was a part of Fox interactive media and I was able to have some people speak about music from there. And then I asked some other friends who also were in the digital music space. So we had our first panel was on digital music and it was, it was sold out like there is, there was a line to get at and everyone was, you know, standing out, I mean, everywhere in the bar that we held it at.
And yeah, we filled up the capacity right away. So, I was like, wow. I guess there was a need for some sort of panel on this to talk about this because we are at capacity. So then I, I started to launch a panel series, doing these panels with different topics that people were interested in. And kind of my, goal or trend you could see is I kind of like do what people tell me to do.
Like it was a friend of mine who was like, you should do a, you should do a music panel, or you should do a panel because these events do crowd. And then people would just start suggesting other themes or panels. And since, I’ve worked at Fox and had some connections having also worked at Sony Pictures Digital.
and I know a lot of people in the entertainment tech space. So our first events were entertainment tech, and I would just call friends who I knew and said, Hey, can you be on a panel? And they were like, sure. So I worked out.
Robert Brill: [00:07:52] So, Kevin, you essentially built this as a conduit. You’re a conduit and almost like the same way actors are a conduit.
You ended up being the combination of the voice of what the marketplace wanted and the activator of, well, the thing that the marketplace wanted, like you just, you’re a conduit.
Kevin Winston: [00:08:13] yeah. I guess it’s the way to think about. I also like to refer to it as being a connector. I just happened to have, my feet, my hands, my, I just happen to happen to know a lot of people, a lot of different circles and I’m able to bring people together and, have people, you know, meet, cause I, yeah, just say there are just a lot of different circles in LA, both in entertainment and not entertainments and VCs and investors.
And. Startup founders and actors and bands and a lot, a lot of times I noticed just doing what I do is that sometimes their circles don’t overlap. So digital as basically a way to get these thinking of that Venn diagram to get these like different circles to interact and just see what happens. Cause at the end of the day when you’re doing a startup or you’re doing entertainment products or you’re working on anything.
That’s, you know, in tech, you’re going to need a lot of different people to help you out if you don’t already have them on your team. So if you’re building a tech product, you’re going to need developers, you’re gonna need designers. You’ll eventually, like a PR marketing person. You might need a legal person to make sure that everything’s okay.
you might want me to operations person, like, you’ll need all these people. And yes, it can go look, look them up on LinkedIn. But it’s also good to, meet people at events. And for my very first. panel networking events. People would say, Kevin, these are great. I met like all this great people who are a just interesting people doing cool things in the digital space, but also be like, I want to hire that person or II hired that person, or I got a job at that last, that the last networking event from that person that I met there.
There’s also something in LA about them meeting people. At a informal, event or at a mixer after a panel and just connected with them, that usually results in, good connections, which can turn into jobs, can transit to clients, et cetera. So that, that definitely helps. The, events were not just an informational about whatever topic there were also, good for networking and, jobs and leads and all that good stuff.
Robert Brill: [00:10:17] Has your mission changed over the years? You’re now a decade into this?
Kevin Winston: [00:10:21] The mission has always actually been the same from the very first one, which has been to connect people. we’re doing awesome things in the digital tech space, that said there had been some, some evolution of, how we get to that mission. for example, just. The, first and even the first year, the way to connect was through these mixers. And then that turned into a panel. Then in 2012, I started something called Silicon Beach Fest, which is growing into allies, largest, and longest running, entertainment tech startup, festival.
So, this conference is a way for people to meet. We do that once or twice a year, depending on the year. And, the last time we had, it was like 2000 attendees. Over the course of four days, we had 85 panels, speakers, workshops, dinners or cocktail hours, or 85 sessions all together.
There were 400 speakers, which is kind of amazing for a local conference step 400 hundred speakers, who are startup founders, there were CV’s, there where investors. We had a startup pitch competition.
You were a part of it as well. So, so it’s, so that that was, has only been been new. Um. Over the past month, we’ve evolved even a step further, with the whole pandemic.
We, basically are not doing anymore offline events, which is basically the foundation for doing advise, having these connects mostly through offline events. but with that not available. In the first week though, the pandemic, we went all online, so all of our panels are online. we’ve done some social happy hours online, virtual happy hours.
