Travis Swanson Nominated in Top 30 Under 30
July 2010 - KC Connections - www.connectinkc.com
Travis Swanson has been called one of the most influential men in Kansas City - he is certainly one of the most interesting and diverse personalities you will meet. His energy is contagious and his natural charm and ability to connect with people is immediately evident upon meeting him. Swanson has an energetic zest for business and an uncanny ability to know what works, leaving his clients feeling satisfied with the end result.
Swanson has a gift for business, a true entrepreneur. He has learned how to effectively implement complex marketing strategies and initiatives that get results. Perhaps it’s a combination of his personal and professional traits that have made him successful over the years.
In 2003, Swanson started the trendy REVEALMagazine.com and rode the wave of the fast-paced nightlife scene straight into an ocean of glitz and glam. Swanson hosted parties attended by Hollywood A-listers like Nelly, Carmen Electra, Nick Lachey and Bruce Willis. For years REVEAL parties were the talk of the town. Swanson developed connections around the world and made a name for himself as a young up-and-coming entrepreneur.
In 2008, after the success of REVEAL, Swanson left the world that never sleeps to start a PR/Marketing company, Swanson Media Group. Swanson was able to parlay his previous successes in a new direction. With his talent for promoting, marketing and PR it seemed like a natural transition. Swanson’s firm has had dozens of clients ranging from consumer products to restaurants and movies.
Swanson's most publicized client was the real life documentary, Beyond the Epic Run, a tale about the man who literally ran around the world. Serge Roetheli ran more than 45,000 miles through 67 countries over a ten-year period. It was Swanson who played host to Serge while in the United States. In 2009 Swanson traveled the United States with Serge on a national publicity tour, booking Serge's interviews, setting up public appearances and filling theaters with adoring fans while also attending events such as the Boston Marathon as a special guest.
Swanson is a humble man, full of life, energy and passion. He is one of the most driven, motivated and ambitious men you will meet. People close to him say that he has a heart of gold and would do anything to help somebody.
Over the years, Swanson has demonstrated that compassion for others by working with numerous charities and non-profit organizations. The closest to his heart is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation because CF affects someone in his family. If Swanson is able to raise the most money on September 10th, he will donate the proceeds to the CF Foundation.
Swanson’s next big project is very close to becoming a reality, but he is still holding the details under wraps until its launch, which is expected later this year. Sources close to the project expect this to be his most successful venture to date and one that Swanson is very passionate and excited about.
With his resume, overall body of work and plans for the future it’s easy to see why Swanson was nominated to this exclusive list. Please show your support by attending the September 10th event at Luna.
KANSAS CITY NIGHTCLUB, SEVEN, OFFERS GUESTS LUXURY AND SOPHISTICATION
October 11, 2008
Simply put, SEVEN is currently the crown jewel of nightclubs in Kansas City. Kansas City nightlife has never had it so good. With so many new nightclubs being appended on the Kansas City nightclub list, the competition is getting fierce. Style meets sophistication at the super chic SEVEN located at 613 Walnut. While not necessarily a huge dance club, SEVEN creates a unique restaurant and nightclub atmosphere into one functional entity and a comfortable space for the upscale clientele.
SEVEN quite possibly has the best interior design of all Kansas City nightclubs or lounges. It has the feel of a cool art gallery with a dance floor, alcohol and the most exotic women Kansas City has to offer. The VIP area consists of a balcony that overlooks the action below. There are comfortable couches to kick back and relax on. The downstairs of the club is a dark and sexy lounge area with sultry lighting hues on the walls. The atmosphere is very sensual and intimate. SEVEN's overall design, visual appeal and ambiance of the club is reason enough to check it out.
Thursday nights have been the talk of many prominent social circles and have managed to dominate Kansas City nightlife becoming the current toast of the KC nightclub season thanks to a-list promoter REVEALNights. com. Chatter has dominated social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook promoting the new Seven Deadly Sins, Thursdays hosted by REVEAL. Bulletins, posts and blogs spread like wildfire inviting people to come see why SEVEN is the hottest place to be and be seen on Thursdays.
Prominent DJs spin a variety of music Thursday through Saturday, while the crème-de-la-crème dines off of the prestigious menu complimented by the never-ending flow of champagne and Seven Deadly Sins martinis.
DJ Highnoone and DJ Swegs rotate Thursdays when REVEAL hosts the most talked about Thursday night party in Kansas City, based around the special on SEVEN's seven signature martinis. Aside from providing VIP treatment, bottle service and exclusive tables, SEVEN also hosts fundraisers, private parties, and special events.
