Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.
  • Brooklyn’s Wizard Studios Sees Exponential Growth in Post-Pandemic Events Boom

    By Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso

    BROOKLYN (WCBS 880) — Events and production company Wizard Studios has cashed in since events have returned with a vengeance since the COVID-19 pandemic eased.

    “We experienced such incredible growth in ’22 over 2021,” said founder and CEO Matthew Saravay. “We were up over 115 percent, like well beyond what we had ever imagined we could handle as an organization.”

    Saravay told the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank, that they grew from a small and scrappy team to 50 full-time employees.

    “We were predicting like 67 percent growth year-over-year because we knew we were coming out of a pandemic year into what we assumed would be a more normal pace of business. We didn’t expect the insane amount of demand for the services that we provide to the extent, sir, that we were turning away business because we couldn’t rightfully take on more opportunities and potentially mess up somebody’s event.”

    The events in-demand right now include social gatherings such as weddings that were postponed during the pandemic. Corporate events and brand activations are also part of Wizard Studios’ bread and butter.

    “Brands want to communicate and reach out directly to their affinity groups, to their customers. So, there’s been a tremendous ground swell around brands interacting face-to-face with their customers trying to win new customers,” said Saravay.

    But, the company, which specializes in design and fabrications to enhance their experiences, does not grow by producing volume. Instead, Saravay learned early in the pandemic that he would prefer to create premium events at a higher rate for fewer clients.

    “We had raised our average ticket price by about 40 percent,” he said. “We’re working hard to produce less events for higher average tickets.”

    The lifelike fabrication of a subway car created by Wizard Studios
    The lifelike fabrication of a subway car created by Wizard Studios. Photo credit Wizard Studios

    They got the attention of the MTA with a lifelike fabrication of a subway car for a non-profit organization that promotes equity in education by sending their tutors to neighborhoods where more disadvantaged students live.

    “At their fundraiser, we created a subway car and the windows of the subway car were video screens and the doors worked,” explained Saravay. “We would start a video on the screens of a train moving out of a station, and then, it told the story of this nonprofit and how they were moving into the boroughs to serve the kids so they could spend more time with the academics and less time getting to and from the tutors.”

    He said the MTA told him that Wizard Studios could probably make a subway car faster than them.

    See Wizard Studios’ designs and production and get sales ideas on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight video above.

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