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Mid-America = Success



 Mid-America = Success

 Sid Vanderpool - DJzone Editor


In the face of tough competition, the little show that could, did. Hundreds of DJs from around the country poured into the Raddison Hotel and Convention Center in Louisville Kentucky for the third annual Mid-America DJ Convention held in early June.

Since 1999, the Mid-America DJ Convention has struggled against innumerable odds. With a DJ show in Cleveland two weeks after MAC and The DJTimes Expo in Atlantic City in August, it has been an uphill battle for this show, which was  designed by DJs for DJs. According to show producers, they had not been granted the luxury of advertising in paper magazines like Mobile Beat or DJTimes, thus they have missed out on an  opportunity to promote their show to some of the subscribers of those magazines. Relying on the totally on-line DJzone Network ad banners and their newsletter subscription of 19,500 DJs as their main advertising vehicle, MADJC drove home the fact that there are alternatives to traditional advertising available that work as well, if not better.

George puts out more food for the free breakfast buffet

The football field size expo hall

Leave your egos at the door.

The show this year was placed in the Radisson, a much larger venue than before, and only a few miles from the original hotel convention center. The seminar room was as big if not bigger than before and had seats for 500. The Exhibits hall was the size of a small soccer field and was divided into two sections, one for the party on the Tuesday night and the other for the exhibits. Given the size of the room, you could see a semi truck could easily drive right in, but the closest thing to that was the Dave Yantz award winning DJ van. This van was a fully equipped tool van at one time and had been retro fitted with some awesome equipment which DJzone will cover in a future article.

It was a day for cheers and a day to celebrate when the opening seminar exceeded the projected attendance of 300 DJs by close to 200. Munching on the free breakfast sponsored by Djzone, the room was full of chatter about what to expect this year and what truly unique networking opportunities DJs would have at this years show.

This show had in impeccable line up of speakers for the seminar; most of which were veterans in the DJ business who have received awards for their dedication to helping it grow. Four Country DJs of the Year put together a massive seminar Country for NON-COUNTRY DJ and Professor Jam, industry advocate, brought in a catering manager and beverage manager to give attendees a different perspective on  how to raise the standards of your business by networking with other event professionals. Mike Bendavid kicked up his heals and taught dance for those with two left feet.  Michael B, from Nashville, explained to everyone while throwing hats in the air that anything can be a party prop. Other seminars included introduction to the Internet, DMX lighting programming, and the famous Politically Incorrect with Tom Holiday (Icebox DJ). Tom roused the crowd with an opening skit that everyone could relate to and then bared his teeth and dug into  some of the problems that haunt the DJ industry. Smashing and bashing topics like the RIAA, copying music, multi-system operators, and more, he took the proverbial bull by the horns and swung it on to the barbecue and served up steaks for everyone.

Tom Holiday's Politically Incorrect.

Opening Seminar

Top four country DJs in the US

Out side the seminars, something very special was prevalent. It was the attention to details, the down-home hospitality and the laid back atmosphere the show provided. It starting with the morning breakfasts everyday and the free pops and bottled water into the evening. On the opening night, vendors were treated to a sit-down white glove dinner. Later that evening attendees, vendors and guests were treated to a huge party aboard the Belle of Louisville riverboat. When the doors opened to the exhibits hall the next day, that laid back atmosphere had rubbed off on the vendors and sales soared. Bernie Howard, Gemini Sound Products'  Regional Sales Manager, said it was the biggest opening day he has seen at a DJ show. To the surprise of the vendors, a catered buffet lunch was two steps away from the show floor so no one had to loose sales during lunchtime. That night, another party took place and was kicked off by a band out of Wisconsin led by Sigmund Snopek from the Violent Fems while the attendees enjoyed a buffet dinner sponsored by DJPower. After dinner, the dance floor broke open with a special demo of the new Gemini Circle Sound Unit and Djing until the wee hours of the morning.

Ed Price and Tony Valentine from performed some extracurricular convention activities in their hotel suite by being the early badge pickup location and thoughout the convention they held a hospitality suite that gave DJs a place to relax, drink, talk, eat, drink some more, network and did I say drink? Free munchies, beer, and pop is always a welcome site at a DJ convention.

Throughout the last day, Chartbusters Karaoke held their karaoke auditions for the evening's contest while a curtain away vendors were selling out of items leaving them with empty boxes. The cherry on top was seeing inside the once full rental trucks and trailers that Sound Ideas and others brought into the show leaving almost empty. The annual Chartbuster Karaoke contest held that night attracted those attendees that were left and brought out a different side of those attending the show.

There was one downside to the show and that was completely beyond the control of it's producers. That was the extremely poor service and facilities provided by the Radisson Hotel. They had promised the moon to get the show there and never came through. I admonish the Radisson and their staff for treating their guests so terribly. The service and staff in the Radisson Convention Center where the convention was held had to be under different management. It was clean, shipshape and the service was grand while the Hotel was rude, discourteous, and in need of a major attitude adjustment. 

Was the Mid-America the largest DJ show? No. Was Mid-America the smallest DJ show? By far no. Did the attendees get their moneys worth? You bet! Did the vendors sell? You bet! Was it a success? You better believe it!

Michael B the Propmaster

Mike Bendavid the Dancemaster

Belle of Louisville the Party Cruise

Gemini demos their Circle Sound System at the evening party

The Ladies get funky

This was just those that where on the inside of the boat...

Promo Only's Booth

Sound Idea's Booth

Dave's BIG van

See more pictures from this years show in their new Gallery

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