This Thursday look for DJ Highnoone spinning his trade mark mash-up set and a special guest appearance by local celebrity, Andria Lea, MC of After Hours.
Call Travis Swanson at 913.206.0170 to book a table for Thursday or call SEVEN directly to book a table for another night.
SEVEN JUMPS INTO THE NIGHTLIFE FIGHT WITH A DOMINATING FIRST-ROUND KNOCKOUT
Monday, October 6, 2008
Thursday night, REVEAL officially put Kansas City on notice that there is a new place for Kansas City's elite to party. An epic battle had been heating up between Kansas City powerhouse nightclubs, Blonde and Mosaic, over which club was the better place to be on Thursday.
However, while those two were fighting each other with free drinks, giveaways and cheap promotions for the ladies, SEVEN snuck in the mix and launched Seven Deadly Sins hosted by RevealNights. com for what is now being referred to as the hottest place to party on Thursday nights.
REVEAL has tremendous reach and influence in Kansas City. Going on six-years in the business, REVEAL has attracted a huge following through grass roots marketing and continually evolving to adapt in an ever-changing market. REVEAL put it's marketing and branding expertise to work and hit a home run with Seven Deadly Sins.
After just one night, SEVEN officially hit the scene as an a-list nightclub. With around 200 people showing up for the launch of SDS last Thursday, REVEAL has once again done what REVEAL does best and created hype and mass appeal that is dominating chatter on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. Thursdays at SEVEN are already being hailed as the new place to be and be seen on Thursdays.
If you drove by SEVEN on Thursday night after 9pm, you inevitably saw the limos and exotic cars parked just outside. This speaks volumes about the clientele who came out for the kickoff event. SEVEN is being billed as a place for those who like to indulge in the finer things.
There are many draws to SEVEN. First, it is not only larger than Blonde and Mosaic; it is also much nicer with a better layout and design. Guests of Seven have compared it to a nightclub you would find in Vegas or LA. SEVEN also provides guests with direct highway access and adequate parking just feet from the front door.
REVEAL CEO, Travis Swanson, had this to say, "Seven definitely takes you by surprise if you have never been there. It truly is a very classy nightclub. I love Blonde but I think people are ready for something new to do. People have been going there for years and it's always the same thing. And honestly, Mosaic is cool for college kids and tourists but most of the people who really go out in Kansas City are starting to leave P&L and go back to local Kansas City owned businesses complaining that Cordish owned venues in the Power and Light district are too corporate and cookie cutter like."
Time will tell how Kansas City reacts to the new Thursday night destination but my guess is that SDS is around to stay. I highly recommend you check it out for yourself this Thursday. Bottle service is available in the VIP loft overlooking the action or for $30 off the price of a bottle you can get a table downstairs and be right in the mix.
Call 913.206.0170 to book a table. You will not be disappointed.
For more info please visit www. Seven-KC. com or www. RevealNights. com
Kansas City Entertainment Website Releasing New Site Later This Year
Daily News Wire January 2008
REVEAL Entertainment is the brand under the REVEAL Magazine family that is best known for throwing must attend parties at various restaurants and nightclubs around the Kansas City area.
REVEAL parties first hit the scene in 2003 with monthly parties at the popular City Market nightclub, Kabal. REVEAL packed the house every month and quickly built a solid reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the Kansas City nightlife scene. Partygoers knew they would always have a good time if REVEAL was involved.
REVEAL founder and CEO, Travis Swanson has been called one of the most influential men in Kansas City thanks to the quick success of RevealMagazine.com. The entertainment website has grown to attract over four million visitors annually. However, the site is currently on a brief hiatus to restructure and accommodate the massive growth.
Swanson, born in San Diego, now spends a majority of his time traveling between Las Vegas, Miami and Chicago but calls Kansas City home.
Swanson is not only a publisher; he is also the most well-known club promoter in the Midwest, a community activist, philanthropist and true entrepreneur. Swanson is one of the hardest working people in the entertainment business and has been called a true marketing genius by his peers. Swansons high roller VIP status has put him on everyones A-List. Surprisingly he is genuinely humble, down to earth and approachable. Swanson also has a real passion for helping those in need.
