We had the good fortune of connecting with Ricky Hayes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ricky, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
In our Entertainment Industry, it seems that sometimes others are unaware of the costs and production that goes on behind the scenes to actually produce even more simple events. While Uber and Lyft are getting much of the spotlight in regards to CA compliance regulations on Employee vs Independent Contractor, the Events industry has also been put in a tough position due to the same regulations. While most of the work is “gig” based and also a secondary job for many, it is quite challenging to manage the overhead costs of properly preparing events with well maintained equipment, vehicles, communication, meetings and the general liability of staff as employees instead of contractors.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
VOX DJs specializes in providing Live Event: DJ/MC’s, Photo Booths and Lighting/Production. We are best known for providing consistent results while having a diverse wide range of different faces, personalities and styles. We always take it as the best compliment when other vendors or venues meet a new staff member at an event and say, “I know we haven’t worked together before but since you’re with VOX DJs, I know we’re in good hands.” It wasn’t easy to get to this point and it all starts with hiring the right people. You can teach anyone to DJ, setup lights and take pictures. Typically it’s hardest to teach someone to genuinely care about the work they do and have a pride or ownership in the event as a whole. That’s our special sauce, the team that we develop internally. Our industry is every changing and if you stay stagnant, you fall behind in quality and execution. We have an internal staff behind the scenes that meets multiple times a week to address successes, failures, goals, development and execution. We believe this keeps us moving forward as a driving force in setting the standard for Live Events. It’s never easy in our industry because you really only get 1 Take. Everything is live and the only way to ensure the best for our clients it to challenge ourselves to walk through the events prior and think of what could go wrong so we are able to prevent it. I’m proud of our team and their willingness to push to be better every week.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ve been an LA Native my whole life and live in the South Bay. For sake of timing, let’s imagine this is a Friday in the middle of Summer and we have one day to see LA. When my friends come to visit from out of town, you always have to first drive up and down the coast to get them grounded an into the SoCal mindset. I typically start around San Pedro to see the harbor, the Korean Friendship Bell and Sunken City. We have to stop at Eat at Joe’s in Redondo Beach of course for breakfast but continue driving the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu pier. On the way back from Malibu, stop at the Getty Villa and Santa Monica Pier, From there, we go into West Hollywood and stop at Gracias Madre for some lunch and drinks. We see all my favorite clubs driving through Hollywood like the Troubadour, The Roxy, The Whiskey where I would see shows every week as a kid. Stop to see The Hollywood Walk of Fame for some pics at the Dolby Theatre. Now we head up to the Griffith Observatory with just enough time for pictures before heading over to a Friday Night Fireworks game at Dodgers Stadium to see our World Champion Boys in Blue! After that, we round out the night at Perch or Ace Hotel in downtown for some rooftop drinks and to enjoy the LA Skyline. It’s a long day but I’ve pulled it off before, I’m always game to play tour guide,
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My path to my career was built from the knowledge and leadership I learned from my Dad and his mentality of never passing the buck to someone else. Take ownership of your work and be proud of it when the job is done. My professors at Cal State University Long Beach, especially Kevin Johnson. He helped me to development my leadership and communication skills. Also, crazy enough, working for years in management at Starbucks (I used to be a store manager). Starbucks has such a fine tuned operational plan for all things. Studying and executing their systems helped me to become a better leader of our team and also how to create a systematic approach while not losing touch of the human element.
JP Cordero Photography, Three16 Photography