What Goes Around, Comes Around with The Karma FoundationAugust 16, 2012 By: Steve Lewis
The Karma Foundation can best be described as the Robin Hoods of nightlife. Founding partners Eric N. Stotz and Dylan Marer along with Executive V.P. Marvin L. Epstein have created "a members-only networking organization that combines the benefits of executive networking with philanthropy, charitable donations, and unique experiences.
The organization strives to make a difference by doing something different. This unique approach includes putting together some of the most up-scale events, instead of the traditional around-the-table charity gatherings. They gather their high end members at events and give a portion of the proceeds to a selected charity.
This coming Labor Day weekend they are bringing their guests to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino where they will host Kandy Vegas. Chris Brown will headline the weekend, performing live on Saturday September 1, with other world-class talent gracing the stage over the four days and nights of the event. Superstar DJ Paul Oakenfold will perform a "small intimate show" at the Hotels Body English club on Sunday and poolside Monday. Other names like Rev Run, DJ Ruckus and even Pauly D...yes Pauly D is amongst the long list of talent. There will be spectacular light shows, pool parties, happy hours, contests, giant lollypops and tons of etceteras.
The Karma Foundation has taken its members to the Playboy Mansion, on cruises and ski vacations. Exotic locales like St Barts, Thailand, Dubai and many others satisfy the fantasies of their high-end clientele. This is of course wonderful for the A-listers but Karma Foundation like Robin Hood takes some of the loot and donates to noted charities.
Beneficiaries of this charity include AIDS Walk Los Angeles, Beating The Odds Program, March of Dimes, Pay it Forward Foundation, Nevada SPCA, Reading to Kids and many, many more. Founded in 2005 the Karma Foundation is inspirational. Proving every day (and night) that good guys can finish first.
Nightclub Confidential caught up with Karma CEO and Executive Events Producer Dylan Marer and asked him all about this charitable networking organization.
Nightclub Confidential (NCC): Unlike most networking groups, you give a portion of the proceeds to various charitable organizations through your Karma Foundation. Tell me how this actually works and how it came to be?
Marer: The Karma Foundation’s mission is to create a community of entrepreneurs who enjoy networking through exclusive events that benefit worthy causes. One of the key components to our charity selection process is that we approve our charities based on their ability to operate efficiently and effectively. We decided from the beginning to select a charity based on its business and operational success, not by its brand. By incorporating this strategy we’re able to enhance the value of each organization by not only making a donation, but by creating an on-going relationship to benefit the charity in the future.
NCC: In regards to Kandy Vegas, how did decide upon the venue and the talent? What advantages will your members enjoy?
Marer: Venue is one of the most important aspects of any event – it’s what allows otherwise good events to be great. We chose the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino because it’s known for its music, party and fun vibe and it has one of the largest, best designed, and ideally suited pools in Las Vegas – an ideal venue for Kandy Vegas.
We’ve been producing events for many years and have gotten to know many high profile entertainers who support Karma, our mission and want to contribute to the greater good. We choose our talent based on many factors, like overall appeal, willingness to contribute to said charity, availability, and personal relationships – it all contributes to our decision. Entertainers know we will provide them with an exclusive audience and venue. At all of our events, we pride ourselves in creating the most upscale experience – our members will enjoy the best suites, exclusive VIP access, private pre-parties, private after hours, and the best seats in the house at the main event, all while contributing to a worthy cause.
NCC: Names like Avicii, Pauly D, Rev Run and Chris Brown have been or will be involved in your events. What are other concepts drive your events and how do you partner up with liquor companies and other commercial partners?
Marer: Avicii, Tiesto, Chris Brown, Diddy, Flo Rida, Rev Run – the list goes on. We produce events, like the best mixologists create winning cocktails – we bring the finest talent, great themes and décor, theatrical lighting and thundering sound, and shake it up with a twist. All ingredients in the recipe for a world class, mind-blowing event.
We secure liquor sponsors and commercial partners through brand association, targeted marketing, and a desirable product sampling experience. People connect with brand association – they want to connect with products that are enticing, intriguing, and irresistible. Kandy Vegas will be sure to accomplish all of this.
NCC: Karma is a wonderful concept but how does it work on a business level? How does it help you attract the right members and partners?
Marer: Karma is all about what goes around comes around. It is a core belief of my business partners, our members and the relationships that we have incorporated into our events and our community. When everyone works to help one another – without thinking about what’s in it for them - you create a very unique style of cooperation that ultimately results in success. This approach has caught the attention of many high profile individuals who believe in what we do as we continue to grow our brand and increase our membership. Our charity beneficiaries appreciate our methods and are very cooperative when it comes to providing multiple incentives to helping us secure high profile talent, and other elements that make our events uniquely successful. Our approach is uncommon as it takes years of building a reputation of trust with many relationships; but when you have the name “Karma” as part of your brand you create very high expectations.
NCC: Who are your members and why are they members?
Marer:Our members are successful executives and entrepreneurs, male and female, from almost every business sector and type. I suppose you could categorize them as people who want to do good, have the resources to do so, yet lack the time; and for that reason all of them joined to network with high caliber individuals and to develop relationships all while making a difference in the world.
NCC: How big can/will you go for Kandy Vegas?
Marer: Kandy Vegas, no holds barred – there is a great deal of competition in the city with some of the best talent in the world but to make a bigger, better statement, we had to create an experience that no other event or nightclub could compare to. We created the ultimate event, Kandy Vegas, the only themed party at this magnitude on Labor Day Weekend. The event that not only has great talent, like the others, but it brings together more than 4,000 people who want to contribute to a charitable cause.
NCC: What is your ultimate event?
Marer: We hold a range of events, though when it comes to parties, such as the Kandy events, each one is designed to be ‘the ultimate’. They have to be seen to be believed. We create amazing, colorful fun themes like Kandy Vegas, Kandy Halloween, Kandy Masquerade, Kandyland, and Kandy Kruise. They’re in demand – it’s not uncommon for more than 65,000 people to apply to attend a Kandy event. We want each one to be memorable and rock, so we attract the greatest performers and talent and create a sight and sound experience with theatrical effects, lasers, CO2 blasts, thundering concert level sound, LED walls and the best food and beverages.
Our challenge is making each party-style event bigger and better than the last. Can we go to the moon? We know Richard Branson, so perhaps that would be our ultimate party.