POLE & THE ECONOMY
Pole Commerce with Keith Scheinberg of Platinum Stages
By Karen Possessky
Pole industry is accelerating at a rapid rate, so much that it may be challenging to predict where or how a pole business may be lucrative.
Vertical Art and Fitness caught up with Keith Scheinberg of Platinum Stages to gain insight on trends, strategies and the future for pole businesses. His observations from conducting his own business along with the interactions he’s had with other pole business owners offers a you-want-to-know viewpoint for anyone wanting to stay ahead of the curve in pole commerce.
First, a little background helps understand where Scheinberg has been and how far he has come. The idea for manufacturing and distribution of vertical dance poles came during his college years, before earning his Bachelors in Science in Biology. He was on a career path to become a doctor, but couldn’t help noticing that vertical poles at college parties helped enhance the atmosphere for Friday night fun. He changed his mind about going to medical school and instead, chose to go to law school. Yet, his vision for manufacturing, distributing and selling poles stayed constant. One day on the beach, Scheinberg sketched a design for a stand alone pole on a napkin and showed it to his friends. Once again, his career path would change directions, but this time for keeps. Platinum Stages has existed since 2000 and incorporated in 2001.
In the beginning, poles were sold mostly to night clubs. However, Scheinberg’s talent with structural design and strategy to keep pushing the boundaries resulted in the creation of a stand alone pole, which prompted a new direction for the sale and distribution of poles. Fawnia Dietrich was one of the first purchasers of Platinum Stages poles for use outside of the club scene. Nowadays, consumers by poles for fun, fitness and business. Trending now … pole fitness industry has a surge in competition circuits and other pole focused events, such as conventions, show productions, and charity fundraisers. Educational workshop series are widespread and more common from the increased number of pole dance champions that are a result of so many competitions. Scheinberg recommends that event planners seek a wide range of sponsors and reach out to varied pole businesses as well as those businesses that are not directly related to pole (think energy drinks or cosmetic lines for example). A blend of sponsors can boost your financial support as well as generate more buzz on just how large the industry has grown and how mainstream it has become. Slowly, the varied backdrop of sponsors communicates to the public that pole dancing is more than a fad; it’s a large industry with plenty of room for more consumers and business opportunities. The larger the industry grows, the more each investor has to gain. Scheinberg reiterates not to limit yourself to just one or two primary sponsors, but open your mind to a larger pool of financial supporters that will create a win-win situation – event support and subliminal messaging to the public that helps grow the crop for everyone in the industry.
A fresh marketing campaign may attract a consumer to you in addition to (as opposed to instead of ) your competitor. Scheinberg indicates that another way to financially benefit is by collaborating with others in the community. There is strength in numbers, even if you are working next to your competitor.