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The International DJ Expo 2000
Sid Vanderpool -Editor

 

It 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.

The first 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.

Tuesday 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.

Tuesday 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.

Wednesday was 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.

In conclusion, 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 here

In private DJzone poll of both vendors and attendees, here is the Top Ten Likes and Dislikes of the show. 

Expo Top Ten

Likes

Dislikes

 
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? Post your comments on our Forums.

 


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