It’s simple math of why we have DJ conventions where we do!

I have heard time after time, “why can’t we have our DJ convention at a fancier hotel/casino?” “why can’t the convention be in Houston?” “why is the convention pass so expensive?” “why aren’t many sponsors/vendors at the convention?”

Man, I’ve heard so many negative comments over the years about DJ conventions, but almost all of those comments are based on ignorance so let’s explore why DJ conventions are located where they are.

Math, it’s simple math. The universal language is math and trade shows are run based on the numbers. So, it takes numbers to make a convention successful. Everyone needs to make profit including the show producer. Why should they lose their shirt? The host hotel/venue also likes to have guarantees including a certain amount of hotel rooms committed for. So now for the hard truth…….

DJs don’t support their own conventions! The largest turnout I ever recorded at a Mobile Beat Las Vegas show was around 1200 total DJs including sponsors and vendors and support staff. In comparison, the photo booth expo in just 5 years attracted huge crowds. 4000 attendees at the 2019 event! A plumber’s convention will typically attract 10,000 attendees in contrast. With these larger numbers the show promoter can meet their required room block. Yes, a room block! The host hotel will require the show promoter to book a certain amount of rooms per contract otherwise they will have to pay for the empty rooms. When a hotel expects 750 rooms sold and you only bring in 250 there is a problem! So when a DJ stays at the cheapest place on the Vegas strip not only will you get bed bugs but you are hurting the convention by not supporting the host hotel.

Next, DJs are notoriously CHEAP! Sorry, but as a general stereotype DJs want to have their clients pay them a lot of money but they don’t like to pay a lot for their business expenditures, especially education! In fact, a DJ would have a much easier time dropping $250 on a cheesy light vs a show pass for $250. Wake up call, most professional trade shows have passes exceeding $1000-$2000! But for some reason DJs want a world-class show product for $50. Do the Math! It does not add up!

Another issue is that DJs want the Bellagio for their convention host hotel but don’t want to pay $750 for a show pass and $250 a night for a room rate. That’s the bottom line here. If only 650 DJs come out to a DJ show the promoter won’t come close to making the room block and thus your show ticket will go up tremendously. Heck, DJs like to share rooms and costs anyway! You’re not beating the system, you’re hurting yourself.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a union-labor hotel can add a tremendous amount of costs and inconveniences and will keep many DJ industry sponsors out of the show due to the crazy costs associated with drayage. Imagine not being able to touch your gear/product and having to pay crazy fees just for handling. Imagine paying $2000 for a screen and $500 for a projector rental? Many Vegas facilities will totally ripoff conventions because they can. This can cause irreparable damage to a DJ show just struggling to turn a profit.

I will reference Dr. Hugo Drax from the American Disc Jockey Association who ran and operated the Las Vegas DJ Show for 5 years. It was only after he moved the convention to Planet Hollywood from the Las Vegas Convention Center at the urging of many DJs looking for a fancy hotel and some credibility that he found great challenges. “DJs won’t spend the money needed to be at the finer venues or draw in the advanced presenters”, says Drax. It was the associated crushing operating costs from Planet Hollywood that lead to the cancellation of the Las Vegas DJ Show.

Other comments are from DJs wanting to have a convention right in their own region due to the fact they just don’t want to travel. Hello? There is a reason that the 2 major DJ conventions, Mobile Beat and DJ Times are based in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The venues are set up for conventions, the destinations are enticing to attendees and the price is right. Without those factors a show is guaranteed to fail. Shows have tried to establish in other locations without success. Keep in mind that small “regional” shows do not have relevance in this discussion due to their small nature. Generally drawing 100 or less attendees. These are small productions and don’t require a huge support system from a major resort hotel.

Airfare is so expensive! Really? If you learn how to book airfare and what time to get your ticket the cost of flying could be remarkably less than driving! Rental cars and hotel rooms are also a legitimate tax write-off for your business along with food and beverage and even apparel for the show! It is worth spending some money in order to build and grow your business!

In conclusion, when someone complains that the South Point Hotel and Casino is too far away from the strip I would simply argue……. It is a clean and well appointed property. Solidly 4 stars with plenty of great restaurants, attractions and gaming. The required room block is obtainable for the show promoter and the associated costs are relatively low as this is a non-union facility. The South Point has all of the trade show space to accommodate the show floor and if you are just itching to be on the strip of Las Vegas it’s just a 5 minute drive to the Las Vegas sign! Essentially, the price is right, the floor space works, the venue is fair…. it all adds up.

Do the Math.