We recently chatted with Abby Tobias to learn more about Canada’s premier boutique entertainment and production company Sole Power Productions. The company has a roster of over 250 performers, producers, technical staff, and managers that produce over 2500 events each year. Their main focus is entertainment, production and artist management.
Sole Power has worked with the Much Music awards, YTV Awards, Molson Indy, Grey Cup, T.I.F.F, Chin Picnic, Caribana, Pride, Fashion week, Rogers Cup, and many more.
What is your business called and what does it do?
Sole Power Productions is an entertainment and production company. We supply entertainment and/or production needs for the biggest and best events across Canada.
What made you want to do this work?
I started DJing at age 15. I fell in love with entertaining people and working with music. This company is ultimately an extension of that same passion long since my days of being a DJ. I enjoy seeing events come to life and work alongside talented likeminded individuals.
What problem does this solve?
Luckily for me, there are many fantastic charities and organizations that plan events throughout the year. We have made a significant impact with several organizations helping them better execute these events. One of our goals is to maximize the charity work we can get involved with. Better run events typically equates to more funds raised. This is one of the most important aspects of my work.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Our demographic is both corporate and social clients looking to execute high level events. That spans across many genres and event types. We have a wide range of services that we offer to many different clients and types of events such as entertainment, lifestyle, activation, dancers, DJs, event producers and a full scope of audio/visual production and tech services. Our clients include Canada Goose, BMW, Porsche, Lexus, Honda, Toronto Blue Jays, MLSE, Deloitte, Scotiabank, BMO, Facebook, Google, Uber, and many more. Sole Power facilitates 2500 events annually.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
Our model is simple. We provide a service over and above the talent or AV that clients book from us. It’s our mandate to make sure the pieces of the puzzle that we facilitate are used in the best possible manor to ensure each and every event is successful. We make money by putting important facets of an event puzzle together. This allows our clients to reach their event goals. We place high quality people, product, and production items at events. Every client wants their event to be amazing, so we ensure our services are just that. We can book acts multiple times annually, thus getting a great return on said person, product, service, etc.
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
Our head office and production facility are both located in downtown Toronto. However, our services stretch across every corner of the city and the GTA. We go to where our clients need us. You will find Sole Power at hotels, events spaces, night clubs, neighbourhoods, restaurants, and everywhere in between.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?
Great question. There are so many companies that claim to do what we do when in fact they do not. I would definitely want to know the following:
– Do you own the equipment you rent or do you cross rent it?
– Are your acts exclusive to your company or can I get them elsewhere as well?
– How large is your operation and team? Should the person I book get sick, are you able to replace them? If my equipment breaks down, do you have back-ups in place?
And most importantly I would ask the rest of the industry what they think. I find myself constantly telling my clients to ask the other event professionals they hired about us. Ask them who they would choose to handle their event needs. I’m confident that our peers would say we are the best at what we do so I challenge my potential clients to ask around.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part is the ability to continually create. I love to create new concepts and showcase new ideas. This is an easy business to use those skills as our clients always want new and cutting edge. Our clients don’t want to do what was popular a year ago. They want very current, and in some cases, they want things people couldn’t even imagine would ever happen at an event. Those are the best!
The worst part may very well be the same thing. It’s a gift and a curse. With the volume of clients we have and the pressure of knowing how important each event is, trying to stay creative can be our greatest challenge. Our clients expect the best from us and we continuously strive to provide top results.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
The joke is often on us (the professionals in this field). I find we often get lost in our events, and from time to time we take it way too seriously. I often think that the events people care more about the event than their clients. Sometimes we lose perspective on it all. It’s important to remember what really matters, what our clients really care about, and what makes an event truly a success. Don’t get caught up in your own work and think it’s bigger than the event as a whole.
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?
Forme Fitness at Broadview and Queen. I workout there and it’s a great release from work, stress, life, etc. I waited my whole adult life to enjoy going to a gym. This is the one. A truly warm and encouraging energy fills this place. Not to mention that like me, their business was built from the ground up, with hard work and as a labor of love. They also enjoy giving back to charity, and to the community. I highly recommend checking them out.