By Stacy Zemon
In 1999, Matt Radicelli started Rock The House (RTH) as a small, home-based business in Cleveland. Over the years, it has developed into a full production and entertainment company catering to more than 1,000 events each year including corporate and non-profit events, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, school dances, and private parties.
The company expanded beyond its walls in 2006 and moved to a new home in Oakwood Village, Ohio. The custom-designed building houses offices, comfortable meeting areas, a demo room, an equipment warehouse, and a unique culture that stimulates creativity, close relationships, and a welcoming environment for both clients and staff. Rock The House has since outgrown that building and in 2015 will be adding on or moving yet again.
The Rock The House family has grown to include a total of 25 full-time staff members and more than 125 part time professionals including various performers and technicians. In the last two years, RTH has purchased two other regional entertainment companies: Zone Entertainment & Selective Sound Entertainment.
The impressive array of services they provide include audio, video and staging; décor and production lighting; MC / DJ entertainment; specialty talent; green screen and social media enabled photo stations; videography, multimedia; and interactive activities such as a 15’ foosball table, gameshows, arcade games, casino tables, inflatables, LED ping pong tables and more.
“In my heart, I will always be a DJ and I’ll never refute that… but we’ve evolved. I’m an entrepreneur that owns entertainment companies, not an entertainer that runs a business,” states Radicelli. “More than 75% of our revenue comes from production related services such as lighting, audio, video, and staging — and has nothing to do with DJs and MCs. Over the years I’ve done my best to put the right people in the right seats on our bus…and get out of the way.” Each member of the Rock The House team contributes his/her unique talents and personality to make up a diverse, energetic, and dynamic group.
DJ Think Tank
Matt is a member of the industry’s prestigious DJ Think Tank, a group of nearly 50 entertainment and production company owners from around the United States & Canada who meet a few times a year to network and share best practices.
“DJs and DJ company owners are incredibly territorial,” comments Radicelli. “That’s why I didn’t enjoy networking with other DJs… until I was invited to join Think Tank. The value of any organization like Think Tank is that the members of the group share freely because they aren’t competing directly with any other members of the group. It’s a safe haven for idea sharing… profitable ones!”
Rock The House GIVES BACK!
Each year, Rock The House donates products and services to a number of charitable organizations and good causes. They feel that philanthropic involvement connects them to the community and demonstrates their compassion for helping others. Their contributions include at-cost services, discounted packages, and other donations. Each staff member also willingly participates by offering their time and commitment to these efforts.
The Rock The House office was visited by the Fox 8 program “New Day Cleveland” to interview them about their many divisions and how they can impact a client’s event. Over the years, Rock The House and its employees have been chosen for several industry awards and have been recognized for their commitment to quality and service.
2014 – ISES Ohio WOW Awards – Best Industry Contribution
2014 – ISES Ohio WOW Awards – Best Wedding Over $150K
2014 – ISES Ohio WOW Awards – Best Non-Profit $75K – $100K
2014 – CBC Magazine Connector’s Choice Award – Best Corporate Production Company
2014 – CBC Magazine Connector’s Choice Award – Best Trade Show Company
2013 – ISES Ohio WOW Awards – Best Wedding over $200,000 (w/ Heidzillas)
2013 – ISES Ohio WOW Awards – Best Wedding $75,000- $200,000 (w/ Kirkbrides)
2013 – ISES Ohio WOW Awards – Best ISES Team Effort $75,000-$200,000
2013 – ISES Ohio WOW Awards – Best Corporate Event over $200,000
2013 – ISES Ohio WOW Awards – Best Technical Production
2013 – ISES Ohio WOW Awards – Best Marketing- Design Collateral over $25,000
2013 – CBC Magazine Connector’s Choice Award – Best Networking Star (Nick Borelli)
2012 – SBN World Class Customer Service Accountability Award
2012 – ISES Wow Award for Best Meeting or Conference over 100K
2012 – CBC Connectors Choice Awards – Best Entertainment Company
2012 – CBC Connectors Choice Awards – Best Technical Support Company
2012 – Best in Show Booth Design – Today’s Bride Bridal Show Akron & Cleveland
2011 – Top 10 DJs – Fox 8 Hot List
2011 – The Great Escape Award – Smart Business Magazine World Class Customer Service Awards
2010 – No Risk Award – Smart Business Magazine World Class Customer Service Awards
2010 – Best Technical Support – CBC Magazine Connector’s Choice Awards
2009 – Best Staging/ Video Company – CBC Magazine’s Connector’s Choice Awards
2009 – Best Entertainment Company – CBC Magazine’s Connector’s Choice Awards
2009 – Excellence in Design – Today’s Bride
2009 – Best of Cleveland
2008 – Best Entertainment – CBC Magazine’s Connector’s Choice Awards
Rarely has this writer come across a DJ company that actually has a mission and vision statement. Rock The House does!
Our mission is to provide industry-leading products and services that are superior to those of our competitors through innovation, the strength of character, attention to detail, and our commitment to unparalleled customer service while maintaining profitability and taking excellent care of our employees.
Rock The House will be regarded as the region’s best interactive entertainment and production company through innovation, strong relationships, and concierge-quality customer service.
“When I meet someone at a DJ convention and they ask me what I might have to offer,” Radicelli explains, “I usually smile and say the same 3 things: ‘Do it. Delegate it, or Decline it,’ ‘Anyone that can be your competitor can be your partner’ and ‘Do what’s right, not what’s easy’.”
I asked Matt if he had any sage advice for other multi-system operators who want to expand their businesses:
“You can’t do everything yourself. Learn to delegate early in your career and amazing things will happen. As you build your team steadily; trust the people around you to accomplish your company’s goals and get out of the way. Trusting your team will cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars as they make mistakes… and they WILL make mistakes; but if you’re committed and managing (not micromanaging) your team in a positive & productive manner, they’ll make you tens (or hundreds) of thousands in the process.”
Matt adds one more thing:
“Something else I considered is that is really unique is that RTH has a Money Back Guarantee. It’s unheard of for a business with extreme subjectivity or opinion (like entertainment) to offer (and follow-through on) a money back guarantee. We take pride in explaining to our customers that if anything we do falls short of their expectations (or ours), that service is free. Period.”
Social Media Links:
RTH Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/igotrocked
RTH Twitter: https://twitter.com/igotrocked
RTH YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/igotrocked
RTH Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/igotrocked/
RTH Instagram: http://instagram.com/igotrocked
Matt Radicelli Twitter: https://twitter.com/matt_radicelli
Matt Radicelli Instagram: http://instagram.com/matt_radicelli