Interview with Bill Pence – Bill Pence Music
Bill Pence is a local DJ and Live Entertainer located in Folsom, CA; however Bill travels well outside the Sacramento area. If you are looking for a local Folsom DJ, look no further than Bill Pence.
What is the name of your business and website?
The name of the business is Bill Pence Music and the website is Billpencemusic.com
What inspired you to specialize in entertainment and Music?
I have always loved music from as far back as I can remember. I grew up listening to my father sing and play the guitar and couldn’t wait to sing along whenever the opportunity arose. When I was about 15 years old I started teaching myself to play the piano and I learned to sing nearly every John Denver song when I realized the girls loved it!
I started working as a DJ in 1985 to make a few extra dollars. I discovered that I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to find a way to see if I could make it a full-time living. What inspires me is the ability to make people happy and to hear them say at the end of an event “That was the best party ever!” When clients are really pleased after their event, that is my greatest joy in it means I’ve done my job well.
As a singer/entertainer my inspiration is simply the joy I receive when I sing and see people truly enjoying what I do. It brings me to a place that I can’t get to any other way and it is simply indescribable.
What is your background? Education, Work Experience
I actually have a bachelors degree in history, social studies and education. When I graduated from college in 1979 with my teaching credential, I fully intended to become a high school history teacher. So much for that plan!
After graduation, I had the opportunity to travel all across the United States and to Europe with a group called The Continental Singers. After being on the road for about three months I was presented with another amazing opportunity to come on staff with a small church here in Northern California to serve as a youth pastor and teacher in their Christian school. I then spent the next 12 years in full-time ministry as a pastor, teacher and eventually a church planter.
In 1983 I came to El Dorado Hills to start a new church. A series of circumstances led to a situation where I was asked to MC and sing for a Lions Club convention. Then I was asked if I could be the DJ for the Governors Ball. I had never done anything like that before but since it meant a little extra money I decided to go for it. I must admit I had no idea what I was doing and rather stumbled through it. But people seemed to like it and I survived! I also realized that I enjoyed it and that it might be a way for me to make a few extra dollars.
That was the beginning of what is now a 30 year career. I eventually left full-time ministry and started and entertainment company called The Entertainment Team which I owned and operated for nearly 20 years. With 15 DJs, a complete Casino Monte Carlo division and a complete amusement and entertainment division, we eventually became the largest entertainment company in Northern California. While continuing to DJ a wide variety of events, I served as president and CEO of a company that did more than 1000 events annually. I have trained many of the areas finest DJ entertainers many of whom have gone on to start their own companies and work full-time in the industry.
I have served as DJ/MC at literally thousands of weddings, corporate events and private parties. I have been a featured speaker at several DJ conventions and have traveled coast-to-coast across the United States to perform as a DJ/MC and entertainment specialist. I have served as a singer/entertainer for Hornblower Cruises and Events and have performed at many restaurants, wineries and numerous private events in the region. I have come to realize that music and entertainment are not merely my business, but my life and my passion.
Can you give us a description of your business?
I would describe my business in several ways. Yes, I am a DJ, MC, wedding specialist, event coordinator, singer/entertainer, corporate party host and even more. But there are a lot of good DJ entertainers out there. I believe what sets me apart is my experience and expertise, attention to detail, commitment to customer service and ultimately my passion for excellence. In a world where customer service seems to be almost a thing of the past, I stand committed to each of my clients and to their complete satisfaction.
How long have you been in business? In this business? In other businesses? As stated above I started DJ part-time in 1985 and entered the industry full-time when I started The Entertainment Team in 1991. I sold the company in 2009 so I could have more time to do the actual music and entertainment that I love.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I really learned the business by a lot of trial and error, especially in the early years. This was back when there were no DJ conventions or DJ magazines to help you learn how to do things. It was all pre-Internet, pre-e-mail and I started out carrying crates of records to each event! I used to drive around in a large van was massive amounts of equipment. Now everything sounds so much better and it all fits in the trunk of my car!
As the years went by I discovered I had a knack for business and marketing which was very helpful in building a very successful entertainment company. But it was my people skills that were most important in being a successful DJ entertainer and business owner. Those people skills not only helped me to hire and develop excellent entertainers, but more importantly, helped me to understand and fulfill the needs and desires of my clients. I believe it is that skill most of all that is allowed be to be successful in this business.
Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?
I am really enjoying where I am right now and what I am doing. Over the next five years, I would like to continue to perform about 100 events a year and bring enjoyment and satisfaction to as many people as possible. In 10 years I hope to be living on a beach somewhere with a cocktail in one hand and a cigar in the other!
What is your favorite type of event, Wedding, Business Events and why?
While I enjoy all types of events, I have come to appreciate weddings most of all. I love the whole celebration aspect of the wedding and the bringing together not only of two people but also of two families. Getting to be a part of that and on occasion even being able to serve as the officiant for the ceremony, brings me a great deal of personal enjoyment and satisfaction. I believe that my special understanding of the nature and importance of the wedding celebration helps me to be a better DJ/MC and wedding entertainment specialist.