was the 14th such event that DJ Times and Testa Communications have
presented and all began three miles away on the Boardwalk in Atlantic
City. The original DJ convention the DJ Times Expo was the pioneer
show that all other American DJ shows have followed. August 28 the
Expo was sent down a different path with a new venue for the show.
impression of this years Expo was that by making this move to the
Atlantic City Convention Center, the Expo was now a little fish
in a big pond. The convention was spread out to the point where it
had something happening on 3 floors of the new convention
center at all times. The second floor was the registration area
and exhibits hall, the third floor had the demo rooms and
seminars, and on the forth floor people prepped for parties.
On the opening
day, the seminars had a fair attendance starting out with the opening
network session and the crowds grew as the day progressed. Taking a
cue from past DJ Times shows, the opening seminar is never an
indication of the whole show attendance due to the number of day pass
people and exhibits only people attending that pop in to play with
and buy all the toys.
Monday night the
West coast mobile party drew a standing only crowd and brought back
scenes from the old days of the Expo. In a mix of old and new,
starting with the old, Jon Rozz performed Simon Says (The same game
he has done for ten years), and the new being routines by Chris from
CJsDJs, and many others. It felt like class reunion with some of us
performing bits from 5 years ago (back when we were younger and a
whole lot thinner). The only person missing out of the performers
lineup was Mr. Gary Kassor, a standard of the old mobile parties at
the Expo. Someone that was curiously missing was Kevin Howard, the
emcee and man behind the DJ of the Year shows that were a mainstay at
the Expo. The DJ of the Year site, at press time, was abandoned and
could not be brought up.
the doors opened to a new kind of exhibits floor one where
each manufacturer had their own booths that were operated by the
dealer of their choosing. This new style of doing the show was laid
out last year by Vincent Testa, CEO of Testa Communications (the
DJTimes parent company) after years of complaints about the
atmosphere on the exhibits floor being more like a gear swapmeet. In
past shows, dealers had been competing for the attendees dollar by
taking to the microphone with in an auction like tone dropping prices
well below a profitable margin just so they did not have to pay the
drayage and shipping home. Did this mean there were no deals to be
found? Not at all. In speaking to dozens of attendees, DJzone found
out the deals were as good if not better than last year and most
appreciated the professionalism of the manufacturer type show. As for
the all of exhibitors it would be safe to say except for a few
manufacturers everyone that had anything to do with the DJ Industry
was represented including a massive amount of new faces like Yamaha,
Sonic Foundry, BPM and of course DJzone. They had over 120 different
vendors in all. One nice thing about the convention center exhibits
hall was that you felt like you had room to move around.
While millions of
dollars in deals were happening on the floor downstairs DJs were
taking in the seminars and workshops on the third floor. The School
Marketing seminar started the day with the infamous Chuck Lehnhard,
then the very first Custom CD Burning Workshop to be held at a DJ
convention, followed by a half dozen other seminars rich with
information for the new DJ and the seasoned alumni DJs. Paul Binder
topped off the daytime learning sessions with the ever-popular Games
workshop. A highlight of the day's events was when the fire safety
alarms went off at the close of the afternoon session (3pm) and
forced an evacuation of the entire building. It took maybe ten
minutes to get out of the building and the fire trucks were just
showing up. This does not say much for response times, but I'm sure
if it were a real fire, some of the law enforcement people and
firefighters I met that moonlight as DJs on the side would have
helped out in a crunch.
night gave way to what was one of the largest productions ever put
on at a DJ show, the annual Promo Only Party. This party is always
one of the favorites. Picture a huge shoulder height stage flanked by
matching video screens. The flavor of the evening was set by some
excellent DJ mixers and live entertainment. People partied down until
midnight when Pioneer gave away the store, so to speak. Karl Detkin
took center stage to give away thousands in Pioneer equipment.
recovery day from partying hard all night and getting to bed at 3 am.
It was business as usual on the exhibits floor with seminars upstairs
on Latin marketing, Legal Q&A, Club DJ Confab and many more. That
night it was time for the East Coast to strut their stuff at the
Mobile Party part 2. It was surprising to see the energy expended by
these guys and gals. Did it top the West Coast Monday night party?
Not really. I think both had their great moments and both had their
slow times. It was a tie.
Welcome to the
jungle! Thursday ground zero was the exhibits floor with more
electronics leaving the room than a Good Guys during the LA riots. It
was a flurry of moving equipment and deals. DJzone ended their day by
making William Parker of Amber PA a happy man by awarding him a full
Gemini turntable system.
You know how they
say save the best for last? That's how the seminars came out. A spars
crowd of 30 people attended the very in-depth Internet Workshop and
the Promoter's seminar.
most everyone seemed pleased with the show, and yes it is now a small
fish in a big pond (new convention center) but you know what happens
to small fish when they are turned loose? They are unbound by the
physical restraints placed on them in a small pond and potential to
grow is increased, or they get lost in the big pond and eaten by an
even bigger fish. For more pictures click
In private DJzone
poll of both vendors and attendees, here is the Top Ten Likes and
Dislikes of the show.
Expo Top Ten
1. Full-line of vendors
2. Spacey feeling
of the hall
3. Quality of the seminars
4. Promo Only production
5. East and West
coast parties and the people performing.
6. Different music
on each night at Déjà vu.
7. DJ Times staff.
They treated everyone great.
8. Sandwiches at
the Tun Brewery. They were huge!
9. Mood of
the show. It was uplifting.
10. Networking and
meeting with old friends and making new ones.
1. Not being on
the boardwalk. It seemed too sterile and you were tied to one area.
2. Show being
spread out on different floors
3. Cab fare of $12
every time you wanted to eat at somewhere other than Tuns, the
convention center or the hotel.
4. Cab fare of $6
to go to Deja Vu and back. That's $12 to go to Deja Vu??
5. Hotel charging
90 cents per call and per minute for long distance.
6. Hotel staff
attitude. It was a turnoff for many.
7. Escalators that
go to the wrong floor. AKA first to the forth.
8. Lack of
security in and around the exhibit hall.
9. Sound system
and setup at the East and West Mobile Parties (The upper layer
speakers helped on the last nigtht)
10. No networking rooms
What do you think?
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