We’ve even done a virtual pool party, which we typically do in the summer around this time we did a virtual pool party with people. zooming and from their pools and their condos or buildings, or just their balconies and their swimsuits. While a friend of mine who’s a DJ, played, music from his zoom, camera.
So, it’s like with any digital, activity or things you study about in entrepreneurship, or do you just gotta be flexible and, and pivot and, and just do what makes sense, and what, what the market demands. So, so yeah, it’s been fun just seeing Digital LA evolve over time.
Robert Brill: [00:12:34] What are some of the most surprising or interesting experiences that have, that have come up organically? Like what have you gotten out of this over the course of the last decade?
Kevin Winston: [00:12:48] What I’ve gotten out of it over the last decade is just really meeting some awesome people. It says digital, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the people.
It’s the people who you meet at the events. It’s the people who are on panels doing amazing, interesting things that are cutting edge for the industry. So then I personally get out the most out of that is just basically having a lot of really cool, interesting, innovative leaders in the industry, as friends.
Basically friendships is what I’m kind of out of it. So in addition to that, you know, business contacts and sponsors and whatever, but, like a lot of people who’ve spoken on my panels, I just, you know, keep in touch with them and, they’re just, you know, good people who are, have, you know, by this time sold that startup started another thing, or doing something else. So that actually is probably the number one thing in addition to, you know, sponsors and, you know, being exposed to cool, cutting edge things. I’ve been asked to do other things with Digital LA like speak on panels or get a tour of NASA facility or, other things through Digital LA.
Yeah, those are bells and perks. The main thing is, is just really meeting awesome people who are rocking it in their industry, who are the ones who are featured on the panels at conferences.
Robert Brill: [00:14:14] So Kevin, if you, if you, so let’s say there’s someone listening who says I want to be the next Kevin Winston, because I think there’s an immense, from a business perspective, I don’t think I want to be the next Kevin Hanson, although the thought has occurred to me. If you, combine a business offering in addition to the ability to connect. I was like, over the last six, seven years the thought has occurred to me like, how can I leverage what you have, in my own set of contacts, in my own networking to actually push my business forward? It takes a special type of person like you to, to really make it happen.
So here’s my question. If you had to deconstruct the elements that made Digital LA successful, what would those elements be? And I don’t think anyone could do it the way you’re doing it. If anyone’s going to be successful, they’re going to do it differently. It’s going to look and feel different.
I think this organization is fundamentally an expression of who you are as a person, warm, friendly, connected, connections. Everyone wins like this organization feels great because it feels like an expression of who you are. But let’s say someone wants to try and deconstruct this and reconstruct it in their own way.
What are the core elements that are needed to ensure that someone’s successful in this type to build this type of connectorship as it were?
Kevin Winston: [00:15:46] Some of the principles that I used to start Digital LA you could use for, anything, whether you’re doing a connecting organization or not, one is, you go with your passion.
Like it’s always been my passion to bring people together. So, whenever your business has, whether it’s a connecting social thing or not, just go with your passion because your conversations with people, will be more, I guess, passionate or people be able to see your passion as you’re talking to them and your energy and they will like that and get excited with you for some things. So a one, and as I say it a lot, but go with, go with your passion. Don’t just like do a business because you think there’s going to be money in it and, or someone told you about this great lead or whatever. Like if all those things are happening, that’s great too, you should also be passionate about it.
So, that’s definitely one. Two, what I do is I use for this, company I used a combination of technology and in person and online to help grow it. So, the takeaway from that is no matter where your business is, you know whether it’s events or not, events, whatever, whatever it is, let’s say you have products.
If you’re selling products, make sure that you have an online component that compliments that, and has the same brand and voice, as your physical product. Make sure your social media voice matches what you’re doing on your, on your website and how you communicate things in your newsletter.
Just make sure your voice and your branding. How you come across and are perceived as is consistent over all of your channels, whether that’s online, offline, or newsletter, a product, even the packaging for your product. Uh. It helps convey your brand. As you know, Apple is very famous for having, you know, even the bag that you purchase, the, product, your box, Apple good.