Swansons influence can be seen throughout the Kansas City nightlife scene. Swanson had met with management of the Country Club Plazas most popular destination, Blonde, while 100 Ward Parkway was still in the construction phase. It was REVEAL who was the very first to publicize the coming of the ultra lounge to Kansas City and REVEAL that directed thousands of visitors to Blondes website prior to a packed house opening night. REVEAL has maintained a close relationship with Blonde since and continues to promote the venue.
Swanson was also notably responsible for turning NVs Friday nights into one of the hottest parties in town. REVEAL launched the Flirt Friday campaign on Memorial Weekend 2006, which gained the attention of many Kansas City newspapers, websites and radio talk shows. In one week Swanson increased the crowd at NV by over 800 people earning him the respect of NV management and legitimate bragging rights.
Swanson has one of the most secretive marketing plans in the business but the fact of the matter is that he simply gets the job done. Perhaps it is Swansons tremendous reach into many social and professional circles that give him a competitive advantage.
REVEAL parties are the most talked about who's who parties in town and always bring a sexy crowd. Everybody who is anybody has been to a REVEAL party including celebrities, models, musicians and professional athletes. When a REVEAL party is in the works a virtual army of people hit the streets, phones, and Internet to begin promoting it. It is this viral marketing that has kept REVEAL two steps ahead of the competition and will continue to keep REVEAL on top. Look for more from REVEAL later this year.
Outside the Lines With REVEAL Magazine CEO, Travis Swanson
Published March 2008
What drives you?
'Life is a never-ending journey in which we are constantly evolving. I've had my shares of ups and downs like anyone else but it's my desire to wake up each day and be a better man than I was the day before that keeps me hungry and motivated. I also have a side of me that likes to push the envelope and accomplish things against the odds.'
What do you contribute the success of REVEAL to the most?
'After five years REVEAL is still a work in progress but if I have to answer that question I would say that it's split between my determination and my ability to reach people. I absolutely refuse to fail. If that means going back to the drawing board and trying new things, that's what I'll do. I'm always thinking outside the box and experimenting with new ways to do things. As for my ability to reach people, I'm under no delusions that it's me that makes REVEAL successful. Rather it's the people, who visit our site, come to our parties and who have continued to support us over the years. I really try to relate to people and find common interests so I may provide them with quality diverse entertainment options. I genuinely enjoy meeting people and making new friends while also developing unique business relationships.'
What separates REVEAL from the competition?
'As far as I'm concerned we have no competition in Kansas City. Nobody else does what we do or has a business model like ours. Many people have tried to get into the entertainment or promoting business but they all fall short and honestly make it harder for other companies trying to do similar things. This isn't just something you can get into over night. It takes a lot of planning, strategic alliances and long hours behind the scenes. What's the difference between a Mercedes and a Hyundai? We're the Mercedes. Businesses are drawn to us because we deliver. If I say there will be 1,000 people at a party, then 1,000 people are going to be there dressed up, looking sexy and having fun. We bring a quality diverse group of people into businesses who will improve that business's bottom line for years to come. I also have more resources than anyone else in this business. Above all else though, I understand that it's all about building hype and spreading excitement in this business. Nobody can directly reach more people than REVEAL can and nobody delivers the message more clearly or with more enthusiasm. Over the past five years REVEAL has become a major brand to be respected. Our guests expect quality and we deliver every time.'
Being in the spotlight so much, how do you handle criticism?
'That is something I'm still getting used to. When you put yourself out there as much as I do you're going to get hate mail and people are going to say things to try to bring you down. I really just brush it off at this point. Nothing bothers me anymore. I have heard it all before. I just think that if somebody wants to go out of their way to say something about me then I must be doing something that intimidates them or brings out their own insecurities. So in that respect I kind of actually welcome criticism. It tells me I'm on the road to success. I guess what it really boils down to is that I know I am a good guy with a big heart. I have a very close family and very close friends. Nothing else really matters.'
If you could do one thing to change the world, what would it be?
'I would remind people to respect each other, help each other and treat each other like they want to be treated. It sounds a little cliche but I think if people followed those rules we wouldn't have war, poverty and violence and the world.'
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
'REVEAL will print over a million copies a month, my website will be the number one entertainment site in the country, I will be directing movies, I will own several upscale nightclubs across the world, and most importantly I will be a loving husband and father to a beautiful family.'
By Nadia Pflaum
Published on June 22, 2006
Travis Swanson sits between two twentysomething models on his black leather couch in the home he rents in Overland Park's gated Jefferson Pointe neighborhood. The women are his newly hired go-go dancers. He met them on MySpace.com.
