I love going to DJ conferences. There is nothing cooler than being able to network with other DJs, to share with them something of value and to have an impact on someone's business. Last year it was truly a pleasure to go to attend a newer DJ conference called The Las Vegas DJ Show. It was great to meet likeminded people, to share knowledge, and a wonderful opportunity for me to learn from people outside our industry.
The first thing that you learn when you are a chef is that to make a great meal, it takes a little spice. Having felt that learning opportunities for DJs on the west coast had become bland, I set out to find some spice. Having attended a number of outside conferences like Special Events, Catersource, American Rental Association Show, IAPPA, LDI, NAMM, WMBA and even a sign maker convention, I learned from these trade shows outside of our industry that they all have one thing in common.
These trade shows were like a great meal at a fine restaurant, it's great tasting food with a spice that makes you look forward to coming back for another meal. This is the difference between having a McDonalds Burger and a Mortons steak dinner. All these shows utilized not only people within their industry, they went out of the box and had speakers from outside their industry who geared seminars specifically to those in attendance.
I found that the blandness of DJ Shows that are regurgitated every year can be drastically improved upon. Now you are saying, "Wait a gosh darn minute. I have been to DJ shows with speakers outside of the DJ industry." This is true, but exactly what did you learn? Were they canned seminars that had little or no relevance to our profession or business? Exactly! It's like a roster of who might be in town during that week and will speak cheap is placed on a dart board and whoever gets a dart gets the job. Some don't even understand what we do for a living and do zero homework. It's like they remove the word PLUMBER and replace it with DJ, then do their speech and leave. Some make you smile or feel good, but is there anything with meat that you can use for your business?
Now even in a bland meal, there most always is a few good bites like the school dance guru that gives tons of how-tos on selling to schools and how to set up lighting during his seminar. Or the networking in the halls. A real meal needs to have more than that to satisfy me.
Enter a business person that could see these issues. Dr. Drax saw DJs handed a plain burger every year for a long time and decided they might just like something more sophisticated, like a real steak dinner with all the trimmings. Dr Drax came up with the concept for the Las Vegas DJ Show, much like a chef he put together a great meal.
First he set up the menu. It needed to consist of more than a hodgepodge of seminars, it needed to be a good spread of food and it began with the cocktails, hors d'oeuvres then went on to the main course that included meat, potatoes, and most of all, "spice".
First, we had the traditional cocktails which had a few "bowls-of-pretzels"-like seminars from Stacy Zemon, Mike Fernino, Mike Buonaccorso and other people/DJs that have spoken at a number of conventions. Like the pretzels, they were a little salty and had some crunch, perfect for the cocktail hour.
Next up we have the hors d'oeuvres. These light-fare seminars by Andy Ebon, Brandon Lindsey and Larry Williams gave the DJs a taste of things to come. Brandon gave a detailed and to the point seminar about how to choose and hire Djs. Andy, who specializes in wedding business marketing came through with a tasty number and Larry gave DJs a little bit of salad to go a long with it.
From there, Djs were served the main course "meat and potatoes" that included Sonny Ganguly, Mitch Taylor, Chris Evans and Randy Bartlett. Sonny Ganguly is the CMO of WeddingWire and was a jewel to listen to as he went through some very relevant sales and profitability scenarios. Covering everything from social media to the latest trends brides are using to locate their wedding vendors, Sonny knows his stuff. Mitch Taylor from Taylored Weddings gave an interesting take on pricing your services. Chris Evans, the author of How to Double Your Wedding Business in 12 Months, a best seller in the wedding industry, gave a room full of Djs new marketing and sales ideas. Chris is a popular face at WMBA and NACE shows. It was great to see him at a DJ show. Lastly Randy Bartlett hopped back on the DJ conference train and brought focus to some commonsense and mostly overlooked things DJs miss every day.
To top off the main course, drawing on professional speakers from industries outside ours yet, still related, Drax brought in the "spice" with Alan Berg, who is awesomely famous from helping business owners across the wedding industry circuit. You might have heard his name before, but he is not a DJ. Alan Berg is an inspirational, professional speaker, author and business consultant who provides approachable, actionable content for his audiences and clients. I personally sat through his seminars not only at the Las Vegas DJ Show, I also sought out his seminars at other shows. Yes, he was in my opinion the "spice" that made the main course have a savory taste that left me wanting more.
Let's not forget dessert. Well it was more of a dessert bar. You could choose from the sweet and sometimes fattening which would be most every manufacturer in the exhibits hall, or you could go for the healthier side with the fruit which would include seminars by Scott Faver, Ben Stowe and some other great ones. With either choice, you could go in and have a great finish to an awesome meal all while knowing that what you just experienced was not a Burger.
Be sure to check out the 2013 Las Vegas DJ Show being held September 8-11th. This year's show has grown enough to be moved to the Las Vegas Convention center and has a huge lineup of "tasty" seminars and events that will satisfy most any DJ palette. Las Vegas DJ Show