And even the bag, you can tell that’s an Apple bag. So your product has got to be, your brand has got to be communicated well across, all of your channels and consumer touchpoints. So that’s two. Three is to be consistent. there are, other organizations in the LA area that have done networking events, which is great, but, then the founder will, get another job or we get really busy and then they kind of, fritter out and the community has kind of lost. Similarly, for other products you know, sometimes people would get, focused on the wrong product or they haven’t done it right match. They, they kind of like lose their way as far as, you know, what is there product fit with their consumer? And then the consumers, habits change. Are they also changing with them or are they still turn out, turn out to change same product? So the third takeaway there number three is making sure you’re consistent and kind of following the trends. So are following what’s happened with your audience. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you know your audience is doing something else and, and you’re left behind doing the other thing that you were always doing, which isn’t that what they’re doing anymore.
So being consistent and following the trend, just being aware of what’s going on is something that’s important too. For me, when the pandemic happened, and basically in March, I got to be just like, well, no more Digital LA events. cause there was no events. But, but then I was like, Nope, just take them online and even makes more sense because the name of the company is Digital LA.
So to have all the events on zoom is totally a fit with the brand. And, makes perfect sense. And this is, one next step. Potentially in the Pokemon evolution of digital aid brands because of the pandemic. We’ve gone to this next level to be even more digital. now that the panels are all online.
And one other advantage of that is that I can get speakers from around the world to speak. Which is pretty amazing. anyone can like pop in on a zoom. So while the focus still is, the Los Angeles scene, I can bring in a couple of guest speakers from other cities, who are rocking it and want to contribute.
Also, we have some Digital LA people who have left LA and gone to other places like New York or London or San Francisco. I can now have them on panels to talking about what they were doing cause they’re familiar with the Digital LA brand. And I say that something like that does not exist in their city, but they still want to be a part.
So that’s a way to have them be a part of it too.
You’re, I believe I’ve heard the mayor speak at your events. You’ve had the mayor at least Villaraigosa and, um.
Sure. So I’ve had Eric Rossetti speak. Yeah. So in 2012 I was doing my very first Silicon Beach Fest Conference. Again, that’s the multi dates, two, three, four day, depending on the year conference, which brings the entire tech community together for the very first one in 2012.
Um. The cross-campus coworking space had just opened up in Santa Monica. That was the first large coworking space after coafter it opened up as kind of a smaller one. I wanted to get someone as a big keynote speaker. And at the time, Eric Rossetti was just running for office. He was not the mayor yet, but, I know that he was really good on Twitter cause I was following him and I figured that you would be, you know, a tech friendly mayor to speak.
It turns out that he was, a friend of mine, worked with his office and so asked for him and he was like, yes, that sounds great because he actually wanted to, you know, reach out to the tech community, which is, you know kinda like was really growing in 2012 to, you know, reach out to them to help support his campaign for mayor.
So he came out and spoke about how, LA is a great place for tech. How if you can build it and overlay, whether it’s an app or websites, if you can put LA on it, it does what here you go while everywhere. Because LA is very diverse. We lack a lot of different kinds of communities. LA is not just about tech.
We have other industries like entertainment, aerospace, e-commerce, fashion. And so, so there’s a lot of different types of tech, or different types of industries, which you can build, just making it a very rich ecosystem. So, yes, it was great to get the mayor. It was great to get Eric on board. And then shortly after that, the election happened and he became mayor, which is been really great, and he’s has definitely continued his support for the tech community. he asked me on some other, tech leaders to be on a tech council when he first became mayor to have help figure out some initiatives and some, focus priorities for, his, work.
Robert Brill: [00:22:13] So you’re squarely integrated into the fabric of LA’s power seed essentially with startups, with politics, with all the various technology platforms. Do you realize like how incredible that is?
Kevin Winston: [00:22:29] It’s incredible to, to bring these different communities together. Cause just like within different industries or different circles, these are, you know, politics, education. Oh, I guess one that would include is education. We have several strong universities, USC, UCLA, Pepperdine and Loyola, in the LA area. And then I’ve done, networking events or mixers with each of them too, and have them speak on my panels, to talk about what’s happening there. So, so, yeah.