Emily Trimmell, an animated brunette with a blinding white smile, works as an Estée Lauder makeup artist. Cassie Whatley, a University of Kansas student with ass-length blond hair and braces, wears a white lacy blouse and curls her legs under her to ward off the chill of Swanson's blasting air conditioner.
"It's a great idea to do this. We need someone to start something big around here," Trimmell says.
Whatley and Trimmell will work for 26-year-old Swanson's Web site, RevealMagazine.com, which features pictures of regular people out at popular nightspots such as Club NV and Blonde. His goal is to someday turn Reveal into a print magazine.
Swanson recently secured a cross-promotion gig by throwing a party called "Flirt" every Friday night at NV, a downtown bar trying to shake free of its former gay-club reputation. Swanson gets half of the $5 cover for providing promotion and buzz on his site. Hence, the go-go dancers, who are to appear every Friday night.
"It works out great for them because I bring the people they [NV's ownership] want in there. And it works out great for me because, if the place holds 1,600 people —you do the math," Swanson says.
"He's, like, a genius when it comes to this stuff," Whatley says.
"And it's cool to be part of it now, to kind of have some ownership in getting something like this off the ground," Trimmell adds.
Swanson hopes his audience will buy into the idea that wherever he is, the beautiful people are, too. The shots on RevealMagazine.com feature women with ironed-flat hair and strappy, cleavage-boosting tops, and guys with button-down striped shirts that barely contain gym-pumped biceps. They match the site's slogan: "Hottest clubs. Hottest parties. Hottest people. Period." ...
...Starting a business around nightlife photography was as simple for Swanson as walking into a club armed with a camera and building a Web site full of photos of sweaty young women. He sells membership to the site for $6.99 a month, though nonmembers can browse some areas for free. His goal is 5,000 members by the end of the year, but he won't reveal how many members he has so far.
Swanson belongs to an ever-expanding category of nightlife entrepreneurs who post to the Internet pictures they've taken at bars and events. There's Phocas.net, KCXposed.com ,WildKC.com and FACE Magazine, the only one to make it to print, though it's on hiatus. Lately, any Kansas Citian who frequents clubs has a fair chance of ending up pictured — wittingly or not — on a Web site...
For weeks, Swanson hyped the biggest Flirt Friday yet at NV, a so-called "5-State MySpace Party" that he has tirelessly trumpeted on the Web. So far, he claims that 450 people have RSVP'd —80 percent of whom are women. Swanson has outsourced the job of taking pictures to a volunteer and a guy from Omaha working for gas money to get to Kansas City. Swanson also hired a camera operator for $100 to shoot a Reveal video to be posted online and distributed at other events. He'll pay his go-go dancers $80, plus free drinks and seats on the party bus, which will pick up Swanson's entourage at his Overland Park home.
Swanson has earned a reputation among other photographers and promoters for aggressiveness. He has rubbed some people the wrong way, but his success at getting attractive women to his events is undeniable. On the following Friday, the velvet rope and the cameras will be at the ready.
On a slow Tuesday night at Balanca's, Swanson's biggest rival, Todd Comer, spins down-tempo lounge music while sipping Jameson on the rocks. The downtown bar is dead. The bartender's girlfriend absently stirs a drink. Comer flips through his CD books. The walls are painted in a flame-licking motif, and expensive programmed lights flash enthusiastically overhead, projecting geometric shapes on the carpet. Comer brought his camera, but for now, it's still in its case.
Comer is the photographer behind Phocas.net. Back in 2001, Comer was a rave kid. He was "the one in the hoodie dancing by myself," he says. "Nobody bothered me. I didn't bother them." The scene had earned bad press for drug busts, so Comer decided to compose a photo essay to demystify rave culture. "I went to a couple nights, contacted the promoters and said, 'This is what I'm working on.' Next thing I know, I'm doing it every week, then every other day," Comer says.
Comer recycled his computer-hacker nickname to name his Web site Phocas.net. After his rave photo essay, Comer began taking photos in nightclubs. His site now lists a calendar of upcoming electronica events and raves, and his photographs follow trance, jungle, house and other forms of electronica in disco-ball-lit basement nightclubs.
There's one shot that Comer's always hunting. "I call it 'the moment,'" he says. "You know, the head thrown back, arm in the air, eyes closed, just totally in bliss with the music at that moment. I've got only a handful of those pictures, and all of them — that's the one I'm looking for. I'm looking for people in action."
