Once again, the International DJ Expo came up aces.
Despite some gloomy talk about this year's economic climate, the '09 Expo--held this past Aug. 10-13 at the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City--managed to outdraw the 2008 show by 8-percent (4,700). While the square footage of the show's exhibits was down a smidge from last year, the Expo actually attracted more exhibiting companies by a dozen.
Presented by DJ Times magazine and its publisher Testa Communications, the Expo offered four days of educational seminars, three days of exhibits and a full slate of entertainment, which included chart-toppers like Pitbull at the annual Promo Only/Pioneer party and world-class DJs like QBert, Skribble and Grand Wizard Theodore.
Overall, exhibitors and attendees were thrilled, as was the show's producer. "Last year, everyone benefited from our move 'Back to the Boardwalk'--no question," says Vinny Testa, President of Testa Communications. "Given the economy, we had to keep our minds open about this year's Expo. Luckily, the market responded resoundingly. Exhibitors enjoyed big shows and attendance actually grew. As always, we'd like to thank our exhibitors and attendees for making this show such a success."
Adds DJ Times Editor/Expo co-organizer Jim Tremayne: "What I found most encouraging was the flock of new attendees at this year's show--at some seminars, it was 50- to 60-percent new faces. It's always an good sign for the Expo, and certainly promising for the DJ market, that so many people continue to enter the industry and take it so seriously."
And what would an Atlantic City Expo be without its winners? Steve Moody was one of the many at this year's show. The Maryland-based mobile won this year's "DJ of the Year" competition. Additionally, Ohio jock Jeff Dick of Abracadabra Entertainment won the Ultimate DJ Getaway (a 2010 Florida cruise from Whet Travel and GCI Technologies). Derrick Johnson of Groove Entertainment--also a Master Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy--had his name pulled for the Ultimate DJ Giveaway, a raffle which included products from American DJ, Beamz, Crown, Denon DJ, JBL Pro, Pioneer Pro DJ, Promo Only, and Rane.
Here's what other people are saying about the 2009 International DJ Expo:
"DJ Expo 2009 was the best one we've had since the post-9/11 economic crash. We were braced for the worse, but we were pleasantly surprised. The Pioneer booth was very well attended over the three days, with many people buzzing about the new DJM-5000 mobile DJ mixer. Thanks for a good execution of an important industry trade show."
- Karl Detken, Pioneer Pro DJ, Long Beach, Calif.
"Once again, DJ Expo provided Denon DJ an opportunity to meet closely with customers, giving us a chance to showcase our latest products and exchange information with working DJs. This type of interaction is extremely valuable as we continue to develop market-driven products. More than any other year in the past, this year's attendees spanned a much wider age group, which is extremely encouraging in terms of bringing new customers into the market. It was a great show."
- Karl Gustafson, Denon Professional Products, Itasca, Ill.
"The Expo is like Disneyland for DJs-can't wait for the next one!"
"I want to thank everyone for putting together such a fantastic Expo. As a first timer, I must say that it exceeded my expectations! I really enjoyed the roundtable discussion, "Making Tracks: Remixing and Producing." My mind has been taken to another level.
- Michael Issac, DJ, Chicago, Ill. DJ QBert, Thudrumble, San Francisco, Calif.
"The show went very well for us. We had good traffic and a great response to both lines. I believe we really made an impact with the Mixvibes Cross software and the EKS Otus controller. Looking forward to doing it again next year!"
"The convention keeps getting better and better each year, so keep up the good work!"
- Joe Bermudez, DJ/Remixer/Producer, Boston, Mass.
"This year's DJ Expo was more exciting than it has been in years. There were a lot more people than the last few years. We saw a lot of new faces, and some who have been a part of the DJ scene for as long as I remember."
"So glad that we made it to this year's show. The trip from Canada was worth it! As always, it was great to see all of my friends and to meet new ones. There was so much going on with the seminars, show floor and evening events that the days just flew by. I went home with new ideas, new contacts and great memories. Looking forward to 2010!"
- Helen Viva, Professional Entertainment Group, Ottawa, Ont., Canada � Sharon Bechor, Rock and Soul, NYC Laurent Cohen, MixVibes/Mixware, Miami, Fla.
"We really enjoyed ourselves and the seminars were very informative and lively. These guys really know their stuff and listen to the suggestions of the DJs that use their products."
"It was great to mix and mingle with the industry's finest and walk away with several leads and business opportunities. The quality of attendees and exhibitors was great and the DJ Times staff was very accommodating and creative to help us maximize our time and ROI. We look forward to many DJ Expos in the years to come."
- Jason Beukema, Whet Travel Inc., Miami Beach, Fla. Benjamin Ellis, The-DJ-Equipment-Guide.com, Philadelphia, Pa.
"The DJ Expo is a great event. If you are a real DJ, you should not miss the next event!"
- Mick Benzo, ZuluBeatz, Bronx, N.Y.
"I had a blast at the Expo. It was inspiring to be in the same room with so many people who are committed to pursuing their passion in life and open to improve themselves and their business: DJs who want to help more people and make a difference for others by injecting more fun into the world. I loved the energy!"
- Matt Anderson, The Referral Authority, Madison, Wis.
"Another wonderful time once again in Atlantic City. Props again to the DJ Times staff for another well-put together show and also to Promo Only/Pioneer show at the House Of Blues Tuesday night."
- Russ Harris, Show on the Road Productions, Naperville, Ill.
"The cost of the Expo was nothing, compared to the value of information I learned. The information has helped me personally and in business. I enjoyed the seminars the most-and, of course, the Promo Only/Pioneer party. If you are in this business and have not made it to a DJ Expo, you are missing a world of knowledge!"
- Derrick Johnson, Groove Entertainment, Norfolk, Va.
"DJ Times not only hit it out of the park this week, they hit it out of the universe! What a great DJ Expo! Everyone at DJ Times should be very proud of it."
- Mike Walter, Elite Entertainment, Eatontown, N.J.��
"We wanted to send you a great, big thanks for doing such an amazing job at the Expo this year! It was our very first year attending and we already can't wait for next year!"
- Vinny & Tina Liotta, Cool Cat Entertainment, Albany, N.Y.
"From the Expo, we consistently bring back the best ideas and concepts, great deals on gear and more to offer to our market! This is why we continue to grow-in number of events, but also in cost per event. It's all thanks to the DJ Expo."
- Mark Brenneisen, Total Entertainment, Hudson Falls, N.Y.