So I guess when you went, the other question you asked me was, what has happened as far as a result of this is it’s just been really awesome to me. People who are, you know, doing stuff in the tech area from, from the city governments, local governments, as well as the universities and what they’re doing too.
I’ve done Digital LA panels featuring speakers and then talks at, UCLA and USC and partnership with some of the local schools. featuring professors, speaking on the panels. I had professors, from USC, as judges at my Silicon Beach Fast, for the past couple of years. So yeah, it’s basically, I’ve always been a connector and I’ve just been interesting, like, you know, as, as other people become more tech, interested or savvy, to have them be part of a Digital LA events and the community.
Robert Brill: [00:23:51] What sort of trends are you seeing in business and startups as, as we’ve now we’re about two months into this coronavirus sort of stay at home locally and nationally and internationally, we’re about two months into this thing, in, at least in America where does business go? I mean, you have such a purview of cannabis and health intact and FinTech and education and all that. What are some opportunities that are very much evident to you from where you said.
Kevin Winston: [00:24:23] Yeah, right now and thing that’s helping people get online more is definitely big. So a small business and medium sized business consultant services to help people get their website up more, get the social media a little bit better.
Maybe if you’re gonna a live stream strategy. Anything like that is helpful because right now, you know, without all these businesses, these physical businesses we’ve been, brick and mortar is closed. Everyone is turning online more so, services to help these companies do that. Cause a lot of small businesses might not have a digital strategy.
They might just have a website that they paid someone, you know. Two to five years ago to make and a dormant Twitter or, Instagram. So basically ramping that up and being able to add e-commerce through a website, being able to ads live, being able to add, you know, social media engages more, that is as big.
The second thing that’s grown bigger, is cannabis. I say that because we just had our cannabis tech panel. last week on 420, April 20th, with some speakers from the cannabis area talking about how cannabis tech has, been increasing. So that’s certainly is a, is one thing with increased, you know, delivery, etc cetera.
The third area that, has increased, that is increasing, is VR and AR. Um. That, was the, location based entertainment is not happening with VR because a lot of the physical places where you go to do VR at like a mall, those are shut down. But people are going online more and doing, VR and AR if they already have the headset.
So that has increased. And the other thing that’s also really big is online and mobile gaming. So when people are home a lot, Mmm. They have more time to do all online gaming. That’s something that you do safely. Without having to worry about going outside. You’re supposed to be inside. So, online gaming and eSports and mobile gaming is also big too.
and even new products like mobile social live gaming, a friend of mine has a company called Pop-in, which is a mobile app where people can connect online for video chat and their playong a game. So unlike zoom, which has no game capabilities, it just people chatting. there’s no point system. There’s no score.
this other platform pop in has a point system and a people jump on from all around the US or world to play these games. he’s seen a huge increase in his usage because again, it’s something that people can just do on their phone while they’re at home, which everybody is. So I’ve actually become a host over the course of the pandemic or just something unexpected where I posted one of these games every Friday for the past like five weeks. So, that’s been fun. I’ve also hosted a Digital LA band jam where I have five and the artists play on Instagram live, actually 10, over the course on Saturday nights to make Saturday nights different from every other night. So that’s been fun being the host too.
So that’s one unexpected result of this pandemic, cause I’ve become a digital host, hosting a online mobile game every Friday at nine and then a indie band jam on Saturday night too. So yeah, so everything, you just got to like roll with what works and what the audience or what the market demands, even during a pandemic.
Robert Brill: [00:27:51] Kevin Pop.In so that s POP.IN
Kevin Winston: [00:27:54] It’s P O P . I N which is the name of the website. If you go in, you can download it and play the game.
Robert Brill: [00:28:00] Got it. So do people search for Kevin Winson to find the thing that you’re doing?
Kevin Winston: [00:28:04] They could just go on, Pop.In. It has a schedule, right when you download the app and, I’m on nine o’clock on Friday.
Robert Brill: [00:28:14] That’s amazing. Is it a, is that a specific time or is it just wherever you are and totally.