The online paparazzi tell stories about catching people in the act of something they shouldn't be doing. One of Comer's favorite shots is of a girl kissing a guy while sitting on his lap. A guy e-mailed him and asked for a high-resolution version. Comer asked why the guy needed it. "He's like, 'Well, that looks like my girlfriend, but that's not me kissing her.'"
Comer makes money only when a club books him exclusively for one night of taking pictures. Sometimes bar owners tip his photographers. Sometimes people want to buy a picture from him. But to make a living, he does freelance computer programming. "Anything to avoid the cube farm," he says.
Last October, Swanson and Comer threw an event together at Kabal. They called it "Paparazzi." DJ Ataxic spun records, and Phocas photographers took 363 pictures. Though the photos show the dance floor full of arms waving like sea anemones, Swanson was disappointed with the turnout. He felt he'd done more than Comer to publicize the event, and he demanded a larger cut of the proceeds. Swanson says Comer called him a "crybaby," and they began trading e-mails, arguing over which one had mastered Kansas City's online nightlife scene.
"I think Todd thinks I'm cocky and arrogant," Swanson says. "But I'm used to going to big cities and doing big things and hanging out with pretty people." He says Comer takes too many pictures of half-empty clubs and unattractive people. "You see pictures on Web sites of places that don't look fun, of unappealing people at a dive bar. To me, that doesn't make much sense."
Because his is one of the oldest established paparazzi sites in Kansas City, Comer says his enthusiasm for staying out late in smoky clubs is waning. "I sleep and I work and I sleep and I work and I sleep and I work," he says. "I see people try to do it, and I think that some people come into this thinking it's easy to go out and take photos of people you don't know. And it's not that easy. It's exhausting. You're walking around, you're talking to everyone, you're drinking and smoking cigarettes because you're becoming part of the event itself." ...
...On a recent Friday evening, just past the velvet ropes of NV, the nightclub at Seventh Street and McGee, a line is forming for Swanson's "5-State MySpace" party. A house remix of a Mariah Carey song thuds in the background. In line to show her ID, a woman in a tank top murmurs to her friend, "Is Tom going to be here?" No, Tom, the ubiquitous MySpace administrator with cult status, is not here.
Inside, a DJ spins Top 40 hip-hop and older favorites by Tupac and Biggie. The main room is mostly occupied by the dance floor, with spinning lights and hoses spurting fog, and an adjoining room contains pool tables, a seating area and another bar. Upstairs is a deck with a view of the lights of Kansas City. It's a lot of club, which means there's a lot of space that can begin to feel empty if Swanson's MySpace party doesn't manage to draw the pretty people.
Swanson's wearing a striped black shirt and jeans. He looks sharp but a little stiff. He watches the door as though he's counting heads. The room is filling up, but no one has ventured onto NV's giant, sunken dance floor.
Swanson's entourage sprawls across chairs and couches in a cushy lounge area overlooking the dance floor. It's a group of four or five broad-shouldered guys in mirrored sunglasses whom Swanson says he knows from Johnson County Community College. Some wear VIP tags that read "Reveal Staff." A waitress comes over with a bucket of ice, bottles of Level and Grey Goose vodka, carafes of cranberry and orange juice, and four cans of Red Bull for Swanson. In exchange for the promotion, Swanson gets his drinks on the house, including the bottle service that usually costs $225 a night...
...As women edge closer to the lounge where Swanson mixes drinks, his friend Jerry Williams looks on. "He knows the game," Williams says. "These chicks are used to having drinks bought for them. Look at them. They're like crack fiends for it. He knows that."
Across the bar, Swanson's go-go dancers pose for photos. There's Trimmell and Whatley, plus Crystal Childress, who is petite with stick-straight black hair and a jaw line like Jada Pinkett Smith's. They wear black hot pants, fishnets and push-up bras. Whatley kneels on a white couch, facing a wall, and turns to shoot a fiery look over her shoulder at the camera lens.
Taking a break from the crowded ground floor, Swanson climbs the stairs, where Patrick Lentz is singing covers of the Doors and Bob Marley to a packed rooftop deck. He looks around, nodding and smiling. It's hard to make a club this big feel crowded, but Swanson has succeeded.
What, exactly, makes this a five-state MySpace party?
"Sometimes, what I say it is and what it ends up being are two different things," Swanson admits. "But if you don't have hype, you don't have anything." After a pause, he adds, "I think some people did drive in from Nebraska, though."