Squared celebrates its 10th anniversary today.
Founded by Scott Litch not long after he graduated from Columbus College of Art & Design, Squared is a Columbus-based entertainment and special events company. Its roots can be traced back to Litch’s job at Glow nightclub in the Buggyworks Building, where he did graphic design, web design, and promotions.
“After Glow closed, my friend Stephen DePizzo and I hosted Fridays at Tonic, a small lounge by Bicentennial Park,” says Litch. “We had friends that were DJs, and it was a fun way to promote them and meet people. Scott and Steve equaled ‘S’ times two, so S-Squared was born. We dropped the ‘S’ and simplified it to Squared.
“I was also working at The Modern Object at Easton Town Center at the time, and one afternoon I met David Michaels of PEP Professional Event Planners Inc., one of the producers of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. David showed me the ropes and we did our first Squared event in 2002 in partnership with the D.E.M.F.”
Read on to learn what advice Litch has for new entrepreneurs, why Squared has been able to remain in business for a decade, and which Squared event is most memorable to him.
The Metropreneur: When you were getting Squared off the ground, who did you turn to for advice and input?
Scott Litch: David Michaels had been an event planner in Detroit for years. I learned the details of what it takes to do a professional production from him. He laid the foundation for what we’ve produced over the last 10 years. Principal at RUN 614, Aaron “Austen” Miller, was a huge support. Aaron was there from day one. He’s an exceptional DJ and a fantastic promoter. Alberto Scirocco of Leftchannel showed me how to approach events differently. He has a way of doing things that are memorable. He introduced me to many people in the dance community.
[M]: Today is Squared’s 10th anniversary. Why do you think Squared has been able to stay in business for a decade?
SL: Focus. Squared has had the mission of doing consistent, concept-driven events. Our business model has always been to build strong relationships with local talent and local businesses.
[M]: What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve faced as a business owner and how did you overcome it?
SL: The biggest obstacle has been to create a scene with little to nothing to base it off of here. Columbus didn’t really have a solid scene for electronic/DJ events aside from the occasional headliner passing through town. We knew the market was there, we just had to put the word out. Without a good initial network of people to promote to, we had to build it from scratch.
[M]: In your opinion, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a business owner?
SL: Getting to be creative. I love to pull concepts out of thin air and make them a reality.
[M]: Of all the work you’ve done over the last 10 years, which project was the most memorable for you?
SL: I would have to say the Animation series that we did in 2006 at the Carlile Club where Mynt is currently. We had a lot of cooperation from the club, and I knew fantastic local and regional talent. Electro house was just breaking onto the scene, along with a resurgence in techno, and a lot people had not been to an acid house-style event before. We were off the wall with our production.
We had people in goofy costumes sticking name tags with funny names on people as an icebreaker, and I was often running through the crowd shooting bubbles from a bubble gun. We also had a second room in the lounge upstairs that gave us an opportunity to feature a lot of music that wasn’t made for the dance floor. The energy of the events was electric. People not taking themselves seriously, smiling, and having fun.
Working with Jason Allen and Magnum Pierre was fantastic. We had a great partnership. Jason booked the talent, and I worked on the concept and marketing with Magnum. Magnum Pierre really helped me to open up and see what a great party could be about.
[M]: What advice would you give someone who is just starting their own business?
SL: Love what you do. Research your competition and figure out what it is that you can do to set yourself apart. Don’t takes shortcuts; put in the work and you will be rewarded. Be consistent.
[M]: Is there anything else you think we should know?
SL: We are celebrating our 10 year anniversary Fri., May 18 with a group of some of my favorite talent to work with over the years. I’ve teamed up David Michaels, Aaron Miller, and Alberto Scirocco once again to produce a terrific event, Noir at 400 W. Rich St. in the Franklinton Arts District, in cooperation with Orange Barrel Media, Paxahau, Columbus Underground, RUN 614, Push Productions, Beretta Music Detroit, and My Best Friend’s Party, to benefit No Kid Hungry, a fantastic charity.
Detroit artists Brian Kage and Luke Hess will perform as Reference alongside Aaron Austen and Jason Allen, with live percussionist Ill Atmospherics, The Cosmictraveler: Alberto Scirocco, producer Seth Yender, DJ Dedikate, and video projection artist JR Gualtieri.
To learn more about Squared, visit SquaredOnline.com.