Kevin Winston: [00:28:19] Sorry. Friday nine o’clock Pacific time. Yeah.
Robert Brill: [00:28:21] Very cool. And, where can people find the, Saturday night band jam?
Kevin Winston: [00:28:27] So Saturday band jam is on the Digital LA Instagram, which is just @ digital LA on Instagram.
Robert Brill: [00:28:34] Very cool. A couple more questions. Would you ever, do you have any aspirations to run for mayor?
Kevin Winston: [00:28:42] To run for mayor? Nope. Have no thought about that. there are a lot of things, that the mayor does that, that are not as digital as I like to be necessarily. Um. So, yeah, I, by my philosophy of life has always been to be doing something, where like at least a 75% of my time is spent doing digital things actually.
So, so yeah, if there’s a way to be a digital mayor, I guess by maybe by, you know, a couple of years there would be that possibility. I don’t know what that means, but, but maybe, I don’t know. Yeah.
Robert Brill: [00:29:22] I like that. That’s super interesting. Maybe a give it 20 or 30 years. This’ll be the, the little nugget.
so, before we, before we wrap up here, Kevin, two more questions. Number one, as you know, and as we’ve, we’ve hung out many times, over food. What’s your favorite thing to eat right now? In and around LA or, or wherever you might be.
Kevin Winston: [00:29:48] My favorite things, he right now, which I account now as the things that I will leave my house through, the pandemic to go eat and get and get takeout for, are Risottos tacos. They have a six taco mini taco platter with like Molay chicken and chicharone and, and beef and all this other good stuff. that’s delicious. and then, and open. And I also got Sugarfish. The trust me, play, which I think everyone in Los Angeles loves. I really was craving sushi during the pandemic. So I had to go get some sushi from Sugarfish in a box. And again, the Sugarfish food is great. And then the little white bentobox is served in for, to go is great. And even the bag, is great. It has like a artistic fish, which I found out you can use as a coloring book if you have kids. So anyway, those are my two go tos.
Oh. And Salt and Straw Ice cream, I love Salt and Straw they don’t serve cones now, but you can get a pint. So I got a pint of salted chocolate chip cookie dough, on Friday, and it’s been delicious. I’ve been going through that a little bit every day.
Robert Brill: [00:31:02] So that’s, that’s interesting. They bring them up. I actually use them as a business case study. I wrote a guide and I’m happy to send it to you if, if you might find it helpful. It’s a recession marketing guide. So I want to demonstrate to business owners that, there is a way to succeed in the current economic unit. We’re entering a recession, hopefully not a depression.
A lot of companies are going to have some challenges. I was like, okay, how do I demonstrate that there’s actually. Number one is your opportunity. I believe that there is and I needed the data to show it and I looked at research back to 1921 and one of the things I saw was that like Salt and Straw started in like 2010 I believe, or 2009 and with a cart in Portland.
And they totally used brand and the owner, of the business, I can’t recall her name right now, but I should, and she says that brand is a way the product makes you feel, or the idea of the product makes you feel it really ties back to a feeling, which I think is super like right on point.
And, anyway, they started 2009 in a, in a cart like Portland, I think.
Kevin Winston: [00:32:14] Yeah, I heard that too, a friend of mine live in Portland and love the fact when Salt and Straw became a big deal. Yeah. They’re like, Oh, that was the cart down the street. But yeah, the brand is great. I like the color of their icecream too.
so yeah. brand like we’re talking about for brand is definitely important and key.
Robert Brill: [00:32:34] So, Kevin, how can, how can people find you? I think you mentioned the URL, but just say it again in any other ways you want people to connect with you.
Kevin Winston: [00:32:42] Yeah, sure. Again, it’s Kevin Winston and the company is digital LA and, we are on line at digitalla.net for networking. we’re also on Instagram and Twitter @digitalla. we have a group of, almost 20,000 people on our LinkedIn which is also Digital LA too. So altogether our social media and website reaches over 100,000 people a week, to let them know about our events, that are now online.
And, we’ll be, you know, including offline once we get to that point. so yeah, definitely sign up for that.
