Pic: Tim Jameson (right) from Innovative Pyrotechnic Concepts
We thank Tim Jameson, owner of Innovative Pyrotechnic Concepts and creator of PyroJam, for this interview opportunity. Tim discussed various business aspects while interacting with Rochelle Brandvein, President, Brandvein Aaranson Public Relations, and Neel Achary, Editor, Business News This Week.
What made you want to start Innovative Pyrotechnic Concepts?
I worked for several companies throughout my career, and I noticed they treated smaller companies differently from the larger clients. I wanted to change that thinking, especially since it’s the smaller businesses who make up the bulk of the revenue within this industry. I founded Innovative Pyrotechnic Concepts in 2013 with one goal in mind: to produce the most amazing fireworks shows for all clients regardless of their size or their budget.
I created PyroJam this year because I have always wanted to produce and shoot my own fireworks festival…and this one is going to be one-of-a-kind! We will feature an International Fireworks Competition that showcases pyrotechnicians from around the world plus we are working with a fireworks display choreography software company to host this virtual design competition. PyroJam combines more than two hours of fireworks, three live bands, a designated Kids Zone, and so much more. It is definitely going to be a party you don’t want to miss!
Have you ever produced big fireworks shows before and, if so, how was the experience?
IPC designed and fired two Grand Public Displays for the Pyrotechnic Guild International, which is the largest fireworks convention in the U.S. and one of the biggest fireworks conventions in the world. Each show used over 100 different firing positions with product costs alone of more than $50,000. It was a wonderful experience to show what IPC is capable of both on the greatest stage possible and in front of the world’s most talented fireworks professionals.
What is the size of the clients you work with?
We work with a wide range of clientele – from private individuals and city/county municipalities to professional sports teams and amusement parks. The smallest clients we work with are typically for wedding or private displays, which begin in the $3,000 budget range. One of our largest clients is Sea World Entertainment, which has a net worth of $4.89 billion.
Do you have any plans for expanding your services or business?
In 2021, IPC expanded into the close proximity/special effects side of our industry, which focuses on producing special effects and full displays in very tight locations that don’t have a lot of room for fireworks. This includes places like rooftops and scoreboards at sporting venues, as well as downtown areas where space is limited. This sector involves extremely strict safety regulations when working with explosives, and we look forward to growing this service over the next year.
Do you provide services across the U.S.?
IPC is based in Southern Maryland, so we primarily work with clients in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. We have produced displays throughout the country including Wyoming, Missouri, Iowa, and Michigan.
What major services do you currently offer?
We produce two types of fireworks displays: traditional and pyromusicals – or “concerts in the sky” – which combine fireworks and music timed down to the 1/100th of a second for complete synchronization. We also focus on our newer close proximity/special effects business based upon the increased demand for these types of shows.
What safety measures do you take when launching fireworks?
IPC adheres to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and standards for firework and pyrotechnic display operation. All our productions are electronically fired, so this eliminates the need for our crew to be in the discharge area during a display. We take safety seriously as should anyone working with and around fireworks. Since our inception, IPC has had a perfect safety rating.
Discuss big contracts you achieved during COVID.
2020 was a “lost year” for all companies in the fireworks industry since very few shows were produced. 2021 saw a definite boost in business as clients added displays in hopes of both enticing – and prolonging – their customer’s visit to their venues. Our entertainment helped increase their overall revenues and aided in their recovery from a very trying 2020. The largest contract we had in 2021 was for more than 50 outdoor displays and over 50 special effects productions at Busch Gardens Williamsburg amusement and theme park.
What is your message to entrepreneurs and aspiring business leaders?
Owning your very own business is one of the most satisfying journeys you can accomplish in your lifetime. The ability to control your own destiny, as well as help others support their families, is a wonderful feeling…but it does not come without sacrifice. There is no shortcut when it comes to building your business since you must be willing to work harder than all your competitors to survive and flourish.
Another key to creating a successful business: build an excellent team and surround yourself with individuals who excel at all the things you do not. Remember to treat them well, pay them fairly, and commend them for a job well done when it is deserved. In time you will find you not only have built a business, but you have also created an extension of your family. The right team will treat your business as their own and always do their best on behalf of your company.
About Tim Jameson
Tim Jameson is the owner of Innovative Pyrotechnic Concepts, a Southern Maryland pyrotechnics company that produces more than 200 shows per year ranging from festivals and private events to amusement parks and professional sports teams in the Southern Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Greater DC areas. IPC is an award-winning national competitor in the pyro world known for their traditional fireworks shows and customer choreographed pyromusical displays.
Tim is also the creator of PyroJam, a day-into-night festival featuring live musical entertainment, interactive children’s activities, and more than two hours of fireworks by some of the world’s top pyrotechnic choreographers. The inaugural event – branded a “Rock the Day/Shock the Night” experience– will be held this Memorial Day weekend and is presented by IPC.