Robert Brill: [00:33:21] And I want to say, I didn’t really have a chance to say this, but I definitely wanted to say like, you’ve given me so many incredible opportunities. You’ve allowed me to speak at your conferences on multiple occasions, which I really appreciate and you’ve allowed me to have my clients, speak at your conferences, which has been fantastic.
And, I’ve met some really incredible people, Scott Torah, who I still work with. And Joe Garman, who I don’t work with directly, but he’s always a great resource. so two people who I’ve met at your conferences that like I don’t know, not 10 years, probably like four or five, six years later are still very important to me.
So you have an incredible community that’s been incredibly valuable for me personally, so thank you.
Kevin Winston: [00:34:05] Yeah. Well thank you. Thank you for the Saying that. Yeah. And it’s stories like that that happened like all the time. like I said before, the number one thing is the people. And then you just mentioned that thing that you found value by these people, like, you know, they, you met them for some business contact or some business connection, but you’ve stayed in touch with them, and some of them might be doing a different business or not. But you’re still in touch with the people. So bringing these people together who are doing cool things, that’s always been part of it. And that’s what attracts people.I have people who’ve attended a Digital LA pool party up in Hollywood Hills. We would do a big pool party once a summer.
This one happened to be at an infinity pool at a home, which was awesome. We had 125 people attend who are kind of preselected. They were CEOs and startup founders. folks from Hollywood studios, et cetera. Everyone was really just lounging by the pool. There was ice sculpture, there was some bands who were playing on a lawn.
it was an amazing day. and, just the last couple of weeks ago, I met a friend who attended that party and he was like, Kevin, when’s the next pool party? I’m like, yeah, summer’s coming up. I better start planning the next one for this year. whenever we can meet up in person again. And, he was, I was like, how’d you like that last one?
He was like, yeah. All right. It was great and really awesome thing was I met like three people there who I am still in touch with. Like today. One was a client. Once he’s become a friend, another one, just a friend, and then another one they met at the ice sculpture. Like, you know, watching people do the shots off the Swan. And, so yeah, it’s been that, it’s been fun. just creating this community where also be able to meet each other and stay on top of each other and either for business purposes or what often happens in LA, and that bleeds into, personal connections and those friendships that last over time.
So it’s all, it’s all about the people. So if you’re just an that, again, sign up for the newsletter at digitalla.net, that goes out once or twice a week, depending on where we have events. And again, the Instagram and the Twitter are @digitalla and the LinkedIn, is just like for Digital LA, that was about almost 20,000 people on that group.
Robert Brill: [00:36:11] Do you use sponsorships of the, the, the email, like I’m looking at your LinkedIn, 80,000 members. Oh, via newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. So now 100,000 do you do sponsorships in any of those.
Kevin Winston: [00:36:25] I do, I do. People, yeah. companies can become involved by sponsoring. they could sponsor a specific event or they could sponsor a series of events, or they can sponsor Silicon Beach Fest and they can sponsor the newsletter.
There’s a bunch of opportunities, to reach, this community through, newsletter, or social media or the events. and there’ll be a ways to do that online as well too. Yeah.
Robert Brill: [00:36:50] I can’t think of a better way to reach this very niche community, like in a more personal way? Like, really, it’s, invaluable.
Kevin Winston: [00:36:59] Thanks. Yeah. Yeah. There are, publications that reach tech in our publications that reach entertainment, but to reach this like. Entertainment,, tech plus startups is a, is pretty unique. And it’s something which, you know, I built over the past decade. and so, yeah, it’s a, it’s a great way to, to reach this community.
Robert Brill: [00:37:19] Awesome. This was fantastic. Thank you, Kevin. I appreciate it.
Kevin Winston: [00:37:22] Great. Thanks so much. Okay, good talking to you. Bye, Robert.
Robert Brill: [00:37:26] Thank you for listening to this episode of the LA Business Podcast. If you like what we’re doing on this podcast, please consider subscribing on Apple or Google play, leaving a five star review and sharing with your friends.
If you have any questions, comments, or recommendations for a guest you’d like to hear on this podcast, please email me, [email protected]. Thank you. Have a fantastic day.